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My Favourite Chili Stuffed Baked Potato

It's a rainy day out there and even though it's not actually cold yet, it looks cold out there from inside the house so that's a good enough excuse to make chili. Actually, Saturday is technically the first day of fall so it really is time , isn't it?

Tonight we will eat it over baked potatoes with chipotle cream and cheese and then I can send some in The Kid's lunch tomorrow and alleviate my mom sandwich guilt for the week. I am also taking a container of it over to Jen's house (Piccante Dolce Jen) who is hugely pregnant and due this week so she won't have to cook tonight. So many birds killed with this one chili stone.

This is a tasty, basic chili with no fancy surprises or anything. The addition of masa harina at the end thickens it up a bit and since we are eating it over baked potatoes, I wanted a thicker chili as opposed to a soupier chili. It's not spicy either so that it can please all of the people in the house - the chipotle cream adds heat for those who want it. The best thing about the chipotle cream is that I use 0% fat greek yogurt and light Hellman's so it's almost kind of good for you - better than a big old dollop of full fat sour cream and way tastier.

1 lb ground beef
1 lb ground pork
glug of vegetable oil
1 can small mexican red kidney beans
1 can mexican black beans
1 onion
3 cloves garlic
4-5 tbls chili powder
2 tbls cumin
1 bottle beer
6 cups of tomato puree
kosher salt and pepper
1 sweet red pepper, chopped
1 zucchini, chopped
cilantro (throw the stems into the chili as it cooks)
lime juice
tbls masa harina (optional)

Chipotle Cream
1/4 cup greek yogurt
2 tsp mayonnaise
approx 2 tsp chipotle chili in adobo ( I puree the whole can and then use that puree. If you want it a bit less hot, just spoon out the adobo sauce itself and dont' use the actual chilis in the can)
juice from half a lime
pinch kosher salt

for each serving you will need:
1/2 baked potato
about a cup of chili
a spoonful of chipotle cream and then garnish

garnishes: chopped cilantro, lime juice, some sort of cheese if desired

Heat a large, heavy pot over medium heat. Pour in a glug of some sort of vegetable oil and saute the onion and garlic until it's softened. Add the meat and stirring often, brown it. If there seems to be a lot of fat in the bottom of the pot, spoon most of it out.
Now add in the chili powder, cumin and a big pinch of kosher salt and saute for a few more minutes. Add the red pepper and zucchini, stir around a minute and then add the beer and the tomato puree as well as the drained black and kidney beans. I take a big bunch of the cilantro stems and tie them with a string and submerge those in the chili while it cooks and then fish it out when its all finished. Turn the heat down to med low and keep it at a really light simmer for about 1 1/2 to 2 hrs. If you are using it to thicken the chili, add the masa harina for the last 15 or 20 minutes of cooking time.

After it's cooked , remove the cilantro stems and squeeze in the juice of a couple of limes (to taste). Adjust the salt.

To make the baked potatoes you are going to bake a couple of potatoes (I am going to assume that most people know how to bake a potato but in case you don't, here is a nice tutorial )

When your potatoes are done, take them out and cut them in half. I like to sort of spoon the flesh out and mash it up and so that it's not just a solid lump of potato. Put the half of a potato on a big plate and spoon a bunch of chili on top of it. Add some of the chipotle cream and the sprinkle the whole thing with some fresh chopped cilantro. You can also add shredded cheddar or some dry, crumbled cojita or some other similar cheese (even feta works nicely)

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