Crisp summer corn kernels, tender black-eyed peas and lots of smoky flavor goes into this tasty caramelized onion chili.
How's your summer going? I'm hanging in there, though my allergies are killing me. I don't think I ever suffered from any allergies at all up until about ten years ago, and they've gotten progressively worse every year since. Working at home among the trees and pollen can be rough business. Also, working at home in the summer gives me freedom to do things like have conversations about patent law with my cats before I realize the window right next to me is open and my neighbors are nearby, pretending not to notice. It's okay. They already think I'm nuts, after watching me stand on chairs to take pictures of my food for the last couple of years.
Sorry. Let's start again. I might be a little cranky, with the 90+ degree temperatures currently going on.
Summer has it's good qualities. Someone recently mentioned that we're into chili season. I never really thought of summer as chili season, but it works. Nothing takes the edge off my heat wave grumpiness like blasting air conditioning and a bowl full of chili.
Since we're just into summer and summer is chili season, I went and made a chili based around some summer corn. Corn is actually one of those things that I'll just throw into any old pot of chili if I've got it on hand. That little bit of extra frozen corn that's hanging in the back of the freezer? It wants to go into some chili. So corn and chili are no strangers in my kitchen, but for once I decided to create a chili around some sweet summer corn. Lots of smoky flavors and tender black-eyed peas compliment the sweet crunch of fresh corn in this chili. And then there's caramelized onion, which takes a bit of time to cook up but is an absolutely and totally brilliant and fantastic addition to this, or any chili for that matter. Caramelizing an onion, in case you've never done it, takes forever, but it's totally worth it, and a very satisfying process as you transform a regular old onion into a heap of sweet, flavorful, melt-in your mouth deliciousness. Once you've gotten that part of the cooking done, everything else comes together quickly. You can sub frozen corn if make this when fresh isn't in season, but definitely go for fresh if it's available.
Smoky Sweet Corn, Black-Eyed Pea and Caramelized Onion Chili
- 4 medium onions sliced
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- 1 red bell pepper diced
- 3 ½ cups or 2-14 oz. cans black-eyed peas rinsed and drained
- 2-14 oz. cans diced tomatoes
- 2 cups fresh sweet corn kernels about 3 ears, could sub frozen
- ½ cup water
- ¼ cup tomato paste
- 3 tbsp. maple syrup
- 1 tbsp. chili powder
- 2 tsp. smoked paprika
- 1 tsp. chipotle chili powder
- ½ tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. black pepper
Place onion slices and oil into large saucepan over medium-low heat. Flip a few times to coat the onions. Allow to cook, uncovered, flipping occasionally, until onions are lightly browned and caramelized, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Remove half of the onions from saucepan and transfer to a dish. Add remaining ingredients to saucepan and stir to incorporate. Raise heat to medium-high and bring to a simmer. Lower heat and allow to simmer for 10 minutes, adding a bit more water if mixture becomes too thick.
Ladle into bowls and top with reserved onions. Serve.