1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
1 lb. ground meat (beef, turkey, whatever's in the freezer)
2 cans chili beans in chili sauce
1 6oz. can tomato paste
3/4 c. water
2 tsp. epazote
1 Tbsp. chili powder
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. dried red pepper flakes
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. Tobasco sauce
A great recipe for expected guests - it's quick and easy to throw together with ingredients you probably have on the shelf, and it holds until "whenever you get here" in case they get stuck in traffic.
Kuner's is a good brand; they have a "Jalapeño Chili Beans in Chili Sauce" that I often serve as a side dish on Taco Night.
Epazote is Mexican Bean Spice, and reduces the...musicality of a beany dinner. I get it mail-order from Penzey's
The spiciness comes from the chili powder, red pepper flakes, cayenne, and Tobasco. Adjust these amounts to get the heat you desire.
In a large skillet, heat vegetable oil and add chopped onion. Sauté over medium heat until onion softens and turns translucent.
If your skillet is large enough, then add the ground meat. (If it's not a big enough skillet, transfer the onions to a large saucepan.) Brown the ground meat until no longer pink.
Transfer meat (or meat and onions) to large saucepan or stockpot. Add chili beans. Stir in tomato paste. Add water (use the can to measure the water if you like and add 1 can of water).
Stir in spices - epazote, cumin, chili powder, red pepper flakes, cayenne. The epazote and cumin lend that "Soy Mexicana!" flair; the chili powder, pepper flakes and cayenne provide the heat. Simmer over low heat at least 20 min.
Correct heat with Tobasco sauce. Add a little at a time. Or just serve the dish with the bottle on the table and let each person decide.
Simmer until ready to serve. Serving suggestion: top with grated cheese or a dollop of sour cream, with a piece of corn bread
on the side.