New Mexican Jalapeño Cheese Chili
1-1/2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup chopped yellow onion
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon chili powder
1-1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
5 cups regular canned chicken broth (not condensed)
1 cup canned diced tomatoes, undrained
1/2 cup converted rice
4 ounces velveeta mild Mexican Cheese
1 10-ounce package frozen leaf spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
Place oil in a dutch oven (preferably cast iron) and heat over medium-high heat for 1 minute. Add onion, green pepper, and garlic and cook for 4 minutes or until onion is translucent. Add chili powder, cumin, and oregano and cook for 1 minute more.
Add broth and tomatoes with their liquid. Bring to a boil, add rice, and return to a boil. Reduce heat, cover tightly, and simmer for 25 minutes.
Remove from heat, stir in cheese and spinach, cover, and let stand for 5 minutes to melt cheese. Stir, cover, and let stand for 5 minutes more to absorb flavors.
If a thicker chili is desired, mix 2 tablespoons water with 2 teaspoons cornstarch until smooth. Add to the chili and cook for 2 – 3 minutes over medium heat or until slightly thickened.
SUGGESTED GARNISH: Chopped scallions.
Makes about 5 – 6 cups