smoky corn & bean "chili"

serves 4 to 6

A few things to know about this dish. First—it's quick cooking at it's finest. So, you can get this on the table in less than 30 minutes. Vegetarians, don't fret. Just skip the bacon and add some chipotle powder for an extra kick of spice and smoky flavor. My family loves it served over rice, and frankly, I'm in agreement too. It'll also stretch the chili into an extra serving or two. And if you're using homecanned salsa that already has corn, then use 1 cup frozen corn instead of the 1 1/2 cups called for in this recipe.

2.25 ounces smoked bacon, diced

1 small onion (about 3 ounces), diced

1 to 2 teaspoons olive oil, or as needed

1 1/2 cups (7 ounces) frozen corn kernels, not thawed

1 cup homecanned or jarred salsa (do not use fresh salsa)

One 15.5 ounce can pinto beans, drained and rinsed

2 teaspoons fresh chopped cilantro

Shredded cheddar cheese, optional

Heat a 3-quart pot over medium heat. Add bacon and saute until crisp. Add onions and saute 1 to 2 minutes, until tender. If the bacon was lean and the pan seems dry, add 1 to 2 teaspoons of olive oil. Add frozen corn and salsa, stirring to mix well. Bring to a gentle boil, add beans and reduce heat to simmer. Cook for 10 more minutes. Serve garnished with cilantro and cheddar cheese.