Summer Chili

Summer Chili
Recipe type: Main Dish
As we get closer to fall with chilly nights and rainy days, we start to crave warm comfort foods. And yet we are still flush with the bounty of fresh summer vegetables. What to do? Try this wonderful grilled Summer Chili -- a fresh variation of a standard cold weather favorite. This recipe is adapted from Russ Faulk, Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet and is available at
  • 5 pounds fresh tomatoes, cut to a medium dice
  • 6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 lime
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt
  • 1-1/4 pounds inside skirt steak or similar
  • 1 or 2 poblano chiles, depending on whether you would like mild or medium chili
  • 2 ears fresh corn
  • White pepper
  • 2 cups cooked or canned beans (kidney, pinto and/or red beans)
  1. All this takes place on the grill, so get your grill going till it’s smoking hot.
  2. Preheat a 12 inch cast iron pan on the side of the grill or on a sideburner if using gas. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil to the skillet, then add the tomatoes, garlic, juice of ½ lime and 1 teaspoon of salt. Reduce the tomatoes to a soup consistency while stirring occasionally -- 20 to 30 minutes. (Other ingredients will be added to the skillet during that time.)
  3. Rinse the skirt steak under cold water and then pat dry with paper towels. Squeeze the remaining ½ lime over the steak. Lightly brush with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.
  4. Roast the poblanos over the hottest part of the grill, turning occasionally, until the skins are blackened and blistered on all sides. Transfer to a paper bag and close or wrap them in a paper towel to let the them steam for 5 minutes.
  5. Quickly grill the corn over the hottest part of the grill, turning occasionally, until nicely marked on all sides, but not fully cooked. Remove from the grill. Once cool enough, cut the corn from the cob.
  6. Scrape the blackened skin from the poblanos, remove the stems and then cut the flesh into a fine dice. Add the flesh and the seeds to the tomato mixture. Add the corn at this time as well.
  7. About 10 minutes before the tomato mixture will reach its desired texture, it is time to grill the steak. If the tomato mixture is thickening too quickly, move the skillet to a cooler part of the grill or lower the flame on the side burner.
  8. Grill the skirt steak directly over a medium-hot fire to medium-rare doneness, turning once, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. If in doubt, cut into one of the steaks to check doneness (the steak will quickly cook to medium doneness when it is added to the chili). Transfer to a cutting board and let rest for a couple of minutes. Cut the steak cross-wise into 2-inch sections, cutting with the grain of the meat. Next, thinly slice each of the 2-inch sections, cutting across the grain.
  9. Add the sliced steak, the juice from the cutting board and the beans to the skillet, stirring constantly until the beans are hot. Adjust the flavor as needed with white pepper and sea salt. Serve immediately.
  10. Variations: For low-fat chicken chili, substitute chicken breasts for the steak and use a 15-ounce can of black beans. Thinly slice the chicken or pound it thin so it grills very quickly and evenly with the same combination of lime, olive oil and salt. Remove the chicken when it is just barely cooked through, as it will continue cooking when you add it to the hot chili.
  11. This recipe serves 6.