Snow… Children, skiers and cute arctic animals love it. Me? Well after about the first foot or two I lose interest. It’s not that I don’t think it looks nice; it just makes getting from point A to point B a hassle.

But every cloud has a silver lining, saith the Pollyanna of Santa Fe, and so it is with snow. I was thrilled to find a website that calculates how many calories you burn per hour shoveling snow. I promptly filled in the requested fields. Weight? 160 lbs. Height? 72” Age? 40. Before you get excited, these aren’t my stats – I’m far taller, slimmer and younger than that, but I’d thought they’d do.


Anyway, it turns out you can burn 363 calories an hour shoveling snow. They didn’t mention if this includes the hot chocolate, bathroom, and check the e-mail breaks, but I’m sure it must.

So after all that shoveling, you deserve a hearty meal…something substantial to ward off the winter chill. And I have just the thing. It’s my Chile Chorizo Bean Stew. It was inspired by one of my favorite food writers of all time, Claudia Roden. Not only are her recipes magnificent but her writing is also sublime. This one comes from her book Arabesque, A Taste of Morocco, Turkey & Lebanon. I’ve added chorizo and tomatoes and of course, chile.

A note on chorizo: it’s a term that’s used for both a fresh and a cured pork product. For this recipe, you want fresh or cooking chorizo. I’ve used a Spanish chorizo that is made with pimenton paprika. But if you can’t find fresh chorizo, don’t sweat it – you can use any great quality sausage or kielbasa for this recipe.

Chile Chorizo Bean Stew

The real star here (besides the chile!) is the onion. You need to cook them nice and slowly so they caramelize. They give a hint of sweetness to the dish that is fantastic.


2-3 Servings

1 large onion, thinly sliced
2-3 Tbsp olive oil
½ tsp Chile Molido Powder or more to taste
12 oz. fresh or cooking chorizo (about 5-6 links) or regular sausage
½ tsp Chipotle Chile Powder or more to taste
1-14.5 oz. can peeled plum tomatoes
1-14.5 oz. can butter beans or other beans such as garbanzo beans
2 large handfuls of baby spinach (about 5 oz), washed and drained

Fry the onions slowly in the olive oil in a pan with the lid on. Stir the onions frequently until they are nice browned and caramelized. Add the Chile Molido powder and stir to coat.

While the onions are cooking, slice the chorizo into bite-sized chunks – about 3 slices per link. Cook the slices in a frying pan until they are nicely browned on both sides. Drain off the fat then add the Chipotle Chile Powder and stir to coat. Add the sausages to the onion mixture. Add the plum tomatoes (breaking the tomatoes up with your fingers) and the juice. Drain the beans and add to the stew. Stir in the spinach and cook until just wilted. Season with salt and pepper and serve.