Chili and I have had quite a few run-ins over the past year.
First-date-like encounters that leave you asking yourself, is this really the one? Or is it the one for right.now?
Can I see myself growing old with it? Feeding it to my kids, grandkids and (fingers crossed) great grandkids?
Will we survive the good, the bad? The better, the worse?
I can tell you from experience that you can't know for sure until you do find it.
You take one bite and all of a sudden you're picturing white houses with picket fences (and no darling boyfriend, this does not mean that I ever want to leave the isle of Manhattan. It's a metaphor), a pie in the oven and a pot of chili...this chili...bubbling away on the stove.
Yes, really, when it all comes down to it. It's as simple as that.
So what is so special about this chili, you ask? I can't quite put my finger on it.
Maybe it's the beans. Or the excessive(ly awesome) amount of veggies. Or the smoky heat from three different kinds of chiles and a heck of a lot of cumin.
Who knows. I don't think it's the kind of thing you can explain, or would want to even if you could.
All I can say is - make it. Pair it with this beer bread, which is fabulous on so many levels.
And if it's right...you'll know.
One year ago...Chai-Spiced Cupcakes with Honey Frosting
Two years ago...Oven-Fried Tepin Chile Chicken and Waffles with a Juniper-Infused Pomegranate Maple Syrup, Wasabi and Crystallized Ginger Dark Chocolate Brownies
Three years ago...Pork Chop Milanese with Arugula Salad
Four years ago...Roasted Butternut Squash and Guacamole Sandwich
Smoky Chipotle Vegetarian Chili
Serves 10, adapted from In the Small Kitchen
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 large sweet onions, chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
- 1 orange bell pepper, chopped
- 2 medium zucchini, diced
- 1 summer squash, diced
- 3 cloves garlic
- stems from 1 bunch cilantro
- One 4-oz can green chiles
- 2 chipotle chiles in adobo
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 3 (15 oz) cans fire-roasted tomatoes
- 2 (15 oz) cans kidney beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 (15 oz) can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
- 2 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp ancho chili powder
- 2 tbsp ground cumin
- 1 tbsp dried oregano
- 1 bottle dark Mexican beer
- avocado, cilantro, cheese, sour cream for garnish
- Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions and peppers and saute until they begin to caramelize, about 8 minutes. Add the zucchini and summer squash, sauteing about 5 minutes or until tender.
- While the veggies are cooking, in a food processor, combine the garlic, cilantro stems, green chiles, chipotle chiles, and 1/2 cup broth. Pulse to combine.
- Add the tomatoes and the chile mixture to the pot of veggies. Bring to a simmer.
- Add in all of the beans, salt, chili powder, cumin, oregano, and beer, as well as the remaining broth.
- Simmer, uncovered, stirring frequently, until the liquids thicken and the veggies begin to break down, about 30 minutes.
- Serve with garnishes of choice.
Parmesan Black Pepper Beer Bread
Makes 1 loaf, adapted from Spoon Fork Bacon
- 3 1/4 cup all purpose flour
- 2 1/2 tbsp granulated sugar
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 14 oz beer (I used a dark Mexican beer)
- 1/2 cup unsalted melted butter, divided
- 3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1 1/2-2 tbsp freshly cracked black pepper
- Preheat oven to 375. Lightly grease the loaf pan and set aside.
- Place flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Add the beer, 1/4 cup melted butter, parmesan cheese and black pepper. Stir to combine, but only until the dough just comes together.
- Pour the mixture into the loaf pan. Top with the remaining butter and bake for 1 hour or until a tooth pick comes out clean. Allow to cool until just warm before slicing.