Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Because it's chili season, even if it's 70 degrees outside

I love chili. And when late October rolls around, I want the hearty and spicy. The thing is, I don't like ground beef, especially the kind that's available in my low-to-moderate income neighborhood grocery store, and beef cube just doesn't work all that well in a chili for me. So we arrive at this vegetarian variety. But don't worry, it's not healthy at all - there's refried beans and after adding sour cream and a heaping of cheese, it's plenty fattening.

You need:
2 large red bell peppers
2 large green bell peppers
1 large yellow-skinned onion
4 cloves garlic
2 cayenne peppers
1 can red beans
1 can black beans
1 can chick peas
1 can refried beans
32 oz crushed tomatoes
1 large tomato
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon Texas Pete hot sauce
4 oz vegetable stock/beer

Chop peppers, garlic and onions, throw into a deep pot and cook in vegetable oil over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes. Deglaze with vegetable stock or pale beer - you can cheat and use chicken stock here and really, who's going to know?

Stir in the crushed tomatoes, the red, black and chick peas, the large tomato (diced). Add the cumin and chili powder, add more according to taste. Simmer for 15 minutes. At this point, you're probably wishing you had more cayenne peppers. You like your shit spicy and that's why you have Texas Pete.

Now, you're standing over the stove, patting yourself on your back and marveling at how kickass the chili is. Then you realize it's a little too saucy. It's fine. Your guest isn't arriving for at least another hour and a half. You have time to walk to the grocery store and grab a can (take the traditional style, none of that chorizo bullshit). Stir in as the pot simmers until desired consistency.

You still have an hour. You can start getting the garnishing ready - tortilla chips, sour cream, cheddar and/or jack should do. Oh, and cornbread - ain't nothing wrong with that. I don't have a recipe for that. Just get a mix and follow the directions on the box.

There, you got yourself an easy but filling meal when you're having someone over on a cold winter day or an unseasonably warm Halloween night.

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