Friday, February 18, 2011

"Ever Changing" Chili

Most Fridays, I host a family-style dinner for our friends. It's so much fun cooking a good meal for folks who usually have to eat on the fly!

On the menu this week is freshly baked Broa (Portuguese Corn Bread) alongside my "Ever Changing" Chili. As you might expect, this chili is never the same twice. I don't always have the same beans, veggies, or spices in stock, so I use what I have. There have been times when I've made this dish using onion and garlic powder instead of the fresh stuff, and it still turns out just fine. I promise, you won't miss the meat!

- 4 cups dried kidney beans
- 1 cup dried black beans
- 1 cup brown rice
- 6 tomatoes, chopped
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 large head of garlic (Yes, the whole thing... I love garlic.), diced
- 2 poblano peppers, diced
- 1/8 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 tsp cumin
- 1/4 tsp chipotle chili powder
- 1 TSBP chili powder
- 1 TBSP salt
- 2 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
- 32+ ounces vegetable broth

How to Cook It
1) Put your beans in a large mixing bowl and soak in water overnight. Once soaked, rinse the beans and put them in a large crockpot.
2) Add the rice, tomatoes, brown sugar, cumin, chipotle chili powder, chili powder, and salt to the crockpot.
3) Heat up the olive oil in a medium to large pan and sauté your onion, garlic, and peppers until they just barely begin to brown.
4) Add the contents of your frying pan to the crockpot.
5) Using a large spoon, gently stir the ingredients together.
6) Pour at least 32 ounces of vegetable broth over the top of your mixture. There should be about an inch or so of liquid covering everything before you turn on the crockpot.
7) Time to cook your chili low and slow! Cover, and set your crockpot to cook on low for 8 hours.
8) Stir occasionally to prevent sticking.
9) As the crockpot chugs along, you can add more broth if you prefer a soupier chili, or let things be if you like your chili on the thicker side.

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