Thursday, December 11, 2008


What could possibly be more comforting and indeed tasty in those chilly wintry days than a nice bowl of chili? Right maybe a hearty soup loaded with root vegetables. But not today.

With winter coming and our most cherished farmer’s markets and CSA’s closing their doors until spring, fresh local seasonal vegetables are in short supply…forcing me to do some serious thinking if I want my children to not only eat their dinner but actually enjoy it too.

My chili making starts a day ahead. I never ever use canned beans….to me vegetables coming from a can are not to be trusted, taste or nutrition wise. In this recipe I use 3 different types of beans that I soak for about 16 hours and then cook for 4. Time consuming you’ll say ; well all the soaking requires is for you to fill up a bowl of water put the beans in and let it sit on the counter, then while the beans are bubbling away on the stove…well you get the picture.

The dish has simmered just long enough for the ingredients to start binding together (but not too long as I wouldn’t want my beans to start loosing their shape) in a large cast iron pot along with some ground beef, a chunky tomato sauce and other vegetables, spices and of course chili. In this case a chipotle chili in adobo sauce for some extra smokiness.

To serve ladle into a bowl and add sour cream (aka crema or crème fraiche) or grated cheese. I like my chili piping hot with a sprig of cilantro.

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