I am convinced spring has abandoned us. Seriously, where did it go?! This was not my idea of spring break. This lingering wet and cold weather blegh is seriously zapping all of my energy and optimism. All this week I’ve continually found myself exhausted before I even leave work and ready for bed before 10. Not good, especially since after this week my schedule will be jam packed with final projects for my classes and lots of clients to please. Any ideas for a mid-week boost?
Since winter continues to be our unwanted house guest, we decided to make one more pot of chili. One. More. Pot. I’ve been christening each pot as the “very last one of the season” since February, as we typically only make chili during the fall and winter months, and I was convinced I’d be gardening by now. Nonetheless here we are, still eating chili –albeit delicious, ever-evolving chili. Inspired by Neil’s new-found affection for stout beers, we decided to see how a bottle of stout would fare in a four-bean spicy chili. Caution, we made this puppy HOT!
1 can organic tri blend beans
1 can organic black beans
1 can organic chili hot beans
1 can organic kidney beans
1 7 oz. can chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
1 8 oz. can of tomato sauce
1 large onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoon olive oil
28 ounces tomatoes, canned or fresh, diced (we used fresh)
1 bottle or can of stout (if you’re a strict vegetarian, be sure to check your labels, I wasn’t as diligent it seems according to post-research findings)
3 tablespoons cumin, ground
1 tablespoons chili pepper
1 teaspoon cayenne, ground
1 tablespoon chili powder
salt to taste
Toppings: Mozzarella cheese, oyster crackers and Cheez-its (Neil’s fav)
The melted cheese almost looks like tiny flames, an aesthetically appropriate preview for the heat in this chili.
On the Stove:
Heat olive oil in the pan/pot intended for the chili, and sauté the garlic, onion, and green pepper until the onions are translucent (around 3-5 minutes over medium-high heat if I remember correctly). Add the tomatoes. Stir and let simmer until tomatoes begin to break down. Pour in the the bottle of stout. Cover and simmer for an hour. Add beans and spices and continue simmering for an additional 30-45 minutes.
In a Crock:
Mix all ingredients in the crock and stir until thoroughly melded. Set Crock to low and go about your business for 5-6 hours.
There aren’t a whole lot of process pics because we opted for the convenience of crock. I still feel a little guilty about using it sometimes, like I’m sacrificing the experience of cooking for the convenience of having it ready when I come home from work. We even tell the crock it did a good job of our meal while we were away. Is it strange to name inanimate objects? Being in the racing hobby, naming your car isn’t out of the norm (my Jetta’s name is “Sidda”), so I almost feel that naming the crock pot that cooks for me a few times a month isn’t weird.
Anyhow, back to the chili (and hopefully my sanity). As written, this recipe is quite spicy, so if you’re looking to lessen the heat, we recommend using less chilis in adobo sauce first, and then widdling away at the other spices. Typically when we spice foods we add spices in tiny amounts at a time, sampling a tiny taste or two before adding more.