As the locals say, there’s a nor’easter coming. In preparation for the snowstorm that will render me stranded in the apartment, I have decided to break in my kitchen and make and document my first dish. My options are a bit limited, as I have only two pots, a cutting board, and a cookie sheet with me. Given the lack of supplies, and the fact that it’s freakin’ cold, I decided to make chili.
First things first—protein. I have been EXTREMELY blessed in that I have never had to purchase beef at the grocery store. My grandparents have always provided us with all we need. I foolishly bought some once, was very disappointed in its quality, and have been hesitant to buy more. I’ve said all this to ease into the fact that I used fake meat in this recipe. That’s right, I used soy veggie burgers. Sorry to let you down, ardent meat-devouring friends and family.
For me, chili must contain beans. I happened to have black beans and kidney beans (of the white variety, which I had never seen before) in my oh-so-poorly stocked pantry. Tomatoes are also a necessity. One of my all-time favorite ingredients is diced tomatoes with green chiles, so I used those and a huge can of regular diced tomatoes in lieu of tomato sauce.
The spices. If you know me at all, you know that I love spiciness. I often make dishes that are too spicy for the average palate. But this dish is mine, all mine, so I can make it as fiery as I want. I used cumin (a must with anything containing black beans), chipotle chile pepper (an exciting and yet-to-be-tried recent purchase), red pepper flakes, salt, and freshly ground pepper. Yes sir, that’s a lot of fire power.
This happens to be an exceptionally complicated dump, stir, and cook recipe, so that’s what I did. First the beans and tomatoes went into the pot:
Then the chopped burgers:
Then the spices:
Stir it up.
Let it simmer over medium heat* until it reaches the consistency you desire. I like mine thick and hearty.
*I won’t lie. It took me about ten minutes to realize that I had no heat coming from the burner. It was another three minutes before I realized that I had to manually light it up. Leave me alone, I’ve never had a gas stove like this before.
Anyway, here’s my bowl of fiberful and flavorful chili. For best results, top with pepper jack cheese.
Disclaimer: Clearly, my photography skills have nowhere to go but up. Bear with me.
December 16, 2007