Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Chili G'mish

Every time I make chili, it's a little different. My basic recipe is to brown some ground beef, chop and saute some onions, make a sauce from tomato sauce and chili powder, add the (canned) beans, and Bob's your uncle!

It has always been satisfying and hearty and even My Beloved, who is not a huge chili fan, scarfed it up with alacrity.

This time, however, I decided to make it from scratch with dried beans from Rancho Gordo that I found at the Ferry Plaza farmer's market. The beans were irresistible, mottled with red and white. Sadly, they didn't keep their color but they were really delicious and so meaty I might actually have been able to leave out the meat. In addition to my usual onions, tomato sauce and chili powder, this "recipe" (actually, just threw in whatever I had on hand) included ground grass-fed beef from Marin Sun Farms, tomato paste, cumin, dried red pepper flakes, a generous cooking spoon full of Hungarian paprika, sliced carrots, a small can of green chiles and the lovely beans, which I soaked for an hour or two, simmered for another hour, then added to the meat sauce to finish cooking.

After the simmering, I let it stand overnight before re-heating and serving topped with grated cheddar cheese. What had started as three-alarm chili the day before mellowed as it soaked into the beans into a mildly spicy and wonderfully tasty stew. The carrots gave it some extra flavor and color interest and, although I don't normally use this yellow form of cheddar, I really liked the color contrast in the bowl this time.

Turns out you can add just about anything to chili if you start with delicious beans.


Blogger cookiecrumb said...

Nice mishmash. That's sorta how we do it here, too.
And your chili looks so picnic-worthy!

Tuesday, March 04, 2008  
Blogger Greg said...

Got to love the Rancho Gordo Beans

Tuesday, March 04, 2008  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Cookiecrumb, never thought of taking chili on a picnic but I'm liking that idea!

Greg, well, we've been tooting along ever since we ate those beans, but they really were delicious!

Wednesday, March 05, 2008  

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