Tuesday, September 21, 2010

At Last, The Chili

I put the chili on hold when My Beloved brought home surprise lobster rolls. I made the right decision, although the chili was good, too, the next night.

Cookiecrumb inspired me to make chili from scratch, something I have rarely done. My chili has usually been made from canned beans and tomato sauce, chili powder in a little glass jar, chopped onions and browned hamburger. In other words, I didn't make chili, I more or less assembled it.

This time, I soaked the black beans overnight, browned the hamburger (I wasn't inspired enough to start with whole meat), sautéed the onions, cooked the beans in homemade broths (beef, lamb), added chopped tomato and the red chile once the beans were tender, and ladled it into bowls two days later topped with Fritos, which are a guilty pleasure of mine.

It's superior chili, no doubt about it. The flavor of the peppers was mild, as I had been a little wimpy with the fresh chiles from Chilebrown, but the overall flavors were rich and deep. It tasted as I suppose chili is meant to taste, earthy and humble and inspired all at the same time. It's a whole different dish than my canned-and-bottled variety.

Am I being churlish to say that I'll probably go back to my old way? It's not just for the ease of preparation, either. Although it's not as authentic as this chili, I liked the lightness of flavors just a little bit better. I'm glad I tasted this as it taught me to be a little more adventurous with the spice, so it's all good, even if it did take two days from idea to chili bowl.



Blogger Chilebrown said...

We will re-define your idea of what Chili is supposed to taste like at the Rodeo Chili Cook-off Oct 16. I will bring extra peppers just for you.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010  
Blogger Kailyn said...

I think some sort of corn chip is required with chili. And cheese. Oh and sour cream to cut the heat.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010  
Blogger cookiecrumb said...

Well, it LOOKS good! Black beans, clever.
But it was missing a certain "chiliness." You just need to tinker with the spices. Cumin? A must. Garlic? Not enough heat?
As Chilebrown says, we will re-define your idea.
Congratulations! (It doesn't need to take 2 days, I'm sure you know.)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010  
Blogger namastenancy said...

I hope you realize that venturing into the waters of what makes a good chili is a dangerous business. There are huge festivals where they do nothing but cook chili, eat chili and judge chili. The controversies are endless and *I* won't add to them by naming all my various variations on chili. But once you make your own, going the canned beans route is going, going, gone!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010  
Blogger katiez said...

Hmmmm.... I'm afraid to admit that I assemble as well.... I make almost everything from scratch, but chili I assemble. Never thought about it before... Now I suppose I'll have to try it this way ;-))

Saturday, September 25, 2010  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Chilebrown, I'll put that on my calendar but as you know I'm a wimp.

Kailyn, cheese would have been perfect? What was I thinking?

Cookiecrumb, I love black beans - so tasty! I did have garlic but no cumin. And it did take two days - even with soaked beans!

Nancy, Chilebrown is threatening me with just that at his cook-off.

KatieZ, I'll look forward to reading about yours on your blog soon.

Thursday, September 30, 2010  

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