Tuesday, January 4, 2011
So I have never had chili before. (I know, I am totally weird.) I have been thinking about it for a few weeks (kinda like my soup thing) and it finally culminated in this Confetti Chili from Ellie Krieger's book The Food You Crave. I didn't plan for it to be so appropriate for New Years (confetti, get it?) and I was skeptical about it being a healthier recipe but I think it hit all the important components. My friend Hilary mentioned a few essential things that could not possibly be left out of a good chili recipe. I don't remember them all but cumin was one that stuck with me and I looove cumin so I was happy to see quite a bit of that in here. Another plus was that this used up a bunch of stuff from my freezer, although it also caused a bit to be added - but this chili was delicious, so I'm sure it won't be staying long! In fact, I already defrosted one container for my lunch today!
The one departure I made from the recipe was in regards to the chipotles in adobo sauce. The recipe called for one chipotle chili to be seeded and minced, plus two teaspoons of the sauce to be added. Instead, we used two chipotles and did not attempt to seed them, plus the sauce as well. I think the level of heat was appropriate, but I think we could probably go a little hotter next time. I also got some delicious (and local, yay!) cheese from Cherry Grove Organic Farm at the indoor market a few weekends back. It's called Cuminjack and the guy told Hilary and me that it would be perfect for chili, right after we were talking about chili, so naturally I had to get some. I tried it there and it was delicious. I already mentioned I love cumin. So tasty! Anyway, when I first made the chili and had a big bowl of it, I totally forgot all about the cheese. It was delicious on its own. I tried it with the cheese for lunch today and it was OK. I feel that the outstanding flavor of the cheese gets lost in the chili, though.
I made some cornbread to go along with the chili too. Ken's boss asked (out of nowhere) if I was going to make chili and cornbread this weekend. I swear, he had no way to know that! Ken said actually, yes, but probably not cornbread. Actually, I love cornbread. It reminds me of when I was little and we had Jiffy corn muffins all the time. So I whipped some up according to the directions on the package of cornmeal I have in my fridge. I was happy to use up some of that too. I added a bit of extra sugar, bumping it up from 1/4 cup to 1/3 cup, mainly because I couldn't find my 1/4 cup, but I thought it was the perfect sweetness to go with chili. I froze two pieces per serving of chili that I froze, because you wouldn't want to go without it.
I look forward to making more chili in the near future. I'd like to try a white chicken chili in particular - I have a microwave version from Pampered Chef done in the Deep Covered Baker, I've heard good things about that one. I'd also like to try Heidi's Pierce Street Chili on 101 Cookbooks, a vegetarian chili that looks like it's going in a different direction. Lentils, barley, bulgur, chickpeas, etc. That would be fun to play around with. Plus Georgie's vegetarian black bean chili - I'm going to give that one a shot too! So many options!