Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Chocoholic Chili


I'm not sure what attracted me to this recipe. I'm not a big fan of chili, it's just so... I guess ugly is the only word I can think of, but it's also one of those things that you can only eat every once in a while, and its best hidden with oodles of chopped onion and cheddar cheese on top. It's reserved for days when "the men" are watching football games at my uncle's house and he has his chili prepared and all the fixings in little bowls, with a side of cornbread.

This chili, while still similar to a traditional non-Texas style one, is different. I realize that sentence makes no sense. It wasn't supposed to be a vegetarian chili, but I figured the turkey wouldn't be missed. It originally called for two cans of pinto beans, but I figured I'd give it a flavor and texture boost, and since it is winter break and I have the time, by using dried beans. It also seemed more like mole-coated beans, but that is probably because I let it simmer uncovered too long while I tried to figure out what was wrong with my cornbread (which was perfectly fine, I'd just underestimated the bake time.)

The chili was filling and warming. And just fine the way it turned out. I might even make it again sometime, though I'm sure by Thursday I'll hate it because I have a feeling it'll be my lunch for the next couple of days, though maybe I'll find a way to get through it faster (invite people over to join me, perhaps).

**There isn't a picture because my camera was out of battery and we were hungry. And then when I ate the leftovers today (Wednesday) I also failed to take pictures of it because I was rushing and it didn't look very attractive because it was a mess, though it did look pretty cool over the cornbread on a plate instead of in a bowl. Also, the picture is what the weather looks like... except it was overcast yesterday. Perfect for chili.

Chipotle-Chocolate Chili
adapted from Cooking Light December 2007
serves 8

Recipe notes: When I went to get the link from Cooking Light, I noticed hte reviews on the original recipe. Many people don't like the murky chocolatey taste, and it is pretty strong and covers a lot of the spice. I'm sure it would be just as tasty, if not more so, with the cocoa powder omitted or the chocolate cut back to an ounce or so.

1 Tablespoon olive oil
2 cups diced onion (about 1 large)
1 1/2 cups chopped red bell pepper (about 1 large)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
2 Tablespoons ancho chile powder
1 Tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 cups cooked pinto beans
19 ounce can fire-roasted diced tomatoes, undrained
1 3/4 cup vegetable broth
2 chipotle chiles, canned in adobo sauce, minced
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
about 1/2 cup yogurt or sour cream to dollop on top
chopped green onions, to garnish (optional)

Heat oil in dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion, bell pepper, and garlic to pan; saute 8 minutes or until tender. Stir sugar, chile powder, cocoa, cumin, black pepper, salt, beans, tomatoes, broth, and chipotle chiles into the pot; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer for 15 minutes or until slightly thickened, stirring occasionally. Stir in chocolate.

Divide chili among warmed bowls. Top with a dollop of yogurt or sour cream and onions, if using, and serve with some nice warm cornbread!

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