an almost no-cook Monday

Let’s face it, as cliche as this realization is, there is truth behind it: Mondays are rarely easy. I sleep in on the weekends. I stay up late reading books (as I did last night). Both enjoyments leave me ill prepared for Mondays. Granted, there’s a rare Monday that crops up now and again where the Monday outlook is a complete 180.

In anticipation of the usual Monday, I put together an attempt at chili on Sunday night. Over night in the crock pot (which made the house smell fabulous), and a minimal fuss dinner Monday evening. Disclaimer: I was also hoping my making of chili would influence the weather. It was not, in the least, chili weather today.

Before I get into the recipe, let’s talk a brief history of my personal encounters with chili. The first solo chili cooking experience turned out more like a tasty multi bean soup that Casey and I mixed with sour cream, scooped up with Fritos and a spoon and called dinner on a chilly Flagstaff winter night. The second time I made chili, it was a little thicker, but didn’t taste like how I recall chili – whether at my mom’s house or from a bread bowl on the ski slopes – tasting.

Katie’s Third Attempt at Chili

1 cup dried black beans

1 cup dried kidney beans

1 can corn (low/no sodium or frozen corn works great too!)

1 can diced tomatoes

1 or 2 lovely Hatch green chilies (or, pepper of your choice)

1 green bell pepper

1 medium red or yellow onion

3 garlic cloves

2 cups chicken broth, 2 cups water

Random handful or two of pearl barely

Chile Powder, Ground Cumin, dash Garam Masala, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper

The general idea is simple. Soak the beans in water for 6 hours. Strain and rinse the beans. Chop up – roughly or finely, chef’s choice – the veggies and garlic. Toss them in the crock pot with the kidney and black beans, add Chile Powder and other spices to taste. If you’d like it hotter, add more red pepper flakes. Don’t forget to account for the potential hottness of the chile peppers you used. Add the water and broth.

I threw in the barely as an after thought. Thought it did give some grain to the dish and I think balanced out the protein from the beans.

The chili sat overnight on low. Corn and tomatoes were added in the morning and they cooked together for about thirty minutes before the chili was put away to be reheated in the evening. I’ve come a long way since first making chili/bean soup almost three years ago. It was tasty, especially with warm cornbread. And Meatless Monday was met with another success. Albeit, I deem success as Casey, Katie, and Parker are all feed within reasonable time period, in a reasonably healthy way, while using ingredients either on hand or in the pantry. That’s the week night mantra.

Check back later in the week for my variation on Noca‘s Tagliatelle with Pancetta and Farm-Eqq Yolk.

  1. Mikey V. said:

    Awesomeness! This is good stuff Katie! Makes me want to make me some chili right now! Mmmmmmmmmmm….chiiiili….


  2. the radical marxist said:

    I’m back again! I LOVE chili, and I like to make it like you do–plenty of beans, corn, chilies, and I’ve even thrown in zuchinni at times–though I do generally use meat (though I’m not sure it’s necessary with all the other flavors). My mom says this is not real chili which apparently in her Texas world means meat and tomatoes. I like it our way better ;). Anyway, you mentioned serving it with warm cornbread, and 1 idea I picked up somewhere that is a nice option is to make cornbread pancakes and serve them on top of the chili. You just make the cornbread batter according to package directions (and I always add a little extra milk to thin out the batter a bit) and just cook cornbread pancakes about the diameter of the bowls you plan to serve in (though the expand when you cook them so you have to account for that). Then, you can serve up your chili, top it with cheese or whatever, and serve the cornbread pancake on top, so each bite has some of all the flavors. Yummy.

    Keep cooking and posting!


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