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Sunday, October 13, 2013

Rainy Day Red Bean Chili

-1 16oz bag of Pinto Beans (red beans)
-Fresh Herbs: sage, rosemary, thyme, parsley (or cilantro)
-1 Onion (vidalia)
-2 Bell Peppers (red, yellow, orange or green), chopped into big chunks
-Garlic (the more the merrier!)
-1 jalapeño (optional)
-2 sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
-10 Roma tomatoes
-olive oil
-salt, pepper, cayenne, chili powder, cinnamon, cumin seeds, ground cumin

This recipe is my interpretation of one I came across by Jaime Oliver. He used canned beans and canned tomatoes for his, which if you're crunched for time then it's fine- but if you're going to do it, do it's always better from scratch. Plus, it saves money and has better flavor ;) I was putzing around the house when it was pouring rain yesterday, so I did this recipe in pieces as I chipped away at my list of chores, and that's how I'll write it out...

*Beans: (or sub canned beans)
-Soak your beans overnight in water.
-Drain, rinse.
-Put in a pot, cover with water until the water is a few inches higher than the beans.
-A generous scoop of salt.
-Fresh thyme, rosemary, and sage.
-Bring to a boil. Cover. Cook til tender.
(Add more water if necessary)

Remove herbs. Drain
Set aside.

*Tomatoes: (or sub canned tomatoes)
-Cut tomatoes into quarters.
-Toss into skillet on med-low heat with a drizzle of olive oil.
-Season with salt and ground cumin. Be generous with the cumin, it's so delicious!
-Allow them to cook down and give them a good smashing and smooshing with your wooden spoon every now and again.

Both the tomatoes and the beans are great because once you start them you can just walk away and go about your putzing. I let the tomatoes simmer for nearly an hour, and the same with the beans. Easy peezy. You can even make these a day in advance if you want and just have them on stand-by.

*In your soup pot:
-generous drizzle of olive oil
-chopped onion, bell peppers and garlic (I like hearty, rustic I chop the produce pretty big. If you want to you can dice it super small and bite size. Crests choice).
--add beans and tomatoes....then add water until it's a few inches above the chili

*In the oven:
- preheat to 400
- add peeled, diced sweet potatoes into a roasting pan
- drizzle with evoo
- season the shit outta them. You want to make them little bites of flavor. Lots of chili powder, garlic, salt, pepper, cayenne and CINNAMON.
- roast until tender

Add sweet potatoes into your soup pot of chili. You'll probably have to add more water to the pot at this point, again making sure that everything in the pot is covered with water. Season again- salt, cayenne, cumin, chili powder, cinnamon.

-More fat? Add olive oil or a few scoops of ghee.
-More spice? Add in a jalapeño or more cayenne.
-Thicker? Scoop out a cup or two of the chili and purée in a blender or food processor and then add back to the soup pot.

If you want this more tex-mex, top with chopped cilantro, sour cream, and guacamole or sliced avocado. More traditional? Top with chopped flat leaf parsley.

It's soooooo freaking good, enjoy!

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