We have a lunch club here at work. There are three of us in it and we take turns making lunch for the group once a week. So I only really have to deal with lunch three times a week: once for the three of us and twice just for me. This makes life a lot easier because we've pretty much exhausted the food options in the neighborhood. Today was my turn to make lunch, so I made chili last night. I read a bunch of recipes and sort of threw it together, keeping the ingredients I liked and trying to use up some pantry stuff. I had some canned beans that had been staring at me for a while and I also wanted to use one of the leftover mirasol chilies that I bought to make Heidi's Salsa of the Year.
While I thought the chili was delicious, getting the ingredients for it ruined my experiment of trying to shop exclusively at my corner bodega. This place is really incredible. The owners are friendly, and they have everything, including obscure ingredients for the random shit that pops into my head and I then need to make IMMEDIATELY. And you gotta love a place that only stocks free-range eggs. I made sesame noodles a couple of weeks ago and was so impressed with the fact that they had all the ingredients I needed (including sesame oil and fresh ginger) that I decided to see how long I could go without going to the regular grocery store. I should note that the grocery store is only a little bit further away than the bodega, so this wasn't for the sake of convenience but rather information gathering. I haven't lost confidence in it yet, but I thought they probably wouldn't have fake meat or chocolate chips (necessary for dessert). And it turned out the butter was on sale at the big store, so you can't really argue with that. So experiment over. It was fun while it lasted.
Lunch Club Chili
3 small yellow onion, diced
4 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 green pepper
1 dried mirasol chile
2 tbs. chili powder (I like Penzey's)
1 tsp. oregano
1 can kidney beans, rinsed
1 can black beans, rinsed
2 cups frozen corn
4-6 cups vegetable broth
1 box Pomi crushed tomatoes (or the equivalent)
1 box of Morningstar Farms sausage patties, defrosted and crumbled
salt and pepper to taste
grated extra sharp cheddar
Saute the onion, peppers and garlic in a heavy-bottomed pot (dutch oven if you have one). Chop the dried pepper, removing the stem, seeds, and ribs, and add it to the pot as well. Saute until onion and peppers are soft. Add the sausage and frozen corn and and cook until heated through, about 2 minutes. Then add all the rest of the ingredients except the vegetable broth and stir. Cook the chili over medium heat, adding vegetable broth if it looks too thick. The longer you cook it the better it tastes, and it's even better the next day. Serve it with cheese and sour cream. Serves about 6 people.
UPDATE: Last night I couldn't sleep because I remembered that I had left out an ingredient: 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate! Carry on.
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