Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Lunch Club Chili

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
olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

grated extra sharp cheddar
sour cream

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.


Emil said...

I must say that this chili was quite tasty. I stuffed myself and consequently couldn't finish my corn muffin (which you left out of your entry, Steph!).

Stephanie said...

True. You really do need to eat it with the corn muffins, courtesy of the America's Test Kitchn website.

tina said...

What was dessert? That sounds like some good chili.

I love Heidi's website. Do you have her book? Actually, I'm a little obsessed with all food websites and I think I want to start one up.

Stephanie said...

I didn't even know she had a book! Have you made a lot of her recipes?
Dessert was chocolate chip cookies, which my random nesting instinct has made a requirement for my freezer. It's not ok with me if there's no frozen cookie dough in there. So I just make double batches and freeze the cookie dough, hacking off a couple pieces at a time and baking 'em.

tina said...

I've made some of her stuff...trying to specifically think which one. Get back to you on it.

I also made chocolate and chili bites from http://Chocolateandzucchini.com. She has some good stuff up there too.

Christina said...

I have made this: http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/000109.html

And http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/000043.html

With a variation of baking the corn in the oven wrapped in tinfoil and using nayonaise instead of sourcream.

I am eyeing everything else.

Phil said...

I am scheduled to make chili tomorrow night. Maybe I'll use this recipe. In the Special New Years Chili that Pete and I have been making for the past few years tends to utilize beer as the secret ingredient.

Stephanie said...

I heard about the beer-addition thing, and I think I would definitely try this recipe with it next time.

Christina: I've made the salsa of the year- delicious but SO spicy and the homemade riccotta, which I put in lasagna and just lapped up.