Pollen – Urban Farming and Beekeeping

Winter Warmer Chili Meal

Posted in Recipes by Pollen - Urban Farming and Beekeeping on January 26, 2011

It’s been so cold and miserable this winter, the only way I’ve kept from being beaten down by it is to enjoy a nice, hot, hearty meal (and enjoying plenty of homebrewed beer). You can use self-preserved ingredients where available, or prepare when the vegetables are in season and store in the chest freezer until winter sets in. This chili was quick and easy to throw together, and the flavors were satisfyingly well-balanced. Perfect for dinner, or lunch, after trudging around on a long, cold, wet day.

1 onion, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
1 jalapeño pepper, chopped (include the seeds for a spicier chili)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon whole cumin seed, chopped then crushed with a mortar and pestle (I think crushing the seed gives a better, more subtle and even flavor. You can also just used ground cumin to taste)
1 3/4 pounds canned diced tomatoes (with the canning liquid)
1 pound canned black beans, rinsed
1 pound canned kidney beans, rinsed
1/2 pound frozen corn, thawed
1 tablespoon dried oregano
crushed red pepper (I use dried Salemme pepper, of which you don’t need much – perhaps a pinch. Otherwise, to taste)
olive oil
salt
mild cheese, grated

Throw some olive oil in a 4 quart sauce pan (just enough that the oil thinly coats the bottom once the pan is heated) on medium high heat. Toss in the onion, pepper, jalapeño, garlic and cumin, sautéing until the onions soften and start to become translucent. Add the tomatoes, along with their canning liquid, and bring to a simmer. Add the black beans, kidney beans, corn, oregano, crushed red pepper and salt to taste. Simmer until the beans and peppers are well softened (about 15 minutes). Serve hot in a bowl with grated Monterrey or Colby cheese on top.

Best accompanied by some dark bread (maybe pumpernickel), warmed and topped with butter and garlic. Wash it down with a nice glass of water or with a dark beer, such as a Russian Imperial Stout. I will also eat this chili out of the fridge like salsa with tortilla chips and it is delicious. Easily serves 4 hungry people.

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