Monday, September 28, 2009

Clean it out!

I think we can pretty much agree that it is the law of washing your car that it rains the next day. Yesterday I not only washed but also waxed my car which meant that today it was cold, overcast, rainy, and windy. "What to do, what to do?" I thought as I drove back to my place after staying the weekend with the family. I was thinking not so much about the rain as about dinner. As far as I knew, my fridge was very bare. Mentally, I took stock. The best I could come up with was some kidney beans I had cooked and frozen months ago. They should probably be used before they started to taste too much like freezer. And knew there was a rather large stock of tomatoes sitting in my pantry, leftover from some garden fresh tomato soup I'd made the weekend before. Those needed to be used, too, before they rotted where they lay. "Chili," I thought. "Chili would be perfect." And so was born the Clean it Out Chili:

Clean it Out Chili
serves 4

1 T olive oil
1/2 large onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
1 carrot, quartered and sliced
1 zucchini, quartered and sliced
3 c (or 2 15-oz cans, rinsed and drained) kidney beans
1/2 bottle Labatt's Blue beer (or other light, non-bitter beer)
9 small to medium tomatoes, peeled and seeded and coarsely chopped
8 T tomato paste
2 t unsweetened cocoa powder
1 T chili powder
1/2 t chipotle chili powder
1/2 t cumin
salt and pepper to taste

1. Peel and seed and coarsely chop tomatoes. I do this by dunking them for a minute in a pot of boiling water. Core them and score a cross on the bottom first. You know they are ready to come out of the pot when the skin starts to split on its own. Set aside.

2. Heat oil in dutch oven over medium heat. Add onions. Saute until starting to brown. Add carrots. Saute a few minutes more. Add garlic, jalapeno, and zucchini. Saute a minute or two, until you can smell the garlic but it isn't browned. Add the beer, tomatoes, and spices. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer.

3. Simmer at least 20 minutes for the flavors to meld. Serve with cheddar cheese, sour cream, or fresh tortillas on the side

Note: Because this was a thrown together meal, I used what I had. This means I used fresh tomatoes and homemade tomato paste. If you don't have these ingredients, a 28-oz can of diced tomatoes (with the juice) could be used with similar results. If you are using store bought tomato paste, you may need to use less. If you have fresh or frozen corn, it would be very good here.

I had it with tortillas (also out of the freezer. Go freezer!) and the last of last year's homemade applesauce on the side. Yum!

It would seem that I've suddenly transitioned this knitting blog to a cooking blog. Knitting content to return very shortly, I promise!

No comments: