Sunday, February 6, 2011

Mole Chili

It's Superbowl Sunday!  And the Packers are playing!  But nothing feels more like the Superbowl than chili.  Or maybe that's wings.  But I've always had a thing for eating things out of bowls during the various bowls.  And for the Superbowl, it should be something, well, super.  And it's chili time of year.  I was looking for things to bring to for a party, and I bookmarked this recipe a while ago.  It's not a lot different than what I usually make, but cooking the veggies with spices before adding the beans and tomatoes adds depth of the flavor.  I'm found the recipe on Mozzarella and Merlot at some point, and thought it sounded good.  And it is, though I didn't have much chance to savor it since I was trying desperately to find a granola recipe online and then trying to finish before my roommate started the dishwasher so I could put my bowl in.  Usually I think that chili is one of those things you should just wing, but I'm including the recipe since the technique of simmering the flavors first is a worthwhile change.

It was a hearty chili, full of veggies, so it's very healthy, but like I said, just a little more complex than what I usually make, but not that different (except for the extra veggies).  I guess saying "hearty" is a given when we are talking about chili though.  It was good, but probably not ideal with the sourdough I bought yesterday.

To make this more "mole" like, you should probably cook all the spices together for even longer, like a few hours, before adding everything else.

Mole Chili
Adapted (liberally) from Gourmet, when it was still a magazine
1 large dried chili, chopped (you could also you red pepper flakes here)
2 fresh hot peppers (jalapenos, Thai chilis, whatever you got), chopped
1 1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp dried oregano
Pinch of cinnamon (I used my good, complex, sharp Vietnamese cinnamon)
2 medium onions, chopped
3 tbsp olive oil
5 garlic cloves, minced
2 zucchini or yellow squash, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
3/4 lb chopped spinach (frozen is fine)
1 tsp grated orange zest
Pinch of sugar
3 tbsp unsweetened baking chocolate (finely chopped) or cocoa powder
1 15-oz can of diced tomatoes
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp chili powder
1 cup water
2 15-oz cans of beans (I used 1/2 cup dry beans that I cooked yesterday, about a half cup each of red beans, kidney beans, and black beans, since that's what I had on hand)
Salt and pepper, to taste
Cilantro/sour cream/chopped chives for garnish
In a large, heavy saucepan/soup pot, heat the oil and butter over medium-high heat.  Add onions and cook until they are softened and begin to brown.  Add garlic, and cook for about one minute.  Add chili peppers, cumin, paprika, chili powder, oregano and cinnamon.  Cook for another minute, then add bell pepper, zucchini/squash, and spinach.  Cover the pot and let it cook for 5-10 minutes, or until the vegetables softened.  Add zest, sugar, chocolate, water and tomatoes (with their juice).  Break the tomatoes up with a wooden spoon so that there are chunks in the chili, but notwhole tomatoes. Cover again and cook for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add beans and cook until beans are heated through.  Season with salt and pepper.

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