Earlier this week, I was coming down with the cold. One of the things I think helps with congestion is spicy food. I was so glad I already had cooked beans and onion/pepper in the refrigerator. I'd been wanting chili anyway, but it was certainly a blessing to have started the preparation when I started feeling under the weather. This chili is hot to me. I grew up on really mild chili though, so you can pump up the heat with more cayenne if you want. Don't base the heat on a taste test right when you mix everything. It gets hotter as it all cooks down and the flavors mix together. It's not the prettiest picture, but it was kinda dark in the kitchen when I finally got around to wanting to take a picture.
Basic 2 bean Chili (aka Sick Day Chili)
1 small green bell pepper, chopped
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp olive oil
3 cups red kidney beans, cooked (if using canned – 2 cans)
1-1/2 cups black beans, cooked (if using canned – 1 can)
1 can Tomato Puree (28 oz)
1 can Diced Tomatoes (14.5 oz)
1 can Tomato Paste (6 oz)
Water (Tomato Puree can full)
1-1/2 Tbsp Chili Powder
¾ tsp cayenne pepper
1 Tbsp Cocoa
Put beans and all tomato products in the crockpot. Fill puree can with water.
Saute pepper and onion in olive oil until onion is translucent and starting to brown. Add garlic and sauté for another minute. Use a little of the water from the puree can to deglaze the pan. Add water, onion mixture, spices to crockpot. Cook on high for about an hour. Turn down and cook until desired thickness. I cooked it about 6 hours because I like thick chili. Salt to taste. Garnish with scallion if desired. I served mine with thin rice cakes.
1. Since I was cooking beans anyway, I went ahead and cooked up a whole pot of kidney beans and a couple pots of black beans. It's no more work to cook up a whole pot than it is to cook up just enough for a recipe. I then freeze the remainder in 1-1/2 cup portions. 1-1/2 cups is the equivalent to 1 can. I now have beans for the next several times I need them.
2. I'm learning to use free, potentially wasted minutes to save time/effort later. A couple days before I was going to be making the chili, my mom and I were catching up on some old Eli Stone episodes (it's getting cancelled...wah!). Between each episode when we were taking bathroom breaks, etc. I spent a couple minutes chopping onions/peppers. I put the onions and peppers all in one containter in the fridge. Since they were going in the same recipe, there was no reason to use separate containers. When I was ready to use them, they were ready for me.