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Chocolate Chipotle Chili

26 Feb

Calm yourselves! I know this is a Friday during Lent. Have no fear, we ate fish today. This recipe is from an earlier dinner and is one of my favorites, so I wanted to share it. Also, fish sticks don’t make for scintillating food blogging, so I had to come up with something else.

Yes, this chili does contain chocolate: unsweetened chocolate and cocoa powder both. But have no fear! This is not a sweet, bizarre dish, but is instead a sophisticated comfort food. Put simply, it’s just darn good chili.

I adjusted the recipe, which I got from Our Best Bites, who got it and adjusted it from Cooking Light. Mostly I tried to put fat back into it. Because cooking light? Is not something I believe in.

Chocolate Chipotle Chili

Ingredients:
-1 lb ground meat (I use lean hamburger)
-1 large onion, chopped
-4 cloves garlic, minced (I love me some garlic! You can use more or less. Whatevs.)
-1 BIG can diced tomatoes
-2 cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed (My favorite thing to do is get a can dark red kidney beans, and one can light red kidney beans. It makes it more fun looking.)
-1 can beef broth (I’ve used chicken broth before, because that’s what I had in my pantry. And I think the beef broth really adds depth to this dish. The chicken broth makes it taste lighter to me. If I have a craving for chili in the summer, I’d make it with chicken broth.)
-1 small can chipotles in sauce (can find in hispanic section of grocery store)
-3 Tbsp. brown sugar
-2 Tbsp. chili powder
-1 tsp. ground cumin
-1 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
-1/2 tsp. freshly-ground black pepper
-1/2 tsp. Kosher salt
-Chipotle sauce (from the can of chipotle chilies)
-1/2 oz. unsweetened chocolate (1/2 unsweetened baking cube), chopped (optional; use to taste as needed; be careful, because too much will make your chili bitter)
-3-4 Tbsp. red wine vinegar

Ingredients

Are you still with me after that odd list of ingredients? It’ll work out in the end, I promise!

Directions:

Cook hamburger until no longer pink. Drain fat. Add onions and saute briefly.

Dump in the spices (salt, pepper, cumin, chili powder, brown sugar, unsweetened cocoa powder), tomatoes, beans, and broth. It helps to have the spices already measured and all the cans opened. Add all the chipotle sauce from the small can of chipotle chilis. This gives a nice smokey flavor with just a hint of a bite. If you want spicier chili, chop up one or two of the peppers and add.

Bring to a boil, then reduce and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, for about 30-40 minutes.

When chili has thickened as desired, it’s time to adjust the richness. Add 3 Tbsp. red wine vinegar and a small amount of chopped chocolate at a time until desired richness is reached. If necessary, add more red wine vinegar to cut the sweetness of the chili.

When your desired flavor and richness has been reached, dish it up and top with sour cream, cheddar cheese, green onions, or whatever your heart desires! This is a really flexible and forgiving chili, so it’s all about loosely following the directions and ingredients and adjusting to your own personal tastes. You really can’t go wrong. Well, you probably could, but it’s easily fixed. No harm, no foul.

Ok, so maybe it’s not that attractive, but when have you known chili to win any beauty contests? It’s all about the flavor, baby!

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Rainy days and Mondays always get me down.

5 Feb

Actually, that’s a complete lie. I love rainy days! Almost as much as I love Texas. And while I don’t love Mondays, I have nothing against them either.

Today was a glorious rainy, dark day. The kind made just for naps and lazing around. Which is what I did for most of the day. I cleaned my room, though, so I was productive for like a whole 30 minutes. And then I played gameboy. Productivity went out the window. I did manage to rustle up some dinner appropriate to the weather outside. Behold:

I have a confession: I’m a complete health nut and nothing less than a well-balanced meal will do for me. You’ve got your grilled cheese sandwich – that’s dairy and grains. The potato chips obviously¬† fall into the vegetable category. The chicken and rice soup which covers your proteins and some more grains.¬† See? Perfectly balanced!