I made a frighteningly large batch of chili today. Mr. Eat The Blog is working insane hours and I thought it would be easy enough to nuke a bowl in the microwave whenever he gets home. Believe me, I'm not complaining-I know how lucky we are that he has so much work to do.
Lately, I've been cooking in quantity so I can cook once every few days. I am so incredibly fortunate my family will eat leftovers. Actually, those two would eat beans and rice every day for the rest of their lives if I let them. I do get odd requests now and then, like Danny asking if I would make him an apricot soufflé for breakfast and then pouting because I said no. Maybe I shouldn't have laughed quite as hard as I did, but it was awfully funny. Yeah, I'll just go whip up an apricot soufflés while you watch Curious George.
What I did with today's batch was combine white beans I soaked and cooked with black beans from a tin. This solved the problem of the white beans absorbing colour in boiling together. I also used Danny's orange bell pepper he grew in the garden, along with a few store-bought red ones. Carrots, onions, celery and garlic and tomatoes rounded out the vegetables. For spices I combined cumin, coriander, chili powder, cocoa powder, black pepper, thyme, and epazote. I am not going to give amounts as a recipe because how much you use will depend on what you have and how much you need. Have three carrots instead of four? No problem. Want extra peppers? Go for it. You get the idea.
In a very large pot, cook the onions, carrots, celery and peppers in a bit of oil until softened. Add the spices and beans and mix well. Add crushed tomatoes in juice. Add enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, then cover leaving room for steam to escape and reduce to a very low simmer. Cook the living daylights out of it for several hours, stirring and adding more water if needed.
I served it with shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream and cornbread.