Monday, October 20, 2008

Traffic Light Chili: Three Years in the Making

When you are cooking for the masses, and you're not sure exactly how many that is, this is the perfect recipe. In college whenever I made a batch of this I was amazed how many people it fed, and how many people showed up to eat it. I never had a name for it, but I wanted something clever for the blog and the green, yellow, red... and orange peppers make this chili really colorful. And delish. Other than the peppers, there are four different kinds of beans, onion, tons of seasoning, and corn. No meat, but with all that other good stuff, who needs it?

I said it was three years in the making, but really I haven't changed the recipe much since I got back from Egypt. I started making it when I was living there, and made it probably at least two times a month (X10 months) for my roommates and a handful of other Americans living there, who humored me and ate it over and over and over again until I got the flavors just right. The only thing that has changed since I moved back is adding black beans, which weren't available there, and sadly I don't have Egyptian beer (Sakkara or Stella), which was so bad it was almost good.

I always said I wanted to enter this in a chili cook off, but until that day comes, I'm sending it to a blog event called Fourth Helping of Susan's My Legume Love Affair.

Traffic Light Chili

olive oil
8-10 cloves garlic, minced
2 medium vidalia onions, roughly chopped
1 each: red, yellow, orange, and green bell pepper, roughly chopped (4 peppers total)
1 12 oz. bottle beer
2 cans black beans, drained*
2 cans kidney beans, drained*
1 can garbanzo beans (chick peas), drained*
1 can cannelini beans, drained*
1 28 0z. jar crushed tomatoes
1 6 0z. can tomato paste
2 bay leaves
2 tbs. cinnamon
1 tbs. chili powder
1 1/2 tbs. paprika
1/2 tbs. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 can corn*
(For added spice you can add chopped jalapenos, a dash of hot sauce or crushed red pepper. I've tried all three.)

*15.5 oz.

-Heat olive oil in a large sauce pan over medium-high heat. Add garlic and onion and simmer until it starts to soften. Add peppers. Cook for five minutes, stirring occasionally.
-Pour in about half of a bottle of beer. (I used Yuengling.)
-Add all the beans, crushed tomatoes and tomato paste. Stir in seasoning.
-When the chili starts to simmer, lower the heat to low and continue to stir occasional for 30-45 minutes or until the peppers are just soft. Add more of the beer if the chili starts to get too thick. Add the corn in and leave on the heat for 10 more minutes so the corn heats through.


Sam said...

That looks awesome! Cooking for the masses is what I do best. I'll try this.

sra said...

That's a great name, a great photo of the peppers and you just reminded me of the big bottle of jalapenos in my fridge! Thanks for the entry!

Soma said...

I love the Name of the dish.

Looks pretty interesting. Will try it sometimes.
Thanks for sharing.