Wednesday, October 03, 2007

(Almost) The Best Beer, Cocoa, Coffee Chili You Will Ever Taste

It is now officially autumn. And autumn means soup and chili, which means excitement on my end. I never thought I'd find myself being excited by soup or chili because I despised both for so long, but what can I say? I done growed up, Ma!

Chilis that boast that they are the best chili EVER always make me get all Rocky Balboa and mutter outta the side of my mouth, Ain't no way dat chili's da best chili ever, Adrien. So it was with this chili which is actually a meat-infested recipe that I tried to convert. I am always intrigued by chilis that have either cocoa/chocolate, coffee, or beer in them, and this had ALL FRICKING THREE, so that convinced me that I at least had to try some sort of variation out.

Alas, this is not in fact "The Best Chili I Did Ever Taste" (for ones I think have a bit more awesomeness, check out the black bean chocolate chili, the sweet potato chili, or the Teany Top Secret Chili Recipe). Not to say that this chili wasn't good, but if forced to choose, I'd definitely pick one of the others over this one.

Despite that fact, the one thing I can say definitively about this chili recipe is that it is one of the first recipes I've made where I can actually say that it had a complex layering of flavors. When you bite into a hearty spoonful, the flavors will transform all chameleonlike against your tongue, from tomatoey, to sweet, to rich, to spicy. It kind of caught me off guard yesterday when I find this out at lunch. I was like, Uh. In my head though, because grunting out loud to one's self sometimes sounds a bit creepy.

Anyways, this chili is lightly spicy, delicately sweet, and richly tomatoey. It is also very rich and thick, which I liked. For those of you who always end up leaving a comment along the lines of "Beer/cocoa/coffee in CHILI?!?!" I reassure you yet again: You've not had a sexy chili if you haven't had a chili with at least one of these three ingredients in it. They lend a depth of flavor to the chili that you just can't mimic otherwise, so give 'em a chance.

Oh, and I'd never cooked with chili peppers before. The are like the tiniest cutest things ever. I just wanted to pinch their cheeks and make goo goo noises at them. Until I brutally diced them up, of course.

  • 2 t. oil

  • 2 onions, chopped

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • One 12-oz. bag of veggie meat crumbles (you could also probably get away with just using TVP)

  • 1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained

  • 1 14-oz can diced tomatoes

  • 1 can/bottle dark beer (I used Goose Island Nut Brown)

  • 1 c. strong coffee

  • 2 (6 ounce) cans tomato paste

  • 2 c. veggie broth

  • 1/2 c. brown sugar

  • 2 T. chili sauce

  • 1 T. cumin

  • 1 T. cocoa

  • 1 t. oregano

  • 1 t. cayenne

  • 1 t. coriander

  • 1 t. salt

  • 2 (15 oz) cans kidney beans

  • 3 chili peppers, chopped


Cook onions, garlic and veggie crumbles until brown.

Add tomatoes, beer, coffee, tomato paste and veg broth.

Add spices. Stir in kidney beans, black beans, and peppers.

Reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour.

(Adapted from the original recipe HERE)

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