2.2.06

Comfort food


Rain. Rain. Rain.

Cold. Cold. Cold.

Chili. Chili. Chili.

Feeling the need for comfort in the midst of the torrential downpour outside my windows that has been my reality lately, and that has also been dripping slowly and steadily into my garage through the roof somehow (uh-oh), I seem to always turn to soup for comfort. The best soup for crappy weather in my book? Chili! This began as a recipe for Mexican Black Bean Sausage Chili, and again, I went with what I had (I've been living the um, broke life of a student for a while now). You can make your own sausage from a mixture of ground pork and ground turkey, as is called for in the recipe, but I had bulk hot italian sausage in the freezer, and even though the recipe is Mexican, it still tasted fine. Instead of adding all the goodies to the sausage, I added some of them to the pot instead (wine, sherry vinegar, garlic and chili powder). I'll definitely try their sausage recipe next time, just for kicks, as I'm sure it's delicious.

For the rest of the chili, here's my adapted/bastardized version, which would serve about 4-5 people (Look at me, breaking out of my recipe safe-haven! Necessity seeds invention, no?)

By the way, does anyone have any recommendations for a superb sherry vinegar? Mine is almost out, so I'm on the lookout for a new brand...

Mexican Black Bean Sausage Chili, adapted from Cooking Light

3/4 lb. of bulk pork sausage (Italian, or flavored yourself)
1 large onion, diced
1 tbsp. cumin
1 1/2 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. of chili powder (if not in sausage)
2 chipoltle chilis (in adobo sauce), diced (this makes a pretty big kick, in both my own and LB's opinion, but the original recipe called for 3!)
2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained
3 cups of chicken stock
1 cup of water
1 large can (not the 14 oz, but the bigger one?) of whole, peeled tomatoes, drained and crushed
a splash of red wine, a splash of sherry vinegar (optional)
chopped scallions, for garnish
sour cream or plain yogurt, for garnish

Crumble and cook sausage in a large saucepan, stirring frequently, until browned on all sides and cooked throughout. Add onion, garlic, cumin, oregano, and chilis and cook for a few minutes until spices are toasted and onion is tender. Next, in a food processor, combine 1 cup of stock with one cup of black beans and process until smooth. When the onion is translucent, add this mixture, the beans, stock, water, tomatoes, wine and sherry vinegar. Bring to a boil, then partially cover and simmer for 45 minutes, or until it begins to thicken. Serve with chopped scallions and sour cream, and some hearty bread on the side (we had onion-chedder beer bread).

Ahhh, perfect for eating in front of a warm toasty fire, all wrapped up in a blanket with your sweetheart. Just make sure that you have a big glass of milk around (or add a lot of yogurt for a garnish) to tone down how spicy it is!!

Note: Ever wonder what to do with the rest of the adobo chilis in the can? Here's a tip I recently came across...grind your left-over chilis (sauce included) in a small food processor or blender, then put them in a freezer-safe container. You can then scrape the top of the frozen, processed chilis to get the amount you need (apparently, there's no need to thaw them as they're easy to scrape). 1 tbsp = 1 chili. I've never done this, but it sounds great. What I've done in the past is frozen them on cookie sheets until hard, then put them in a plastic freezer ziploc until I need them...this works also, but then you have to deal with chopping them later, so I think I'll try this next time.

9 comments from you:

ilva said...

How poetic yau are nowadays, that sounds a lot like a famous Swedish poem actually about grey mountains...

Kitchen Queen said...

The sun's actually shining here at last, but your chili still sounds wonderful! I think the size of the can of tomatoes you used is 29 ounces, or close to that.

I like to chop up adobos and use them in cheese enchiladas. I'll try to do a batch of enchiladas for you soon!

rob said...

That looks good. I love chipotle, and you've given me an idea for a couple of posts, including (what I believe to be) my very tasty chicken salad. For which I say, "thanks."

That said, when we open a can of chipotle, we normally just wrap a little plastic wrap over it and keep them in the fridge. They last for quite a while that way.

Melissa CookingDiva said...

Chili is good :) Thanks Michelle for your message @my blog. I am getting better slowly...Hugs,
M

michelle said...

Hi Ilva! Aw, shucks...**shuffles feet** I'd like to hear that poem!

Hi Kitchenqueen! oh, enchiladas, I love enchiladas! They're on my list to make! Do make some! I'm glad to know that you're finally getting some sunshine...I sure wish we would!

Hi Rob! Glad to inspire an idea...I can't wait to see this tasty chicken salad...I love chipoltle too, but I always make one recipe and then forget about the adobos. You're probably right, they're so spicy that they would last a while in the fridge, but I never know when I'm going to be using them again, so it's probably safer for me to freeze them!

Hi Melissa! Oh sweetie, I hope you are better very soon. Get lots of rest - you're on my mind!

Kathy said...

Yum, sounds delish!

kitchenmage said...

Are you getting slammed by this storm down there? We've got gusts to 85, the road out of town is blocked by slides and trees in at least four places (both ways out), and it's just starting!

Made beef stew today, slow cooked, spicy, served with fresh cornbread. Right there with you and the warm food on cold wet days. Stay dry.

michelle said...

Hi Kathy! It was! But I just saw the tiramisu on your site, and now I'm drooling!

Hi Kithenmage! Wow, we haven't had winds that high, but we're certainly getting slammed by rain every day! I hope it didn't get too bad for you! Best to you in staying dry and warm and comforted by all the yummy rich stews and soups!

sherry wine said...

After rain we feel cold, and at that moment if we get Mexican Black Bean Sausage Chili, then what will be the more than this. Thanks for this nice post.