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Friday, January 9, 2009

Chilly Winter Chili

It's inhumanely cold outside and after just having run to the grocery store I refuse to leave the house again for the rest of the night.

On the bright side (not that we've seen the sun in weeks, so maybe "bright" is a tease) it's good chili weather, and this recipe makes enough for dinner, leftovers, and a hungry firehouse or two. It's quite literally overflowing with vegetables and beans, and the millet / quinoa makes it extra thick and tasty. I plan on eating the leftovers all weekend!

1 large red onion, chopped
3 large carrots, cut into thin rounds
2 red peppers, cut into chunks
4 ribs celery, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 t. cumin
2 t. chili powder
Between 1/2 and 1 t. red pepper flakes
1/2 t. dried basil
1/2 t. dried cilantro/coriander
1/4 cup red wine (straight from the glass of Malbec I am currently sipping)
2 tablespoons tomato paste
28 oz. kidney beans, drained and rinsed
56 oz. canned diced tomatoes (two big cans... I used San Marzano, yum!)
32 oz. vegetable stock (one big box)
1 c. quinoa or millet (trust me on this one)
Fresh cilantro


1. In a large (and I mean large) heavy-bottomed pot saute the onions, carrots, celery, and red pepper in olive oil until the vegetables are soft and start to brown.
2. Add the garlic and spices and saute for another minute or two.
3. Add the tomato paste and red wine to deglaze the pan and cook for another minute.
4. Toss in the beans, tomatoes, and stock and bring to a boil.
5. Stir in the millet. As the millet (which is delicious despite having a name that makes me think of hillbillies) cooks it will absorb the liquid and thicken the chili.
6. Cook for about 30 minutes on low with the lid on. You can let it hang out for as long as you want. This is the kind of thing that tastes better the longer it sits and even better heated up tomorrow!
7. Throw in some fresh cilantro and season with salt.

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