Wow. I am terrible at keeping up with my own blog challenge. So, I wanted to do one every week, and here I am…the last week into February, and I’ve only cooked my second recipe. Blame it on the puppet show.
This week’s recipe was from The Good Housekeeping Christmas Cookbook, which Pete and I received as a Christmas gift this past year from my parents. It’s a really cool party-planning cookbook, and it’s filled with lots of practical advice for entertaining over the holidays. There are pages and pages of recipes, plus tips on pretty decorating, buying Christmas trees, deboning salmon…the list goes on. This particular dish is one that I was surprised to find in a Christmas cookbook. I figured I was going to have to make a dessert (and there are plenty of yummy-sounding recipes to try!), but I happened upon this chili recipe nestled in the “Christmas Brunch” section. I never would have thought of chili at Christmas, but what a great idea!
Difficulty: Very easy
Total Time: 6 hours in a slow cooker. I did 1.5 hours on the stove instead.
Satisfaction Level: 4/5
Click here for a link to the recipe, which is found on page 169 of the cookbook, or easily searched for on the internet. It’s Good Housekeeping’s Slow-Cooker Chipotle Beef Chili. The recipe is the same online and in the book, except in the book the amount has been halved. For example, I only used two cans of beans (rather than four) and I only needed one pot to cook it in!
I did make some changes to the recipe while I was cooking. All were made out of necessity. First, I ran out of cumin. Instead of the full tablespoon, I was only able to get a little more than a half tablespoon. Additionally, it’s a slow-cooker recipe. I was running late this morning, leaving myself only enough time to brush my teeth and hair and fly out the door. This chili was tonight’s dinner plan, so when I got home I had to figure out how to make it in waaaay less time than the recipe suggests (6.5 hours in a slow cooker). I used my trusty cast iron casserole (I’ve been told it’s not a true Dutch oven, but why I’m not sure…) on the stove for about an hour and a half instead.
I also found a really yummy corn bread recipe on Allrecipes.com that I whipped up while the chili was cooking. I’m glad I did–it was the perfect complement! You can find that recipe by clicking here. It was easy and took a little more than a half hour to bake. The two were ready within a few minutes of each other! Of course, the chili could have cooked forever, so there was really no rush with that.
I give it a 4/5 mostly because of my own lack of foresight. The fact that I ran out of cumin was disappointing, and definitely affected the flavor. It could have used at least a whole extra tablespoon more. Additionally, because the chili didn’t cook for as long as the recipe suggested, the meat was still a little chewy. If it had a chance to cook for 6.5 hours, I bet it would have melted in our mouths. Of course, none of that stopped us from eating up lots of it!
I think this could easily translate into a vegetarian recipe. Just take out the meat! If you want a little more substance, a nice firm tofu would be a good replacement, but I really don’t think this chili even needs it. The sauce and beans were tasty thanks to the chipotle flavor, and there was plenty of “stuff” in it (beans, onion, peppers, etc.) that it felt full even without the addition of the beef.
I would definitely call this experiment more of a success than the last one, but it might help that I’ve made chili lots of times before, just not this particular recipe (I never even knew what chipotle peppers in adobo were…in case you don’t either, here’s a link).
And now for something completely different: