Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Back in the Kitchen Again, Making Chili

February 10, 2012
Fresh Multi-grain Bread
Vella Merlot
Henry Weinhardt's Root Beer

In several recent posts I have mentioned the surgery that has kept me out of the kitchen for over a month. As I transition from a stationary, recovering-from-surgery life style back to normal, this Sunday was the first one that I fixed dinner. It worked out well for us as Diane was away from home all afternoon, making name tags for isolettes with some friends for the March of Dimes. Since I didn't want to spend a long time standing in the kitchen, I looked for something pretty easy to prepare. (What I really want to make is a chocolate pie or some peanut butter sandwich cookies, but let's not get too crazy too soon.) Chili seemed like a good choice for a winter dinner and I went to The America's Test Kitchen Quick Family Cookbook to find a recipe that would be fast and easy.

The recipe lived up to its billing, it took around an hour to from start to finish with close to half of that time being unattended simmering. It was not quite a dump and stir recipe as an onion needed to be chopped, beans rinsed, and a pureĆ© prepared in the food processor. I made a few small changes to the recipe. It called for some fresh cilantro to be added as the cooking concluded and I skipped this step. The recipe did not specify cayenne pepper except as an option and I added ¼ teaspoon to provide a little heat. We don't particularly like spicy food but this small amount of cayenne added a nice warmth to the chili without causing noses to run and eyes to water and it was just the right amount for us. I added about 1 teaspoon of salt to the chili when it was done simmering, and no pepper. Diane and I both topped our chili with a little grated cheese. It was a good, straightforward chili, hearty and satisfying. I have to wonder, though, if using a different brand of chili powder (what we had was a store-brand), and perhaps something a little fresher, would have added some additional flavor to the dish.

Normally I would make some bread to go with the chili but since I wanted to minimize my time in the kitchen, Diane bought some at the store. She selected a fresh multi-grain loaf, Henry's Harvest Loaf, from the supermarket's bakery section, presumably something that had been baked the same day. It was a good choice. The bread had a strong enough flavor to stand up to the chili and a nice, chewy crumb.

Quick Beef and Bean Chili from America's Test Kitchen 


  1. Thanks for sharing informative information with us.

    1. You're welcome. Thank you for reading the blog and taking the time to comment.