Some friends of ours were having a chili throwdown in January, and I found this recipe on Epicurious.com from Bon Appétit January 2003. I knew there would be a lot of meat-heavy dishes, so the fact that this was vegetarian appealed to me. The addition of espresso and dark chocolate sealed the deal. I made this the day before on top of the stove, then chilled overnight and brought it to the throwdown in the crockpot.
The rules of the throwdown meant I couldn’t tell people which chili was mine, and also couldn’t suggest they add the grated dark chocolate or mango salsa to their sample – tho’ most who went back for seconds found that the grated chocolate, especially, added a nice finish to the chili.
How’d I do? I took second place – not too shabby when most of the other entries were meat intensive.
Yield: Makes 8 servings – a personal note here – I don’t know who the heck the Bon Appétit people were feeding – but this made WAAAAAY more than 8 servings – IMHO.
•1/2 cup olive oil
•5 large onions, chopped
•1/4 cup instant espresso powder
•1/4 cup chili powder
•1/4 cup ground cumin
•1/4 cup dried oregano leaves
•2 (28-oz) cans crushed tomatoes with added puree
•1/3 cup honey
•6 large garlic cloves, minced
•7 (15-oz) cans black beans, rinsed, drained
•2 cups water
•1 tbsp salt
•1/4 tsp chili powder
•Large pinch of ground cinnamon
•Sour cream, chopped fresh cilantro, chopped green onions, shredded cheese, sliced jalapeños, and shaved bittersweet chocolate. I thought all it really needed was the chocolate – and maybe some mango salsa
Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add onions and sauté until tender, about 8 minutes. Mix in espresso powder, 1/4 cup chili powder, cumin, and oregano. Cook 1 minute. Mix in tomatoes, honey, and garlic. Bring to simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer 30 minutes. Add beans, 2 cups water, salt, chipotle chili powder, and cinnamon. Bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium and simmer uncovered until mixture thickens slightly, stirring often, about 30 minutes. Season with salt. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cool slightly. Refrigerate uncovered until cold, then cover and refrigerate. Rewarm before serving.)
Place toppings in individual condiment bowls. Ladle chili into bowl and serve toppings alongside.