You will, of course, think that I am biased. You will think that I cannot possibly be objective about such praise because, after all, the cook is now a member of my family. Seriously, though: this is the best damned chili I've ever had, and I've had it twice now. Had I not volunteered to participate in Kristen's latest installment of Adopt a Blogger, I might never have been introduced to such an easy, novel, and vibrantly tasty recipe, nor the wonderful blogger whom I am mentoring. Cheri of Kitchen Simplicity hails from Canada, but finds herself living in Oslo, Norway, with her husband and young son. A very active member of the online food community, Cheri is a contributor to the recently launched Simple Bites, and the creator of Colorful Mondays, a bi-weekly, easy-to-participate-in food photo event. Between cooking up deliciously streamlined meals for her family, Cheri also posts her bright and appetizing photos on Flickr, as well as manages to say "hello" to a growing group of friends on Twitter. I am beyond impressed that she does all this while taking care of a little one. Young mothers need every moment, and I can only attribute Cheri's successful juggling of her enthusiastic lifestyle to her willingness to experiment in the kitchen with recipes that work without worries. I encourage crazy-busy bloggers and readers to stop by her blog for a lingering look. I'm sure you will find more than one delightful recipe to adopt as your very own.
Cannellini Bean Chili - Adapted from the Kitchen Simplicity recipeThis recipe is also for my tardy submission to Superchef's hosting of My Legume Love Affair 21 which closed March 31. Superchef will have the round-up online very soon. Do stop by her lovely blog, Mirch Masala, for all the grand recipes and the announcement of the monthly random drawing winner.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
1 large dried red chile pepper
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried epazote
1/4 teaspoon. cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 large fresh Serrano chile pepper, sliced into coins (optionally remove seeds to temper the heat level)
4 -5 cups cannellini (white kidney) beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup vegetable broth, salted
1 cup sour cream
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds, toasted briefly in a dry skillet over low heat
In a large skillet, thin the oil briefly on low heat. Add onion and garlic, stirring to coat with oil. (Heating slowly ensures that the garlic will not brown too quickly.) Increase heat to medium-low and sauté until the onions are golden and translucent (about 6 minutes). Add all dry seasonings, stirring to combine. Allow them to sizzle briefly before adding beans, Serrano coins, and broth, again stirring to combine. Increase heat to medium to bring chili to a boil. (This will thicken the broth slightly with the bean starch.) Remove from heat and divide into four bowls, topping each with 1/4 cup sour cream. Scatter cumin seeds over sour cream. Serve immediately, stirring in sour cream to barely heat through, avoiding curdling. Cheri's original recipe also calls for 1/2 cup half and half, which I highly recommend if you are unaccustomed to very spicy dishes. It can be stirred into skillet right before serving. Serve with tortilla chips.