Summer summer summer's going to turn into chili ~ Ham Pie Sandwiches

19 September 2010

Summer summer summer's going to turn into chili

You and your baby doll/better go to the beach, where you will then eat chili. Yes. Yeah, I don't know. However, my point: it's the end of the main summer harvest, and we'd better take advantage of all the excellent produce while it's still here. With that in mind: chili.

We made this chili with 1. fresh corn 2. fresh assorted peppers and 3. fresh tomatoes, all from the farmer's market. Have you ever made chili with fresh corn? I mean, I realize that most people with an interest in corn spend August boiling, buttering, and gnawing down full ears of it, yes. Maybe you don't want your exciting summer corn sullied with pepper-tomato-onion-etc. melange--but you should. It is so worth it. When you use fresh corn and fresh hot peppers, the difference from heavy conventional wintry chili is astounding.

End of summer chili

First, go to the farmer's market and get onions, garlic, a couple big handfuls of mixed hot and sweet peppers, some tomatoes, several ears of corn, and a bunch of green onions. You can also get some cilantro if that's your thing.

At home, soak and cook whatever kind of beans you like best for chili. Throw a bay leaf in the pot while they boil. I used mostly white beans in broth, but had a few leftover black beans in broth as well. My beans and broth both came out of my previously cooked freezer stockpile: a resource you should totally build, as it makes cooking with and eating dried beans 100% easier.

So everyone essentially knows how to make chili. I don't have any secrets of technique; just make this like you would make any chili. Chop your onion and garlic and soften them in olive oil. Chop all your peppers and add them to the pot. Chop the tomatoes and add them too. When everything is soft and fragrant and the tomatoes are well on their way to reducing, add your beans and broth. Season the pot with cumin, oregano, salt, black pepper, and paprika. No chili powder: the hot peppers bring it of their own volition. Let everything cook down together while you cut all the kernels off a couple ears of corn. When the chili is delicious, you can decide if you want to puree it a little and make it soupier; I generally don't. When the chili is your preferred texture, throw all the corn into the pot. Taste for spicing and correct as needed. Cook for about five more minutes while you chop up some green onion and cilantro for garnish.

When everything is perfect, put it in a bowl and eat it. I find that the super farmer's market chili has very little need for cheese; the vegetables make it. Nice bread, toast, or warmed tortillas are all definitely welcome, however.

I really need to make another batch of this, exercise my willpower so as to only eat a tiny bit of it and put it all in the freezer to be exciting and perfect in January.

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