- 5 cans of beans (I use 3 black / 2 red kidney. You could also use chick peas, etc., and/or the equivalent volume of dried beans prepared according to their instructions)
- 3 cans of diced tomatoes (Or the equivalent of fresh tomatoes… I’m guessing 12-15 romas, roughly chopped)
- 3 granny smith apples, grated (in a food processor or on a cheese grater)
- 2 medium to large onions, whatever type you like
- 1 small can of chipotle peppers en adobo, blended/processed
- 1 head of garlic, peeled and crushed (or less/more, to taste) (Lately I’ve been smashing each clove with the back of a knife, removing the skin, and just throwing it in whole. When it’s crushed well like that, the flavor will penetrate the whole dish, and it’s OK and not overwhelming to eat the whole clove. Or, you can chop them up.)
- chopped celery (optional, but recommended. 0-5 ribs, depending on how much you want to cut the heat of the chipotles), grated carrots, more hot peppers, bell peppers, barley or bulgur wheat, TVP or other veg protein… use your imagination!
In a BAP (Big Ass Pot), brown the onions and garlic (and celery/extra peppers, if you’re doing that) in olive oil. When you get some good browning happening, make a hot spot at the bottom of the pot (push the onions aside, maybe add a pad of butter) and add the apples (and carrots, if you’re doing those) for just a couple minutes. Make a hot spot again (no oil/butter needed) and add the blended/processed chipotles, just to let them bloom for a minute. Add the tomatoes, give them a few minutes to bloom/reduce (especially if using fresh tomatoes), then add the beans. Simmer for as long as you like, add any final spices you like (cumin seed, Mexican oregano, hot sauce, salt if needed).
I add a shake or two of salt at every step, so by the end, you shouldn’t need much, if any, additional salt.
You can serve it with crackers, popcorn, rice, crusty bread, veggies & dip, etc. Garnish options: sharp cheddar, cilantro, fine-chopped onion, green onion…
A bold dose of cinnamon in a bowl of this chili will take it in a completely different direction.
* Updated 29 Oct 2012