Posts Tagged ‘Chili’

I apologize for the number of sweet recipes I’ve posted of late. I’ll admit I’ve got a fairly good excuse: I’ve just moved to a new place, so my kitchen is totally barren, I did not bring any cookbooks except one, I don’t have easy access to the internet, and perhaps most importantly I’ve moved somewhere where the grocery store carries only half of the things I would normally use (let’s face it, I am actually totally blown away by what I can find in the grocery store in Hay River, although I hear it gets pretty dreary in a few months after the fall vegetables start going bad).

I simply don’t have many of the ingredients necessary to cook interesting savoury dishes, whereas I can bake many, many things simply with flour, butter, and sugar, and the odd other exciting thing such as apples although that’s not necessary, just a perk.

This time, though, we decided to invest in a few more spices, one of them being chili seasoning. With the cold weather approaching, everyone’s cravings have gone towards stews and soups. I’ve had beans done countless ways since I arrived, many times accompanied with bannock. Yesterday, we sat down and made enough chili to last us for a few weeks. What I love about chili is that it’s easy to make and is flexible depending on whatever you might have laying around. What always challenges me, though, is that my pots, no matter how big, are never big enough.

Ingredients – one large pot of chili

1 large onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp canola oil

2 carrots, diced
1 tsp dried parsley
1 tsp dried rosemary
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cracked black pepper
2-3 Tbsp chili powder

1 can diced tomatoes
1 can red kidney beans (well rinced)
1 can chick peas (well rinced)
1 cup dry lima beans (soaked overnight and skins removed)
1/2 can crushed tomatoes

2 stalks celeri, diced
1 zucchini, diced
4 mushrooms, diced

1 1/2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 cup pickle juice (Catherine’s trick)
2 tsp brown sugar


Heat oil over medium heat in a large pot with a lid. When the oil is hot, cook the onions until they are soft and then add the garlic and spices. Stir, and once fragrant add in the carrots and cook for another 3-4 minutes. Once cooked, add the beans, and finally, add the tomatoes. Increase heat a bit, cover, and bring to a boil. Simmer for another 20 or so minutes while you chop the remaining veggies. Add in the pickle juice, soy sauce, and the remaining veggies, as well as the sugar if you want to include it. Simmer for a minimum of 2 hours with the lid almost fully on, and serve alone, with bannock, toasted bread, or on a bed of rice. My favourite is to top it with shredded cheddar!


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Baked Beans

Sitelle and I have been negligent of Gourm(eh?) of love.  Sitelle has a good excuse, being in the Gambia and all, while I have just been over-run with my thesis.  But my thesis is now off with my external examiner(!), so I’ve had a little more time to breathe, sleep, and most importantly cook.

When I was little, my grandparents used to throw a Christmas carolling party for our extended family (we’re talking fourth cousins being invited here).  It was an evening of good cheer and off-tune carols, with a delicious potluck feast.  One of my favourite dishes was my grandmother’s baked beans, with just the right balance between salty bacon and sweet molasses.  Baked beans are one of my absolute favourite comfort foods, and I still dream about her baked beans.

I got fed up with canned pork and beans the other day.  So I thought, how hard can it be to make baked beans from scratch?  And indeed, making the beans is easy enough – its all the time in between that tries one’s patience: soaking of beans overnight, boiling the beans for at least an hour, and then baking them slowly for four to five hours.  The end product, however, is certainly worth it – both in abundance and in flavour.  (Although admittedly, not quite as delicious as grandma’s!)

The recipe below is slightly modified from the Joy of Cooking. 

Baked Beans

(serves 6-8)


2 cups dried navy beans (or white kidney beans)

1/2 cup beer

1 onion, chopped

1/4 cup molasses

1/4 cup chili sauce

1 tablespoon dry mustard

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon salt

A few slices of bacon



Soak the beans overnight.  Drain then cover with fresh water in a large saucepan.  Bring to a boil, then simmer slowly, covered, until tender, about 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 250 Fahrenheit. Drain the beans, reserving the cooking water.  Combine the beans in a greased casserole with the remaining ingredients.  Lay the bacon slices over the beans.

Bake the beans, covered, for 4 to 4 and 1/2 hours.  Uncover for the last hour of cooking.  If they become dry, add a little of the reserved bean water.

Bon appetit!

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Chili con Carne

There’s nothing as comforting on a cold winter evening as a bowl of piping hot chili, which has been simmering away for a few hours on your stove, making your kitchen smell tantalizing.  I am a big chili fan, so much so that I need containing when I cook it!  As a kid, chili was my favourite meal (still in my top 10), and I often volunteered myself to whipping up a batch or two or six (it freezes beautifully) for my family.  The first time I made it when I was living on my own, my roommate Alex nearly died laughing.   For one person, I had gone through 18 cans of tomatoes and beans.  Needless to say, it was gone by Christmas!

This recipe is half inspired from my head and half from my grandmother’s 1950s United Church Women cookbook.  I think the fact you can barely read the recipe through the food splotches speaks to the recipe’s success.  I even limited myself to a mere seven cans – a miraculous feat for my normal chili making nights.  Interested in turning it into vegetarian fare – omit the ground beef and simply add a few extra cans of beans and a few extra veggies (zucchini, mushroom, eggplant, or corn are my personal faves). Enjoy!

Chile Con Carne

(4 dinners for 2 people, with leftovers)


2 onions, diced

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1 red pepper, coarsely chopped

750 grams of extra-lean ground beef (just under 2 pounds)

6 tablespoons of chili powder

1 tablespoon of cumin

3 cans of diced tomatoes

2 cans of tomato soup

2 cans of mixed beans

2 cups of lentils

Splash of bread and butter pickle juice

As many other chopped veggies as you would like (zucchini, mushrooms, eggplant, corn, etc)


Saute the ground beef, onions, and garlic until the beef is well cooked and the onions are translucent.  Drain off the extra fat.  Add the chili powder and the cumin.  Cook until fragrant, and add all the other ingredients.  Bring to a boil before turning down to low heat and simmer for at least 90 minutes and up to 3 hours.

I normally serve over rice, but equally as delicious is over garlicky cheese bread or just a crusty baguette.  Frozen, the chili can last for up to 6 months.

–       Catherine

14 February 2011

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