Chile, Chilly, Chili

in #food2 years ago (edited)

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For non-native speakers, this must be a confusing group of words in the English language. "Chile, chilly, and chili" include the name of a country and words for both hot peppers and cold temperatures. The word “chili” also refers to a heavy soup that can be made with beans, beef, and/or various meats along with vegetables and spices. Because it’s thick and heavily flavored, you can hide a lot of vegetables in chili.

When summer weather is hot, the last thing I want to be doing is cooking over a hot stove. But one does not have the luxury to avoid it when the refrigerator is full of vegetables from a bountiful garden. We froze, dried, or canned some for later use. We ate some raw or lightly cooked in other dishes. But after opening the refrigerator and STILL seeing this many vegetables, I resolved to make some chili. No meat in this one, just vegetarian.

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Fortunately, we had plenty of dry beans since we buy them and then are too lazy to cook them up. Not too lazy this time! I gathered several kinds of beans from their shelf: some heirloom red Rio Zape beans, Italian butter beans, flageolets, and black-eyed peas. Together, they looked like this. On balance, a little whiter than usual, but when you're making chili, the bean color doesn't matter.

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One, two, three, four kinds of beans…wait, that number does not work. Three Bean Chili or Five Bean Chili sound good, but I can’t make a good title from four. That’s too comfortable. Creativity demands an edge which doesn’t come from using even numbers. I searched the cupboard for one more kind of beans under the threat of having to put back one of these kinds if there wasn’t a fifth.

The choice of which kind to put back was not that difficult. The red beans are perfect for chili. The butter beans will break down and make a thick soup. The black-eyed peas are a great, nutty-flavored addition to any stew and, being a different species of legume, bring a slightly different nutritional profile than other beans. The flageolets were first in line on the chopping block, as they may be too firm for chili unless cooked into submission. These are young beans that are picked early and dried, so their off-white beige color retains a hint of green. I’d return them to the shelf if there’s nothing else.

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Aha. There was a bag of French green lentils hiding behind some cans. I didn’t want to know how long they’d been there. Still just fine. Plenty of protein, fiber, iron, and other minerals. I rinsed a cup of them and added these lentils to the pot.

It’s best to soak beans overnight and then pour out the soak water before cooking them. This step improves digestibility. I use salted water with a slice of ginger in it. The next morning, after cooking the beans for awhile in water, it was time for basic seasoning. I’m not a chef, since I don’t like to use recipes or specific amounts. I cook by taste and keep adjusting ingredients until the taste is awesome.

The basics here include a bay leaf, which I think belongs in every bean dish. I also include a small slice of ginger and a handful of dried kelp (kombu). Together, these ingredients help condition meat or bean protein, much like the Mexican/Central American herb epazote, which I do not use. In using kelp, just a couple of small pieces should be enough. You don’t want the beans tasting like a sushi roll. But unlike some cooks, I never take out the kelp; I let it cook in completely and disappear. It adds to the background flavor and contributes a broad range of trace minerals.

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My chili continued to cook, but did not get much further before I added sea salt and some chopped onions and peppers. Other vegetables can wait, but onions and peppers are the heart of the flavor for good chili and I want them cooked into these beans early on. How spicy you make it depends on you; I add both sweet and hot peppers. Then I shake in some spices like chili powder, cumin, and a big dash of curry powder (that may be the secret ingredient, so don’t tell anyone). I’ll also add the tomato influence at that time, which can come from a can of tomato paste, some leftover tomato sauce, or chopped fresh tomatoes. Whatever you use, it will cook in and give the soup some tomatoey background.

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Finally, as the beans cook up and a soup develops around them, it’s ready for other vegetables. Timing the veggies is difficult if you want them to taste fresh rather than overcooked. At the same time, the longer you cook them in, the more flavor they will impart, so it’s a tough decision. I reserve some vegetables for the very end, such as crushed garlic, additional tomatoes, and maybe even a pepper, but will put in others while it’s cooking. Any fresh herbs, such as basil, oregano, marjoram, thyme, sage, rosemary, and parsley: each one changes the flavor, but I’ll gladly add to this dish anything we have available at the time.

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In this stew, I chopped and added in a lot of zucchini (summer squash) because there’s so much of it coming from our garden. I also included some chopped potatoes, carrots, and a handful of parsley that survived the garden’s summer heat. Some of the garlic went in then for overall flavor, while the remainder was reserved for the end. Some people will add some ground beef or turkey or chop up some sausage, but I went vegetarian with this. There was some dried maitake mushroom on the shelf, which I like for its smoky aroma, in small doses.

The last bit of garlic and vegetables were added right before I turned off the stove; they get cooked just enough that they are no longer raw, but they still have enough flavor to give the dish some late life. Cilantro is another great late addition, but I didn’t have any this time. You can always add more tomatoes, even towards the end if you want them to freshen it up.

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When the beans are cooked through, it’s time to taste and fine-tune the flavoring. Black pepper, more salt, additional spices if needed. Yummy. This soup/stew was so good that even my kids slurped it up. It paired really well with cornbread. Good stuff, Maynard.

I’m sorry I don’t have a chili recipe for you, but after two hours of stirring and adding random ingredients whenever I felt like it, I have no idea what how much I used of anything to make the chili. It doesn’t have to be perfect and I’ve never made the same chili twice; it’s always somewhat unique because of available ingredients and the cook's whims. As long as you cook beans and then add onions, peppers, a bay leaf, a can of tomato paste, some chili powder, enough salt, and plenty of garlic, being willing to taste-test it and make needed adjustments, you simply cannot make bad chili!

Don’t forget to leave a window open after you eat it.

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Woah, this must be a really delicious meal as it looks..
I think pretty much everyone feels so lazy to cook beans. I have a stack of beans covered up in my kitchen that I never touch.
Seeing the way yours turns out to be, I think I may have to go back to cooking beans pretty soon.

Cheers

Yes, I wish I was better about cooking them also. It's usually in the cooler winter months that I get around to it, but had to use some of those veggies. :)

My lungs just salivating over the beans, wish i was closer to you would request a dinner in your place.. .smiling...

Chile on the hand is a country with capital Santiago located along South America's western edge, with more than 6,000km of Pacific Ocean coastline

Oh yeah... I see
Looks pretty good, I'm sure it'd taste as sweet as it looks....

Cheers

Beans are not only delicious but also nutritious. Packed with a lot of protein, vitamins and minerals which our body needs every to maintain normally healthy. Excellent choice for vegetarians. Red chili also has anti-inflammatory and anti-fungi properties that healing pain and preventing cancer. I often enjoy eating these stuffs. Cheer!

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Apart from wanting to taste this delicious chilli stew @donkeypong you made me want to experiment this myself. Only that some of these spices and ingredients are not really found here but if not all I can still use some available ones to make something as this. Thank you for sharing, you have my stomach leaping for joy at the sight of this dish.

You can use anything you have and like to eat. Enjoy!

I am like you when it comes to cooking. I eat to live, so I am not fussy about food, nor am I really interested in cooking. So, I will see what's available in the fridge and cooked up something. And they never taste the same twice, because at times, i will have more of this or add less of that. I only know that my dishes are healthy, perfectly edible, and very nutritious. :-)

That's right. That's the best way. I never use a recipe unless I need to get a ratio of proportions for something. Generally, I rarely cook the same thing twice.

I am glad that I am not the only one who feels this way. Cheers! :-)

Thanks for this great sharing. I like chili most in my food. Over here, our beans are quite small and tinny but that's not a big deal. You made delicious and spicy soup. Tomatos makes a great and thick effect on dish. Its make redish and tasty.

That's right. You can use any kind of beans and when you add tomatoes, it makes a nice thick base.

Wow...Looks like very delicious soup...I was little bit confused after starting reading your post that how it gonna end up with..how its colour would be.....But after finishing the blog i was quite amused.Surely worth a try....Thank you for sharing.

If you mix together enough things, it ends up brown. :)

Friend, how are you? as always I learn something from you, today you show us a facet of you that did not know those beans look great, you use so many herbs that the smell came to Venezuela, I did not know this recipe of chili so it is a great experience to have been to read your exciting adventure in the kitchen

It also happens to me that I'm too lazy to cook beans but after I do it I say it was worth it, I learned some tips from you so thank you for that

Greetings from Venezuela!

I'm sure you have some delicious dishes there also!

Yes, we have many, thank you!

Wow, little did I know one could cook different kinds of beans all together. You call this "chilli beans", right? Am reblogging this post because I love it and I want to have it reserved on my blog wall.
Thanks for sharing.

Yes, it's bean chili. Basically, you can put whatever you want in it.

I didn't envisage you as a foodie you know, but to see so many types of legumes, the white and the darkened one. I'm only used to the darkened pod and we cook it without a spice and prepare a stew of onions, tomato, table oil and spices
But I see you're definitely cooking the beans with tomato and the rest spice? Wow

That sounds good also. I'm not much of a foodie, but occasionally I get into it.

Hahahaha wow that side of you sounds so enticing

As the ROCK would say; "Do you smell what the donkeyponk is cooking!"

Great tip of pre-soaking the beans... not only do they digest better but they cook quicker.

Also liked your tip about adding the veggies later after cooking the beans first, SURE DOES taste better.

Thanks.

Have you ever tried using a slow cooker (like a Crockpot) for this sort of thing? It means you don't have a hot stove to stand next to, and you can dump it in and run (stirring occasionally if you need to...).

The recipe would need to be adjusted, normally you need much much less liquid, as it all come out of the veggies and meat and stays in the cooker.

That's good idea. I do have one, but I like to tinker while it's cooking.

I enjoyed your intro with the three Chili's. I do enjoy a good bowl of chili. I sincerely appreciate you sharing.

Wow really it's looking testy, delicious and yummy! Beans are my favourite and sure will be a good try this recipe. Your post is all time knowledgeable and learn something new ,today is not exception this, very healthy and good tips learned from you today, thank you sir, thanks for a good post.

you have great cooking experience !!!
Nice chili trees

Quite similar dish my mom used to cook for me and obviously we have own cultural name for that dish. I never knew it before this cooking blog that the dish I have been eating for so long is commonly known as Chili.

one thing is more important to mention that you cooking skills are really impressive and i am pretty sure this Chili dish must be very much yummilious.

Superb Effort and big thanks for sharing it with us.

PS: I am going to show this blog to my Mom ;)

Thanks for sharing your experience!
I'm Italian and here we call "cannellini" the "italian butter beans"... it's curious to me, LOL! 🙌😘

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Wao. It must be delicious meal as it looks. Chili peppers contain numerous health benefiting compounds such as capsaicin, vitamin-C, vitamin-A, and flavonoid antioxidants. But I see you're definitely cooking the beans with tomato and the rest spice? Wow

Great experience you have shared. Nice to see your chili trees. I'm only used to the darkened pod and we cook it without a spice and prepare a stew of onions, tomato, table oil and spices. I tealy like chili dishes. And soup look hot and spicy.

I am happy to know your tree chili's . Very nice sharing friend. I highly appreciate you....

Hello, I am a lover of the frojoles, I have never prepared them in that way, in your publication the recipe is quite funny and the images are very good and motivate to prepare this dish so showy. Congratulations!

I tealy like when you come with cooking chili is very good for health. Tomatos also has great for your diet. I like mostly spicy food. And soup is looking hot and spicy. You have shared great cooking

hmmm yummy.The aroma got to me down here in Africa.Thanks for this amazing post.Looking forward to more.

The amount of gas released in the atmosphere after all those beans and fiber will be epic :)

Looks great @donkeypong. And you're right, for me the most important spices are the peppers and salt. Get that right and you are good to go

Whoa! This looks yummy, I never imagined sir @donkeypong can cook, you deserve all the accolades and I would love to have a taste. Beans is my favorite, I think any graduate from Uniben would love beans,famous hall 4 hostel, you can perceive the smell of beans right from the hallway, usually burnt, lol. Great job sir.

I've heard of the word chile which represents a country but I've not come across chilly and chili.
Now it's a great pleasure learning and acquiring knowledge from you @donkeypong. Looking forward to your next post.

Trust me, am not familiar with this type of food, and chilli? I don't just like peppery things or food. I also know that India is the home of spices and they have lots of chilli in there food.

The food looks great but no, I'll pass.

I also grow chilli last year on the farm and it sells well, crop rotation thing, I have plant since then. But if I have demand, maybe I'll set my drip tape out for it cos it demands soil nutrient a lot, and am an organic farmer.

Delicious 😃

Dish from beans and plenty of nutrients. I like the feeling of chewing beans in my mouth and I have to go to the kitchen right now. Thank you for this article!

Oh wao foods looks so yummy and tasty,chili tress looks so great,Mix the tomatos,onion,chili,and wonderful dish is ready,very good experience,I like to much chili in the foods,this soup looks so tasty and delicious,I want to eat this yummy soup,very good work,thanks for sharing this great post,

I'm really not getting it, foes beans look quite too big. Over here, our beans are quite small and tinny but that's not a big deal. From your above expression, I would really love to taste the chili beans. I guess it would be more delicious from ours.

Delicious. In my country we are not used to pour tomatoes, nor succini and spicy species.

And we are used to eat arepas with this beans and some striped "llanero cheese"... Hooly... delicious!.

Hi, I am new to your post but surprised to see your creativity. This is an amazingith article relevant photos. The food looks too tasty. I am waiting to take it.

This looks too healthy for my taste, instead of the beans I’ll probably add steak and sizzle it on the grill after cooking/ marinating in that gravy/sauce.

Man doesn’t That look good? I think it would be good with some franks to eat with

waoh, nice piece. beans is a good recipe and contains proteins. the color is facinating

Ahh so you cook like my partner. He likes having cookbooks around or looking up recipes to get an idea of how things are done and then does hisown thing anyway XD

This may not have been a recipe but would probably give people who wanted to give something similar a go some good direction. Your chilli looks great!

Delicioso post!

How about jalapenos or banana peppers? Man I love chili. Chili hot dogs with spicy brown mustard and toasted bun. Goes well with a large glass of prune juice =D

Glad we still have men who cook their food and not just depend on the women in their lives or a restaurant.

Great cooking and I think the advice on your last paragraph should be taken serious

Don’t forget to leave a window open after you eat it.

Make sure there is enough water too.

Downing that chile, chilly, chili must've been like veni vidi vici after all the burping, maybe especially if you add more of these "cili"!

image source

You may have seen different spellings for the word "chile," such as "chili" and "chilli," and wondered if they are the same thing or all mean something different. This is a common question and has fueled many arguments over the subject. The difference may depend on what you are talking about

Looks Good! Happy Friday.

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I loved the title it is damn attractive, moreover this dish looks delicious, keep flourishing!

Looks delicious and healthy
Lot of protein
Good for kids and everyone

Gees I love the way you write. It’s proper entertaining the way storytelling should be. I was so hungry after reading. Such a nice read and thanks for the recipe wish I could try it but it’s super hot in the Philippines where I live,m.
Looking forward to reading more from you. Totally following.

Have a great day:)

I've never made a vegetarian chili, but this looks delicious !

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Great! Looks so yummy!!

I'm a sucker for semantics, so you had me with the title. Granted, the post didn't really follow the title, but I like Chile, and chili, and don't mind chilly if I have a good coat, so it was all good.

Chili is nice in that you can hide whatever you want in there and most people won't notice. Like in your situation, you had lots of veggies, but it can be difficult to get the kids to eat them. Hide them all in chili and they'll eat it all.

I'd rather have a recipe to work off of, but you must be a pro if you can do it without. It sounds delicious and given that your kids "slurped it up" I'd say you had a winner.