It took every ounce of will not to choose a sweet recipe, but I’m desserted-out from the holidays (polygraph arm just jumped), so it wasn’t too hard to choose the chili con chocolate recipe.
As I somewhat followed the recipe (see notes below), and tasted the chili during the hour-long simmer before the chocolate is added, I thought, “This chili is nothing special.” Once the chocolate was added, though, the chili transformed into something darker and richer, but still a hearty tomato-based chili that will please traditionalists.
Time wasn’t on my side, so I used canned beans. Tempeh replaced beef, and ancho chili replaced red chili. Dill didn’t make it into the pot.
Chili con Chocolate
Adapted from The Great Book of Chocolate by David Lebovitz
2 1-pound cans kidney and/or pinto beans, rinsed and drained
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 onions, diced
1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
1 tablespoon salt
8 ounces tempeh, crumbled
1 to 2 teaspoons cayenne
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1 ½ tablespoons ground cumin
1 dried ancho chili, reconstituted and diced
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
4 cups water
3 ounces Ibarra Mexican sweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped (if can't find, use chocolate and a dash of cinnamon)
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
- Heat oil in a large pot. Add onions, bell pepper, garlic, jalapenos, and salt, and cook for 10 minutes over medium heat.
- Add tempeh, cayenne, oregano, cocoa, cumin, black pepper, and ancho chili, and cook for a few minutes to release flavors.
- Add the crushed tomatoes, beans, and water, and simmer for 1 hour uncovered, or until thick. Stir in the chocolate and vinegar.