For better or worse, here I am—trapped in paradise. As long as I continue to live in this vital, inimitable spot on the globe,

I will continue to seek out the unique…the delicious…the innovative products, services and traditions of San Luis Obispo County.

Stay posted for a few of my favorite things.

About Me...

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A wanderlust at heart... captivated by the California Central Coast. Join me on my culinary and vino-infused adventures as I explore and discover the regional novelties of San Luis Obispo County that make living here...easy to stay...and hard to leave.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

SLO Seasons

I'm full of seasonal habits. And I like to eat that way, too. As the days grow shorter and the Saturday morning San Luis Obispo farmer's market vendors continue to offer up oddish-shaped squash...varietals of striking orange persimmons...crisp freshly-picked apples and other customary fall indulgences—autumn lingers in the air. During this cooler time of year I realize how much I crave warm, spicy combinations of SLO veggies, simmered slowly with whatever appealing and unique concoctions I conjur up.

Today's weather, with its sunny overtones and chilly nuances, felt like chili and beer. The following experimental recipe, consisting of beans, vegetables and a balanced mixture of slightly exotic spices, resulted in the perfect seasonal dish on a cool fall day. I look forward to further enchanting fall and winter creations, influenced by the weather and seasonal produce. Enjoy a bowl of my following SLO fusion with friends and family, served with your favorite beer.

SLO Vegan* Chili

1 - 15 ounce can black beans
1 - 15 ounce can chili beans in sauce (or use Ranch Style beans)
1 - 28 ounce can crushed tomotoes
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil (or extra virgin olive oil)
1/2 bottle of your favorite beer
1 large onion
2 shallots
5 cloves garlic
1 large red bell pepper
1 medium-sized halapeno
1/2 teaspoon cinammon
3/4 teaspoon cumin (I bought SLOCAL: The Spice Hunter)
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon sweet paprika (The Spice Hunter)
1 tablespoon chili powder
Red pepper flakes to taste
Salt & pepper to taste

*Vegan = no animal products

I had every intention of making this chili with ground beef, but life doesn't always work out the way we plan. Feel free to brown 1/2 pound lean ground beef with the veggies for extra flavor and protein.

Chop veggies. Heat a large pot with oil over medium heat, add vegetables and stir with salt & pepper and all spices. Open a bottle of beer and sip frequently. Sweat veggies for about 15 - 20 minutes. Your kitchen should be fragrant by now, your bottle of beer half gone. Add remaining beer to veggies, stirring frequently to remove the cooked, tasty bits of spices adhering to the bottom of the pan. Meanwhile, open cans of beans and crushed tomoatoes. Dump into veggie and spice mixture. Stir, cover with lid, and simmer for as long as possible to let flavors meld—at least 2 hours if possible.

Serves 2 - 4. Consider serving cornbread on the side. And don't forget your favorite beer.

All Text and Photos Copyright © 2009 by Elizabeth in SLO. All Rights Reserved.

1 comment:

Fresh Local and Best said...

This chili looks so hearty and comforting! I'm glad to see you use beer, it adds a nice nuance and weight to the sauce!

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