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A Favorite Cold Day Meal: Chili With Coffee

November 28, 2011

It has been uncommonly mild for November here and it’s been really really lovely. I especially appreciate it when I take Halo for his morning walks and I don’t have to brace myself against the cold but can instead relax and just enjoy the walk. Still, there is a part of me that can’t wait for snow and having to bundle up! (Kinda weird, but true.)

I love making a big pot of chili when the weather gets colder. There is one recipe that I use most often, it’s super flavorful and I love that there is coffee in it which adds intriguing flavor notes.

I got a mix of baby bell peppers at the grocery store and used those instead of big peppers. It all starts off with lots of chopping. Chopping veggies can be a bit boring but I find it the perfect way to clear my mind and it can be quite calming when you get into a groove! Just put on some good tunes and chop away. Pause to dance in your kitchen when a good song comes along. Then get right back to chopping – this chili isn’t gonna make itself!

Chop up two bell peppers or the equivalent of two big ones if you use tiny ones (although I like to use more).

Also chop up an onion, 3 garlic cloves and a hot pepper (my recipe specifies jalapeno, but here I used fresh cayenne peppers from my garden).

Put 1 1/2 pound of meat (I used beef, but you can also do a beef/pork mix) in a pot and prod and push around until it browns, about 5 minutes. Then add the chopped veggies and keep stirring until they soften and start to smell delicious.

Add spices: 1/4 cup chili powder, 1 tbsp dried oregano, 1 tbsp ground cumin, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp cayenne and 2 bay leaves. So much yummy flavor! I love the colors too. Bonus: This is where it starts to smell ah-ma-zing!

Add two cans of diced tomatoes.

Now for the secret ingredient: Strong coffee, about 1 1/2 cup of it. Also add 2 tbsp cider vinegar. I don’t always add the vinegar because for some reason I often forget and it still tastes great without it, but it does add a nice tangy note.

Cook for about 1 hour. Then add a tin of kidney beans. (Or whatever beans you like, chili is nothing if not forgiving. Here, I used black beans because that’s what I had, I do prefer kidney beans though.)

Cook until the beans are heated through (about 20 minutes). And there you have your big pot of chili that will warm you bones and put a spring in your step! (The latter due to the caffeine.)

And here’s the short version:

Coffee Chili

From the Toronto Star, which was an adapted recipe from Van Houtte Cafe recipe.

1tbsp oil
1 1/2 lean ground beef
1 onion
1 each: red bell pepper + green bell pepper, seeded + chopped
1 large jalapeno pepper, seeded, minced
3 large cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup chili powder
1 tbsp each: dried oregano, ground cumin
1 tsp salt (or more/less to taste)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cayenne
2 bay leaves
2 28 oz (795 ml) cans diced plum tomatoes
1 1/2 cups dark roast coffee
2 tbsp cider vinegar
19 oz (540 ml) can kidney beans, drained + rinsed

Optional toppings: Chopped cilantro, shredded cheddar, sour cream, chopped avocado, hot sauce

Preparation:

Heat oil in large wide pan over medium heat until shimmering. Add beef and pork. Cook, stirring occasionally to break up, until meat starts to brown, about 5 minutes.

Stir in onion, peppers, garlic, chili powder, oregano, cumin, 1 tsp salt, cinnamon, cayenne and bay leaves. Cook stirring frequently, until vegetables soften, about 5 minutes.

Stir in tomatoes and their juices, coffee and vinegar. Increase heat to medium/high and medium-low and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, about 1 hour.

Stir in beans, cook 30 minutes. Remove from heat. Discard bay leaves. Adjust salt. Serve with toppings if you like.

Makes about 10 cups.

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. November 29, 2011 2:27 pm

    Jadyn, I am going to try this….although, 1/4 cup chili powder sounds like a lot?

    • November 30, 2011 12:19 am

      I double-checked the recipe to make sure and it’s definitely 1/4 cup. It does sound like a lot but I promise it doesn’t taste overly spicy! Just make sure it’s mild chili powder so it just adds flavor and no heat. :)

  2. November 29, 2011 4:45 pm

    That looks so yummy! I love warm food on cold days.

  3. November 29, 2011 9:09 pm

    Chili is always the first thing I crave when the temperatures drop. This looks super delicious!

  4. November 30, 2011 7:32 pm

    wow! coffee?!? I would have never thought! I use red wine as my “secret ingredient” and I love it! chili is so yummy!
    hope all is well and wishing you a wonderful December! xox

  5. December 1, 2011 2:23 am

    This is what I am going to cook for tonight, I was short of ideas, thanks a lot!

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