Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Summer-into-Fall Vegetable Chili

I came down with a nasty cold this weekend, to go with the decidedly fall-like weather, so it seemed like time to make a Giant Pot of Chili.

I like this chili because it takes lots and lots of whatever vegetables you have. (Maybe you're noticing a theme here?) Ours struck a nice-but-unplanned balance between late-summery farm share ingredients (fresh corn, tomatoes, bell peppers, and celery from the CSA, as well as zucchini) and those more evocative of fall (butternut squash, carrots, onions).

The best chili is obviously the kind your mom makes, so I'm not going to tell you how to make it, except to say that I think a more-vegetables version is worth trying. (Our recipe is loosely based on Emeril's.) If you have strong feelings about what ingredients are allowed in a proper chili, you're welcome to call this vegetable stew. Or a ragout, if the queen's coming to dinner.

Because of a purchasing error, we didn't actually have any chili powder. (Note to self: giant bag labeled "chili powder" at the Indian market is pure powdered chiles -- something like our cayenne pepper -- not a great deal on the much milder American chili powder). I subcontracted the seasoning to Jack, who claims to have learned to cook by making chili, so all I can tell you is that authentic Farm Share Stories Chili features some combination of the ingredients pictured above (l-r: garlic powder, cocoa, pepper, Worcestershire sauce, apple cider, cayenne, garlic oil, cumin, liquid smoke, salt).

P.S. There is definitely leftover chili for today's food blogger potluck! Still time to RSVP!

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