Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Vegetarian Chili

The power went out the other night.

I wasn’t home. The girls were.

 I’m not talking about the Armageddon we went through last month, no this was a “scheduled outage” meaning I suppose the power company was doing some work which required them to shut down half a county.  Oh, by the way, Mr. PC ( power company), next time you are doing this “scheduled outage”, can you throw this brother a bone or a text message or something because I didn’t need that 30 minutes in my life.  I’m referring of course to my drive home in which the panic streaming through my blue tooth would have been less if my neighbor showed up at the side door wearing a hockey mask and holding an ice ax.

While I’m talking about PO’s (power outages), here are some helpful tips for all you men of the house in case you experience an extended PO.

Step 1:  Call your power company and report the outage. If you have any juice on your phone of Ipad, you might do this online.  If this is just a “scheduled outage”, then go for a 30 minute run, regardless of the time of day.  If this is not a “scheduled outage”, then proceed to step 2.

Step 2: Pack every female residing in the house over the age of 16 in the car, hand them your credit card, and send them to the swankiest hotel outside a sixty mile radius.  Set them up with the works, facials, mani-pedi’s, rock treatment, cucumber masks, whatever.  Don’t even fret about the tab, trust me, it’s WORTH it!

This makes me think of our 5 day always dark brouhaha last month.  I, ladies and gentlemen, failed to adhere to step 2 listed above, and I, ladies and gentlemen, paid dearly for it. And since this blog seems to feature lists, the following are my top ten questions I will not have to here next time we have an extended PO.

10    When is the power coming on?
9      When do you think the power is coming on?
8      What do you mean you don't know when the power is coming on?
7      Did you call the power company?
6      What did they say?
5      Can't you just get the tree off the line?
4      Why not (meaning, at this point, I don't care if you get electrocuted) ?
3      Why don't we have a wood stove
2      Why don't we have a generator?
1      Why on earth did I marry a fool who has no wood stove or generator?

Nope, because I will be alone.  And when you are alone and the temperature in the house dips below 40, it’s time to make some Vegetarian Chili. Why vegetarian? Because 1)the meat in the fridge is rotten, and 2) (more list) I’ve developed this recipe over the past couple of years seeing how there always seems to be at least one vegetarian under my roof.

2 red bell peppers
2 Anaheim Pepper
2 Green Peppers
1 large sweet onion
1 T garlic, pasted
4T cumin
3T Chili powder
2 cans Diced Tomatoes
2 cans Black Beans
1 can Chick peas
1 dark beer
1 habanero
½ cup chopped cilantro
3 T cocoa

First, chop your onion and paste the garlic. Then turn on all you burners.  Why? Because 1) it’s cold, and 2) you will need them for this tricky cooking technique I’m about share.  We are roasting all the peppers and charring the Sweet potatoes.   The scene on your stove top should look like this.

For God’s sake, do not char the habanero, or you, too, will soon be vacating the house.  Seriously, whenever I handle those things I picture myself in the image of Jeremy Renner in the Hurt Locker.  I don’t know which is scarier, a couple tons of TNT in the back of 87 Tercel or a handful of Habaneros.  

Continue turning the peppers until the outside is nice and black, and char the sweet potatoes on both sides. It should look like this. Perfect.

Now, put the peppers in a bowl and cover.

This helps loosen the skin.  Dice the charred sweet potatoes.  Scrape the roasted skin away from the pepper pulp. Do this for all of them.  Dice the peppers.

We’re all set.  Sweat the onions and garlic until they are soft.  Cut the habanero in half, then slowly back away (like Jeremy would). Add the peppers and beer, allow the liquid to reduce some.  Then add the rest of the ingredients except the cilantro and cocoa.  Simmer for 30 minutes.

Just before serving, add a little of the chili to the cocoa. This allows the cocoa to mix better. Then add that back to the batch of chili.  Chop the cilantro and add to the chile.
It should look like this.

Serve with rice, chips, salsa, guacamole, sour cream, you name it.  And remember, don't forget Step 2.

1 comment:

  1. Tim, your writing is inspired and hilarious. Loving your blog!