Recipes

Smoky white-bean chili recipe: Day 18

Nothing warms me up inside like a nice, steaming bowl of chili on a cold winter day. Or on a rainy B.C. afternoon where I'm staying with relatives and have offered to cook dinner for six adults and five little ones, ages 5 years and under. I doubled the recipe and set to work. But would the chipotle chilies be too much for the toddlers’ tiny taste buds?

Michael Graydon

Nothing warms me up inside like a nice, steaming bowl of chili on a cold winter day. Or on a rainy B.C. afternoon where I’m staying with relatives and have offered to cook dinner for six adults and five little ones, ages 5 years and under. I doubled the recipe and set to work. But would the chipotle chilies be too much for the toddlers’ tiny taste buds?

This recipe was extremely easy to make. While the meat was browning in the large pot, I prepped the rest of the ingredients. The recipe is so simple, in fact, that you can easily continue on a conversation with your sister-in-law while the kids and the husbands make noise just outside the kitchen. It takes only 15 minutes to prep the ingredients and 30 minutes of cooking time, but I simmered it on low for almost an hour until everyone had arrived and was ready to eat. This would be a great dish to throw into a crock pot and bring over to a potluck, fundraiser, or any event where a one-pot meal is needed.

I have to warn you that this chili has some kick to it. My sister-in-law called it a ‘three-alarm chili’ while her husband—one of those hot sauce aficionados who prides himself on his plentiful hot sauce collection—did not add a single sauce to his generous helpings. My husband and I ate it with dollops of yogurt, while the other adults added sour cream and grated cheddar cheese. All the adults really enjoyed the chili, but our toddler was the only one in the ‘under age 5′ group set to eat it—mixed with large dollops of yogurt. But he has always eaten spicy foods, just slightly milder versions of his parents’ meals. My sister-in-law had the good foresight to prepare an alternate menu for the young ones so no one went hungry.

I would suggest the following: If your dinner guests like spicy food then you will definitely impress them by making this chili. If you are having my mother and/or mother-in-law over for dinner, then use less chipotle chilies and supply them with yogurt and sour cream to lessen the kick. Then enjoy!