My friends know that I am not a fan of spicy food. I am that annoying girl who asks if dishes are spicy at restaurants and then requests an alteration to reduce and eliminate the heat. I feel like a 5 year old picky eater when I do this so have resolved to learn how to eat spicy food.
It's really the heat that overwhelms me and seems to overpower all of the other flavors of the dish. But overtime I've slowly built up my spicy food tolerance and now I can proudly eat at a medium spicy level. My friend Yvette would be very impressed.
One of my new favorite things to eat is a hearty chili during the Winter. I like using pork instead of beef and swap out red beans for white cannelini beans. This is my first chili recipe that I am sure I will continue to tweak over time.
I try to always use organic meat so I was thrilled to find that Fresh Direct carries a great selection of it. Everything else is organic when possible but I was most concerned about the pork being organic.
Here's what you'll need. The measurements are my best approximation but you can adjust to suit your own preferences and tastes.
1.5 pounds of organic ground pork
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 diced red onion
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon of cocoa powder
1 cup of freshly brewed coffee
3 cups of organic chicken stock
2 poblano chilis, diced and seeds removed
1 can of diced tomatoes, 14 ounces
2 tablespoons of olive oil
salt and pepper
2 cans of white cannelini beans, 14 ounces each
2 tablespoons of tomato paste
1 tablespoon of chili powder
Start by sautéing the onion and garlic in olive oil over medium heat in a large Dutch oven. Make sure the pot is already nice and warmed up before adding the olive oil. Once the oil is hot (but not smoking), then add the garlic and onion. Cook until translucent and softened, season with salt and pepper.
Add the ground pork in batches, being careful not to over crowd. If you add all of the pork at once, then the meat won't brown properly and it will instead boil. Not good. Season with a little more salt and pepper.
Once the last of the pork is nice and browned, add the poblano chilis and cook down. Cook for another 2 minutes and then add the remaining ingredients. Stir thoroughly and bring to a boil. Lower the chili to a simmer and cook uncovered for 45 minutes, stirring every 5-8 minutes.
Make sure to taste the chili along the way so you know that you're liking the flavor and level of spice. The flavors will become intense as the chili cooks.
Once the chili is finished it should have a thick, stew-like consistency. Ladle into bowls and serve with tortilla chips. I like to use a dollop of Greek yogurt instead of sour cream and some diced avocado when I have it on hand. The chili freezes well so if you have leftovers, separate into individual containers and store in the freezer for up to 3 months.