Chocolate, Coffee, and Beer Chili – Farmers Market Style

11 10 2009
Chocolate, Coffee, Beer Chili

Chocolate, Coffee, Beer Chili

1 coworker, 1 internet search, and 1 farmers market made this chili happen! It’s that time of the year when hearty soups and stew start to creep into my cravings. My coworker spoke about chili last weeke and mentioned that once he made a chili with chocolate, coffee, and beer in it that was amazing. Well that was that and I wanted to make chili.  I originally thought I would make it without the farmers market at all last week but by today I still hadn’t made it so I took a second look and was pleasantly surprised to find that most of what I needed I thought I could get at the farmers market.  For me chili was always made with things from cans and I loved it. But today I realized that mostly it was the tomatoes and beans that came from cans. Both things I can get at the farmers market fresh so why not!

I had found this recipe on the internet that I was hoping to use and based me recipe off of it.  My shopping list didn’t veer from it too much as I made my laps around the market.  I was happy that I did find my fresh shelled beans at Alms Hill today.  The beans aren’t dried but they are shelled which seemed like a nice compromise today in the realm of how much energy I wanted to put into getting approximately 4 cans of beans from shells.

Fresh shelled black and cannellini beans from Alms Hill Farm

Fresh shelled black and cannellini beans from Alms Hill Farm

When I asked the woman at the stand how much I need to approximate 4 cans she  “>recomened 2 containers worth which confirmed what I was thinking so I got 1 of each: black beans and cannellini beans.  Ironically, cannellini turns out to be another name for white Italian kidney beans, which are closer to the kidney beans that the recipe calls for than I expected them to be. Anyway,  the women asked what I was doing with them so I told her chili and she offered some second/slighty bruised heirloom tomatoes at $2/lb to me.  A good deal for heirlooms! She didn’t have a ton right then so I told her we would make a lap and see what she had then. It took us 45 minutes to come around again but it was worth it! I bought twice as many second tomatoes as I needed but I also go a Cherry Bomb chili pepper and 2 jalapenos as well.  (This was also the stand that had hazelnuts as well which you will see later).  I picked up an onion and a loaf of bread and we were in business. We stopped at the grocery store on the way home to get the ground beef and sirloin steak.

I had intended to put my exact recipe on here because I was altering the original a bit but it turns out that I didn’t. I only used 1 onion, instead of 2, and omitted the cayenne pepper due to my stomach’s dislike of spicy.  I had actually reduced the chili powder at first too just to be on the safe side but as it cooked I thought something was missing. It was the chili powder. So I put all it called for in and low and behold it tasted like chili! But I suppose we should talk about the headlining ingredients just a bit.

Making the secret sauce (stout beer, strong coffee, and cocoa powder)

Making the secret sauce (stout beer, strong coffee, and cocoa powder)

Yes that is a bottle of stout going into the chili. In fact a stout we knew nothing about but liked the name and label, something to do with Rasputin but as it turned out one of our beer drinking friends told us it was good beer. So we still used it.  And yes that is a cup of strongly brewed coffee going into the chili. And last but not least that is high quality cocoa powder being dropped into the chili. It really happened. And it really tasted like chili.

All in all at the end of 5.5 hours it tasted like chili. The spice level was just right for me where my nose was starting to run but eating it with a piece of bread was perfectly fine but alone I could taste a bit of heat.  The sous chef gave it her highest compliments as well! The real test will be in the left overs tomorrow.  I cooked so much today that by the time dinner came along I had snacked and so I ate very little of dinner proper, saving room for desert which was also just as excellent.

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