December 1, 2010

RIP Crock Pot

Last night I discovered that the lid to my beloved crock pot had broken.  It's ugly and old, brown and mustard yellow, but I loved that thing.  My mom gave it to me, after using it for years and years.  You see, it was given to her when she got married, in 1979.  It even had an insert so you could make crock pot bread! My mom used to make a loaf for my dad when he went on camping trips.  I grew up peeking through the glass lid to her unbelievably good corn bread stuffing at Thanksgiving.  And it has served me well the years that I used it.  Yesterday, I had planned on making a slow cook chili, but obviously had to change it to a not so slow cooked, on the stove rendition.  If you're using a crock pot, you can basically throw all the ingredients in and leave it.  Every time I make this chili it's a little different, but it is definitely my favorite! Feel free to change amounts/add things/omit things.  You really can't go wrong with this one. It would be delicious with left over turkey, or chicken!

Non Crock Pot White Bean Chili

Olive oil
Garlic! as much as you want.  I used 3 cloves
1 large onion, chopped
2 green peppers, chopped
White beans: I used 1 can of Cannellni, 1 can of Great Northern, 1 can of Navy and a cup of dried lentils
1 bag of sweet white corn
4 cups Veggie broth (I use Rapunzel Vegan Bouillon Cubes and water)
Cumin, to taste
Cayenne pepper, if you wish
S&P, to taste
Fresh Cilantro

In the large pot, sauté (side note, did you know sauté is French for "jump"? Make those veggies jump in the pan!) on medium heat the onions and add the green peppers with the Olive Oil until they start to soften.  Don't overdo it or your peppers will get mushy by the end.  When they are about ready, add the garlic, either chopped or squished through a garlic press.  You never want to add the garlic at the beginning, since it burns easily.  It only needs about 30 seconds in the pan.
Rinse the beans and add to the pot along with broth, add extra water if needed to cover the ingredients.  Lower the temperature to low, and cover the pot.  Be careful not to let the soup get to a rolling boil or you will risk breaking the bean skins and that can create a slimy texture.  Near the end, add the spices, salt and pepper (there is a lot of information out there about when to add salt and or acids to beans.  I'm privy to waiting until the end to add spices for canned beans.  Dry beans are a whole different beast) and the corn.  Let simmer for a few minutes longer.  Dish out, and top with, what else, fresh cilantro!

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