What to Eat This Week: Dark chocolate adds kick to chili

One more month of winter: it’s clearly time for a rich, hearty pot of chili to warm you after skating, skiing into a cabin in Gatineau Park, or an evening of Olympic watching.

This wonderful recipe comes from Erica Gilmour, the woman who makes Hummingbird chocolate bars, starting with the beans, in an Almonte atelier. She says her favourite way to use their chocolate in cooking is not in something sweet, but in this savoury chili, made rich and dark with the addition of a bit of a bar made from cacao beans from Bolivia, which adds classic dark-chocolate notes of molasses and single-malt Scotch.

You can find Hummingbird chocolate bars at about 20 shops in the Ottawa area — see Hummingbirdchocolate.com for a complete list.

Hummingbird Chocolate Chili
Makes: 8 to 10 servings
Preparation time: about an hour

■ 1.5 lb (680 g) ground beef
■ 1 onion, chopped
■ 1 green pepper, chopped
■ 2 cloves garlic, minced
■ 3 tbsp (50 mL) chili powder (adjust to taste)
■ Dash cayenne pepper
■ 1 tsp (5 mL) cinnamon
■ 1 can (796 mL) diced tomatoes
■ 3 3/4 cups (900 mL) beef broth
■ 1 can (156 mL) tomato paste, plus one tomato paste can water
■ 2 cans (540 mL each) red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
■ 1 can (540 mL) black beans, drained and rinsed
■ 6 squares Hummingbird Chocolate Bolivia bar
■ 1½ cups (375 mL) cooked corn
■ Salt to taste

1. Brown beef in heavy pot. Drain fat as needed.
2. When almost brown, add onion, green pepper, garlic, chili powder, cayenne and cinnamon. Sauté for about 4 minutes.
3. Add diced tomatoes, beef broth, tomato paste, water and beans. Simmer on low heat for about 30 minutes.
4. Add four to six squares of Hummingbird Bolivia chocolate to taste (extra squares are for the cook), stirring well until chocolate has melted. Add more chili powder, cayenne, cinnamon and salt if desired.
5. Simmer about 20 minutes more. Add corn at end and heat for five minutes. Serve with warm corn bread and a dollop of sour cream if desired.

Find step-by-step photos for making this recipe, plus my favourite recipe for cornbread, at ottawacitizen.com/ottawadish.

 

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