Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Broccoli-Cranberry Salad

I scavenged what is probably the last of the broccoli from the garden today and, with nothing else presenting itself for dinner, decided to make a meal of it. I thought about how to make it filling enough by adding some protein. Then I remembered a cookbook that an old roommate and dear friend had from the grand old department store Marshall Fields. This dear friend grew up in Detroit and I think she had a soft spot in her heart for this cookbook that featured recipes from the cafe in this venerable, Midwestern institution. I got the idea that going to Marshall Fields for lunch was akin to having tea at the Plaza, in a more jello-molded, mayonnaise-laden, wholly Midwestern kind of way. So she made this salad from a recipe within that book. I have to say, at first it sounded awful. Broccoli with mayonnaise? But then I tasted it and it became a little bit of an addiction for awhile. To make this more agreeable to you, perhaps think of this as a sort of coleslaw, but with broccoli instead of cabbage. The bright green broccoli studded with deep, garnet-colored dried cranberries is very pretty to boot. Sadly, I no longer live with aforementioned, dear Midwestern friend, so I can't run to the bookshelf for the exact recipe. This is my approximation.

Marshall Fields Broccoli-Cranberry Salad

1 head of broccoli
2-3 T. mayonnaise-I use Hellman's Light but whatever you've got
Splash of cider vinegar
2 T. sugar
Handful of dried cranberries
Handful of sunflower seeds

Steam the broccoli for a few minutes. Don't overcook because then you will lose that verdant green. Of course, you should never overcook broccoli but I thought I should really stress it here because brownish broccoli served cold in a salad sounds dreadful. Drain and let it cool.
While cooling, mix the mayonnaise, vinegar and sugar together. Add more mayo if you like it very creamy or more vinegar for a bite. Stir in the broccoli. I like to put it in a container with a lid so I can shake it and distribute the dressing evenly. Top with cranberries and sunflower seeds.

Note: I think the original recipe called for grapes instead of cranberries. I favor it this way but I'm sure grapes, raisins or other dried fruit would also be good.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Sunday Dinner

My mother, like most of my family, is an excellent cook. Lucky for us, so is her boyfriend. Every Sunday, he cooks her an elaborate meal, which I find quite endearing. I ocasionally receive an invitation to these lavish Sunday dinners. Greg really has no boundaries when it comes to food preparation. I'm always hearing about the new concoctions he whipped up with his smoker and his early morning treks to the Broadway Market for fresh bay scallops and the like.

Since N. was in town this weekend, Greg and my mamma invited us over to eat. I have to start by saying that I love biscuits. Maybe this is a by-product of living in the South or perhaps I have an affinity for all things light, airy and buttery. In any event, my mother got a recipe from Cook's Magazine, which I do not subscribe to but I won't be mad at you if you decide to get me a subscription for a present. I could go on and on about the glory of this magazine; it's so informative! But I will leave that research up to you. The point is, my mother found a recipe for the best biscuits I have ever had, although I have to give a close second to Miss Nettie, from Memphis, who makes biscuits and hot water cornbread to die for. I don't have the complete recipe yet but the technique that made these biscuits so delectable I can share. The melted butter is poured directly into cold buttermilk, whereby it immediately clumps up. This may look rather nasty, but the effect is that smalls globes of butter are suspended throughout the mixture, distributing their heavenly lightness and flavor. My mamma added snippets of fresh sage that just about put me over the edge.

So that was just the biscuits. The first course was a pureed soup of cauliflower and parsnips. Upon first taste, Greg pronounced that he would go to war for that soup. It was so seasonal, the taste of fall consummate. I love this time of year, when smooth, pureed soups of root vegetables really highlight local produce.

The main course was osso bucco, simmered in a spicy broth with carrots and turnips. I don't even like turnips but smothered in a rich, veal gravy, I cannot complain. The meat was tender to the bone. Sides included a risotto with chanterelle, shitake and oyster mushrooms and topped with TRUFFLE SHAVINGS! No wonder my mother loves this man. There was also swiss chard, sauteed with a bit of chipotle for a kick. I cleaned my plate and mopped it up with another biscuit. Oh my.

I should mention that Greg mixes a mean cosmopolitan, which I sipped on through the meal. After we finished eating, my mother whipped out this beautiful tea bud that she bought at the Elmwood Farmers Market. I'm kind of ignorant about tea so I can't say much except to describe how it looked. The long, slender green tea leaves were pulled together and knotted at the base, four wine-colored leaves extended up and the center was a raspberry burst of color. We watched it unfurl in the hot water while my mother snapped about a million pictures. I think the experience was better than the taste. It was nice, but very delicate. I prefer the more robust punch of coffee. But I would definitely buy this tea again, probably just to take a warm bath in and watch them bloom in the water around me.

Finally, gingerbread cake with lemon sauce. I could have happily lapped that lemon sauce up like a cat with a saucer of milk. That's not really polite so I was content to drown my cake in the moat of sauce. Greg and N. sipped some cognac, while bonding over manly fodder like baseball and the World Series. It was finally after 10 when we sleepily made our departure. My mom said she wanted to make the blog, so mamma, this one is for you two! That's one heck of a man you've got.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Cheese of the Week

Who doesn't love cheese? I love it all; smooth and creamy, sharp and pungent. All except taleggio. That smells and tastes like a dirty diaper. Anyway, the Tasty Tuesday All-Stars embarked on a discussion about vegetable ash and cheese last night that made me curious. And that made me remember my idea of making cheese at home, inspired by Barbara Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable, Miracle.

So, in that vein, I have decided to feature a new cheese every week. Of course, I will give my candid observations but more importantly, I will research and provide more thorough information on cheesemaking in general. It's one thing to savor cheese but quite another to actually understand the reason why vegetable ash is used in some cheeses or the chemical reaction between lactic acid, alcohol and carbon dioxide. As a cheese lover, I realize I am pretty uneducated in this field.

This week, I picked up Yancey's Fancy XXX-Sharp Cheddar. Yancey's makes artisanal cheese, not far from here in Corfu, New York. I can't wait to make a trip out there. My thoughts on the cheddar are mixed. I made a quesadilla last night and-I can't believe I'm saying this-it was too intensely cheesy. It overwhelmed all other elements of the quesadilla. However, it was sharp and pungent and quite nice on its own with a glass of wine. My verdict: Excellent for small bites, too much for anything else.

It's Apple Cider Season!

Continuing with the apparent rum theme this week, J. brought spiced rum to our weekly Tuesday gathering. Served with hot cider, this is a perfect fall cocktail!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Yo, Ho, Ho and a Bottle of Rum

I was honored to be invited back to dinner with AB and her family, this time at their marvellously redone old Victorian a few blocks from my house. When I arrived, AB was up to her elbows in a mountain of potatoes, onions and olive oil while P. was voraciously scrubbing clams over the sink. G. immediately made me a cocktail, with rum from mysterious Carribbean origins and ginger beer. The ginger beer left a lingering heat in my mouth, unlike the quick heat of the liquor, very nice.

We leisurely sipped our drinks and discussed the Seattle-ites visit to the Niagara Falls and the Frank Lloyd Wright house. As we sat down at the table, AB scooped out the roasted potatoes, onions, tomatoes and clams in a delightful garlicky broth. On to the main course; we had a pot roast that was inspired by the Tortuga Rum Fever and Caribbean Party Cookbook. Needless to say, it had tons of rum, allspice and so on. It was as succulent as a pot roast should be. Alongside the pot roast were roasted parsnips and carrots. (I should also tell you that the proprieter of one of my favorite Buffalo restaurants was there. To preserve confidentiality, I will keep the names a secret. Anyway, when I remarked how I love parsnips so, he told me that when he makes mashed parsnips, he cooks them right in the milk! Well, milk (3 parts) and some water (1 part) but I found this most appetizing.) Baked beans with some more of that fine rum, rainbow chard and these light biscuits with cheese, bacon and tomato were excellent additions to our table.

Finally, we get to my absolute favorite part. We had two desserts; a pumpkin pie with a ginger-pecan crumb topping and a lemon-confit shortbread tart. My heart palpitated. I think I got diabetes just looking at it. But I forged ahead and ate a piece of both, topped liberally with fresh whipped cream with, yes that's right, rum. I have come to adore lemon in desserts and this was no exception. It was the tartest lemon flavor I could imagaine; thin slices of lemon cooked down in sugar and encased in a sugar-dusted, almond-butter shortbread. The pumpkin pie was incredible and I savored bites of it between the wickedly sour tart.

Farewell 'til next year, AB, I will think fondly of you and look forward to your next visit!

Sunday, October 21, 2007


I hate the suburbs. I really, really do. I am spoiled too, since everything I want to do and all the people I want to see are located within the comfortable confines of my West Side neighborhood. Sometimes people will suggest a new restaurant and I'll ask where it is. On Niagara Falls Boulevard? Blecch. Out in the wilds of Williamsville? Even worse. However, I read recently that Mike Andrejewski, recently of the sadly defunct Tsunami, opened a sushi bar in Williamsville. My mouth watered but I wrote it off.

Moving right along in my story...My friend AB, originally from Buffalo but longtime resident of Seattle, descended upon Buffalo last night for her annual visit. She invited me out to dinner with her family and this is an event I always look forward too. Her pops and his wife have some incredible taste. Going out to eat with them is a treat; I get the inside scoop on the newest restaurants, I hear the gossip surrounding why the old ones closed, we enter through the back door, through the kitchen and have the owner comp our meals. Such is the life. God, I am really taking a long time to get to the point, forgive me. So they wanted to go to Seabar and I'm glad they decided to make the drive, not me.

We ordered a medley of dishes to share. I will dissect them one by one for you.

1. Best Spicy Tuna Roll: That's what is was called on the menu. It was not the best. It wasn't spicy, not even a little bit. And I think using rice crispies instead of little, fried tempura bits is just plain corny.

2. Spider Roll: I love a deep-fried soft-shell crab married to a luscious avocado. You can't go wrong here.

3. Beef on Weck Roll: Yup, you read me right. Only in Buffalo. For those non-Buffalonians, roast beef on a kimmelwick roll, with coarse salt, caraway seeds and horseradish is local legend. I quite liked this roll, but mostly for its quirkiness. I probably would only order this once, just to try it.

4. Miso Caramel Crab Roll: Wow. This was so unique and quite tasty. I'd elaborate but it disappeared before I could really get a handle on it.

5. Unagi BLT Hand Roll: Clearly, they are taking liberty with what is actually sushi. Actually, I would argue that their sushi wasn't all that, it was their "dishes" that really toed the line of excellence. I felt the same way about this as I did about Beef on Weck Roll.

6. Calamari, Seared Ahi Tuna and Chinese Black Beans Over Rice: This is where it gets really good. The tuna was stellar. The Seattle-ites proclaimed it the best tuna they had ever had. This is in contrast to the "best" spicy tuna roll, by which we were all so overwhelmingly underwhelmed. THIS was the best tuna.

7. Foie Gras with Mango and Smoky Eel Sauce: Keep in mind we had an extensive discussion about what they do to those poor ducks to produce this succulent treat. We ordered it anyway. Let me first state the only negative. The foie gras wasn't cooked as I'd like it. The sear on the outside wasn't up to par. That said, the sauce was amazing. I really could have eaten just the rice drizzled with that sauce. I want that recipe. It also was served with tiny cubes of mango, tossed in a bracing and acidic dressing, perfect to cut the rich foie gras. It was garnished with a sort of fried wonton of seaweed, which I loved.

8. Crunchy Avocado with Ahi Tuna and Chili Mousse: What is crunchy avocado, you ask? My best guess is mashed up avocado, shaped into a cake, dipped into tempura batter and fried. I don't know if it could be that simple, considering its greatness. Then there were glistening chunks of raw tuna, tossed with sesame seeds, arranged in a semi-circle around the avocado cake, topped with tobiko and surrounded by dots of wasabi sauce and a chili mousse. I normally have no patience for foams, mousses and the like but this was truly outstanding. I had no idea what is was when I tasted it and the sequence of flavors that rolled across my tongue upon tasting was surprising and very pleasant.

Again, I apologize for the lack of photos. I am currently embroiled in a bitter battle with Casio regarding my camera. It's shame I couldn't get some pictures of dinner last night because each piece was visually stunning. I suppose you will just have to go there if you want to see.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Spinach Tarts

(This picture is crap, I know, but it's the best I can do with my laptop.)

My grandmother turned 90 years old yesterday! In her honor, we are throwing a little gathering and my pops requested that I make something to nibble on. This recipe has been used many times by myself and other family members. It's so good and really easy. However, the name "spinach balls" has always turned me off a bit. Not to mention the fact that they don't actually look that pretty. So I decided to make them the filling in little phyllo cups, rendering a much more attractive product. And now I can call them spinach tarts, or spinach dainties, anything but the dreadful spinach balls.

2 10oz packages frozen spinach (defrost and squeeze out excess water)
1 c. minced onion
2 eggs
3/4 c. parmesean or romano cheese
3/4 c. melted butter
thyme, a couple teaspoons?
nutmeg-I grated half of a whole nutmeg for this recipe
salt and pepper
about 50 phyllo cups, this all depends on how much filling you put into each cup

You know how all my recipes start. Caramelize the onions. Mix all the other ingredients in a large bowl. Add caramelized onions. Spoon into small phyllo cups and bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes.

Notes: I have used fresh spinach in this recipe with negligible results. I would normally always opt for fresh over frozen but I promise, in this recipe, it really doesn't matter. Also, if yu want to make the spinach balls, sans phyllo cups, add 2 more eggs and 2 1/2 c. of stale, cubed bread (you can also use stuffing mix instead). Form into balls, about golf-ball size, and bake on an ungreased cookie sheet for about 30-40 minutes. People will gobble these up at your party and think they're being healthy because of the spinach. Don't tell them how much butter is in the recipe.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Green Tomato Chutney

If you know me, you know that I abhor wasting food. So even though I really did not like old Isa's vegan stew, I resigned myself to leftovers last night. I quickly made some couscous and added that to the reheated stew. I topped it with a liberal amount of green tomato chutney that I made last week and with that addition, I was able to choke down said, foul stew. I love green tomato chutney so I could probably eat a tire with some of that sour-sweet concoction slathered on top. Actually, I have been waiting all summer for this exact time; when I know that there will not be enough sun or warmth to ripen many more tomatoes and I can harvest the green ones for my chutney.

Green Tomato Chutney

5 lbs green tomatoes, diced or coarsely chopped
1 small onion, sliced thin
2 inches ginger root, peeled and minced
2 chili peppers, minced or crushed red pepper flakes
2 T. curry powder
1/3 c. cider vinegar
1/3 c. brown sugar
1/3 c. juice, something acidic like pineapple or orange
golden raisins

Heat olive oil in a pot, add onions and cook until translucent, about 15 minutes. Add ginger, chili peppers and curry powder, cook for 2-3 minutes.
Add the green tomatoes, vinegar, sugar and juice. Bring to just a boil and turn down to simmer for about 45 minutes. Stir in raisins when done.

Notes: Keep tasting throughout, I often add more sugar to temper the heat or thicken it slightly. It's pretty hard to mess this up unless you forget about it and let it burn so just keep adding and tasting. It's good on top of anything; with lentils, on top of fish, I will even eat it mixed with some yogurt and cucumbers.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

I write this post torn between a heavy heart and gleeful triumph. I have nothing against vegetarians, vegans, locavores, macrobioticians and so on. I like to eat well, eat healthy and support my community while not putting undue strain on our earth. However, I often find that people who have adopted such aforementioned diets do so with a sort of smugness that makes me want to write off tofu forever. Don’t get me wrong, I grew up eating tofu and brown rice, sprinkling nutritional yeast on my salad, composting my waste and the like. But I really just want to slap a ham hock upside the face of people who tell me that they don’t eat meat for health reasons as they puff their cigarette. This isn’t a rant against smokers, but don’t tell me that your body is a temple and it’s so pure blah bah…

Anyway, that’s the background to this next part. So, I ate a vegan cupcake on Friday. It had lovely, rose-colored frosting, with a flavor so subtle I couldn’t tell what it was. Raspberry? Two tiny almond slices perched atop the creamy (yes, creamy!) mauve cloud, making the cupcakes small little works of art. The cake part was moist and springy; cider vinegar, I hear, is used a lot in vegan baking to achieve those results without eggs. N. told me they were made by a friend who got the recipe from, oh, who is that edgy, punky vegan chef from Brooklyn? I wouldn’t pay much attention to something like that I had to look it up. It turns out she is one Isa Chandra Moskowitz.

Intrigued by her tasty cupcake recipe, I thought, this woman must be on to something. I found some more recipes of hers in the NY Times Archives. The Spicy Peanut Stew with Ginger and Tomatoes sounded marvelous and perfect for the veggie friends coming over the next night.
I’m going to level with you. I thought it was rotten. Really. I tasted it and couldn’t believe how bored I was. So, frantic to salvage it, I added coconut milk. With the peanut butter, perhaps this was overkill, but it lent a velvetiness to the broth which, at this point, was its only redeeming factor. I wouldn’t waste your shallots; why use them if you’re going to cover them up with peanut butter? Shallots deserve a more delicate treatment. Also, I would sub lime juice for lemon, it seems more appropriate here. Anyway, the veggie girls loved it so you can get the recipe through the link above.

I think the issue is that I have little tolerance for people who don't like this or that, I can't eat this, I'm allergic to that, it'll go straight to my thighs etc. Food is life and the more of it you can eat and enjoy, the happier you'll be. Sure, the vegan cupcakes were good and I even like that tofu fake cream cheese spread. But I also love the rich golden yolk of a fresh egg and fancy high-fat content butter and the delicate yet somehow assertive punch of thinly sliced proscuitto and smooth, mouth feel of triple cream cheese. I could keep on but you get my point......

Score one for the omnivores!

Abita Pecan Harvest

It finally feels like fall here, and even in Louisiana, so I'm told. With that in mind, I urge you to run to your local purveyor of fine brews and pick up a limited edition of Abita Pecan Harvest. If you don't know, Abita is my favorite microbrewery in Louisiana (OK, it's the only one but it's really good). I read in the weekly, artsy, New Orleans paper, the Gambit Weekly, that Abita was releasing this fall edition and lamented that I am 1,400 miles away. Imagine my delight when I discovered none other than Abita Pecan Harvest on the shelves at Premier! A. claims that it tastes just like their flagship beer, the amber, but I think it has a smoother finish and light nutty flavor. This would go fantastic with the double cream gouda that I sampled (several times) at the cheese counter.

Happy Birthday HLP!!!!!

Today is my HLP's (heterosexual life partner, that is) birthday and now that she's moved all the way to the ends of the earth, I cannot wish her a happy day in person. But Trikki, check out this cake I made for you. I will savor each and every piece.

Tomato Confit

Although tomato season is winding down, I would like to share the tomato preparation I most enjoyed this season. I got the idea from another of my favorite blogs, Buffalo Buffet. Confit is a French term for food that has been preserved, usually in its own fat. We are probably most familiar with traditional confit, such as duck or goose. Tomato "confit" may be a bit of a stretch since the fat used is olive oil but semantics aside, it's a delicious way to preserve tomatoes, making a rich, condensed, almost jam-like tomato spread.

Tomato Confit

5 lbs tomatoes
1/2 c. olive oil
8 cloves garlic, whole
fresh basil
salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Bring a pot of water to a boil. While you're waiting, wash the tomatoes and give the skins a nick of the knife, so the skins can be removed easily. Once the water has come to a boil, put half the tomatoes in the water for about a minutes. Remove and immediately plunge into an ice bath. Drain and peel off the skin. Repeat with the second half. (I did all the tomatoes the first time around and some of them got mushy by the time I was ready to remove the skins.)
Combine the tomatoes, oil, garlic and herbs in a shallow baking dish and bake for about 45 minutes. Stir frequently.

Notes: Cherry tomatoes look beautiful in this recipe but its a rather finicky process to remove the skins. I've done this with both cherry tomatoes and Roma tomatoes and yielded marvelous results. N. and I ate this for breakfast, spread on toast with scrambled eggs and crisped capicolla. I also tossed it with some pasta, fresh ricotta and pesto. I've seen other recipes like this that do not call for removing the skins, making this an easier process. You could skip that step but I think it's worth it.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

She Gets it From Her Auntie

OK, it probably has more to do with her mother and father, but I like to think I've contributed some to Lucy's overwhelmingly cute countenance.

Thai Coconut Ratatouille

I wrote this article for Buffalo Rising about a month ago, but hey, I've quickly become an addict of blogging so forgive me.

For the past month or so, I have been diligently working my way through my garden’s harvest. The first tomato of the season, sliced paper-thin on a bagel, was magical. I was equally enthralled when I grilled some of my zucchini and dressed it lightly with olive oil, vinegar and mint. But this has grown somewhat tedious.
I have made zucchini bread, eggplant parmigiana, zucchini-tomato quiche, zucchini-tomato quesadillas, green bean pate, caramelized green beans, zucchini-tomato pasta, baba ganouj, caponatina and so on and so on. I have also oven-dried several pounds of tomatoes. I have resorted to making green tomato chutney and tomato confit in quantities that beg for large-scale distribution. I have given my friends and co-workers extra produce, even those who I know have their own overflowing gardens.
After several weeks of eating meals composed of the same ingredients, I was yearning for something a little different. I pulled out my go-to cookbook for fresh ideas, Sheila Lukins' All Around the World Cookbook. To develop the book, the author visited 33 countries--on a food odyssey of sorts--and then created her own interpretations of international favorites such as coq au vin, pad Thai and Moroccan tagine. I found this recipe for Thai Coconut Ratatouille in the All Around the World Cookbook, and was finally rewarded with a much-needed respite from my very tired harvest menu.

Thai Coconut Ratatouille

12oz eggplant, 1/2" cubes
2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
4oz green beans, trimmed and sliced diagonally
8oz green cabbage, 1/2" strips
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
2 tbsp ginger, minced ∙ 2 tbsp garlic, minced
1 tbsp lemongrass, thinly sliced
1 tbsp cilantro stems, minced
1 cup tomatoes, coarsely chopped
2 cups banana, chopped
1 cup coconut milk
1/4 cup cilantro leaves, chopped
prepared rice

Sprinkle eggplant with salt and let stand for 15 minutes, pat dry.
Heat stock, add eggplant, cook 5 minutes. Add green beans, cabbage, onion, ginger, garlic, lemongrass and cilantro stems. Cook, covered, over medium heat for 10 minutes.
Stir in banana, tomatoes and coconut milk, simmer uncovered ten minutes longer. Remove from heat and add cilantro leaves. Serve with rice.

Notes: I didn't use cabbage or lemongrass and it was still good. I think the recipe also called for toasted coconut as a garnish but there seemed to be none of that laying around my pantry.

Good News Cafe

I went to New Haven this past weekend to celebrate N.'s birthday with him and we went to dinner with the parents at a little place called the Good News Cafe in Woodbury, CT. No, there was no proselytizing and I'm still not really sure what the name refers to but anyway....
Owner Carole Peck is sort of the East Coast version of Alice Waters and the restaurant features all that is local and organic and altogether lovely. A sturdy bread was brought to the table and along with it came PAPPADAMS!. I haven't had a pappadam since working at Stickers Cafe in Portland. Peck also owns an estate in Provence, which provided the very flavorful olive oil we dipped the bread in.
I know myself and I cannot finish my entree if I have an appetizer, so I refrained, even though the offerings were tempting. N. had a spinach salad with tamari-roasted sesame seeds, tofu and roasted fruit. It looked bangin', even the tofu.
I had the special, grilled swordfish with a cranberry-squash cake and pomegranate sauce. The swordfish was grilled perfectly but surprisingly, the real standout was the squash-cranberry combo. It was fantastic, especially sitting in a pool of that tart sauce. There were some green beans and mushrooms too, but who really cares about that?
For dessert, I chose the Mile-High Coconut Cake that is supposedly famous. It was good, but Carole, it was a tad dry. Work on that. But really, anything with mango sauce drizzled over it, I'll eat. And eat I did.
Woodbury, CT is kind of out in the middle of nowhere but I was thinking about the next time I could get there as I pored over the extensive menu. You should check it out, if you enjoy making yourself salivate over menus as much as I do.

Chicken Chili

I made a really good pot of chili last night. I was inspired to pore through recipes for a "white chili" but nothing really popped out at me. I should warn you that measurement is not my forte but this is the best estimation of my Monday night chili. In honor of last night's amazing goal in overtime, I will call this chili....

Kotalik Chili

olive oil
1.5 lbs chicken breast, chopped
2 onions, chopped
1 large bell pepper, chopped
6-8 cloves of garlic, minced
1 T. coriander
2 T. cumin
2 T. chili powder
1 packet Sazon
2 chipotles in adobo, chopped
1 15 ounce can cannellini beans
1 15 ounce can butter beans
1 28 ounce can of crushed tomatoes
1 quart vegetable stock
File powder

Heat olive oil in a large pot. Season chicken with salt and pepper and brown for a few minutes.
Remove chicken and add onions. Cook on medium-high heat for a couple of minutes and then turn down the heat and caramelize for 30-40 minutes. Add garlic and bell peppers and cook 2 minutes. Add spices, stir and cook a few more minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients and return the chicken to the pot. Cook on low for about 45 minutes. I like a thicker chili, so I smashed some of the beans against the side of the pot. I also added some file powder at the end, which is ground sassafras root that is often used to thicken gumbo.

Notes: I didn't use canned tomatoes because I am using up the last of my tomato harvest. I would estimate that a 28 ounce can is a fine substitute. Also, I used vegetable stock that I made with tomatoes, celery and carrots. I'm sure any stock or even water would be fine.