Tuesday, January 14, 2014


I'd made Epicurious' Chicken Chili (pg 251 of The Epicurious Cookbook) when my in-laws were here. At the time, I remember a) being able to blitz the soup base in my food processor without any overflow, b) being surprised at how thick the chili was, and c) loving it. It reminded me of the inside of an enchilada at Don Pablo's.

I decided to make it again, in what I thought was exactly the same way, apart from the fact that this time I used pinto beans instead of white beans. The recipe actually calls for "pink beans," but I don't even know what that means. The cannellini worked better than pinto, flavor-wise. Both times, I used canned chiles in adobo sauce instead of "dried New Mexican or guajillo chiles."

I don't know what happened, but this time, when I whirred the broth, chiles, canned tomatoes, onion, garlic, cilantro, peanuts (!!), cumin, cilantro, and salt, it was too much fluid for my food processor and it leaked out all over my counter. The finished product was much soupier than it was last time.
Did I forget to add the broth the first time I made this?

I have no idea. I think I must have. I really need to try it again and figure out what the difference was, because I preferred it before.

Another problem this time was that, because my food processor was leaking, I didn't blitz the base well enough. Instead of turning into a nice, thick puree (I must have forgotten the broth before), the peanuts were too chunky. Last time, they helped thicken the soup. This time, they were annoying to chew.

Conclusion: liked it, but loved it the first time. I must determine what I did "wrong" on the first go.

Several weeks ago, I made Nigella's Cornbread-Topped Chilli Con Carne (pg 399 of Feast). I'd totally forgotten about it until I flipped by it in the book, so that should tell you something. The chili itself was okay. Not disgusting, but not good. Unmemorable. I baked the cornbread separately, in a pan, rather than dolloping it on top of the chilli and baking the whole in the oven. This recipe serves 20. I was serving 2. I had a hunch that cornbread was going to turn into a soggy, vile mess upon sitting in the fridge and reheating. Anyway, the cornbread itself was disgusting. Totally flavorless. It would have been gross whether I followed her instructions to bake it on top of the chili or not.

Conclusion: Disliked.

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