Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Carola Dunn's Dead Easy Veggie Chili

I knew Carola's wonderful 1920's Daisy Dalrymple series was going strong, but I was amazed to read here that the 19th one is coming out! Plus she does another series! That one is set in the 60's, which as you readers know is where a big portion of my cookbooks and interests are from...When does she have time to cook? This recipe sounds great, too, and perfect for Warming Up in January!-AA

Dead Easy Veggie Chili, by Carola Dunn

Quick to prepare, best cooked for several hours in a crock-pot

1 medium onion, chopped
1 red or green pepper (or not)
1 can diced tomatoes, size depending on number of mouths to feed
1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 can black or pinto beans (or one of each), drained and rinsed
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 tsp cumin
pinch of cardamom
Garlic to taste
Chili powder to taste

Serve with:
Sour cream
Onion or green onion, chopped
Cheese, grated
Tortillas, warmed

Put tomatoes in crockpot. Add onion and pepper, then spices. Dump beans on top. Cook on high till bubbling then low for as long as you want, the longer the better. (If you're not going to be around, try medium and let me know how it works.)

If making in saucepan, soften onions in a little olive oil, before adding all the rest. Bring to boil then simmer for at least 1/2 hour.

Keeps for days in the fridge, or freezes well. Good for a hungry author with no time to mess about in the kitchen, or a mother who never knows when a teenage son is going to put in an appearance for a meal.

This is one of my staples, but I grew up in England without ever hearing of chili, let alone eating it. In my youth, the only beans were green or Heinz Baked, which the English have a strange propensity for serving on toast. I never liked them, so I've never thought of having my characters eat them--but now I have thought about it, I will! I've just emailed Heinz to see when they were first sold in the UK.

My Daisy Dalrymple mysteries (the nineteenth, ANTHEM FOR DOOMED YOUTH, will be out March 2011) are set in the 1920s. Daisy went through a lean period when she and her friend Lucy lived mostly on eggs, cheese, and sardines, but maybe I can add baked beans to the retrospective menu. My Cornish Mysteries (MANNA FROM HADES, A COLOURFUL DEATH) are set in the 1960s, when baked beans were definitely available. Either Eleanor Trewynn or her niece, DS Megan Pencarrow, is going to have baked beans on toast in the next book. And Eleanor's friend, the vicar's wife, who's an excellent cook, will be terribly shocked... I suppose Heinz would be upset if I killed someone with poisoned baked beans?

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PS I've heard back from Heinz, and their tinned baked beans were first sold in England in 1912.


Bill Crider said...

This sounds better than my beanie-weenie.

Molly MacRae said...

Veggie Chili! Thank you. And I'm running upstairs (I'm at work at the library) as soon as I post this to grab A COLOURFUL DEATH off the shelf before anyone else does. I love Cornwall and will enjoy taking a vicarious trip.