Chocolate Checkerboard Chili
Don’t you just love alliteration? The Checkerboard is kind of a stretch, but since the recipe calls for both black beans and white beans (and optionally red beans), at least the colors are reminiscent of a checkerboard or chess board… This is easy because you use canned beans, and if you’re really short on time and energy, you can even use canned tomatoes. This will be tastier and healthier if you cook in cast iron.
1 onion, finely chopped
3 or 4 cloves garlic, smashed
2 Tblsp olive oil
In a skillet, saute onion and garlic in oil until translucent, put in large kettle.
1/2 – 1 pound ground beef (or turkey)
Saute meat, sprinkle with a little sea salt (not more than 1 tsp, there’s already a lot of salt in the canned beans,) add to kettle. (Did you know sauté comes from the French word for jump? Watch the onions in a hot skillet and you’ll see why)
Add to kettle one can each (16 oz. cans if you can find them):
Bush’s mild chili (go hotter if you like spicier chili)
Navy (white) beans, drained
Black beans, drained
Kidney beans, drained – optional, good idea if you’re feeding lots of people
Turn burner on medium heat, stir ingredients well. Add one can of tomato sauce – use a small can (or tomato paste) for thick chili, use the big 29 oz can if you’re doing all four cans of beans.
Chop and add one or two tomatoes, or a small can of cooked chopped tomatoes. Stir again and simmer for about 20 minutes.
¼ tsp chili powder or red pepper flakes, or both, or a few drops of tabasco use more or less to taste
¼ C dark cocoa
1 tsp steak seasoning
The cocoa will give it a wonderfully rich color. Simmer for at least an hour, longer is better and it gets thicker and yummier the longer it simmers.
Garnish with shredded cheddar cheese. Serve with baked acorn squash and cornbread.