packed full of beans

3 bean chili with jalapeno cheddar biscuits

no self respecting cincinnati girl could look herself in the mirror daily without knowing how to make a good chili. i can't say i know anything about making cincinnati style chili but i'm assuming there are rules involved. that it has to pass certain criteria in order to even be called chili in a city that doesn't dole out the title freely. does it have to contain cinnamon and chocolate and be served over spaghetti? does it have to involve the use of something that once resembled meat? never one to play by the rules i decided yesterday to bring a little of the midwest to switzerland with a soup that i would be proud to call chili.

i was brought up right in the "chili capital of the world," taught it's culinary importance from a young age. yearly my fathers family gets together for a chili party, where members of the family bring chili and various accompaniments for the rest of us to enjoy. one of my favorite childhood memories (which at this point may be an amalgam of many family get togethers but humor me nevertheless) was a chili party at my aunt betty and uncle bob's place at hidden valley lake. we played in the lake, ate watermelon and i think chili, but i also thought i remembered my mom telling me that charles in charge's, scott baio was a distant cousin so i'm not sure how much stock we should put in my childhood memories. regardless the annual chili party was and remains an important tradition in my extended family. i am sad to say i can't remember the last one i attended and it's safe to say i will miss this years as there is an ocean separating us but were i to attend i would proudly bring the chili i made the other night. packed full of beans, veggies, and the perfect amount of heat and soaked up with flaky jalapeno and cheddar biscuits this cincinnati girl treated the mister and myself to the taste of home and family.

spicy vegetarian chili
3 T olive oil
1 yellow onion - chopped
1 green and red pepper, seeded and chopped
1 jalapeno - seeded and chopped
1 sweet potato - peeled and diced
6 garlic cloves
1 can beer
2 T chili powder
1 T mustard
1 T cumin
1 t red pepper flakes
3 bay leaves
1 T salt
1 t fresh ground pepper
1 t coriander
1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed
1 15-ounce can kidney beans, rinsed
1 15-ounce can garbanzo beans, rinsed
1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
1/4 C Worcestershire sauce
2 or 3 cups vegetable stock

in a large pot over medium flame, heat olive oil. add onions and saute until translucent, abut 15 minutes. add the bell peppers, jalapeno, sweet potato, and garlic and cook for five minutes, until they begin to soften. add all of the spices and continue cooking for two minutes. deglaze the pan by adding the can of beer to the hot pan and scraping the bits off the bottom of the pan. once the beer has stopped sizzling, add the beans, diced tomatoes, worsteshire and vegetable stock. bring to a low boil and cook for about 15 minutes. serve warm topped with cheddar cheese. this chili is delicious the next day… and the day after that too.

i couldn't make chili without some cornbread or biscuits and since i've yet to find cornmeal here i whipped up some jalapeno cheddar biscuits.

jalapeno cheddar biscuits

jalapeno cheddar biscuits
via smitten kitchen
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
2 T cold unsalted butter, cut into bits
1/4 pound sharp cheddar cheese, coarsely grated (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
1 cup sour cream

preheat oven to 425°F. whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. either cut the butter pieces into the flour mixture with a pastry blender (or rub them in with your fingertips if you're me) until well-combined. stir in the cheddar, jalapeños and sour cream until the mixture forms a sticky dough. pat it out to a 1/2-inch thickness on a very well-floured counter and use a 3 1/2-inch biscuit cutter (or wine glass if you're me) to cut into rounds. bake on an ungreased or parchment-lined baking sheet for 15 to 17 minutes, until golden on top.