Grilled Mexican Corn on the Cob

Grilled Mexican Corn on the Cob

It happens.  The mad rush to get over to your friend’s barbeque.  Corn…check.  Mayo, cheese, limes, chili powder…check.  Fancy serving dish…check.  Chihuahua…check.  Show up to friend’s house fashionably late (…one hour).  Camera…ahhh!  Perfect opportunity to put my new Samsung Galaxy … Continue reading 

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Brown Sugar Cashew Cookies

Brown Sugar Cashew Cookies

The weather was perfect on Saturday … perfect day for a motorcycle ride.   The motorcycle comes complete with a dog carrier.  The Chihuahua’s mobile; she’s always up for adventure.  I pulled the bike out of the garage and the shriek … Continue reading 

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Rocky Mountain Brown Sugar

Rocky Mountain Brown Sugar

In keeping with the theme of “recipes for an arid climate”….  I introduce to you “Rocky Mountain Brown Sugar!”  Ok, so there’s really ‘no such thing’ as Rocky Mountain Brown Sugar…  but, if you’ve lived in a humid-free zone you … Continue reading 

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Preserved Lemons

Preserved Lemons

There is nothing like a big bowl of lemons on the counter to bring a little sunshine into your kitchen.  But, if you live in a bone-dry arid climate like me, you know that lemons don’t last long if left … Continue reading 

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Chocolate Chipotle Bison Chili

Chocolate Chipotle Bison Chili

Chocolate Chipotle Bison Chili

There’s just something about the Rocky Mountains (and the foot of snow outside) that begs me to make chili.  The first time I made this chili, my view outside was as you see it below (it’s certainly not a bad view).  This weekend was a different story.  We got socked in pretty good last week and the news was calling for blizzard conditions.  I had just the emergency plan: curl up on the couch with a big bowl of chili.

Another gem of a recipe adapted from the fall 2012 edible Front Range magazine.  There are some interesting ingredients in this recipe, and you can get creative and mix them up.  I’ve replaced some of the kidney and pinto beans with great northern white and garbanzo beans; chicken instead of beef stock; jalapenos instead of chipotle peppers; dark chocolate balsamic instead of “traditional” balsamic; only two cans of beans instead of four…  chili is a really forgiving dish.

Did you do a double take when you read dark chocolate balsamic?  Oh, I did when I saw it at The Olive Tap in Manitou Springs, Colorado.  This is a great little shop with dozens of unique olive oils and balsamic vinegars.   I snatched up the chocolate balsamic, a fig balsamic and a fancy Italian olive oil I couldn’t pronounce.  The balsamic adds an interesting, tangy sweetness to this chili.

Another ingredient of note:  the chipotle pepper.  I’ve never really known what to do with chipotles, but I came across a small can of chipotles in adobo sauce at Walmart (yeah, I grocery shop there…).  Since then, I’ve put these peppers in all sorts of dishes; they have a smoky, complex heat that will catch your attention.  You can scrape the seeds out…or not, and I also add some of the adobo sauce along with the peppers.  It’s a small can, but they go a long way.  I froze several small portions for future use.  Let me give you a little warning about these peppers though.  They are sneaky hot and, like other peppers, the heat will linger on your fingers and end up in eyes and other unintended places…  I learned this when, after bringing my pot of chili to a simmer, I ran upstairs for a quick shower.  I realized lightning fast that chipotle peppers have staying power… when washing my face felt like I was giving myself a chemical peel.  Lesson learned.

Snow, rain, shine….any day is a perfect one to make this chili.

Ingredients

  • 3 Tbs Olive oil
  • 2 cups yellow onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 lb bison meat
  • 1/2 lb chorizo
  • 2 (15 oz) cans kidney beans, drained & rinsed
  • 2 (15 oz) cans pinto beans, drained & rinsed
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, diced …(add one more if you want some real heat!)
  • 6 cups beef stock
  • 1 tsp cayenne (easy on this if you get brave with the chipotles)
  • 1 tsp Chinese five-spice powder
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 3/4 cup bittersweet, dark chocolate (50% or more cacao)…I used Ghirardelli dark chocolate chips
  • Sea salt and pepper, to taste

Now make your chili cowhand!

Onions

Red Bell Peppers

In a large pot, heat the olive oil on medium-high heat and add the onion, garlic and peppers.  Sauté about 5 minutes until softened.  Stir in the bison and chorizo and break up while cooking the meat through.

Stir in the beans and tomatoes and continue sautéing for another 6-8 minutes.

Beans

Stir in the chipotle peppers, briefly sauté, and then pour in the stock, cayenne and Chinese five-spice powder.

Bring the mixture to a boil then lower heat to a simmer.

Once simmering, stir in the balsamic vinegar.

Dark Chocolate Balsamic

Simmer chili for 2 – 3 hours.  Don’t let all the liquid cook out or the consistency will become too thick (and dry).

At the end of cooking, stir in the chocolate.   Don’t cook the chocolate on high heat…it will burn.

Serves 6-8 people.  Yeehaw!

Colorado Rockies

 

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Rustic Mushroom Galette

Rustic Mushroom Galette

  I WISH you could smell my house.  Buttery, fresh baked bread; rich mushrooms and tangy blue cheese.  What a treasure to find the ”edible FRONT RANGE” in a local coffee shop.  Mmmm….what a lovely magazine focused on seasonal, local food. … Continue reading 

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Raspberry Chocolate Scones

DSC_0467

Happy Valentine’s Day!   You really don’t need a special reason to make these treats though; they are so easy to make, you can have them ready in no time for breakfast or afternoon tea….or a midnight snack… Most of the recipe … Continue reading 

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