Sue Smith hosted our March meeting at her lovely house on Monday. We all adored this healthy veggie chili:
The Best Vegetarian Chili
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 onions, chopped
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons ground cumin
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and chopped into ½” cubes
6 jalapenos, seeded and chopped
2 green peppers, seeded and chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 celery heart, chopped
4 tablespoons best-quality cocoa powder
1 large can tomatoes, chopped, with liquid (I like Muir Glen)
1 cup water
2 cans red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups fresh or frozen white corn
½ cup bulgur – soak for 20 minutes in advance
juice of 2 limes, grated zest of 1
salt (fleur de sel is best) and pepper
In a large pot, heat oil and sauté the onions and spices for 5-10 minutes. Add the squash and sauté for another 5-10 minutes. Add peppers, garlic and celery and cook for 1 minute. Add cocoa, tomatoes and water; bring to a boil. Add kidney and black beans, corn, and bulgur. Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes or until bulgur is cooked. Add lime juice, zest, and salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with cilantro before serving.
Whatever benefit was bestowed by the low-fat organic deliciousness was cancelled out by the best cookie ever:
Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies
from Barefoot Contessa Parties by Ina Garten
Makes 36 to 40 Cookies
½ pound unsalted butter at room temperature
1 ½ cups light brown sugar, packed
¾ cup granulated sugar
2 extra-large eggs at room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup good smooth peanut butter
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 pound good semisweet chocolate chunks*
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time. Add the vanilla and peanut butter and mix. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt and add to the batter, mixing only until combined. Fold in the chocolate chunks.
Drop the dough on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, using either a 1 ¾-inch
ice cream scoop or a rounded tablespoon. Dampen your hands, flatten the dough lightly, then press the tines of a wet fork in both directions. Bake for exactly 17 minutes (the cookies will seem underdone). Do not overbake. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly on the pan, then transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.
*Note: I use the 1 pound block of Belgian dark chocolate from Trader Joe’s. Break into pieces and pulse in the food processor.
For more wonderful chocolate chip cookie recipes check this blog called, appropriately enough, Cookie Madness. I happen to agree completely with her top five recipe list.