Monday, February 15, 2010

Valentine's Day!

It seems that often Valentine's Day celebrations revolve around food, yet we haven't decided on any tried-and-true traditions. Should we? Weston and Megan have a tradition of trying a new recipe from their fancy Williams-Sonoma Bride & Groom Cookbook. This year we had an "extended" holiday and that was kind of fun. On Thursday Wayne brought home roses. Coincidentally, I had decided to try "Valentine's Day Red Chili" that night. (It looked like an intriguing recipe, but wasn't "special" enough for a romantic dinner.)
On Friday we went out to eat and on Saturday we stayed home to watch a movie. Then on Sunday, while the kids were at a fireside, we had a nice candlelit dinner in the dining room which included a quick pork chop favorite and chocolate for dessert. It was a perfect end to a Valentine's weekend.
Valentine's Day Red Chili
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon chipotle chile powder (I used ancho chile pepper powder because that's what I had)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 large beets, trimmed, peeled and chopped
1 jumbo red onion, finely chopped (substituted a yellow onion)
1 large red pepper, chopped
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 can (28 oz.) fire-roasted diced tomatoes
1 1/2 cups cooked black beans
1 1/2 cups cooked red kidney beans
1 1/2 cups cooked pinto beans
(could also substitute canned beans - 15 oz size - remember to rinse and drain)
1 cup water
sour cream for garnish
(recipe also suggested cilantro for garnish, but my Valentine doesn't like it so I didn't use any)
Combine cumin, oregano and chile powder in an 8-quart saucepot and cook on medium for 1-2 minutes until toasted and fragrant. (I'd never done this before and it was kind of fun!) Transfer spices to a sheet of waxed paper and set aside. Heat oil and add beets, onion, red pepper and black pepper. Cook 15 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Add garlic and reserved spice mixture. Stir in tomatoes, beans and water. Simmer for 30 minutes. Makes about 9 cups, or 6 servings.

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