In another entry in the noble canon of ‘tasty, tomatoey mush to ladle over rice’ – about 60% of my diet – this was a surprisingly delicious and comforting chilli that I pulled together in half an hour. First of all – for once, and unthinkably, there were no onions or garlic in the house. Sacrilegious, perhaps, to even attempt anything called ‘chilli’ on that basis, but since I made it on Chilean Miner Rescue Day, I have to christen this at least ‘chil-li’. So what does one do, faced with none of this natural foundation of a meal? Well, here’s what I did.
Finely chop 2-3 celery ribs (a name that I find both apt and a little cannibalistic) and 2 large carrots. Heat a slug of olive oil and a little butter in a heavy-based pan, and cook the vegetables over a medium heat until they are softened. Meanwhile, prep some white rice in a rice cooker or a pan (Don’t ask me how. I’m a total rice-cooker convert.)
Add one 28oz can chopped or crushed tomatoes and cook for 10 minutes until the mixture has thickened and most of the liquid has cooked off. Stir in a selection of beans – I used a can of red kidney beans and a can of black beans, drained and rinsed. Stir and season, and add a few pinches of chilli powder, according to taste. I also added a good shake of my beloved smoked paprika, which wasn’t as dominant in the dish as it often is, but I am telling myself added depth and complexity. Because who doesn’t like depth and complexity?
There you have it. Served over rice and topped with a dollop of plain yoghurt or sour cream, a hearty & tomato-ey supper for four, or two with leftovers. Next up: some baking. I have been advised “more chocolate” but banana bread is going to come first.