August 25, 2008

Spice, Spice Baby Pork Chili

1 lb ground pork
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 chipotle chiles in adobe, chopped
1 habanero pepper, seeded and chopped
1 onion, diced
15 oz canned dark red kidney beans, drained
15 oz canned cannellini beans, drained
15 oz diced tomatoes in juice
10 oz diced tomatoes with green chile*
1 teaspoon dried chervil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon hot Mexican chili powder
1 teaspoon ground jalapeno
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon ground chipotle

serving suggestions:
tortilla chips
sour cream
chopped onion
sharp cheddar

In a skillet, lightly brown the ground pork. Drain off any excess fat. Place all ingredients (including the pork!) in the slow cooker and gently stir to distribute the spices. Place on low for 6-8 hours then turn up to high for 40 minutes. Stir before serving.

*AKA Ro-tel. Or make your own by combining 2 oz canned green chiles with 8 oz diced tomato

My thoughts:
The other day someone asked how often I use a slow cooker during the colder months. While we do use it fairly frequently during the Winter, I actually find myself turning to it the most during the warmer months. Here in Baltimore things start to get pretty steamy in May and the heat and humidity often doesn't let up until October. Who wants to be cooking over a stove in 98 degree weather with 90% humidity? Not me. However, one cannot live by cooling salads alone. The slow cooker can deliver a hot meal without heating up the house which to me, makes it the perfect Summer appliance. And while it is wonderful to use seasonal ingredients, it is also great to have a recipe that is entirely made up of ingredients I always have on hand: beans, tomato, ground pork and lots of spices.