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Chili With Coffee and Chocolate (and Chilies)

January 25, 2013

Now that I'm finally getting a taste of real winter (and wanting to spit it out), of course I'm finding what I want to cook has suddenly changed. This bitter-cold morning I woke up thinking it was finally time for my once-a-year Dijon and Cognac stew, so we stopped at the Maple Avenue Farms tent at the Greenmarket to pick up the beef. The sweet young guy selling it immediately offered us a taste of his smoking-hot chili, though, so it looks as if two slow foods are in our immediate future. His chili was really good, although he made the namesake ingredient sound like an afterthought; coffee and chocolate were his first flavorings. As he described it, you cook the usual onion, garlic and ground beef partway, then add really strong coffee to cover and some canned crushed tomatoes, then stir in bittersweet chocolate and canned chipotles in adobo sauce. As I described it: a knockoff of mole. What was funny is that he said he usually uses more chocolate in his chili, but he and his girlfriend started nibbling at the bar as they cooked and next thing he knew . . .

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