Penzeys Spices and Chili

HUZZAH! My spices are in today! I made an order from Penzeys, and picked up the rich, spicy goodness at the local Purolator depot. Had to make some chili as soon as I got home. I’ve got to start using up the 10 lb. bag of powdered chipotles I bought…
The chili turned out OK, but not as good as it has been in the past. Definitely had a complex flavour, but wasn’t as bright a red as I would have liked it. I used TVP chunks and black beans, when I normally use cubed Yves ground round and a combination of pintos and brown beans. Here’s how it went down:

  • 1 spanish onion, chopped finely
  • 1 TBS chopped garlic
  • 2 TBS corn oil
  • 1/4 cup margarine
  • 2 cups filtered water
  • 1 cup TVP chunks 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick
  • 1 5oz can tomato paste
  • 1 TBS ground Ancho chiles
  • 1 tsp Adobo spice
  • 1 tsp ground Chipotles
  • 1 TBS Mexican oregano
  • 1 tsp Italian oregano

Simmer for 30 to 45 min. Then add the following:

  • 1 19oz can of black beans
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 TBS ground Ancho chiles
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/4 tsp liquid hickory smoke
  • 1/2 tsp powdered Jalapeños

Simmer for another 30 min. or until the amount of liquid is reduced. Finally, add:

  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 TBS brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Club House celery pepper blend

Final result: Hot enough to make you sweat, but the heat is short-lived, and the flavour is nice. A little too dark to be pleasing to the eye, and the TVP was too thick to be a comfortable texture in the mouth. The overall flavour had a thick, slightly burnt overtone, likely due to the addition of the Chipotle chiles and liquid smoke. The Anchos were also overpowering but mild — the recipe would have benefited from the addition of plain, garden-variety chili powder. This would have given it a bright red colour, and less of a heavy flavour. Not enough of a "tang" to it. All together, 7 out of a possible 10 points.

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