2MediumdatesAs a sweetener (If you prefer a sweeter chili, alternately you can use agave syrup, date sugar, or brown sugar - or brown rice syrup which is very non-descript)
1cupwaterLess if you prefer a thick chili (or more as needed)
Dice Onion and Pepper. Finely Dice Jalepeno, Press or Mince Garlic.
In a large pot, saute onion, garlic, jalapeno pepper, and red bell pepper with a LIGHT amount of olive oil - or sautee with water (see no oil cooking tips blog post) - until onions become slightly translucent. Deglaze pan with a splash of red wine or strawberry champagne vinegar to loosen particles in pan.
Puree Cherries and Dates in Blender or Food Processor.
Add tomatoes, tomato paste, all spices, coffee and pureed cherries and stir together. Bring it to a light boil and simmer for 10 minutes.
Add drained beans (and corn if desired). Simmer all until chili is to desired thickeness, approximately 30 minutes. If you want to speed up the process and make a very thick chili, add a little mesa flour.
When using canned beans, I prefer to add the beans later in the recipe so they don't become mushy. Chili is always best the next day if you cool it and allow the beans to absorb all of the seasoning. If you prefer to cook your own beans, they tend to be a little more firm and the cooked beans can be added at the same time as the tomatoes and would require a bit more salt. Canned beans already have salt added.
Deglazing is a fancy and intimidating word that means to pour some cold liquid into a very hot pan to get up all the brown bits stuck to the bottom of the pan. Those brown bits are where all the flavors are, and it is called “fond.”