Fall is coming. Slowly. He’s arriving in fits and bursts.
Surprisingly, summer is holding on for dear life. Between the rainy days, she’s shoved in temperatures which teeter around 80. And here ladies and gents, where we’re known for a constant drizzle of grey gloom, 80 is pretty darn impressive.
We’ve been soaking up the sun, reveling in its warmth, if you will. There have been extra trips to the dog park and new strolling paths discovered. There have been baseball games, beers sucked down barefoot while sitting on the deck, and grilling. There’s been lots of grilling.
Fruits have been soaked in vodka and eaten with our fingers, the libation spiked juices rolling to our wrists. Sandals have become commonplace. Dresses are my go-to. (I actually made a deal with myself that every single sundress would make at least one appearance this year. I have two left to wear, but overall I’m doing okay.)
I’ve re-adopted the philosophy I learned in Greece, accepting for the summer that there are moments when I’ll be unquestionably gross. It just makes life so much better.
And yet, despite the fact that part of me really wants summer to tell fall to take a hike so we can keep eating ice cream barefoot in the middle of the night like it’s the best invention ever, I also really want fall to come.
And it is. It’s right there. Heck, I’ve already had my first pumpkin beer!
And though the days still say one should grill, I couldn’t resist making this Sweet Potato Chili recipe. I’m a little head over heels about it. I have been since I first saw a version of it on the What’s Gaby Cooking? blog.
Amazingly, I’m not a chili fan. I grew up a rather picky eater and I didn’t like all the mashed together ground meat and beans. But I’ve wised up over the years. I’ve taken to dabbling with beans and meat and chili spices. And this is, without a doubt, my favorite.
I literally found myself craving it around mid-July.
And sometime, about three weeks ago, I broke down. I got out the big pot, collected the spices and got to cooking. And then I got to eating, serving after serving after serving.
Sweet Potato Chili
Adapted from What’s Gaby Cooking?
1 lb. ground pork
2 large red onions, diced
1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 TBS chili powder
½ tsp ground chipotle pepper
½ tsp ground cumin
¼ tsp salt
3½ cups chicken stock
1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed
1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes
½ cup dried quinoa
4 tsp lime juice
Topping Suggestions: chopped avocado, chopped cilantro, shredded cheddar cheese
In a large Dutch oven, brown pork until fully cooked. Remove with a slotted spoon, setting pork aside for later and reserving fat.
Add onion, and sauté until translucent. Add sweet potato and sauté for roughly 5 more minutes.
Add garlic, chili powder, chipotle, cumin, and salt. Stir to combine.
Add stock, tomatoes, black beans and quinoa. Stir to combine. Bring mixture to a boil, cover pot, and reduce heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Cook until quinoa is fully cooked and the sweet potatoes are soft (10 – 15 minutes).
Remove from heat. Add lime juice. Season with salt and pepper as necessary. Serve with optional garnishes.