Recipe No.2: coffee chilli
This is our second recipe in a series by the food writer, Kristen Frederickson, that highlights how coffee can be used in cooking to improve your culinary dishes. Of course, we recommend using speciality coffee for a real flavour experience.
30g/1oz dried porcini mushrooms
220ml/1 cup fresh hot coffee
2 tbsps olive oil
1 packet McCormick’s HOT Chilli Seasoning in the US, Schwartz’s Chilli Con Carne in the UK, or any chilli seasoning you like
2 tbsps Penzeys Chilli 9000 seasoning, if available
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 tbsp ground turmeric (or 1 tsp freshly grated turmeric)
1 tbsp chilli powder or cayenne powder, or to taste
1 white onion, diced
6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 further tbsp olive oil
600g/1.25lb mixed minced beef and lamb
500ml/2 cups tomato passata
1 tin (400g) peeled whole tomatoes
1 tin (400g) each: red kidney beans, pinto beans, cannellini beans, black beans
Sea salt, to taste
Garnishes (optional): Little Gem/Bibb lettuce leaves, tortilla chips, sour cream, grated sharp cheddar cheese, coriander/cilantro leaves
In a bowl just big enough to hold the mushrooms, cover them with the hot coffee and press down with a fork. Set aside for 20 minutes to rehydrate the mushrooms completely.
In a large heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat the olive oil and fry the seasonings and spices until fragrant. Add the onion and garlic and cook with the additional olive oil till softened. Add the meat and fry until just cooked. Add the tomato passata and crush the whole tomatoes into the pan with your hands. Add the beans.
Drain the rehydrated mushrooms, reserving the coffee. Chop the mushrooms coarsely and add them and the coffee to the chilli mixture. Taste and add salt to taste. Cook over a low heat for 1 hour, tasting frequently and adding salt as needed.
Serve as you like, tucked into lettuce leaves or with tortilla chips, garnished with sour cream, cheese and cilantro leaves.
Kristen is a former art historian and gallerist from New York City, but she's lived in London for 12 years and is a happy dual citizen. She has been a food writer for a decade, contributing to projects like Hand-Picked Nation online and the boutique magazine Vintage. She published her first cookbook, 'Tonight at 7.30,' three years ago and is at work on Volume Two as we speak.