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Two Bean Chili (for a crowd)




"Wish I had time for just one more bowl of chili."
~ the dying words of Kit Carson

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Jalapeno Chiles, Mexico
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Two Bean Chili

Bon Appetit January 1997

Bon Appetit - One Year Subscription 

2 1/4 pounds dried Great Northern beans
2 1/4 pounds dried pinto beans
1/2 cup olive oil
7 large onions, chopped (about 14 cups)
1/2 cup chili powder
5 tablespoons tomato paste
3 tablespoons minced garlic
3 tablespoons ground cumin
1 1/2 tablespoons dried oregano
1 1/2 tablespoons dried basil
3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
14 cups (or more) chicken or vegetable broth
Three 15-ounce cans corn (undrained)
Five 6-ounce jars roasted red bell
peppers, drained

Three 8-ounce cans tomato sauce
Twenty 8-ounce sourdough bread loaves or
Ten 1-pound round sourdough bread loaves
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, melted
3 pounds Italian sausages
2 1/2 cups chopped fresh cilantro
4 cups grated cheddar cheese
2 1/2 cups chopped red onion
2 cups sour cream

Place all beans in large pot with enough cold water to cover by at least
3 inches. Let stand overnight. Drain beans. Divide beans between 2
large pots. Add enough cold water to each pot to cover beans by 3
inches. Simmer until beans are almost tender, stirring occasionally,
about 1 hour. Drain. Transfer beans to large bowl.
Heat 1/4 cup oil in each pot over medium-high heat. Add half of onions
to each pot; sauté until tender, about 15 minutes. Add half of the chili
powder, tomato paste, garlic, cumin, oregano, basil and cayenne to each
pot; stir 1 minute. Divide beans, 14 cups broth, corn with liquid, bell
peppers and tomato sauce between pots. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to
medium; simmer until beans are tender and the chili thickens, stirring
occasionally, about 1 1/2 hours. Season with salt and pepper. (Can be
prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and chill. Bring to simmer before serving,
thinning with more broth if necessary.)
If using twenty 8-ounce bread loaves, cut off tops. Using small knife,
cut out centers, leaving 1-inch shell. If using ten 1-pound loaves, cut
each horizontally in half. Cut off thin slice from top half of each loaf.
Turn top of loaf trimmed side down. Cut out center of top and bottom
halves, leaving 1-inch shell. Reserve trimmings for another use.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Brush insides of bread bowls with the
melted butter. Place bread bowls on oven racks. Bake until crusty
and brown, about 15 minutes. Transfer bread bowls to plates.
Meanwhile, working in batches, cook sausages in heavy large skillet
over medium-high heat until cooked through, turning occasionally,
about 15 minutes. Cut into rounds. Transfer to bowl.
Mix cilantro into chili. Ladle chili into bread bowls. Serve, passing
sausages, cheese, onion and sour cream separately. Serves 20.

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