Never take ingredients in your fridge for granted, particularly if expiration dates or other people are involved. I learned this lesson recently while making Rachael Ray’s end-of-summer chili.
I was near the end of the recipe – a chili packed with more vegetables than meat – and asked Mack to retrieve a bottle of beer from the fridge in our office to add to the simmering dish. He came back, regretfully empty handed, and said that he had drank the last bottle the night previous. I had sworn we had multiple bottles of beer just a few days back – and we did – but Mack’s hot weather thirst had to be quenched somehow. We resorted to using one of my beer coolers: Alley Kat’s Aprikat, which actually didn’t end up sweetening the dish as much as we thought it might.
I loved the chili, mostly because it was packed with vegetables (our default chili recipe involves the slow cooker, which would have pulverized the zucchini), and had decent flavour considering the quick cooking time. Mack would have preferred something with more meat (as always), but liked it. We did end up straining out some of the liquid, as it didn’t reduce much at all, and next time, would drain the canned tomatoes first.
An easy meal to help bridge summer to fall – what could be more seasonal?