From Recipe lab. Comments are welcome via email.
My sister doesn't like spicy food and asks for our weekly chilli to be made blander than usual. I do this by removing the seeds from the chilli peppers. She also usually hates the texture of mushrooms but she likes this chilli because I chop the mushrooms quite finely.
Anyway, In the spirit of improving the recipe, I wondered if there was any scope for experimenting with how sweet the chilli was, so I increased some of the sweeter ingredients a bit. In today's chilli there was three instead of two tablespoons of tomato purée, 50g of dark chocolate, and two bay leaves. It's not a very scientific experiment, though, because I only had two red onions today, and let it look for nine hours. The result was definitely an improvement on last week's, though none of us could really detect any sweetness really. I suppose the chocolate is actually there for bitterness.
I'm also now wondering about streamlining the preparation time and letting the slow cooker do some more of the work. I guess I don't need to fry the mushrooms beforehand and the roasted red peppers can go in with the tomatoes and beans to simplify things.
One week I should also try making my own guacamole to go with the chilli, because it looks easy and the result has got to be better than the stuff you get in the supermarket. Am I a hipster yet? It's just avocados, lime juice, coriander, jalapeños, tomatoes, onions and salt, all of which we get in for the chilli anyway.