Cooking in the Time of COVID: Poblano chipotle chili

Gabrielle McCormick, Contributing Writer

Prep Time: 20 minutes   Cook Time: 40 minutes Total Time: 60 minutes    Servings: 5+

  • Chili Ingredients:
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves 
  • 1 green bell pepper 
  • 1 poblano pepper 
  • 2 16-ounce cans of tomatoes 
  • 3/4 of 1 13.4-ounce can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce 
  • 2 cans of kidney beans, drained and rinsed

    Image by Gabrielle McCormick
  • 1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 links of soyrizo cooked
  • 1 can of tomato paste
  • Better Than Bouillon vegetable base
  • salt or creole seasoning
  • onion powder
  • garlic powder
  • paprika
  • black pepper
  • Cloves
  • Goya Total Seasoning
  • Topping Ingredients (optional):
  • sour cream
  • ½ tablespoon of lime juice
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • shredded cheese


  1. To roast a poblano pepper, preheat the oven to 400℉ . Rub the pepper with oil and place on a baking sheet. Roast at 375℉ and flip the pepper over halfway through its cook time until the skin is charred and blistered, cooking about 15 minutes in total. After baking, put the blackened poblano pepper in a Ziploc bag and let it sit for 10-15 minutes. When the pepper is cool enough to handle, peel off and discard the skin and seeds. Chop the pepper when done.
  2. Saute the onions, garlic and bell pepper with seasonings.

    Image by Gabrielle McCormick
  3. Add in the canned tomatoes and cook down, by reducing the liquid by boiling off water, for 3-5 minutes.
  4. Add in the tomato paste and vegetable base and turn down the heat to low.
  5. Add in the chipotle chilis and roasted poblano peppers.
  6.  Add in the soyrizo.
  7.  Add in the kidney and black beans.
  8.  Turn heat to low, adjust seasonings if needed and simmer until done.
  9.  Mix lime juice, salt and sour cream for the topping.
  10.  Serve with shredded cheese and the sour cream mixture.


When I began cooking for myself in college, I became plant based. This chili was one of the first meatless recipes I made that graced my tongue. The heat and flavor of it was dangerous yet addicting. In most Haitian dishes, Scotch bonnet peppers are used in place of the chipotle chilis for their intense level of heat as well as their strong, fruity flavor. 


  • If you need less heat, use 1/2 of the can of chipotle chilis.
  • Freeze extra chipotle chiles and adobo sauce for future use.
  • Season with the spirit of your ancestors.

Haitian Kremas

Prep Time: 15 minutes     Total Time: 1 day   


  • 1 coconut, peeled
    • Alternative: frozen coconut
  • 1 can of evaporated milk
  • 1 tablespoon of almond extract
  • 1 ½ tablespoons of vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon of anise extract
  • 1 teaspoon of lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon of ground cinnamon
  • ½ of a nutmeg, grated
    • Alternative: 1 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 can of cream of coconut
  • 3 cans of sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup (or more) of Rhum Barbancourt or any dark rum (optional)


  1. Blend coconut flesh pieces and evaporated milk in a blender.
  2. Strain the mixture using the strainer.
  3. Add in sweetened condensed milk and cream of coconut.
  4. Whisk in cinnamon, nutmeg, lime juice, almond extract, anise extract and vanilla extract.
  5. Add rum.
  6. Let the Kremas sit in a refrigerator overnight.
  7. Strain the Kremas using the strainer.


  • Don’t use water in the Kremas if you want to make the drink thinner.
  • Keep refrigerated.
  • Alter the amount of rum to your preference.
  • When you strain the Kremas for the last time, you can use the cheesecloth in addition to the strainer to make the Kremas smoother.
  • The longer you let the Kremas age, the better their taste.

The Rise of Vegetarian Chili:

Vegetarian chili rose to the spotlight in America during the 60s and 70s with the rise of individuals abstaining from red meat and vegetarianism. Chili originated from northern Mexico and southern Texas and was also commonly made by working-class Tejana and Mexican women. 

Image by Gabrielle McCormick

Vegetarian chili, also known as chili sin carne, can be prepared with a meat substitute such as soyrizo, tofu, lentils or a starchy vegetable such as potatoes. This chili typically includes various types of beans. Chili sin carne is full of flavor, is a substantial meal and is simple to make. If you are interested in adding mouthwatering flavor and spice to your chili, poblano peppers, also known as ancho chilis when dried, and chipotle chilis are both great options!

Did you know that chipotle peppers don’t grow anywhere? That’s because they’re actually overripe, smoked jalapeno peppers. The fresh, green peppers are harvested early while the nubbins are left behind to dry up. After the peppers obtain a dark red color and are mostly dehydrated, they’re picked and set in a smoking chamber. There, they are smoked for days or weeks with soaked wood until they attain a shriveled appearance. Believe it or not, it takes about 10 pounds of jalapenos to make one pound of chipotle peppers. The chipotle peppers are called different names depending on how long they have been smoked. For example, Morita peppers are jalapenos that have been smoked for less time than Meco chipotles, leaving them softer and dark red in color. They are mostly used in adobo sauce. The other pepper is the Meco chipotles, which is smoked twice as long, resulting in a darker color.