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Dinner and a Movie @ Flying Flags - Cashew Chili, Firestone Walker Brewing and Monte Roberts... - Buellton, CA

 
Makes: one big delicious pot of cashew chili     Difficulty: Very Easy     Meal: Main Dish     Great for potlucks!

From my RV kitchen

Do you microbrew a.k.a. love craft beer? No longer a "trend", brew pubs serving fresh delicious beer can be found in almost every state in the US. And interestingly, there's a flavor for every palate. Wheat beers (hefeweizen), fruit infused, lagers, ales, IPAs (India  Pale Ales), porters, stouts and more elevate the common "beer" to an art form. Firestone Walker Brewing Company makes many a fine brew but also in the Flying Flags (Santa Barbara Wine Country region) area you'll find Figueroa Mountain Brewing Company - another local taste sensation. If a brewpub isn't handy most stores now carry a selection of beers other than Budweiser or Coors so go ahead, try something new and exciting.

Speaking of exciting, Monte Roberts, the Horse Whisperer, is the Queen of England's personal horse trainer, was Roddy McDowall's horse riding stand-in and is currently filming day and night for his legacy - his online "Join Up" University all about training horses without violence. Monte's Flag is Up Farms just a few minutes from Flying Flags  is open to the public, no reservations needed, 9am-5pm everyday. You might even get lucky and visit on a day Monte is around.

While there you might even get to see his accomplished sculpter wife Pat and some of her phenomenal bronzes. Learn more about Pat and her art here.

All this beer and Hollywood talk made me crave a bubbling pot of cashew chili with a frosty glass of Walker's Reserve Porter and an old cowboy flick. You, too?

Ingredients

1 medium onion - chopped - 1/4 reserved for chili topping
2-3 fresh peppers - chopped
splash of canola oil

1 28 oz can of high quality diced tomatoes
1 small can tomato sauce
2 cans of beans - kidney and pinto - rinsed
1 bottle beer (lager or porter work great)
1 packet chili seasoning (I like the no-salt versions)
1 c roasted low salt cashews - use 1/2 c at the start, 1/2 c right before serving

How-to

In a large pot saute onions and peppers in canola oil. When soft add diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, beans, beer, 1/2 c cashews and seasoning. Stir well and allow to bubble for 30-45 minutes until the flavors mix and meld. Add the remaining 1/2 c cashews, stir and serve.

Additional Tips

To me a bowl of cashew chili just isn't ready until I top it with plenty of goodies. Choose one or more of these topping suggestions:

shredded cheddar cheese
finely minced raw onions
sliced avocado
chopped cilantro
sour cream
jalapenos - fresh or pickled

I usually put all the toping choices into separate small bowls and allow my dinner guests to mix and match as fits their taste buds. Turns into a terrific dinner and a movie meal event!

What else might you like on your cashew chili?  Give it a go and let me know...drop me a line.

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Direct from my RV kitchen - part cooking class on wheels, part RV travel guide - these RV videos cook! Discover more RV destinations and camping recipes on the RV Cooking Show website.

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