TGE Recipes: Chili with Bo Prochnow of Baby Dumpling

Welcome to TGE Recipes, a place where our favorite bands share the secrets straight from their kitchens. Think your favorite Food Network show except on a purple blog. Today we welcome Bo Prochnow of Baby Dumpling.

Chili From Scratch



  • 1 cup dried black beans
  • 1 cup dried pinto beans (can substitute 1 15 oz can ea. for beans)
  • 1 large white onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp chili powder (more to taste)
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 cups chopped tomatoes (or 1 or 2 15oz cans, with liquid)
  • 1 jalapeno or pasilla pepper, minced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Dash of balsamic or apple cider vinegar
  • Salt + pepper to taste


Pickled onions

  • 1/2 red onion, sliced thinly crosswise
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • distilled white vinegar
  • white sugar
  • salt
  • Fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Avocado, diced
  • Queso fresco + sour cream


Pre-cook beans if using dried by preferred method.

Prepare pickled onions. In a small jar, mix onions, lime juice, a large pinch of salt, a pinch of sugar, and enough vinegar to cover onions. Let sit for at least 20 minutes, overnight if possible. These keep well and can be used for a million other recipes!

Heat oil in a large, deep skillet. When oil is shimmering, add onions and bell pepper, and saute until softened and just starting to brown. Add garlic, hot pepper, and herbs + spices and saute until fragrant, only 30-45 seconds.

Add beans and tomatoes. Add salt to taste, reduce heat, and simmer until tomatoes soften and release juices, ~20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add vinegar to taste, and serve with garnishes of choice.

interview/words: Andrew Lopez

When would you say you began cooking seriously, like without the help of anyone?

I cooked a little bit in high school and while in college I was living in a co-op where every few weeks I would be on the cooking crew and would cook for the house. We were cooking for 55 people so you’d spend 3 hours in the kitchen on a team with four other people intensely cooking. Sometimes people did a good job. Some people knew what they were doing and some people didn’t have their shit together. We’d get full pallets in, it was like a restaurant operation.

And how long have you been making music? I know you play the sax, right?

Yeah that’s like the instrument I first started playing in the second grade. Sometime in middle school I decided I wanted to play rock and roll so I learned guitar and stuff.

The kitchen I usually operate in is teeny-tiny, so it’s nice to be in a kitchen like yours!

Yeah I’m definitely lucky to have a full kitchen to my disposal. It’s been fun cooking here because I have access to stuff I otherwise wouldn’t have and it makes it possible to cook and practice new recipes.

My approach to cooking in the past has been to decide on something I want to cook, maybe look at a recipe, maybe glance at it, and kind of go freestyle.

To me I’ll get half as far. I’ll find a cool recipe and try to save it for the future but then forget about it.

I do a lot of that too. *laughs*

But lately I’ve been trying to stick to recipes more closely and try different cooking techniques. I would say being in this kitchen has definitely improved my cooking quite a bit. It’s cool to be able to cook in that very free manner but I think you produce tastier food if you follow the directions carefully and learn.

That’s going to be my headline.

I was thinking about how can I compare cooking to music and I feel the same way about music. Especially about jazz, for a lot of my life I’ve mostly played jazz, and like everyone thinks great soloists in jazz naturally play whatever and it sounds amazing - but in reality John Coltrane was practicing 12 hours a day playing scales over and over. So when he got on stage he could express what he wanted to with the vocabulary he had built. That’s my best cooking / music metaphor.

Ultimately, I think that the beauty of DIY music is that it makes it explicit that you don’t have to be a musician in a classic sense or a truly technical expertise to play music or call yourself a musician, you just have to want to try it. I think the same is true about cooking, sometimes people are afraid to cook, but you just have to try new things and experiment.