Friday, February 17, 2017

Veggie Chili

Here's a nice recipe that serves 4 generously but scales up for a larger crowd.

Preheat a large pot or Dutch oven on medium-high heat.

Finely chop:
  • 1 large onion
  • 2-3 cloves garlic
When the pot is fairly hot, add a splash of olive oil or some other oil of your choice.  Add the onion and garlic and sauté for 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

In a spice grinder, or with a mortar and pestle, grind:
  • 1-2 heaping tablespoons of cumin seed
  • 1-2 dry hot peppers
  • ½ teaspoon oregano (double if using fresh)
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • pinch of celery salt
Add to the pot, stir into the onion and garlic mixture, and let it warm up a bit.

Using a strainer, drain the liquid from 1 large can kidney or pinto beans and wash them under the tap to get all the "syrup" off them.  Add to pot and stir.

Add 1 large can crushed or diced tomatoes, juice and all.  Mix thoroughly.  Adjust seasonings if you want more spice, but be careful not to over-salt.  If you're feeling adventurous, add a teaspoon of cocoa or a dash of cinnamon.

Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and put on the lid.  Initially you should check on it after about 20 minutes and give it a stir to make sure nothing is sticking to the bottom of the pot.  After the tomatoes have changed from red to orange-red, it's essentially ready but it tastes better if you simmer it longer.  You can even turn off the stove altogether after about an hour and let the flavours blend, and bring the heat back up just before serving time.

Try this with strong cheese -- Grate or crumble some into the bowl just before you add the hot chili.