Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Vegetarian Chili

Another recipe for a dish that really does not require one. Using what I had on hand here's a rather simple vegetarian chili. Served over a baked potato and topped with cheese and sour cream, it made a filling meal for very little cost. I made quite a bit, and we'll probably be eating it all week.

You Will Need:

To Cook Beans:

2 cups dried pinto beans

2 cups dried great northern beans

3 bay leaves

Soak beans overnight. In the morning, drain and rinse. Place in a pot with water to cover and add the bay leaves. Cook at a very slow simmer for 2-3 hours until done. Drain, reserving cooking water.

For the Chili:

Cooked beans

1 large tin whole tomatoes, chopped-reserve liquid

1 cup tomato sauce

2 large onions, chopped

5-6 large carrots, chopped

1/2 cup roasted red peppers, drained and chopped

3 large garlic cloves, chopped

3-4 tablespoons oil

1 teaspoon epazote

1 tablespoon cocoa powder

2 tablespoons ground cumin

2 teaspoons ground ancho peppers

1 tablespoon dried basil

Bean cooking water

In a large, heavy pot cook the onions, carrots and garlic over medium heat with the oil until slightly softened. Add everything else but the bean water. Stir. Add as much bean water as you think it needs to cover. Reserve the rest in the event it needs more later. Because the chili is cooked uncovered you will need to check it frequently and keep stirring as the liquid will evaporate. Some will stick to the bottom no matter what you do, but cleans up easily after soaking. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. You'll need to keep an eye on it as the water evaporates you'll need to reduce the heat. The chili will be better the longer it cooks and thickens. Mine cooked three hours but could easily have gone another hour and a half. The worst thing that will happen is it will get softer, which is kind of the point anyway. If you like your beans still firm, figure about two hours.

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