January 29, 2009
You know how sometimes you find an interesting recipe but, oh man, I wonder if we have any red curry paste in the house? Maybe we should just get pizza instead. Or, hmmm I don't have time to pick up parsley and I really can't make this without parsley...
How about a recipe that works WITH you. It works FOR you. You tell it what to be, what it's going to include. Forget takeout, forget packaged food. You DO have all the ingredients. Readers, I give to you...
World's Most Flexible Chili Recipe
Step one is to mostly ignore this recipe. If you don't have something, leave it out or substitute something else. Be creative. The more ingredients you have, the more it will taste like, well, regular chili. But the more you substitute the more likely you are to discover a really awesome chili-type thing.
The major players:
(Use any combination major player ingredients, but about this much)
2 15 oz. cans of beans (kidney, black, pinto, whatever)
4 cups chopped vegetables
1 lb. ground meat
2 Tbl. olive oil
5 cloves garlic, chopped
2 onions, chopped
salt & pepper
2 Tbl. red chili powder
2 Tbl. cumin
1/2 cup vegetable or any stock
1/2 cup dark beer
1/2 cup tomato paste
15 oz. can crushed tomatoes
2 Tbl. apple cider vinegar
2 tsp. oregano
1/2 cup parsley, chopped
1 jalepeno pepper, chopped
1. Heat oil over low to medium heat, saute garlic and onions for 5 minutes.
2. If using meat, add now and cook until no pink remains (7-10 min). If using uncooked vegetables that will need time to cook fully, add now (like squash, eggplant, mushrooms). Otherwise skip to next step.
3. Add the rest of the "flavor" ingredients and mix. Eyeball measurements.
4. Bring to a simmer, turn heat down to low, cover and cook for 45 minutes.
5. Add beans and any pre-cooked or quick-cook veggies (like frozen corn, leafy greens). Keep on heat for another 15 minutes.
Serve with sour cream, Tofutti, grated cheese, olives, you name it! Feeds 4-6.
Here are two variations I just made recently:
Manly Yet Healthy Chili (pictured above)
Use 1 lb. 100% grass fed ground beef, 1 can black beans, 1 can kidney beans. Include about 4 cups total of chopped kale, mushrooms, green peppers and corn. Use all "flavor" ingredients as listed. In step 5, add 2 Tbl. instant espresso.
Pumpkin White Chili
Use 5 cups pumpkin, chopped into 1" pieces (keep skin on). Use with pinto and kidney beans. Leave out tomatoes and tomato paste. Add 1 extra jalepeno pepper. In step 5, mix in 2 Tbl. creamy peanut butter.
What are some of your favorite chili variations? Next time I'm going to include seaweed somewhere in there...
By the way this recipe is part of The Nourishing Gourmet's Soups and Stews Carnival. Thanks Kimi!