Vegetarian: Mimi's Combo-Vegetarian Cook-Off Chili

posted by Mimi Hiller 02-09-101 3:39 PM

Mimi’s Combo-Vegetarian Cook-Off Chili

A couple of weeks ago, I participated in my chorale's 2nd annual chili cookoff. Some of you will remember that last year I actually won first place. This year I won nothing. That's not to say that I deserved to win...I didn't.

Don't get me entry was very good, but there were three that were better.
I made several mistakes. One was volunteering to take up some of the slack when two other entrants dropped out without warning. I had considered making a vegetarian chili, so I figured this was my opportunity. The veggie chili was also very good, but it took time away from the meat chili that could better have been used to tweak and fine-tune it. There's no way to know if it would have made a difference, so I'll stop whining about it.
Another mistake I made was in choosing the meats to use. Last year, I used chuck. This year, chuck was fairly expensive, so I settled on a much less expensive piece of round. Big mistake. It was leaner, but it was definitely not as flavorful. I won't do that again.
This year I used a nice pork roast...last year, it was country style pork strips. Again, it lacked the flavor that made a significant difference.

Also, last year, I made a rich stock out of beef neck bones. This year I used pork bones, and it just didn't have the right flavor.

Well, enough about the meat chili. The veggie chili was definitely delicious. I searched through the various offerings in our archives and came up with two, both posted by Risa. I couldn't decide between them, so as you've probably guessed, I combined the best features of both.

Here are her recipes. My notes follow. (My apologies to the archivists...this is definitely going to be a nightmare...feel free to save this unedited.)

RisaG 10-01-99 5:45 PM
Chipotle "Beef" Chili with Lime Crema
Recipe By : Adapted from Bon Appetit, Sept 1999 issue, p. 180 & 182
Serving Size : 8 Preparation Time :0:00
Categories : Beans/Legumes/Pulses Chiles
Chilis & Stews
Amount Measure Ingredient, Preparation Method
TVP Beef Flavor, + amount to equal 3 lb. beef
3 cups onions, chopped
6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 cup chili powder
2 (14.5 oz.) cans beef broth
1 cup canned crushed tomatoes with juice
1/2 cup stout or dark beer
2 tbsp. canned chipotle chiles, minced
2 tbsp. yellow cornmeal
2 (15.5 oz.) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1 1/2 cups sour cream, or low fat
2 tbsp. fresh lime juice
1 tbsp. lime peel, grated
Corn tortilla chips

Rehydrate TVP by pouring 2 cups of boiling water over it and then setting it aside for awhile (20-30 minutes). If there is liquid left, drain it and dry TVP best you can.
Heat a heavy large pot over high heat, add TVP; saute until heated through and a bit browned, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl.

Add onions and garlic to same pot. Saute until onions are tender, 8 minutes. Add chili powder, saute until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add broth, tomatoes, stout and chiles. Cover partially; simmer until chili is thick, stirring often, for about 45 minutes.

Gradually stir cornmeal into chili then stir in beans. Simmer until heated through. Season generously with salt and pepper.

Can be made 1 day ahead; cover and chill then re-warm over medium heat. Whisk sour cream, lime juice and lime peel in small bowl and season with salt. Spoon chili into bowls. Spoon lime crema atop chili and serve with chips.

posted by RisaG 07-28-100 7:11 PM
* Exported from MasterCook *
Vegetarian Chili Verde (crockpot)
Recipe By : RisaG
Serving Size : 4 Preparation Time :0:00
Categories : Beans/Legumes/Pulses Chiles
Vegetarian Days
Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
1/2 lb. dried pinto beans
3 dried Anaheim chiles -- soaked
2 poblano peppers roasted and peeled
2 jalapeno peppers -- sliced vertically
1 tbsp. canola oil
1 white onion -- chopped fine
2 cloves garlic -- minced
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground coriander
1 tsp. Mexican oregano -- crumbled
1 lb. tomatillos -- husked and chopped
1 cup corn kernels -- fresh or frozen
1/2 green bell pepper -- chopped fine
1/8 cup unsalted pumpkin seeds -- hulled and chopped
1 tbsp. tequila -- optional
juice of 1/2 lime
3/4 tsp. salt
black pepper -- to taste
1/4 cup cilantro -- chopped
1 tbsp. sour cream

Start recipe on the stovetop. Preheat nonstick skillet, over medium-high heat. Saute onions and garlic untill translucent. Chop anaheim and poblano chiles.

Roast jalapeno peppers. Place in a brown paper bag. Let steam. Peel. Save seeds if you want the chile to be hotter.

Place jalapenos in with onions and garlic. Heat through. Add all to crockpot. Then add the beans, corn, tomatillos, and spices. Cover with 1 qt water (up to 1-1/2). Switch to LOW and cook for 6 hours.

Add tequila, lime, pumpkin seeds, and salt and pepper. Cook for another hour. In last 15 minutes, add cilantro.

To serve: mix sour cream into pot. In chili bowls or something similar, ladle in chili and dollop more sour cream on top, sprinkle on more chopped cilantro. Serve with, or over, rice.

Okay, those are the recipes. I pretty much followed the first one and added some of the ingredients from the second one.

First of all, it wasn't easy to find that TVP, but I did manage...and it was outstanding. You really couldn't tell it from meat.

Risa's recipe wasn't totally clear, so I wrote to ask her when you actually add the browned TVP back in. She wrote back: "Add the TVP back in after the onions are sauteed. Then saute them with them a bit. I like to get the TVP a bit browned so it looks more like meat."

Second, the half cup of chili powder seemed daunting, so I used a whole jar of Grandma's Chili Powder in the recipe...probably far less than called for, but we found it a bit spicy anyway.

Next was the beef broth. Since I was making it veggie, I substituted an equal amount of water mixed with Superior Touch veggie broth mix (which is excellent).

I didn't have stout or dark beer, so I used a regular beer. Mistake. I really think the flavor suffered for it. Next time I'll use the right kind.

I also left out the sour cream. Since I expected to have leftovers to serve my vegan daughter, I didn't want to compromise it. This could explain why it was so spicy. But I did add lime zest to the chili, and I think it was a nice touch.

So much for the first recipe. To it, I added the poblanos, the Anaheim chilies, cumin, coriander and oregano, the tomatillos, supersweet corn, green bell pepper, salt, black pepper and cilantro. Once everything was in the pot, I let it simmer for about an hour, adjusted the seasonings, and it was done!

I had the jalapenos, but I left them out because it was already a bit "hot"...

We really liked it, and I plan to add this to my regular repertoire. If it sounds appealing to you, keep in mind that it makes a lot!

BTW, when my daughter came over, we each had a bowl (there are 3 of us), and there was only enough for a bowl for her lunch the next day.
I highly recommend this!

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