Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Experimental Chili

The first thing I actually made with the roasted poblanos was refried beans, but the first thing I thought of making was chili.  After some googling, I settled on a recipe from the Irreverent Vegan as a starting point, and followed Mark's instructions for roasting the poblanos, as well.

I said starting point, right?  I referred to Mark's recipe a few times, but basically did my own thing.  I post the result here not because it was so amazing (it's perfectly fine chili, but not necessarily something I would make again), but to show how my twisted thought processes work when I'm playing with a recipe.

I started with

1 large yellow onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, chopped
about 1/4 c chopped roasted poblano peppers
1/2 c red wine
1 T smoked paprika
1 t ground cumin
1 T Mexican oregano

Up to this point I'm following Mark's recipe fairly closely.  I didn't know what he meant by "smoked chili powder" so I left out both that and the regular chili powder and added some smoked paprika, which is one of my favorite things.  I played with the quantities of cumin and oregano, but nothing too drastic.  I steam-sauteed the onions, garlic, and poblanos in the red wine, then added the spices.  Then I added

3 cups thick bean broth

I used liquid I had saved from cooking the pintos for refried beans, because it looked rich and because I thought the onions and garlic would give it a good flavor.

I brought that to a boil, then added

3 cups cooked black beans
3 cups cooked red kidney beans

The mixture looked pretty thin, so I decided not to add as many tomatoes as Mark called for.  I added

1 15-oz can diced tomatoes in juice

There was supposed to be some bell pepper in there, but I didn't have any.  I did, however, have some zucchini and yellow squash aging in the refrigerator, so I chopped that in big chunks and added it.  How much?  About this much:

Cute, right?  But then I cut open the big one and found this:

Ew.  I was only able to salvage about a quarter of that one, so I added these:

At this point I tasted the broth.  It seemed kind of bitter to me, so I got to thinking about what could sweeten it.  I settled on carrots.  By this point, of course, the squash was almost cooked, and if I added chunks of carrot the squash would be total mush by the time the carrot softened.  So instead I added

4 medium sized carrots, peeled and grated

I grated them in the food processor and threw them in.

This was bubbling away, and it still looked pretty watery to me.  I find that this is often a good time to add some raw bulgur.  It slurps up the excess broth and adds nice texture and grainy goodness.  I didn't have any bulgur, though, so I added

2 cups organic textured soy protein granules

I specify organic, because the non-organic stuff, TVP, is made by Archer Daniels Midland.  Ew.  Did you know the name TVP is actually trademarked to ADM?  True story.  Plus, non-organic soy most likely = GMOs.  Double ew.

After a few minutes, I covered the pot and turned off the burner, leaving the TSP (NOT TVP, remember?)  to soak up as much liquid as it wanted to.

I had already eaten dinner, so I left this to sit overnight.

The next morning, the chili still seemed like it needed something, so I added a pound of frozen corn.  I used Trader Joe's roasted corn kernels, which are my favorite way to eat corn these days.  I heated a bowl of chili up for breakfast, and ate it with shredded raw cabbage and a squeeze of lime.

It's pretty good plain, but the cabbage and lime really perk it up.  I learned to eat posole this way and it has become one of my favorite ways to add veggies to bean dishes.


  1. The chili is really good, Abby! Having it for my lunch now. I like that you added the TSP.

    1. <3 I'm glad you like it. I ate the last of it up, but I bought more poblanos at the farmer's market, so I'm going to do some more roasting this weekend.