Friday, August 27, 2010

Vegetarian Chili

I have the most amazing vegetarian chili recipe. It is so delicious that you will not miss the meat at all, trust me.

I love love love chili, but when I stopped eating meat for almost a year, I also stopped eating chili, for a while. Then I discovered this incredible recipe from Williams-Sonoma (love them too) and not only did I enjoy chili again, I made it myself :D

This is MY chili recipe though, and it'll go into my "family recipes" book when I become old and young'uns start asking me how to cook things.

Here it is. Enjoy it. I'm not posting any pictures because pictures of my food always make it look really unappetizing.

2 cups dried red kidney beans
1/3 cup olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2-3 fresh jalapeño peppers, seeded and minced
4 large cloves of garlic, minced
6 tbsp (1 oz./ 30 g.) chili powder
2 1/2 tbsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. dried oregano
2 cans (28 oz./875 g) crushed plum tomatoes
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup monterey jack cheese, shredded
fresh cilantro leaves for garnish (optional)

Pick over the beans and discard any damaged beans and stones. Rinse the beans. Place in a bowl and add water to cover generously. Let stand for about 3 hours. Drain the beans and set aside.

In a large, heavy saucepan over low heat, warm the olive oil. Add the onions and chili peppers and sauté, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic, chili powder, cumin, cayenne and oregano and sauté, stirring, for 2 minutes more. Add the beans, tomatoes and water to cover by 3 inches. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, until the beans are very tender and have begun to fall apart, 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Add water if the beans begin to dry out but are not yet cooked.

Season to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle into warmed bowls, sprinkle with the cheese and cilantro and serve immediately.

Serves 6

Note: If you don't want to spend 3 hours cooking beans, 2 cans of kidney beans also works, you just have to cook them for a few minutes until they are hot.

Adapted from: Williams-Sonoma The Best of the Kitchen Library: Vegetarian

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