As you may be aware, there was a chili cook-off at our church last weekend.
I will kill the suspense right here and tell ya that we didn’t win. 😦
However, we did succeed in making The. Best. Chili. Scott and I have ever had. We love it because it’s meatless but hearty and it has a great depth of flavor. Meatless is important to us because we are vegetarian (though not super-strict, we try to eat vegetable dominated dishes) and because rich, greasy chili makes our stomaches turn. This chili is thick and hearty because of the addition of bulgur. Fantastic and indispensable in this recipe, bulgur can be found at most grocery stores and might be sold under the name “cracked wheat”.
Our recipe comes from Scott’s favorite recipe site, Epicurious.com. However, it’s posted here with a modification . We only used half the amount of cinnamon called for it and that was just a perfect off-set to the other spices.
This is how we made it:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, peeled, thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, seeded, chopped
3 large jalapeño chilies, seeded, minced (about 4 1/2 tablespoons)
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes with added puree
3 cups water
2 15-ounce cans black beans, rinsed, drained
2 15-ounce cans kidney beans, rinsed, drained
1/2 cup bulgur
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
5 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion, carrots, red bell pepper, and jalapeños and sauté until onion and carrots are almost tender, about 8 minutes. Add tomatoes, 3 cups water, beans, bulgur, white wine vinegar, garlic, and spices. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-high and cook, uncovered, until bulgur is tender and mixture thickens, stirring often, about 20 minutes. Ladle chili into bowls and serve.
Of course, Scott and I doubled the recipe and it made a LOT. Half of it got devoured at the cook-off, and we’ve been plowing through the other half for days. It’s fabulous left-over and should freeze well, so next time we make it I might still double it and freeze one half.
The smell and look of all the fresh-cut veggies made my mouth water. 🙂
NOTES: No “finished” pictures, sorry! But, it’s colorful and attractive when cooked as well.
It is not spicy with the recipe above, but has more of a mild Indian-Mexican fusion flavor. We used medium chili powder from our local spice shop and that means it tastes like chili, but we can go down on a whole bowl of this stuff without worrying about getting overheated.