I admit it, I've always been intimidated by chili. My mom made a pretty good one, my Stepmother makes a great one and mine has always fallen short. So, in honor of my friend Ron, this Friday I set out to make a decent chili. I had three different types in mind. A vegetarian chili, for my veggie friends, a white chili, and a regular kidney and black bean chili. Thanks to foodgawker and tastespotting I had plenty of recipes to choose from so I took the ingredient list of the five recipes I thought most promising and I set out for the stores. First hurdle, the chilis. In recipes, people label their chilis things like hatch chilis and medium/ small mild chilis or chipolte chilis are bandied about with little regard in most chili recipes.
The problem with this.... the grocery stores, even the nice specialty ones, label their chilis, chilis. That's it, sometimes their green or occasionally jalapeno, but other than that a girl is on her own. Now, I'm not a big spice fan but I figure that there is a reason that chili's typically go into these things. As a woman who used to shun Mushrooms and has since discovered their usefulness as flavor enhancers (though I still think texturally they are vile) I made a decision to stick with the chilis. However, in light of the overwhelming plethora of options I have to say I chickened out and went for the little ortega cans that said mild on them. Still, you gotta admire me sticking to my principals right. :)
Anyway on to the chili. This exercise started out very precise. I began with the vegetarian chili, my closest veggie friend is a picky eater and not a big spice woman herself so I wanted to make sure that I took great care with this one and made it right. Hence, the starting chili. I measured everything very precisely, and made sure that all of the ingredients were chopped very finely. I added them according to directions and I even bougth fake meat for her.
Well, the veggie chili turned out very well, thank you very much and I am a general veggie hater. I even added the fake meat and, you know what. It didn't really taste like anything but it sure texured like ground beef.
Here's the recipe:
- 2 Tbsp + 2 tsp (40 L) extra virgin olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 carrot, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 red pepper, diced
- two 15 oz cans black beans, drained and rinsed
- two 15 oz cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- one 28-oz (794 mL) can diced tomatoes
- 2 Tbsp (30 mL) tomato paste
- 1/4 cup salsa, mild
- 2 Tbsp
- 1 tsp (5 mL) cumin
- 1 tsp (5 mL) dried oregano
- one package of fake ground meat of your choice
- Heat a large pot over medium heat. Add the oil and onion. Saute for 3 minutes or until the onion is translucent.
- Add the carrots, red pepper and garlic. Saute for 2 minutes.
- Add the black beans, kidney beans, tomatoes, tomato pasta, salsa, chili powder, cumin, oregano and basil. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cover. Simmer for 20 minutes or until the carrots are cooked.
- Add the package of fake meat. Serve.