Vegetarian Chili – Variant One
Unlike my chili red (real chili), this vegetarian chili has both beans and tomatoes. It is a healthy and tasty vegetarian option, and pretty easy to throw together in the morning and eat in the evening.
½ Cup Dried Black Beans
½ Cup Dried Red Beans
½ Cup Dried Navy Beans
(Note: You can vary the type and quantity of beans you use to the extent of your imagination. Use the ones you like the most. I like these because they’re red, white, and black and pretty in the bowl – also they’re all smaller beans, which I like.)
Dried chilis: 6 anchos, 2 pasilla, 4 guajillos, 4 chiles de arbol. More variety makes better chili, but you can use whatever is available locally, and feel free to use additional chiles, including hotter ones. None of the chiles here are remotely close to being as hot as a scotch bonnet or habanero.
1 large onion, chopped coarsely
3 cloves of garlic, sliced thin
Freshly chopped cilantro (separate leaves and stems)
1 large red sweet bell pepper
1-3 other fresh peppers, like Anaheim, Poblano, Bell, Cherry bomb, etc.
24-38 ounces of crushed tomatoes
1 cup of strong coffee
½ bottle of dark ale, beer, etc. (I prefer dark, like Dixie Voodoo Blackened Lager, or Dos Equis)
2-4 cups of vegetable broth
Olive oil or butter
1 tbl hot paprika
2 tbl sweet paprika
1 tbl cayenne
2 tbls cumin
4 tlbs Black pepper
Salt to taste
Soak the dried beans from 2-10 hours. If you soak them overnight, skip the next step. If you only soak them for 2 hours or so, then add the washed soaked beans and the vegetable broth to the crock pot and cook on high for 2 hours. Then continue.
Roast the dried chiles (anchos, pasillas, guajillos and chiles de arbol) in a dry skillet on medium for 3-4 minutes on each side. Remove from heat and then add them to a bowl of boiling water: let rest 30 minutes.
Saute onions, garlic, and cilantro stems in olive oil or butter until translucent and caramelizing, still in the skillet. Deglaze with the beer and the coffee.
Pour the water off the chiles and save it. I tend to add this in place of water when the chili needs more moisture. This is controversial. The best middling recommendation I’ve seen on this says to taste the chile water and if it isn’t too bitter for you, use it as a substitution in stuff you are cooking. I do the same thing in my adobo sauce.
Add the drained chiles to the blender, and then add broth until it purees nice and smooth. Add to pot, stir. Add the freshly chopped peppers, the sautéed onions, garlic, and beer/coffee broth. Add the crushed tomatoes. Add the dry spices. Stir until combined. Cook in the crockpot on low for 6-8 hours.
Serve with a garnish of the fresh chopped cilantro leaves.