Wednesday, January 31, 2007

A Real Man's Vegetarian Chili

In honor of the upcoming epic clash between Da Bears and the Colts, I've decided to post my as-yet-unpublished-for-totally-inexplicable-reasons recipe for my veggie chili. A quick note: I don't think I've ever made the same chili twice, so maybe the official recipe should be Drew Coursin's Groundhog Day Veggie Chili - you know, innumerable, subtly different iterations of a certain culinary motif. I'd draw the obvious comparison between Rachmaninoff's endless variations on his second symphony, but I'm not sure Scrumptulescence is ready for such stratospheric conceits. So, here goes:

1 Large, shiny green bell pepper (preferable a deepish hunter green, because that means fresh)

1 Equally large, shiny red bell pepper (or orange, or even yellow, if you like that kind of thing)

2 Pretty much bustin' out of their enormous toadstool chapeaux-size portobello (portabella for those of you who like to spell it that way) mushrooms

1 small can yellowish (not necessarily totally yellow, but it's okay if it is) corn

2 cans kidney beans (one light, one dark to represent the duality of life and impermanence of being) - feel free to cook dry beans if you're one of those non-can purists. Same with the corn - feel free to use fresh-off-the-ear, or better yet, why don't you just grow it, Squanto?*

*Note: this is not a slander toward American Indians, but rather a clever but biting reference to the ostensible "helper of the Pilgrims" before the supposed First Thanksgiving in the apparent pre-United States of America

2 cans chick peas - there is nothing funny about this ingredient

1 package extra firm tofu

1 package seitan (if you have a problem with meat substitutes, you'd probably have stopped reading at tofu. Jerk.)

5 vine-ripened tomatoes

1 can tomato paste (optional for thickening if you put too much bean juice in - don't put too much bean juice in, dummy!)

8 cloves garlic, minced (or squashed, smashed, diced, even whole if you're a real man, in which case make it 50 cloves of garlic)

3 large carrots

Cayenne, hot chili powder, garlic powder, salt, pepper

1/2 can chipotle peppers and sauce (I mean, use the whole thing if you're into it, Hercules)

If you're soft, try 1/2 thinly-sliced jalapeno (sorry, I can't get the tilde to work) pepper without the ribs (it's not that seeds that are the hottest, Alex Trebek! And don't touch your eyes or private parts after handling!)

2 squares semi-sweet baking chocolate

1. Dice everything dice-able up, place into three separate bowls the following:
-Green peppers, mushrooms, tofu, garlic
-Red peppers, corn, carrots, seitan, garlic (Ha! You put all the garlic in the first bowl!)
-Everything else
2. Saute in groups per step 1. Add chipotle peppers and sauce judiciously as the vegetables and meat substitutes cook. Cook until delicious.
3. At about the same time, but a big pot on the stove, on low heat. Squeeze the hell out of those tomatoes and place seeded, diced tomatoes in pot alongside all beans (use some of the delicious, syrupy bean juice if you like. Otherwise, add some water to make it a bit soupy).
4. When step 1 ingredients are cooked to delicious, add them as you see fit.
5. Stir often. Adding spices and hot peppers and other stuff you want to add. It's your meal, I'm not trying to tell you how to live your life.
6. Cook for 2-10 hours on low heat. I mean, cook as long as you want. Do it in a slow cooker if you like.
7. During the last 1/2 hour of cooking, add the squares of chocolate and some more cayenne (you know you need it).
8. Serve in attractive bowls, top with lots of cilantro, maybe some queso fresco, and a draught beer.
9. Enjoy.

If it sucks, it's entirely your fault, because I'm made this stuff countless times, and every time it's been f-ing awesome. Yum!


Bryan said...

Drew- I thought we were kindred spirits. But then, Indian food and vegetarian "chili."

Now, I'm not a chili purist, but let's be honest. Chili originally had beef, and chiles. Probably not much else other than salt and some liquid. There are two things that I think disqualifies this recipe from being called chili. One. It doesn't have meat. Two. It has beans.

So I'm making a special meat intensive chili for the superbowl. The recipe and what meats are involved will be discussed here after it has all been made. But I can tell you there will be a beef version of my favorite chili, and one with .. other meat. The theme is "Game for the Big Game."

But it turns out I may have one or two vegetarians attending. And I don't want them to starve. So once I get confirmation that they're coming, I may use your recipe, but I'll probably call it "Drew's spicy high-protein non-meat stew." If you want to come up with a better title, feel free.

Interesting (to me) aside, it was suggested that I make the chili out of horse and bear meat. Which would have been awesome, and I THINK I could have found both given enough notice. But I decided that was too much for my guests.

ea said...

Chili of bear and horse meat would have be genius. Chili of bear vs. chili of horse would have been better.

I think Portobellos are male mushrooms and Portabellas are female mushrooms.

All this talk of chili made me look it up at Wikipedia.

Originally like peanuts or popcorn at bars, it was given free to drinkers at cantinas. That's awesome.