Saturday, April 28, 2012

If it's vegetarian is it still chili?

So, RT's been in a chili mood for the past few weeks and experimentation has been the name of the game.  Mostly trying different combinations of beans and chilis because you can't adjust the spices too much or you end up with chili flavored soup.  Which, I might add, is also delicious, but a completely different animal.  Or rather vegetable.  When the soup gets tiring, add chili seasonings and finish it off, I always say.  But, not unexpectly if you've ever read one of my blogs before, I digress.
So, I came up with a pretty excellent 3x8 vegetarian chili.  That's three beans and eight peppers.  I'm never exactly sure on the count since the 'eight' counts bell pepper but doesn't count the chili powder.  Since hot peppers are actually chilis, the green pepper. pepperoncini, and possibly the Anaheim pepper may be the only peppers included, but there's not a standardized method of differentiation, and it's different in other English speaking countries, and I can't get out of this sentence, and so it's just simpler to count anything that is commonly referred to as a pepper as one of the peppers whether it's really a chili or not.  Deep breath!  Okay, let's get to it.

***I don't have an ingredient list yet, but I'll keep a running total and have it at the end.**
1) I started with about 2 1/2 cups of dry beans.  I went with about 40% pinto and about 30% each of black and red beans.  I did a quick soak (bring to a boil, remove from heat, and let stand covered for an hour), drained, added fresh water, and cooked them until they were ready.  About an hour I think.
2) While they were cooking I chopped up two small onions, two Anaheim peppers, one Bell pepper, about five tobasco peppers, 1/4 cup or so of pepperoncini, some jalapeno rings, and five 'hot chili peppers'.  No kidding, that's what they're called on the jar.  No actual name.  But, some detective work lead to the discovery that under the ingredients they were referred to as chile cascabella.  I added all of the above to about 5 tbs minced garlic and a couple of tbs oil  in a covered skillet and sauted at low heat while the beans were cooking. 
***A note on jalapenos.  The last jar I got were listed as "Hot" which means they're not the mild jalapenos normally sold to American consumers.  They normally have about five times the Scoville units as the 'normal' jalapenos found in the grocery store.  A jalapeno here has about 1000 Scovilles, and a jalapeno in Mexico has about 5000 Scovilles.  So, be careful.  IJS.***
3) When the beans are done, drain again, and add water just short of covering the beans.
4) To the beans, add a 28oz can of diced tomatoes (or 2-15 oz cans, or fresh tomatoes, whatever you've got) the pepper/onion/garlic mixture, and the spices.  (See below)  Fair warning, the cayenne and red pepper amounts are guesses.  I'm not exactly sure how much 5 shakes equals in actual measure, also I don't remember how many shakes I used. So, add....some.  Some is good.

1 cup Pinto beans
3/4 cup black beans
3/4 cup red beans
2 small or 1 large onion
2 Anaheim peppers
1 Bell pepper
5 Tobasco peppers
1/4 - 1/2 cup pepperoncini rings
4-5 cascabella peppers
5 hot Jalapeno rings or 1/4 cup Americanized jalapeno
5 Tbs minced garlic
2 Tbs oil
1/2 tsp ground cayenne pepper (5 shakes)
1 Tbs crushed red pepper (7 shakes)
2 1/2 Tbs chili powder
2 1/2 Tbs cumin
2 Tbs dried oregano leaves
1/2 Tbs paprika

I think that's it.  It came out really tasty and had a nice heat quotient, but wasn't too fiery.  Oops, I double checked the cabinet to make sure I hadn't forgotten anything, and I had.  Of course.  I tossed in 3 beef boullion cubes and one chicken boullion cube because that just shows the crazy, unpredictable, devil-may-may care attitude RT has in the kitchen. EOL.
Happy cooking,

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