dump-and-guess veggie chili

In dinner on December 30, 2009 at 1:59 pm

who doesn’t love chili? no one, that’s who. so i decided it was the perfect thing to have in a big pot when our families came over to help decorate the tree.

infinitely variable, this was truly a joint dump-and-guess endeavor, which means while there’s no actual recipe to share with you (why would i have a recipe?? this is only a food blog…!), i want you to see how not-scary chili is and how hard it is to go wrong.

we started with dried beans, which we pressure-cooked for about 40 minutes in vegetable broth and some basic chili spices – pepper, oregano, cumin. (but no salt! salt apparently slows bean-cooking in a pressure cooker.)

if you don’t have a pressure cooker or don’t want to start with dried beans, canned beans can be substituted. i like a mix of light and dark kidneys and black beans in my chili.

while that was happening, i sauteed half a yellow onion, a few small cloves of garlic and a whole bunch of baby carrots in a little olive oil in a frying pan.

(i would rather not have used baby carrots, but the blizzard of ’09 cleared out the grocery shelves. and i mean, i get it, right? carrots would be such a horrible thing to without during a snow storm…)

if you aren’t starting this chili in a pressure cooker, sautee the onions and carrots (and the evil vegetable-that-shall-not-be-named, if you must) directly in your soup pot, adding the beans when they’re done.

sautee until the onions are translucent and the carrots are starting to get tender.

next i added a couple spoonfuls of drained, crushed tomatoes.

why crushed tomatoes, you ask? because i was dumb and bought the wrong thing at the grocery store. i should have bought chopped tomatoes.

why drained? because i didn’t want to make the chili too soupy, but i ended up adding it in later so if you didn’t skip this ingredient all together, you can skip the draining.

however, i am thinking that the delicious deep, sweet tomato flavor this chili ended up with may have come from the crushed tomatoes, so in the future, i might actually make that “mistake” again.

but i do like chunks of tomatoes in my chili, too, and lucky for me, i had a small can of chopped tomatoes in the cupboard, which i added with the juice.

at this point, you want to start seasoning. i used a small spoonful of molasses for a deep, sweet flavor; chili powder, of course; more cumin; salt and pepper; a few shakes of worchestershire; and a small dash of red wine vinegar.

how much of each, you ask?

i have no idea. we both just kept tasting and adjusting until we liked what we had. i think it would be pretty hard to mess this up.

you can also adjust the liquid, bringing it to a boil to cook some off if there is too much, or adding a little tomato juice, vegetable broth, or even water, if you need more.

i served with brown rice, and it was even better the day after.

  1. poor celery

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