Chipotle Mexican Chili

I made this up. I rarely do that unless I'm aiming to replicate something amazing that I've eaten elsewhere. But, I was drawing on deadline and didn't have the time to go get groceries. We had a lot of bits of good things in the house, and I figured that they had to amount to something.

This was testing the theory that any combo of protein, onions and spices, and broth and/or tomatoes will make a good chili. Turns out, I think that's true. This recipe came out amazing! It was intensely flavorful, has great textures and a nice smoky aftertaste. If you adore chipotle, I would add an extra pepper in. The flavor is there as-is, but it's not overwhelming or overpoweringly chipotle flavored.

1/2 onion, diced
4 cloves garlic
1T cumin seed
2 small tomatoes, diced
2.5 cups vegetable broth
1 chipotle chili (in Adobo sauce), de-seeded and diced
2T chipotle/ Adobo sauce from the can
1 1/2 t oregano
1T chili powder
1 16oz can pinto beans
1 green bell pepper, diced
5T tomato paste
1/2 cup TVP (Textured Vegetable Protein)
2 bay leaves
1t salt
1/4-1/2t cayenne pepper
1T canola oil

Heat oil in a large stock pot. Sautée onions until translucent, add garlic and cumin seeds and sautée another two minutes or so until fragrant. Add the broth, tomatoes and all other ingredients except the can of beans. Simmer 1 hour. Add rinsed beans and simmer another 1/2 hour.

This is great with crumbled tortilla chips on top.

Chili (Sick days= Chili days)

I was just sick for a few days, but stayed out of bed long enough to make chili. Not the classic J-R chili HERE (we just had that), this one is based off of a recipe from the awesome Milwaukee café Beans and Barley. They rule. They're Real Food Daily in Milwaukee, basically (only the entrees are about $8 tops versus $18 or so here). Many years ago, when we still lived in MKE, I got their second Little Book of Beans, a dinky pamphlet of a cookbook that has this great chili recipe in it. What I love about it is that it's kind of the anti- J-R chili. Ours is thick and heavy and chunky, which is great when you want that, but this one is far more veg soupish. Also, since I've seriously altered the recipe from the book, I felt that it was safe to share it. The Beans and Barley chili was a springboard, but this one's pretty different. I like it a lot, and it was perfect for this latest stretch of sickness. I got to eat super healthy for two days while only cooking once. Also, like most soups and chilis, crusty bread is an absolute must with this.

2 cans Kidney Beans
1 quart vegetable broth
1 large onion, diced
2 large carrots, coined
2 stalks celery, diced
1 green bell, diced
1 small white or sweet potato, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 t thyme
1 T oregano
1 T + 1 t chili powder
1/4 t cayenne pepper
1 t black pepper
salt to taste
2 15 oz cans tomato sauce
1 T ground cumin
1 t sage
1/2 cup TVP (Textured Vegetable Protein)
1T oil
salt to taste

Sautee onions, carrots and celery in oil, add all other ingredients except TVP and salt and bring to a boil. Reduce to very low heat and simmer for at least an hour, up to an hour and a half. Add TVP when there's about 20 minutes left of cooking time, taste for salt and spices. Finish cooking, let stand for about 20minutes (to an hour, the longer spices steep, the better this stuff is). Enjoy with crusty bread and cold medicine.

J-R Chili

This is today's version of the Julson-Rieley chili. The beans vary, the tvp is optional, sometimes there's fresh tomatoes, sometimes a ton more chili powder... but today's turned out pretty nicely, and we had all the ideal components on hand, so here's the recipe for youse...

1/2 onion, chopped
2 t veg oil
2 Roma Tomatoes, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and coined (if that's a word)
4-5 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 red bell pepper
1 green bell pepper
1 c. veg broth
1 can 16 oz tomato sauce
1 can 8 oz tomato paste
1 can garbanzo (or dried equivalent)
1 can dark kidney beans (or dried equivalent)
1/2 c TVP
3 bay leaves
1/2 t sage
1 t oregano
1 t thyme
1/2 t marjoram
4 T chili powder
1/2 t ground red pepper (or to taste- this gives it the kick)
3/4 t salt
1/2 t black pepper
1 t cumin

Chop onions and sautee in oil until onions are soft, add carrots and cook until onions are translucent. Add garlic, broth and spices. Then add tomato, sauce and paste. After about 20 min, add bell peppers. After another 20 minutes, add TVP. Simmer over low low heat for at least an hour. Let stand a few minutes and serve with fresh crunchy bread, flour tortillas or if tortilla chips. This makes enough to serve 4-6.