Monday, March 26, 2012

White Bean Chili

Chili simply refers to the varieties of chili peppers used to season the popular dish. When I refer to chili it usually implies "inexpensive hearty food to feed the masses." The beautiful part about chili is you can toss in various vegetables, although unorthodox to it's original form, control the amount of heat your family prefers and it still tastes fabulous. White chili certainly deviates from the traditional while maintaining the familiarity of chili powder and that fiery flair if you like it spicy.

Spicy foods perk you up, get your blood moving and have an incomparable kick. Dan and I love spicy foods. While making this dish, it wasn't out of the ordinary that I began to seed and mince a jalapeno to add. Threw it in the pot. Rinsed off my hands. Gathered all my yoga gear and bolted out of the house while it simmered. After a few sweaty moments in bikram, my hands felt like they were on fire. It started small, like a campfire. Yet, with each movement that involved touching my hands, the fiery burn in my fingers grew away from the campfire to the whole dang forest was on fire. It was awful....the most bizarre feeling! I realized it was the jalapeno and the pores in my fingers absorbed all that stinging spiciness. Even after leaving class to wash my hands, the burning sensation was still clear. To all those jalapeno choppers out there, thoroughly wash your hands or use gloves!

White Bean Chili

Note: The melding of rustic great northern beans, southern influenced black eyed peas and smooth butter beans add depth and distinction to a thick chili base. I would encourage you to try the bean variety in your chili, but you can always double up on one of the cans if you'd like.

1 onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
4 cups vegetable broth
2 cans (15oz each) great northern beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (15oz) butter beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (15oz) black eyed peas, rinsed and drained
1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped (optional)
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon oregano
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 cup vegan sour cream

1. On medium heat, saute onions, garlic, and peppers in large pot until begin to soften. Spray non-stick spray or add a tablespoon of water, broth, or cooking wine if vegetables begin to stick to bottom.
2. Add remaining ingredients (except sour cream), stir well and continue cooking on medium until mixture begins to boil (about 10 minutes).
3. Cover and reduce heat to low. Stir chili occasionally until flavors well developed (minimum 45 minutes). Stir in sour cream if thicker, creamier consistency desired and remove from heat.

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