Vegetarian Chili Verde Recipe
Comfort food is usually synonymous with a high calorie count, but that doesn't always have to be the case. I've served vegetarian bean chili several times in the past for my husband Lulu and he loves this dish. Our family jokingly calls it "chili non carne." Even an avowed carnivore like me must admit it's pretty satisfying.
For a little change, instead of using regular red tomatoes, I prepared the chili with fresh tomatillos (also known as husk tomatoes). I mixed tomatillos with Anaheim and Serrano chiles, green bell peppers, lime, garlic, store-bought soy chorizo and fresh pineapple. This recipe couldn't be easier!
Yields: 8 servings10 ounces soy chorizo (click on the link for the homemade recipe)
8 tomatillos, husked
1½ yellow onions, finely chopped
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 teaspoon adobo seasoning
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
2 teaspoon ground cumin, (toasted seeds, then freshly ground)
½ teaspoon dried oregano
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1½ teaspoons salt
1 green bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and coarsely chopped
1 Anaheim pepper
2 Serrano chile peppers, to taste
½ teaspoon black peppercorns, freshly cracked
1 (14.5-ounce) can red kidney beans, rinsed
½ cup low-sodium vegetable broth (or water)
6 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
1¼ cups fresh pineapple, coarsely chopped
¼ cup Queso Manchego, shredded
¼ cup Oaxaca cheese, shredded
Roasting the tomatillos and chile peppers: Wash the tomatillos and chile peppers and pat dry. Place on the grill and char until the skin blisters. Wrap in aluminum foil. Let cool for about 10 minutes. Wash under running water and the black skin will come right off. Seed the peppers and coarsely chop.
Making salsa verde: In a blender, combine ½ yellow onion, 1 clove garlic, 5 tablespoons cilantro, lime juice, the chiles and about 6 tomatillos. Add ¼ cup vegetable broth for an easy flow and mix until smooth. Add the rest of the tomatillos and the fresh pineapple. Pulse twice until just combined. Season with salt and pepper.
Making vegetarian chili verde:
In a small pot, heat the oil. Cook the remaining onions for about 8 minutes until soft and nicely golden. Leaving as much oil as possible in the pan, transfer the onions to a platter. Set aside.
In the same pot, add the remaining minced garlic. Cook until slightly golden. Add the soy chorizo. Cook for about 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the green bell pepper, kidney beans and return the onions to the pot. Cook and stir for about 3 minutes. Season with salt, adobo seasoning, cumin, paprika, oregano, cinnamon and pepper. Add the reserved onions, the salsa verde and the remaining ¼ cup vegetable broth. Cover with a lid and cook for 15 minutes over high heat. If the bean chili is too thick, thin the consistency with another ¼ cup water if necessary. Check seasoning. Season with more salt and pepper if necessary. Turn off the heat. Add more cilantro. Stir well and let cool for 5-10 minutes.
Serve with shredded cheese on the side.
Little reminder on how to cut a pineapple: Maman taught me at early age how to cut a pineapple. There is a way to slice a pineapple without "wasting" it, as Maman would say. First, the most important part is to use a very sharp chef's knife. Remove and discard the crown and cut off the base of the pineapple. Place the pineapple upright, then strip the skin off. The peel shouldn't be too thick; you should still be able to see the eyes of the fruit. Remove the eyes of the fruit 2 by 2 diagonally all around the pineapple, creating several spirals. Quickly rinse the fruit under running water to remove any of the peel. Horizontally slice the fruit into 1½-inch disks. Voilà! You'll never buy canned pineapple again and no sugar added to the bean chili.
The vegetarian chorizo has a similar texture to ground beef. Soy chorizo is available in regular stores such as Safeway and Trader Joe's.
I used Bourbon Barrel smoked paprika.Published By: on February 22, 2013.