Thursday, March 30, 2006

Tex-Mex Vegetarian Chili, p64

Tex-Mex Vegetarian Chili
United States
Prep Time: 30 min
Cook Time: 15 + 10 min active; 50 min simmering
WW Pts (6 svgs, entire can of kidney beans and entire can of diced tomatoes): 4
WW Pts (4 huge svgs, as directed): 7 (but these are large servings and oil can definitely be cut down)
Bonus: one pot, can use canned kidney beans
Bummer: chopping skills required
Previous Attempts: We made a double batch of this about 3 years ago for our frito pie party. It was good then.

Although there are alot of ingredients, they're mostly pantry staples and many get added to the chili at once. I tried to speed up my prep time by making a mise en place, which means "getting all your shit together" before cooking. I have such a small kitchen, I don't know how much it helped, but it did make a snazzy picture.

Most of the cooking time is just simmer time, so it's a pretty easy recipe. This chili has a great contrast between the sizes of the lentils and kidney beans.

I made a few adaptations to this recipe. Since I used canned kidney beans, I used the entire can, not just 1 cup. I also used an entire can of diced tomatoes, lightly drained. This of course, added to the volume (I have about 9 cups of chili) of chili in the final dish, but I still think the original recipe can make 5-6 servings. I also didn't have cilantro, so I tossed in a few frozen cubes of chopped parsley for a little green flavor.

The chili went straight in the fridge after cooking and cooling down, so other than a quick taste (it was good) I didn't get to eat it. Hopefully, there'll be a full report tomorrow.
the finished chili, which was made in the cast iron dutch oven

When I actually went to eat it, I found that it was a little thin, but it was generally fine.
I brought it to the potluck after Saturday services (tex-mex cholent) and someone ladled it out for her friend and didn't scoop it up from the bottom, getting only the thinnest, wateriest part of the chili. The woman who received the cup of chili looked at me and remarked on its thinness.
It may have been a bit thin because I didn't cook it properly after the addition of corn meal, or I could just have used a bit too much water. Regardless, I thought it was tasty and someone else even took home some of the leftovers.
I enjoyed it, but my husband thought it was underspiced, so maybe next time I'll add a little extra.

Dude, it's chili, it's ideal for leftovers.


michelleknits said...

i love your "mise en place" picture. chili -- who'da thunk it? i've really so leaned toward the indian recipes in the book. sounds yummy (but i have to be in a chili mood -- i'm weird about chili)

Stacey said...

I think I've tended to go to the Indian recipes in the book, but that's probably because there are so many of them and I don't have any other Indian cookbooks.

Judy said...

I just made this a few days ago. I have made many of her recipes before, and been very happy with all of them, but this one seemed a bit off. It was watery, lacked strong or complex flavor, and the lentils cooked down to mush. I think that she calls for too much water - four and a half cups seems like way too much liquid! I wonder if it's a typo. Maybe it's because I used canned kidney beans. If I make it again, I will significantly reduce the amount of water.