An All-American Chili with Lots of Kick That You Can Eat All Week Long
I got this recipe from my friend Janet who uses it often when she needs to feed a crowd. The original recipe comes from Cooking Light, & was supposedly "made healthy" with Italian turkey sausage & ground sirloin. The recipe had so much flavor that I figured I could cut out the meat, increase the beans, and still have a winner. When I first made it, I planned to add a bag of frozen soy crumbles into the mix--but it was so good without it, I never bothered with the crumbles.
This chili keeps well for a week in the fridge, and it's great as is, as a topping for a taco salad, stuffed into a burrito, as a dip with crackers or pita, or any other way you can think of.
Yield: 8 generous servings
Vegetable broth for sauteeing the vegetables. Start with 1/4 cup, and add as needed.
2 large sweet onions, chopped
1 red & 1 green bell pepper
8 garlic cloves, minced (yes, 8)
1 jalapeno pepper, chopped
2 TBS. chili powder
1/4 tsp. ground chipotle powder (add more to taste, but start small)
1/4- 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes (optional) This subs for the red pepper that would have been in the Italian sausage.
2 TBS. brown sugar (sub if you prefer)
1 TBS. ground cumin
1 TBS. whole fennel seed (this is the licorice-flavored seed found in Italian sausage--add it only if you like this flavor-I love it)
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
3 TBS. tomato paste
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. salt
2 bay leaves
1 1/4 cups of Merlot or other dry fruity red wine
2 (28-ounce) cans of Muir Glen Fire-Roasted Crushed Tomatoes
3 cans (15 ounce) of different beans, drained & rinsed (like black, kidney, or cannelini)
2 cups of frozen corn, thawed. I prefer the taste of roasted corn, but I can only find it at Trader Joe's.
1. Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat & start with 1/4 cup of vegetable broth (instead of oil).
2. Add onion, peppers, garlic & jalapeno to the pan & saute for about 8 minutes until the vegetables are soft.
3. Add all the spices through the bay leaves and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
4. Stir in the wine, tomatoes, the tomato paste, and all the drained beans. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat; and simmer for 1 hour; stirring occasionally.
5. Uncover and cook for 30 more minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the two cups of corn during the last 15 minutes of cooking.
Note: Like most chilis, this one tastes even better the next day! I'm really nutso about making certain that my food is fresh, but this still tastes terrific after one week.