CHOCOLATE STOUT CHILI: V(egan)2

BY EMMANUEL HESSLER
Vegan Chili-1
Chocolate Stout Chili

Can all the throwdowners please calm down! I understand that submitting a chocolate stout chili for two TDs in a row can seem a little redundant, but what about equal opportunity for all? For the Beer TD, I presented an all-meat chili my friend DB helped me elaborate (see post for story). As I finished preparing the dish, I took a spoonful to the mouth. My taste buds were blown away by the complex flavours of the meat concoction. I wanted everyone to taste my creation… everyone! That’s when I realized that one person would never be able to appreciate it: CB, DB’s vegetarian girlfriend. When it was decided that we would go vegan for the next TD, I sought to challenge myself. This was the perfect opportunity to adapt the recipe for CB’S palate. So now, everyone will have the chance to indulge in the rich flavours of this dish… unless they are anti-fungi vegetarians.

Ingredients
2 large sweet potatoes
2 large portobello mushrooms
2 cans of pinto beans (or whatever you favour)
1 large red onion (diced)
6 medium cloves of garlic (minced)
Vegetable oil
4 cups chocolate stout beer
1L crushed tomatoes
2 oz semi-sweet bakers chocolate (grated)
1tbsp brown sugar

Spice mix
1/2 tsp sweet paprika
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tbsp of oregano
1 tbsp salt
1/2 tsp of pepper
1 whole guajillo chili
1 whole mulato chili
1 whole chipotle chili

Method

  1. The chili spice mix is exactly the same as for the meat recipe. Mix together spices and ground chili peppers in a skillet and roast for 2 minutes or until fragrant.
  2. Preheat oven at 350F. Dice the sweet potatoes into small cubes (no bigger than half an inch). Spread them on a cookie sheet with plenty of room to breath and stick them in the oven for about 45 minutes or until well dehydrated. You should flip them over a few time during this process to make sure that they do not burn on one side. The point of this step is to get as much of the juices out of them such that they will give a nice texture to the chili.
  3. In a large pot, heat vegetable oil on medium-high and throw in the onions and the mushrooms. Cook until translucent (5-7 minutes) and then add the minced garlic. Cook for 1 minute.
  4. Add the crushed tomatoes, the beans, the beer, 1 1/2 oz of chocolate, and the spice mix. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
  5. Stir in the sweet potatoes, the rest of the chocolate and the sugar. Continue cooking for 30 minutes. Salt to taste.
  6. Serve chili in a bowl accompanied with toasted pita bread. Accompany with fresh cilantro, a splash of fresh lime juice, or sour cream, as desired

Chef’s Note
I think that serving the chili with a dollop of sour cream really helps bring the various flavours out and also tends to cool down sensitive mouths. I was not able to find a bean alternative that I enjoyed (almond yogurt didn’t cut it) therefore I did not serve it for the TD… but just saying. I also found that letting the chili sit for a few days doesn’t really add anything to the flavour (as it did with the meat chili). On the contrary, all the veggies seemed to get soggy.

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