Wow. This was the best vegetarian chili I have ever experienced. It was a little bit labor intensive to prepare but the house smelled incredible and the resulting meal was worth the work.
This recipe was adapted from Bobby Flay’s new cookbook, Beat Bobby Flay, via today.com. Even after decreasing and adjusting the chili powders in the recipe, the chili was on the spicy side. It was well tempered with all of the toppings and I also served it over rice to balance the heat. Next time, I may omit one teaspoon of chili powder, noted below.
I loved all of the toppings and garnishes. The cotija cheese was absolutely essential. Healthy and fabulous vegetarian comfort food.
Yield: Serves 4 to 6
For the Cumin-Lime Yogurt: (Makes 1 cup)
1 cup 2% Greek yogurt
1 lime, finely zested and juiced
1/2 tsp ground cumin
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the Avocado-Shishito Relish: (Makes about 2 cups)
2 Hass avocados, cut into large dice
2 T finely diced red onion
1 lime, juiced
2 T chopped fresh cilantro leaves
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tablespoon canola oil
4 shishito peppers
For the Vegetable Chili:
8 tablespoons canola oil, divided
1 large Spanish onion, finely diced
8 cloves garlic, mashed to a paste with 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tsp ancho chile powder
1 tsp guajillo chile powder (I ground a guajillo chile in a spice grinder)
1 tsp chipotle powder
1 tsp chili powder, optional (next time I would omit it)
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
2 T tomato paste
1 (12-ounce) bottle dark beer (I used a Fat Tire amber)
1 (28-ounce) can peeled whole plum tomatoes, undrained (I used San Marzano)
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 T finely chopped fresh oregano leaves
2 large portobello mushrooms (about 11 oz), stems discarded, caps cut into 1/2-inch dice
6 cups 1/2-inch-diced peeled eggplant (1 large or 2 medium, about 2 1/2 pounds)
1 (15.5-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
2 scallions, green tops and pale-green parts only, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon clover honey
Cumin-Lime Yogurt (recipe above)
Avocado-Shishito Relish (recipe above)
1/2 cup coarsely grated or crumbled queso blanco
1/4 cup finely grated Cotija cheese
fried tortillas strips or crumbled tortilla chips, for garnish (optional)
cornbread or cornbread muffins, for serving, optional
To Make the Cumin-Lime Yogurt:
Whisk together the yogurt, lime zest, lime juice, and cumin in a small bowl.
Season with salt and pepper.
Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 24 hours before serving.
To Make the Avocado-Shishito Relish:
In a large bowl, combine the avocado, onion, lime juice, and cilantro in a large bowl.
Using a fork, coarsely mash the ingredients together.
Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Heat the oil in a large cast-iron or nonstick skillet over high heat until shimmering.
Add the shishitos, season with salt and pepper, and cook until charred on both sides, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a cutting board, let cool for a few minutes, then finely dice.
Gently fold in the diced shishitos into the avocado mixture to combine.
Note: The relish can be made up to 4 hours in advance, tightly covered and refrigerated.
To Make the Vegetable Chili:
Heat 3 tablespoons of the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat until shimmering.
Add the onion and cook until soft, about 4 minutes.
Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute longer.
Add all of the chile powders, the coriander, and cumin. Cook, stirring constantly, until the spices are fragrant and deepen in color, about 2 minutes.
Stir in the tomato paste and cook for 1 minute.
Add the beer and cook over medium heat until the mixture is reduced by about half, about 5 minutes.
Add the tomatoes and their juices and cook until the tomatoes begin to soften and break down, about 10 minutes. Using a potato masher or wooden spoon, coarsely mash the tomatoes.
Season with salt and pepper and stir in the oregano. Cook until the sauce starts to thicken, about 20 minutes.
While the sauce is cooking, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large cast-iron skillet over high heat.
Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring a few times, until golden brown and their liquid has evaporated, about 7 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and transfer to a large bowl.
Return the skillet to the heat and add the remaining 3 tablespoons oil.
Working in batches, add the eggplant in a single layer, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring a few times, until golden brown and soft, about 5 minutes per batch. Add more oil, if necessary. (I cooked the eggplant in 3 batches.) Transfer the eggplant to the bowl of mushrooms.
Add the eggplant, mushrooms, and black beans to the tomato sauce and stir to combine.
Cook for 15 minutes to meld the flavors and thicken the mixture.
Stir in the cilantro and scallions and season with the honey, salt and pepper.
Ladle the chili into bowls, top with a dollop of the cumin-lime yogurt and avocado-shishito relish.
At the table, pass the queso blanco and Cotija cheeses, as well as some tortilla chips, if desired, to sprinkle over the top of the chili.
Offer cornbread or cornbread muffins on the side, if desired.
One of my friends has been trying to convince me to make nachos for dinner for quite some time. My kids (who were well aware of this suggestion) were so deprived, they have ordered nachos on several occasions as an entrée when we’ve indulged at a Mexican restaurant. 😉
When I saw this recipe for “party nachos,” I thought that I could (and should) serve them for dinner! Crazy? Nope. My kids were thrilled. After all, nachos are a sheet-pan dinner. This version uses rotisserie chicken meat as a shortcut too.
This recipe was adapted from Bon Appétit, contributed by Rick Martinez. I scaled down the proportions. However, I did prepare the full recipe for the rotisserie chicken and sauce, keeping half to use for tacos, etc., on another occasion.
The bottom layer was reminiscent of a enchilada pie, or taco or enchilada skillet meal- other weeknight favorites over here. The rotisserie chicken meat is coated with a fabulous, full-flavored sauce. This sauce brings these nachos to the next level. I loved all of the toppings too. Very cheesy.
When not being served for dinner, these nachos would also be a great appetizer or snack, of course.
Yield: Serves about 6
2 T extra-virgin olive oil
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 large red onion, chopped, divided
1 T achiote paste or tomato paste
8 ancho chiles, stemmed, seeded (I substituted 2 ancho chilies plus 4 guajillo chiles)
1 chipotle chile in adobo, chopped (or 1 T adobo sauce to keep things mild)
3 cups chicken stock
1 tsp ground cumin
1 rotisserie chicken, meat pulled from bones and shredded
1 10-oz bag frozen corn, thawed, drained
1/2 poblano chile, stemmed, seeded, chopped
4 oz crumbled feta cheese (about 1/2 cup) or finely grated Cotija cheese (about 1 cup)
Nonstick vegetable oil spray
8 to 10-oz tortilla chips
1 lb sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
thinly sliced radishes, cilantro leaves, avocado cubes, and pickled jalapeños, for serving, as desired
sour cream, for serving, as desired
Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high until shimmering.
Cook garlic and half of onion, stirring occasionally, until tender and beginning to brown, 6–8 minutes.
Stir in achiote paste/tomato paste and cook, stirring occasionally, until brick red, about 1 minute.
Add dried chiles, chipotle chile, stock, cumin, and 2 teaspoons of salt and bring to a boil. Cover, remove from heat, and let sit until chiles are very soft, about 30 minutes.
Place a rack in the center of oven; preheat to 350°, preferably on convection.
Transfer chile mixture to a blender and purée until smooth.
Return to saucepan, stir in chicken, and bring to a simmer over medium-low heat; season with salt. Remove from heat; set chicken aside until ready to assemble. (Reserve half of this saucy chicken for another use; only half is needed for the nachos.)
Meanwhile, toss corn, chopped poblano chile, half of the feta/Cotija cheese, and remaining onion in a medium bowl until combined; season with salt.
Coat a large rimmed baking sheet with nonstick spray.
Arrange half of the chips in an even layer on the bottom of the baking sheet.
Top with half of the reserved chicken mixture, half of the corn mixture, and half of the cheddar.
Repeat layers with remaining chips, chicken mixture, corn mixture, and cheddar.
Bake nachos, rotating pan halfway through, until cheese is melted and edges of chips are beginning to brown, 8–10 minutes.
Serve topped with radishes, cilantro, avocado, pickled jalapeños, remaining feta/Cotija cheese, sour cream, and other desired toppings alongside.
Do Ahead: Nachos can be assembled 1 hour before baking. Cover with plastic and store at room temperature.
One more Indian dish to share… for now. 😉 This is another wonderful pressure cooker version of a classic Indian dish. A pressure cooker is a great tool to use when making Indian food.
This recipe was adapted from The Essential Indian Instant Pot Cookbook: Authentic Flavors and Modern Recipes for Your Electric Pressure Cooker by Archana Mundhe of Ministry of Curry. I used my stove top pressure cooker instead of an Instant Pot. I also modified the proportions and omitted the sugar.
I served this wonderful, saucy chicken over brown Basmati rice with warm naan and steamed beet and turnip greens. Full-flavored, fast and fabulous.
Yield: Serves 4 to 6
2 T ghee
2 large yellow onions, finely diced
2 to 2 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, halved and patted dry
1 cup canned crushed tomatoes or tomato purée
1/2 cup water
1 T grated fresh ginger
5 to 6 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp ancho chile powder, Kashmiri red chile powder or another mild red chile powder
2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1/2 cup canned coconut cream
2 T tomato paste
2 T dried fenugreek seeds
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
brown Basmati rice, for serving (stove top: 1 1/2 cups rice & 3 cups chicken stock)
naan, for serving, optional
Heat the ghee in a stove top pressure cooker or on high sauté in an Instant Pot.
Add the onion and cook until translucent, 4 to 5 minutes.
Add the chicken, crushed tomatoes, water, ginger, garlic, Chile powder, salt, garam masala, and turmeric; stir to combine.
Meanwhile, cook the rice in a separate pot. (If using an Instant Pot, stir 1 cup rice, 1 1/2 cups water, and 1 tsp kosher salt in a stainless steel bowl that will fit in the IP. Place a tall steam rack in the pot, making sure the legs rest on the bottom, and place the bowl of rice on the rack.)
Secure the lid of the pressure cooker or Instant Pot. Cook at high pressure for 5 minutes.
Let the pressure release naturally for 5 minutes, then vent manually to release any remaining steam. Open the pot. (Remove the rice if using an Instant Pot.)
Add the coconut cream, tomato paste, and fenugreek and stir to combine.
Sauté until the curry comes to a boil and is heated through, about 2 minutes. (At this point, I removed the chicken and continued to reduce the sauce for an additional 4 minutes.)
To serve: Spoon the rice onto plates and label the curry over the top. Sprinkle with cilantro. Serve with naan on the side, as desired.
I have a lot of kitchen gadgets- a LOT- but until recently, I didn’t have a good pair of kitchen shears. I was thrilled to be able to halve this chicken with my new shears. Just like all of the chefs on television. 😉
This recipe was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by Melissa Clark. I used ancho chile powder instead of pasilla chile powder, used dried aji amarillo powder instead of paste, increased the amount of garlic in the marinade, and lowered the roasting temperature.
I incorporated my CSA cilantro into the incredible creamy green sauce. I served the chicken on a bed of sautéed CSA leeks and greens (collard and turnip) with roasted CSA potatoes on the side. It was a celebration of my vegetable share. 🙂 Spectacular.
Yield: 4 servings
For the Chicken:
10 garlic cloves, finely grated or minced
3tablespoons light soy sauce
1tablespoon aji amarillo paste or another chile paste such as sriracha or sambal
1tablespoon lime juice (from 1/2 of a lime)
1teaspoon aji panca paste or 1 teaspoon pasilla or ancho chile powder
1teaspoon Dijon mustard
1teaspoon ground cumin
1teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½teaspoon fine sea salt
1(3 1/2- to 4 1/2-pound) chicken, halved (see Note) or 4 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken parts
extra-virgin olive oil, as needed
For the Sauce:
1cup cilantro leaves and tender stems
3 to 4jalapeños, seeded and diced
¼cup/1 ounce crumbled feta cheese (I used sheep’s milk feta)
1garlic clove, chopped
1 ½tablespoons lime juice, more to taste
2teaspoons chopped fresh oregano or basil
¾teaspoon fine sea salt, more to taste
½teaspoon Dijon mustard
½tablespoon aji amarillo or other chile paste (I used aji amarillo powder)
½teaspoon ground cumin
½cup extra-virgin olive oil
lime wedges, for garnish
For the marinade: In a large bowl, whisk together garlic, soy sauce, aji amarillo paste, lime juice, aji panca paste, mustard, cumin, pepper and salt.
Add chicken halves, turning to coat them all over with marinade. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours and up to 12 hours. (I marinated the chicken for 10 hours.)
Heat the oven to 425 degrees, preferably on convection roast. Remove chicken from marinade and pat dry with paper towels. Arrange skin-side up on a parchment paper-lined rimmed baking sheet and drizzle with oil.
Roast until skin is golden and chicken is cooked through, tenting with foil after 30 minutes, for 35 to 45 minutes (if using chicken parts, remove the breasts after 25 to 35 minutes), or until the internal temperature is 145 degrees. Remove from oven and let sit, loosely covered with foil, for 10 minutes before serving.
While chicken is roasting, make the sauce. In a blender, blend cilantro, jalapeños, feta, garlic, lime juice, oregano, salt, mustard, aji amarillo paste, honey, and cumin until smooth. With the motor running, slowly drizzle in oil until mixture is emulsified. Taste and adjust the seasonings with salt or lime juice or both.
Carve the chicken and serve with the sauce and lime wedges on the side.
Note: To cut a chicken in half, use a sturdy pair of poultry shears to cut lengthwise through the breastbone. Turn over and cut again, along the backbone. If desired, cut along the other side of the backbone and remove it.
This chili has an incredible rich flavor. The chicken is browned and then braised and both dried and smoked chiles are used instead of chili powder. Not too spicy- just absolutely delicious!!
This recipe was adapted from a dark meat turkey chili in Bon Appetit, contributed by Claire Saffitz. I substituted boneless, skinless, chicken thighs for turkey drumsticks and adjusted the cooking times. We ate it with all of the toppings (of course) as well as with cornbread on the side (in Pullman loaf form!). Perfect for any cold day- or for the Super Bowl. 🙂
Yield: 8 Servings
2 guajillo chiles, stems removed
1 ancho chile, stem removed
1 canned chipotle chile in adobo, plus 1 Tbsp. adobo
1/4 cup olive oil
10 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 large onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 28-oz. can crushed tomatoes
1 12-oz. can Pilsner or other light beer
2 15-oz. cans pinto beans, rinsed
Lime wedges, sour cream, chopped red onion, chopped fresh cilantro, and sliced avocado (for serving)
Toast guajillo and ancho chiles in a small dry skillet over medium-high heat, tossing, until darkened in color and fragrant, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a blender and add 1 cup boiling water. Let sit 10 minutes.
Add chipotle chile and adobo to the soaked dried chiles and blend until smooth, about 1 minute. Set chile purée aside.
Meanwhile, heat oil in a large Dutch oven or other heavy pot over medium-high heat. Season chicken generously with salt and pepper. Working in batches if needed, cook, turning occasionally, until browned all over, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
Reduce heat to medium and add onion and garlic to same pot; season with salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is soft and translucent, 8–10 minutes.
Mix in cocoa, cumin, oregano, and cayenne and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 2 minutes.
Add tomato paste and cook, stirring constantly, until onion is coated and paste begins to darken, about 2 minutes. Add reserved chile purée and bring to boil.
Continue to cook, stirring, until thickened and darkened in color, about 3 minutes.
Add tomatoes, beer, and 4 cups water; season with salt and return chicken to pot. Bring to a boil.
Reduce heat and gently simmer, uncovered, until meat is tender, about 20 to 30 minutes. Remove chicken from pot and let cool slightly. Shred meat and return to pot.
Add beans and simmer, adding more water as needed, until meat is beginning to fall apart and beans are very tender, 20 to 30 minutes; season chili with salt.
Serve chili with lime wedges, sour cream, red onion, chopped cilantro, and sliced avocado.
My entire family LOVES Mexican food. I love it all but mole is my absolute favorite Mexican dish. I can’t believe that I have never posted this fabulous recipe! I have made it several times- it must be the easiest mole to make- EVER. This recipe was adapted from Everyday Food. We ate it over brown basmati rice with cumin spiced sautéed kale with onions on the side.
1 medium yellow or 1 large sweet onion, roughly chopped
2 dried ancho chiles, stemmed and seeded
1 large chipotle chile in adobo sauce
1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted (425 degree oven for 2-3 minutes)
1/4 cup raisins
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped (1/2 cup) (I used Trader Joe’s 72% Dark Chocolate)
3 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Fresh cilantro leaves, for serving
rice, sour cream, avocado for serving, optional (I used brown basmati rice)
Season chicken thighs with salt and place in a 5-to-6-quart slow cooker. In a blender, puree tomatoes, onion, ancho and chipotle chiles, almonds, raisins, chocolate, garlic, oil, cumin, and cinnamon until smooth.
Add tomato mixture to slow cooker, cover, and cook on high until chicken is tender, 4 hours (or 8 hours on low). Adjust seasoning if necessary. Serve chicken and sauce over rice topped with cilantro, avocado, and/or sour cream, if desired.
Mole is one of my favorite things in this world to eat. When we lived in Chicago, we would go to a restaurant that served a different type of mole every night of the week- heaven! When I saw Mario Batali make this mole on The Chew, I couldn’t wait to try it. Wonderful!! Yay! My family- especially my son- gobbled it up too. 🙂
The original recipe called for Mexican drinking chocolate, but, after an unsuccessful search for it, I substituted my favorite Trader Joe’s 72% cacao dark chocolate- perfect. According to Mario Batali, the burnt tortilla is very important for the resulting texture and smokiness of the sauce; I charred the corn tortilla on the open flame of my gas range. I also used boneless, skinless chicken thighs for convenience. The sesame seeds provided a contrasting texture in the otherwise smooth sauce. FABULOUS!!
4 large Guajillo; New Mexico; or California Chiles (stems removed)
3 large Dried Mulato or Ancho Chiles (stems removed)
1/2 cup Tomato Sauce
2 teaspoons Sea Salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground Black Pepper
2 cups Chicken Stock
3 ounces Mexican Drinking Chocolate or 72% cacao dark chocolate (grated)
Cilantro (leaves only; to garnish)
Lime Wedges (to garnish)
Brown Basmati Rice, for serving
Sour Cream, for serving, if desired
In a large dutch oven, heat a few tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat. Brown the chicken deeply on all sides and remove to a plate. Add the onions, garlic, and cinnamon to the pot and cook over medium-low for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the peanuts, almonds, sesame seeds, charred tortilla, and chiles. Pour 3 cups of boiling water over the contents of the bowl and steep for 5 minutes. Strain, reserving the liquid, remove solids to a food processor, and pulse with just enough water to create a sauce-like paste.
Pour the paste over the onion mixture, and add the tomato sauce, salt and pepper, and bring to a boil. Add the chicken pieces and chicken stock and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the chocolate and simmer 2 more minutes. Serve with rice, sour cream, and fresh cilantro leaves and lime wedges, if desired.