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.
I served this heaping platter of fried deliciousness for our celebratory St. Patrick’s Day dinner. It was extremely well received. 🙂
I used Irish Harp beer in the fish batter, of course. As I was cooking the fish and chips, my husband realized that we hadn’t included the essential tartar sauce in our menu. He was thankfully able to make sauce with a few adaptations.
The beer-battered fish recipe was adapted from Donal Skehan via today.com; I modified the cooking method. The potato chip recipe was adapted from Bon Appétit. I used gold potatoes, olive oil, and seasoned the chips with sea salt. The tartar sauce recipe was loosely adapted from inspiredtaste.net. It was a treat. We’re planning to eat the leftover fish in tacos!
For the Crispy Potato Chips:
2 pounds gold, russet, or purple potatoes
1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
vegetable oil, for frying (I used 10 cups of canola oil with 3-4 cups olive oil)
For the Beer-Battered Fish:
4 skinless and boneless white fish fillets, patted dry and cut into thick strips (I used Alaskan Cod)
1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more to coat the fish
1 cup cold beer (I used Harp)
coarse salt, sea salt, and freshly ground black pepper
canola oil and olive oil, to fry (see above)
lemon wedges, to serve
For the Tartar Sauce:
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 small dill pickle, chopped very small (3 tablespoons)(I substituted 1 tsp white wine vinegar)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, plus more to taste (I used the juice of 1/2 a lemon)
1 tablespoon capers, drained and chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill or 1 teaspoon dried dill (I substituted fresh basil)
1/2 to 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
To Make the Crispy Potato Chips:
Using a mandoline, slice potatoes about 1/8-inch thick.
Place slices in a large bowl, add cold water to cover, and stir to release starch; drain. Repeat until water runs clear.
Return potatoes to bowl; cover with 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar and about 6 cups water. Let sit at least 30 minutes or up to 2 hours. (the vinegar helps make the chips more crispy)
Drain potatoes and pat dry prior to cooking.
Fit a large heavy pot with a deep-fry thermometer; pour in oil to measure 3 to 4”. (I used a very deep “pasta pot” to reduce splattering.)
Heat over medium-high until thermometer registers 300°. (frying the potatoes at a lower temperature helps to remove moisture)
Working in 4 to 6 batches and returning oil to 300° between batches, fry potatoes, turning occasionally to cook evenly, until golden brown and crisp (oil will have quit bubbling), about 5 to 7 minutes per batch.
Using a spider or slotted spoon, transfer to a paper towel–lined rimmed sheet pan fitted with a wire rack. While hot, season with salt.
Reserve the cooking oil to fry the fish.
Note: Potatoes can be fried 6 hours ahead. Keep at room temperature. (I kept the chips in a warming drawer while I cooked the fish.)
To Make the Beer-Battered Fish:
Top the pot with more oil, if needed, and bring it back to temperature, 300° to 340°, over a medium-high heat.
Coat the fish strips with flour, shake off the excess and set aside in a single layer on a plate.
Place 1 cup of flour in a large mixing bowl, make a well in the middle of it and pour in a little beer and whisk. Keep adding the beer and mixing until you have a smooth batter.
Season generously with coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Working beside the pan, dip the fish strips in the batter one at a time and then into the hot oil. Make sure not to overcrowd the pan. (I used tongs and cooked the fish in 3 batches.)
Cook for about 4 to 5 minutes until golden-brown, turning halfway through the cooking time.
Remove the fish from the pot using a spider or slotted spoon and transfer to a paper towel–lined rimmed sheet pan fitted with a wire rack. While hot, season with salt.
Serve with some lemon wedges, crispy chips, and tartar sauce, as desired.
To Make the Tartar Sauce:
Combine the mayonnaise, pickles (or vinegar), lemon juice, capers, dill, Worcestershire sauce, and mustard in a small bowl and stir until well blended and creamy.
Season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Taste then adjust with additional lemon juice, salt, and pepper.
Note: For the best flavor, cover and store in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. Keep, tightly covered, in the refrigerator for up to one week.
My daughter and I really enjoy watching Queer Eye on Netflix together. It is so positive and full of love. She is particularly a fan of Antoni, the chef. We were excited to check out his cookbook! 🙂
This fabulous chili recipe was adapted from Antoni in the Kitchen by Antoni Porowski. I modified the proportions. It was rich, full-flavored, and hearty. We ate it with lots of toppings, cornbread muffins and green salad. I’m planning to make it again to serve on a really chilly evening. Everyone loved it.
Super Bowl 2021 Update: This chili was absolutely delicious served with beer bread.
Yield: Serves 6 to 8
For the Chili:
1/3 to 1/2 pound thick-cut bacon, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-wide strips (4-5 slices)
1 3/4 to 2 pounds ground turkey, preferably dark meat
2 T olive oil
2 medium or 1 1/2 large onions, coarsely chopped (about 3 cups)
1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and cut into small cubes
3 T tomato paste
5 to 8 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 canned chipotle chile in adobo, seeded (if desired), finely chopped, plus 1 to 2 T adobo sauce (I didn’t seed the chile)
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp ground cumin
2 (15-oz) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (14-oz) can crushed tomatoes
1 (12-oz) bottle dark beer (such as Guiness or Negra Modelo)
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
2 oz dark chocolate, coarsely chopped (scant 1/2 cup) (I used 72% cacao)
2 T apple cider vinegar
2 tsp molasses or dark brown sugar
For the Toppings:
chopped fresh cilantro
diced red or white onion
sour cream or Greek yogurt
In a large Dutch oven or other wide heavy pot with a lid, cook the bacon over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp and golden, 5 to 7 minutes. (I used a large enameled cast iron Dutch oven.) Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a large bowl.
Cook the turkey in the remaining bacon fat over high heat, stirring frequently and breaking up the meat into small bits with a wooden spoon, until cooked through, about 5 minutes.
Season turkey with 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt, then transfer and any juices to the bowl with the bacon.
Heat the oil in the same pot over medium to medium-high heat.
Add the onions and bell pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened and the onions are golden, about 8 minutes.
Stir in the tomato paste and garlic and cook for 1 minute, stirring, then stir in the chipotle and adobo sauce, oregano, cumin, and 2 teaspoons of salt. Cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes.
Add the beans, crushed tomatoes, beer, stock, chocolate, and turkey-bacon mixture. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the chili is deeply flavorful, about 1 hour and 15 minutes.
Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the vinegar and molasses or brown sugar.
Adjust the seasoning, to taste. Serve hot with toppings, as desired.
My son has become obsessed with making this bread. It is absolutely delicious and he can make it completely independently. He has experimented with several types of beers but his favorite is a light lager because the flavor it imparts is more subtle.
This recipe was adapted from Little Sweet Baker. We have made it several times to serve with pulled chicken sandwiches- a great combination. The bread is buttery and has a chewy texture. Great!
Yield: One 9-inch loaf
3 cups (375g) all-purpose flour
1 T baking powder
1 tsp coarse salt
1/4 cup (60ml) honey
1 bottle of beer, of choice (330 to 355 ml) of choice, at room temperature (our favorite is Trader Joe’s light lager)
4 T melted unsalted butter, divided (I melt the butter in the microwave in separate 2 T portions)
Preheat oven to 350F, preferably on convection.
Grease a 9×5″ loaf pan with cooking oil spray. Set aside. (I used a glass loaf pan.)
Sift the flour into a large bowl, then whisk in the baking powder and salt.
Pour in 2 tablespoons of the melted butter, followed by the honey and beer.
Stir all the ingredients together until just combined.
Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and brush the remaining 2 tablespoons of melted butter on top.
Bake for 40 to 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Let cool in pan for 5-10 minutes, then remove the bread to cool on a wire rack.
I have already made this fabulous, full-flavored grilled chicken twice this summer. We loved it!
The recipe was adapted from The Barbecue Bible by Steven Raichlen. I used boneless, skinless chicken thighs instead of a whole chicken and coarse grain mustard instead of regular Dijon. On the first occasion, I served it with tzatziki and arugula-basil salad with peaches. Recently, I served it again with roasted potatoes, a raw zucchini salad, and sautéed fresh corn with shallots. All delicious. The original recipe suggests serving it with rice and beans. Next time!
Yield: Serves 4 to 6
12 to 16 oz beer (I used a Brooklyn lager)
1/2 cup vegetable oil (I used canola)
1/2 cup whole grain Dijon mustard or Dijon mustard
1 T sweet paprika
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
12 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 bay leaves
9 to 10 boneless, skinless chicken thighs or 1 (3 1/2 to 4 pound) whole chicken, quartered
parsley, for garnish, optional
Combine the beer, oil, mustard, paprika, and pepper in a bowl with a spout. Whisk throughly to blend.
Stir in the onion, garlic, and bay leaves.
Place a ziplock bag in a pyrex dish. (I used a 1 gallon bag.) Place the chicken pieces in the ziplock bag.
Pour the marinade over the chicken in the bag. Seal the top and squeeze out excess air.
Turn to coat all of the meat. Lay bag horizontally in the pyrex dish. Let marinate in the refrigerator for 6 hours or up to 2 days, turning occasionally.
Preheat the grill.
When ready to cook, remove the chicken pieces from the marinade and blot dry with paper towels. Season generously with salt.
Oil the grill and cook the chicken, marinating occasionally, until lightly browned and cooked though.
Garnish with parsley, if desired, and serve immediately.