Bean fiends, rejoice! The fourth Thursday in February is National Chili Day, and you can bet we’ll be dunking our spoons into a huge bowl of the stuff. Thankfully, most chili recipes are flexible (and simple): add your choice of beans, (cooked) ground meat, veggies, and spices to a crockpot and set it on low heat for four-to-eight hours. Serve with shredded cheese, a dollop of sour cream, and a slice (or two) of cornbread.
Don’t have all day to slow-cook chili? Here’s one of our favorite chili dishes from the Culinary Institute of America. It’s fast and vegetarian-friendly, so everyone can enjoy it in a relatively short amount of time.
Makes 4 quarts (approximately 6-8 servings); recipe courtesy of the Culinary Institute of America
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 onions, peeled and diced
- 2 red bell peppers, cored and diced
- 2 Tbsp garlic, minced
- 2 Serrano peppers, stemmed, seeded, and finely minced
- 2 zucchini, diced
- 1 cup corn kernels
- 2 Tbsp chili powder
- 2 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp salt
- ¼ tsp cayenne
- 1 tsp coriander
- 1 tsp cocoa
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 14 oz canned tomato purée
- 2 cups black beans
- 2 cups pinto beans
- 2 cups kidney beans
- 3 cups vegetable stock
- 1 cup red bell peppers, roasted and puréed
- 2 tomatoes, roasted whole and puréed
- 1 tsp soy sauce
- ½ tsp ground black pepper
- ¼ cup cilantro, chopped
- In a large, heavy pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions, bell peppers, garlic, and serrano peppers and cook, stirring, until soft, about 3 minutes.
- Add the zucchini and corn and cook, stirring, until soft and the vegetables give off their liquid and start to brown around the edges, about 6 minutes.
- Add the chili powder, cumin, salt, cayenne, coriander, and cocoa and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the tomato purée and stir well.
- Add the drained and rinsed beans and vegetable stock; stir well and bring to a boil.
- Add the roasted bell peppers and tomatoes; reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the soy sauce, black pepper, and cilantro.
- Adjust the seasoning to taste.