Every year my husband and I host an open-house chili feed. This year one of our invitees is a Hindu gentleman that Todd works with. I think this means the chili should be vegan? Is that right? At least vegetarian, I know that. I asked hubby to ask the gentleman in question what his preference might be but he didn't get it done before the man went back to India for an extended stay. By the time he gets back chili feed will be upon us, and I'm trying to cook in advance and freeze it.
So I'm looking for some "tried and true" recipes that any of you may have. Hubby and I can't have soy, so TVP, etc. is out. Any ideas?
Ok, this is off the top of my head, so you may want to do a "test batch" before serving it "live"Base:
2 cans of dark red kidney beans
2 cans of light red kidney beans
1-2 cans of diced tomatoes
(1-2 lb. Ground beef would also go here, or meat substitute, or chicken, pork, etc. Or nothing at all.)
Rough-chopped medium to large onionMain Spices/Flavors (use to taste)
Chili power (to taste, but taste as you go)
chopped garlic (2 generous spoonfuls)
onion powder (2 good shakes)
garlic powder (2 good shakes)
basil (2 good shakes)
oregeno (2 good shakes)
Worcester Sauce (about 2 tablespoons)
Tomato Sauce (enough to get the chili sauce started, probably no more than 1/4 to 1/2 a cup)Optional Spices/Flavors (use to taste)
Honey, Pancake syrup, molasses (good for playing with sweet/spicy tongue battles, also a component in regular BBQ sauce, if you decide to use these, you'll have to add extra chili powder for it to taste like chili)
Coco power (watch out! a very little goes a very long way, this adds an interesting bitter "smoky" flavor, it will make your chili look much, much darker)
A1 Sauce (helps with robustness)
Fresh Cilantro, chopped (gives nice "fresh" flavor and a Mexican twist)
Canned Mushrooms (Adds more texture esp. if there's no meat)
Ground or Cracked Pepper
Jalepeņos (added "owie" factor)
Horseradish (helps add more zing to the chili and plays well with the garlic)
Ginger (nice zing factor)Directions:
(assuming no meat)
Spray a large skillet with Pam (or lubrication of choice) and cook the onions and chopped garlic in Pam, once they're well-cooked add the beans (include the bean juice), tomatoes (with juice) and anything else solid (from the optional list) you've decided to use.
Next, add the items from the main spice/flavor section. Once it starts to taste like chili consider adding the items from the optional menu. Start slow, taste and add as you go. Return to the "basic" spices/flavors when it starts to taste out of balance.
(Also, drink milk, water, ginger ale or whatever in between tastings to clear your palette. And don't forget to wash your spoon inbetween!)
(Don't worry about the amount or consistency of the sauce, that'll work itself out, trust me.)
Once you're happy with the taste ... STOP! Put all your spices away and let it cook at a simmer to near-boil. The longer it cooks, the thicker the consistency. Stir occasionally to prevent anything from getting burned. If it does a little, don't worry about it. According to my dad it, "adds character."
Remember, good chili is a lot like jazz. It kind of creates itself. (And I've never had 2 batches come out the same!)