Earlier this week my running buddies convinced me that I should enter the neighborhood chili cook-off. I realized that since becoming a vegetarian I haven’t even made chili. (Ironic, I know because I eat beans almost every day.) So I invented a new recipe. I took my time and tried to make it special and I thought that it turned out pretty well. It has some kick, but is not overwhelmingly hot. I honestly think it is my best chili recipe so far. I’m assuming that people liked it because my crockpot was scraped empty with only a solitary bean remaining.
I didn’t win though, it turns out the prize went to the hottest chili. It’s more time-consuming than my standard fare, and it would be easy to simplify it, but then it wouldn’t be as good.
Caramelized Onion & Roasted Tomato Chili
Food Storage Ingredients:
2 (14.5 oz) cans diced tomatoes with chipotle peppers (with juice)
2 (14.5 oz) cans kidney beans, rinsed and drained
2 (14.5 oz) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
6 Tablespoons dried diced carrots
6 Tablespoons dried diced red & green bell peppers
1/2 cup tomato juice
1 Tablespoon A-1 steak sauce
1 Tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon agave nectar
olive oil spray
Kirkland’s organic no-salt seasoning
8 small tomatoes, quartered
2 Hatch chiles
1 Anaheim pepper
3 onions, diced
1. Mix first nine ingredients and one onion in medium (4-6 quarts) sized crock-pot and set to low. (You need time for your dried vegetables to absorb the liquid.) 2. Place tomatoes and fresh peppers in a lightly sprayed pan. Sprinkle tomatoes with no-salt seasoning. Roast at 400 degrees for 45 minutes, or until done. 3. While peppers and tomatoes are roasting, put remaining two diced onions in a covered pan over low heat. (You’ll want to lightly spray it with olive oil first.) Stir every 10-15 minutes until brown throughout (about 45 minutes). 4. Before the last ten minutes drizzle onions with agave. 5. When tomatoes and peppers are done, (peppers will be blistered and charred and tomatoes will be browned on the edges) cover the pan with foil and allow them to steam for half an hour. 6. Once caramelized onions are done, stir them into the crock-pot. 7. When peppers are ready, peel skins and remove seeds. 8. Blend peppers and tomatoes and add mixture to the chili. Continue to cook on low for 2-4 more hours.
Notes: If you wanted to make this spicier, you could substitute the Anaheim for another Hatch chile, or just increase your hot pepper ratio. My husband (and really his is the pallet that I am trying to please) said that he liked it the way that it was. He said that it was a little spicy, but not so much that you can’t enjoy the other great flavors. You do what you need.