VDP: Three-Bean ‘Chile Con Frijoles’

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

It used to be just hearing the words ‘Vegetarian Chili’ would give me the heebie jeebies. Chili needs meat, it is all about the meat and the chillies! Well, I still dislike the name even though a dish with lots of dried and/or fresh chillies, spices, beans and vegetables can be very good. It’s just not Chili! That is why I am calling this ‘Chili con Frijoles’. It describes exactly what this is, beans with chillies.

The recipe I used here is a combo of two recipes from Mark Bittman’s “How To Cook Everything Vegetarian“. One includes black beans, chocolate and coffee, the other is a more straightforward mix of beans and chili powder with onions and garlic. I loved the idea of making a deep dark and rich ‘chili’so I used a good homemade chili powder, lots of onions, garlic, Mexican chocolate, canned tomatoes and a few spoons of dark brown sugar to offset the acidity and the bitterness.

I brought the brew to a simmer in the Colombian clay pot with three different types of beans (black, red and pinto). I then put the pot in a low 230 F oven for a few hours and went to sleep. After resting on the counter all day, I just reheated it for dinner and served it with lots of garnished. I will certainly be making this again, it was utterly delicious garnished with sour cream, cilantro, avocado, farmers cheese, onions, scallions and a squeeze of lime juice. Maybe I’ll make some corn bread to go with it next time.

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2 thoughts on “VDP: Three-Bean ‘Chile Con Frijoles’”

  1. Looks so good, as do all of your dishes. About half my meals at home are meatless and I get inspired looking at your blog, though I’m nowhere near the cook you are.

    The only vegetarian ‘chili’ I’ve liked was made with tempeh and pintos but I’ll have to try this. What chiles did you use?

    Also, the name chiles con frijoles would be even better I think – chili is the meat dish, chiles are the peppers. And the vegetarian take on a chili pie looks delish, too.

  2. Thanmks for the kind comments Bruce! I am sure you will have no problem cooking this if you want to. It is very easy.
    I am always amused by the word Chili/Chile/Chilli and when to use what. I have decided to use the word Harold McGee uses (I figure he knows best) to describe the fruit of the plant, and that is “Chillies”. For my chili powder I used a recipe by Alton Brown, and included Pasilla and Ancho chillies. I alwasy keep some of this powder on hand for seasoning dishes, especially Tex-Mex stuff.

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