Friday, April 22, 2011

Spring Chili

      As I had mentioned in a previous post, I have been trying to find a good chili recipe. My search subsided after I found the chili recipe that I had posted previously even though I was not completely satisfied by it. Perhaps it was because the weather started to change as spring approached (it's still approaching here in Montreal) but I forgot about my quest for a good veggie chili recipe. But as with the best recipes, they usually just fall into your lap, through experimentation or from something as simple as talking to your mom on the phone. Recently I was on the phone with my mom and she told me about some chili recipe that she had heard about and tried. It sounded amazing so I soon found myself at the store gathering some simple ingredients including an orange. Yes, an orange for chili. This, my friends, is a sweeter chili than we are usually accustomed to. It's perfect for the spring time when you are still looking for something to warm you up during a cool evening.

      As you can see, I chose to serve the chili on french fries. I hesitated to show this one on a blog that prides itself for healthy eating choices, but the wife and I often eat chili this way especially when we are a little burnt out on having rice (typically we eat brown rice 5 or so times a week). Perhaps the desire to eat it on french fries also has something to do with nostalgia I have for the cafeteria that we ate at together in college. They would often have a "fry bar." This would consists of fries, beans, tomatoes/salsa, sour cream etc. Basically your average taco condiments but served on a nest of fries. It may sound a little repulsive, but I have to admit I looked forward to "fry bar" day at the cafeteria. This exceeds the bland bean blend at the cafeteria and even my beloved Trader Joe's canned chili on fries. The sweet potatoes and the orange zest in this dish affords this chili a very flavorful (and healthy) melange despite the simplicity of the recipe. 

The Ingredients:

2  T. vegetable oil
1 large onion chopped
1  T. chili powder
1/2 t. ground cumin
2 Cups chicken or vegetable broth
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled & cut into 3/4-inch cubes
2 (14 1/2 oz.) cans diced tomatoes in juice
1 (15 1/2 oz.) can black beans, drained & rinsed
2 zest
salt & pepper

1. Heat the oil in a 4-6 qt.dutch oven or saucepan over medium heat.

2. Add the onion and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 5 minutes.

3. Stir in the chili powder and cumin, then add the broth and sweet potatoes and stir well to combine. Bring the mixture to a gentle boil, the cover the pan, reduce the heat to low and simmer until the potatoes are almost tender, about 15 minutes.

4. Add the tomatoes and beans and to simmer, uncovered, until the mixture is heated through and slightly thickened, about 15 minutes more.

5. Stir in the orange zest and season to taste with salt and pepper. 

Serve the chili atop brown rice or french fries. Optionally top with green onions, cilantro and/or sour cream.

1 comment:

  1. Holy crap this sounds super good I'm making this right now. I tip my hat to you, sir.