Last Sunday was a big event in our house. We had friends over to watch the Superbowl. We are all Packer fans so there was a lot of happiness in our house when all was said and done. Some of us were definitely die-hard fans, some of us were fans who wanted to be part of the event just because it was the event of the day. Sort of like the people who just attend church on Christmas and Easter. But all of us were people who enjoy food and like to eat.
In our invite we told everyone we were making vegetarian chili (vegan actually) and hot dogs, both with all the fixin’s. And, yes, we understand the contradiction of that menu. We asked our guests to bring along some snacks, dip, munchies, etc to accompany the main event. We got smoked salmon, homemade tortilla chips, fruit combo of kiwi and pineapple on a toothpick ( green and gold!) and salsa, sweet potato dip, guacamole and bean dip. Lots of chips and lots of beer. When I look back, I thought it was kind of curious that the Cheeseheads weren’t eating cheese.
About two hours before people were to arrive Curt started the chili. He had bought ingredients the day before and was ready to “make it up.” Curt likes to shoot from the hip a lot when he cooks, and it only makes me nervous when we are expecting guests but I didn’t have any fear of failure with chili. I was right because all our football fanatics and groupies loved it and asked for the recipe. No small feat because when he makes up recipes he never writes them down. Fortunately when the guests asked, it was still fresh in his mind.
A great winter dish, and we’ve still got some winter left. Enjoy!
Super Bowl Vegetarian Chili
2 lg. onions, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 C. Olive oil
1 • 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes with chilies (Muir Glen)
1 • 28 oz. Can crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup dried tomatoes, oil packed. Drain (reserve oil) and chop
3 stalks celery
1 green pepper
1/2 yellow pepper
1/2 red pepper
1 medium zucchini
1 yellow squash
1 C. shredded carrots
6 oz. Portabella mushrooms
3 oz. Oyster mushrooms
6 dried Shiitake mushrooms, soaked in hot water 20 minutes (reserve soaking water)
All the vegetables should be chopped into roughly 3/8” pieces and each held separately.
1 can black beans, drained
1 can dark red kidney beans, drained
4 T. chili powder (use more or less to taste)
1/4 t. chipotle chili powder
1/2 T. ground cumin
1/2 T. oregano (Mexican if available, if not, Greek is fine)
NOTE: No extra salt is added. The several canned products contribute more than enough residual salt to adequately season the chili.
3 T. Masa Harina (corn flour)
Sauté the Base ingredients in a large pot (8 qt. or so) over medium-low heat until tender. Do not brown.
Add the Tomatoes to the onions and continue over medium- low heat.
Sauté each of the vegetables over high heat, in separate batches, in a large shallow pan/skillet. Add a little olive oil reserved from the tomatoes (or fresh oil) to each batch, as needed. Each vegetable should be sautéed until they start to brown a little on the edges and much of their own moisture has cooked off. The mushrooms, in particular should be sautéed until quite dry. Transfer each vegetable to the pot with the onions & tomatoes with a slotted spoon, using any oil left in the pan to sauté the next vegetable.
Add the reserved mushroom soaking liquid to the onion/tomato mix in the pot.
Add the drained beans to the pot.
Add the spices to the pot.
Mix and add additional water to adjust the consistency to suit.
Cook 45 minutes.
About 15 minutes before serving, add the Masa Harina to enough cold water to make a slurry. While stirring the chili, add the Masa Harina slurry to the chili. Stir to evenly distribute and cook over low heat until ready to serve. Stir frequently to avoid burning once the Masa Harina is added.
This makes about 5 – 6 quarts of chili.
Put sides of chopped red onion, shredded cheese, sour cream and crackers on the side for your guests to add as they prefer.