Where’s the Beef? Chili Night

This chili was pretty ballsy on my part; making a vegetarian dish for three meat loving guys? Crazy! But I was in the mood for some chili and at the same time in the mood for something light, and this recipe is the best of both worlds. Adapted from this recipe over at Amateur Gourmet, this citrus-y and super spicy summer chili doesn’t need any meat to be absolutely to die for. Once the shock and confusion wore off, Nick and his friends all enjoyed their meals and no one was going hungry.

If you read this blog often, you know that I’m a sucker for spicy. The grocery store had unusually large jalapeños this week, nearly twice the size of the ones I usually find. I tossed them in seeds and all, but feel free to reduce the amount or remove the seeds to suit your tastes. I also got as much of the delicious adobo sauce from my chipotle peppers, but you can used less or even omit this ingredient entirely – whatever floats your boat.

A cautionary tale: you read that list of ingredients correctly, this recipe uses three (THREE!!) large yellow onions. That’s a lot of dicing and a whole lot of tears. Remember to sharpen your knife before you start and continue to sharpen as you go. The sharper your knife, the less you cry.

Where’s the Beef? Chili

  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 large yellow onions, diced
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 large jalapenos, minced
  • 4 cloves garlic, grated
  • 1 orange, zest and juice
  • 3 limes, zest and juice
  • 1/4 cup chili powder
  • 1/4 cup coriander
  • 1/4 cup cumin
  • 1 tbsp black pepper
  • 28 oz crushed tomatoes
  • 3 chipotle peppers in adobo, roughly chopped
  • 6 cups water
  • 15 oz black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 15 oz frozen corn
  • shredded cheese, corn chips, sour cream, chopped scallions, insert favorite topping of choice here for serving

Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven or soup pot over medium heat. When it begins to smoke, add the onions and salt; saute the onions for 8-10 minutes until they are soft and translucent. Add the jalapeños and garlic and continue to saute for another minute or so.

Toss in the zest and juice from the citrus as well as the spices and stir until everything is well combined and the spices have a chance to become toasty. The dish will become very fragrant at this point and is now ready for some liquid.

Add the crushed tomatoes and chipotle peppers, making sure to get in a lot of extra adobo sauce. Then add the water and bring the chili up to a simmer. Toss in the beans and corn and return the pot to a simmer. From there, cover and turn the heat down to low, allow it to simmer for an hour, stirring occasionally.

I served up my chili with some shredded cheddar cheese and plenty of corn chips for some crunch on top.

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