Friday, January 06, 2006

Southwestern Chili

There are a few recipes out there that I don't make very often. It's not because the ingredients are rare or the time to make it is long. It's not even because I'm the only one who likes it. It's because it makes me... well... err... toot. Well, when you read the ingredient list you'll know why.

But sometimes I have to eat it. It's the ultimate comfort food--starchy, spicy, oniony tomatoey, just enough veggies to compliment the starches, enhanced by a touch of cheese. In its original form it is called "Red, Gold, Black and Green Chili". I got it from... yes, you guessed it... Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home.

Frogman being what he is would have pouted if there was no meat in it so I altered the recipe a bit so that it included big pieces of chicken for him and altered the spices a bit for me because I like things with a punch.

Southwestern Chili

1/2 cup bulghur
1/2 cup hot water
3 cups undrained canned tomatoes (28 oz can)

3 tbsp olive oil or vegetable oil
3 boneless chicken breasts, cubed into 1/2 inch pieces
3 cups chopped onion (smaller chop is better for the cooking time, bigger pieces feel more luxurious on the tongue)
3 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
2 tsp ground cumin
1 1/2 tsp Mexican chili powder or 1 generous tsp of regular chili powder with a generous pinch of cayenne added

2 green peppers (this preferrable to cut the intensity of the starches but slightly unripe yellows work too)
2 cups frozen corn
1 1/2 cups drained cooked black beans (14 oz can)
1 1/2 cups drained cooked red kidney beans (14 oz can)
salt to taste

grated cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese for garnish


Place the bulghur, hot water, and about a cup of the juice from the canned tomatoes in a small saucepan. cover and bring to a boil on hight heat, then lower the heat and simmer gently.

While the bulghur cooks, heat the olive oil in a large saucepan. Saute the chicken in the pan until almost cooked through. Add onions, garlic, cumin and Mexican chili powder (or chili powder and cayenne). Stir around to mix in spices. When the onions are soft, stir in the peppers and saute for about 3 minutes more. Chop tomatoes in the can and add them to the pan. Stir in. Add corn and beans, stir in and heat thoroughly over low heat. Taste the bulgur. When it is cooked but still chewy, add it to the pan with its liquid. Cover and simmer for a few minutes for the flavours to meld. Add salt to taste.

Serve plain or topped with grated cheese ( I used jalapeno Monterey Jack this time around and it was nice but cheddar is lovely too)


It serves 4 to 6. I like to make the full amount even when there is only two of us because the leftovers are great as a burrito filling! mmmmm....

In the picture you can see a couple of the things I got down south at Christmas: the red bowl and the cute "Campbell Soup Kids" napkin on the side. :D


Beth - Zen Foodism said...

This looks yummy! I don't have my own personal favorite recipe for chili yet. I'll have to keep this one in mind. I like the addition of bulghur, but I probably wouldn't add that chicken. That's just how I roll! :)

sailu said...

It looks good and very comforting ...I guess we can play around with the spices in this dish.

Nerissa said...

Hi there Beth! I wouldn't add the chicken too if it were just me but sometimes I just compromise, add big pieces of meat to something and pick it out later.

Hello again, sailu! It IS very comforting. Nice food for a cold winter's night. And by all means play around with the spices. Everyone has their preferences for amounts and types.

Melissa CookingDiva said...

Wow, it looks delicious. The idea of adding bulgur is very interesting---will have to try it someday, maybe soon, very soon :)

Templar said...

I am totaly gona have to make this. I love the bulgur Idea. Tonights supper is planned thanks a bunch.

Nerissa said...

Thanks Melissa. If you make I hope you enjoy it as much as I did :) The bulghur does add a nice thick consistency to the chili. Stick-to-the-ribs kind of winter warmth.

I hope you enjoy the meal, templar :) Glad I could help ;)

Anonymous said...

does Ben realise how lucky he is?
does he?


-lisa maria

Nerissa said...

Ahhh... Lisa dear... I really don't think so LMAO ;-)

lisa--In a Nutshell said...

Hi Nerissa--

Sorry I haven't stopped by in a while--I'm kinda shifting gears with the blogging...instead of popping in every day to say sometime, I'm taking my time and visiting a site, spending longer, and trying to enjoy it more. So, today is your day. LOL

This chili sounds really good and I bet you could even add some Beano! Does that stuff really work? Anyway, great idea about using it as a burrito filling. I hadn't thought of that, but I LOVE repurposing food (aka leftovers) in a new way and that sounds like a good one.

Nerissa said...

Hey LisaNutgirl--Don't worry about your non-appearance. I actually quite understand it!
Hmm... I don't really know if Beano works. I've used it and it didn't work for me!
I love that word--"repurposing". I love to repurpose food all the time in wraps or sandwiches and stuff like that. I think that's why I love things like burritos, perogies and samosas so much ... I like spicy/savoury foods inside a bread pocket