Saturday, January 22, 2011

Vegetarian chili you will crave

I'm pretty sure that this chili is the stuff cravings are made out of.
Once again, the Oliver does not disappoint. The secret ingredient? Roasted sweet potatoes. It gives the chili a touch of sweetness that lightens everything up. And, the cinnamon, cumin, and cayenne don't hurt either.

I could (read: did) eat bowl after bowl of this. It is warm and satisfying, but not heavy. Really, just a perfect vegetarian chili.

It was so easy to make, which also doesn't hurt. Start by peeling and chopping up your sweet potatoes, into about 1/2 inch dice. Toss them with some olive oil, salt, pepper, and a pinch of the warm spices.
While those are roasting, chop up some pretty bell peppers and onion, and toss them in a Dutch oven with some olive oil.
Once those have browned, add your cinnamon, cumin, cayenne, and some finely diced hot peppers (I used serano).
Work that all together.
Then, add your chopped tomatoes and beans.
Let that yum up for a bit, and then add in those glorious sweet potatoes right at the end.
And, you are done!
Get ready for the cravings to begin.

Vegetarian Chili (from theoliver)
2 medium-sized sweet potatoes (about 500 g)
1/2 - 1 level teaspoon cayenne pepper, plus extra for sprinkling (1 tsp makes it very spicy)
1 heaped teaspoon ground cumin, plus extra for sprinkling
1 level teaspoon ground cinnamon, plus extra for sprinkling
olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 onion
1 red pepper
1 yellow pepper
(1 bunch fresh coriander)*
1 red chili
1 green chili
2 cloves of garlic
2 14oz tins of beans- try kidney, chickpea, pinto, cannellini
2 14oz tins of chopped tomatoes

Preheat oven to 400. Peel the sweet potatoes and cut into bite-sized chunks [about 1/2-3/4 inch dice should do it, they shrink quite a bit]. Sprinkle with a pinch of cayenne, cumin, and cinnamon, drizzle with olive oil and scatter with a pinch of salt and pepper. Toss to coat, then put them on a baking tray. Cook for about 40 minutes until soft and golden.**

Peel and roughly chop the onion. Halve, deseed, and roughly chop the pepper. Deseed and finely chop the chilis. Peel and finely chop the garlic.

Put a large pan on a medium*** heat and add a couple of glugs of olive oil. Add the onion and peppers, cook for 5 minutes. Add the garlic, cook for 30 seconds more. Add the chili and spices, and cook for another 5-10 minutes, stirring every couple of minutes.

Drain the cans of beans, then add them and the tomatoes to the pan. Stir well and bring to a boil, the reduce to a medium-low heat and leave to tick away for 25-30 minutes. Add a splash of water if it gets a bit thick.

Get the roasted sweet potatoes out of the oven and stir them through your chili. Taste and season with salt and pepper, if needed.

Makes 4-6 servings.

*Obviously, I omitted this because I think cordiander tastes awful. But, you could substitute parsley instead.
**You may want to make extra of these, because they are so delicious there is no way you can resist snacking on them.
***I think medium heat is better if you are using a Dutch oven, but use medium-high heat if you are not.

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