Rav (corvid) wrote,

More or less Vegetarian chili

My girlfriend loves chili with a passion, but she's more or less vegetarian. So - this is my recipie for tofu chili that's actually more or less edible.

To feed somewhere between 2 and 3 people take a package of extra firm tofu (preferably cotton tofu, the firmer kind that has the fabric marks on it since the texture is better). Toss some chopped hot peppers in a pan, and crumble the firm tofu into the pan. Salt the tofu and leave it on medium heat, stiring regularly. You want the tofu to reduce in size by about half and for the tofu to be nicely browned. This adds flavor, cooks in the flavors you add, and helps to make it a bit more meaty. If you're doing this in advance, add some garlic to the tofu when you're done cooking it. This avoids burning the garlic and allows it to be mixed in when you finish the chili.

Meanwhile, either cook about a cup and a half of beans (using the seasonings mentioned below plus a few cloves of garlic and a bay leaf) or open a can of beans. Black beans work well and so do kidney beans. I prefer black beans since they're a bit smaller and mesh better with the tofu.

Pop the beans in the final cooking pot and, if you're using canned beans, add oregano (about a half teaspoon, crumbled a bit in your hand), salt, pepper, and a tablespoon of salsa. If you don't have a handy salsa, some tomatoes, hot peppers, and chopped onion will work just as well. Add some water (or broth, if you're not a strict vegetarian) until it looks soupy.

When the tofu's done, add it to the beans and bring to the boil. Serve with lime juice, cilantro, cheese, and onions seasoned with lime juice. If you've got leftover meat, heat it with chili powder, lime juice, and garlic and add it to the chili. The seasonings will cover any former seasonings unless if the meat is very strongly flavored. A nice variation is white beans, green chile, and tofu (and ground pork, if you eat meat.) Red chile doesn't work as well, to my taste, since it tends to come out sweeter.

If you don't bother browning the tofu and use canned beans, this is literally a 10 minute meal.

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