The Sensitive Kitchen

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Midwinter Chili

I made this chili to feed a crowd at our annual midwinter party. It requires only minimal prep work, which the cook does ahead, then cooks itself while you prepare for your guests. And it is quite tasty. We hosted 18 people, with plenty of other food available, and the crock was slicked clean.

3 c dried black beans, soaked overnight
About 6 cups vegetarian broth (I use this one)
6 poblano chiles, halved and seeded
1 Tbsp oil
1 large onion, diced
3 large cloves garlic to yield 1 Tbsp minced
3 ribs celery, diced
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
3/4 tsp dried oregano, crushed between your fingers
3/4 tsp ancho chile powder
1 28-oz can fire-roasted crushed tomatoes
1 large sweet potato (about 12 ounces), peeled and diced
1 6-oz can tomato paste 
1 Tbsp Sucanat or other natural brown sugar
Juice of 1 lime
salt and pepper to taste
Toppings: cilantro, avocado, sour cream

Pressure-cook soaked beans in broth to cover on HIGH for 12 minutes, or simmer 1 hour over medium-low heat, until just tender.

While beans cook, place poblano chiles on a baking sheet in a single layer, skin side up. Broil chiles 5-6 minutes, watching carefully, until skin is blistered and blackened. Remove from oven; cover with a towel and let stand until cool enough to handle, about 20 minutes. Peel chiles; discard skin. Chop chiles into 1/4" dice.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Saute onion until softened and beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and celery. When celery softens, add spices. Saute until fragrant. Add crushed tomatoes, stirring to bring up browned bits from bottom of pan. Transfer mixture to a large slow cooker. Add sweet potatoes, half the poblano chiles, and black beans and their liquid. Stir in tomato paste.

Cook on HIGH for 6 hours or until sweet potatoes are tender. Stir in Sucanat and lime juice; taste and correct seasoning with salt and pepper. Set out remaining poblanos for those who would like their chili a bit more spicy. Serve with desired toppings alongside. Serves 16-20.

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