This delicious, hardy dish has flavors similar to chili, with the texture and consistency of a thick chowder. I love it! Top with avocado and/or Sour Un-Cream.
I have made this using both canned black beans and beans I made from scratch with the pressure cooker. As is usually the case, I preferred the version with the homemade beans. If you have a pressure cooker, it’s SO easy. Soak 1 pound of dried black beans overnight or 6 hours (some say soaking isn’t necessary but I always do). Rinse and place in your pressure cooker and add just enough water to cover the top of the beans – the water should be just touching the beans. Add 4 cloves crushed garlic, a few bay leaves and 2 tsp cumin seeds. Cook at high pressure 14 minutes, and let the pressure come down naturally. Beans are done! Makes about 5 cups of black beans. Remove the bay leaves, stir and add the whole batch to the rest of the Chili Chowder ingredients.
I order my dried beans online from Rancho Gordo, a farm in Northern California. They are heirloom beans, which are open-pollinated seeds that can be planted and you’ll get the exact same bean. They tend to have a lower yield and can be much more difficult to grow but the pay off is in the unique flavors and textures that you don’t find with bland commodity beans. They are always fresh too, which is great. You never know how old the beans at the grocery store are, and old beans can take forever to cook. I highly recommend Rancho Gordo beans. It’s fun to experiment with all the different varieties they offer. Now get cooking!
This is a recipe I’ve had on my website for a long time but I revamped it last night and it’s so much better now. I recommend topping with a squeeze of lime, a drizzle of Sour Un-Cream and Cornbread Muffins ((find in Recipes). Make sure to read the NOTES at the bottom of the recipe for important tips.
These muffins are a great way to enjoy the taste and texture of cornbread without all the fat and calories. Very easy to make and delicious with my Veggie Crock Pot Chili or White Bean Chili. See Notes for the gluten-free option.
Chili. Not the most creative dish, and almost everybody knows how to make it. There are a gazillion recipes out there, and I’ve tried many of them (the ones without meat, of course). For whatever reason, I’ve never been completely satisfied with any of the chili dishes I’ve made, whether I followed a recipe or made it up myself. I always felt like there was something missing, and I couldn’t describe or figure out what that something was. Also, I always made it too spicy, and as I’ve said many times, I’m a spice wimp. All this changed last night. Finally!
The mushrooms and cauliflower may sound like strange additions but trust me, they work. You can’t really taste them but they add a nice texture and I’m sure contribute to the overall flavor. The real secret in the great flavor, I believe, comes from the baked beans and liquid smoke. The fresh corn is a great addition, especially now when corn is in season. Add more chili powder and maybe some cayenne if you like your chili spicy. Try it and let me know what you think.