So I tried phoning Spring yesterday, just to remind it that it had, in fact, sprung. My call was sent direct to voicemail. I will try texting later today, but I’m frankly feeling a little ignored.
Don’t make me bust out the string and tin cans, Spring!
Between you and me, this lovely chili is a bit of a stink eye aimed in the general direction of Spring. As in “Fine, you won’t play nice and show yourself? Then I’m going to keep eating foods of the wintertime until you do.”
Perfectly reasonable, right?
And it turns out that this chili makes a wonderful, satisfying meal on your Meatless Monday, as well!
Earthy, fleshy mushrooms are the perfect substitute for standard chili meat, and a rich bouquet of spices plus some caramelized red onion brings everything together in the warmest of ways.
So what are you waiting for?
Meatless Monday and a luscious bowl of Mushroom, Ancho & Black Bean Chili are calling your name, even if Spring isn’t.
We can make our own seasons, right? Let’s get vernal!
Mushroom, Ancho & Black Bean Chili
Chef’s Note: This recipe, which is adapted from Everyday With Rachel Ray Magazine, is listed as it was originally printed, although I personally made some adjustments to my version. First, you can really use just about any dried red chile pod in place of ancho, in the case that you don’t have ancho chiles on hand. I used guajillo chiles, for example, and just followed the same method. Second, I used canela in place of cinnamon and used a whole teaspoon: warm canela/cinnamon is such a wonderful match with earthy mushrooms, so I upped the quantity used here. Finally, this chili took quite a bit longer than the final 3-4 minutes to come to the consistency of a true chili: I recommend simmering it for 15-20 minutes just before serving.
recipe adapted from the January 2013 edition of Everyday With Rachel Ray
3 ancho chili peppers, stemmed, seeded
1/4 c. vegetable oil
1 1/2 lb. crimini or mixed fresh mushrooms of your choice, sliced
2 tsp. cumin, ground
2 tsp. paprika, ground
2 tsp. coriander, ground
1/8 tsp. cinnamon, ground
salt and pepper to taste
1 large red onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, sliced
2 tbsp. tomato paste
1 can diced tomatoes with green chilies (14.5 ounces) or 1 can (14.5 ounces) stewed tomatoes
1 can black beans (15 ounces), rinsed
1 cup lager beer
In a large saucepan, cover the anchos with approximately 2 cups water and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer until tender, approximately 10 minutes. Using a blender, puree the anchos and their cooking liquid to make a sauce.
Meanwhile, in a Dutch oven or other large pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms, cumin, paprika, coriander and cinnamon. Cook until the mushrooms are dark and tender, approximately 12-15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Stir in the onion and garlic, cover and cook until softened, 3-4 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste, then stir in the reserved chili sauce, tomatoes, black beans and beer. Simmer to combine the flavors, 3-4 minutes. Serve with the toppings of your choice.
YIELD: approximately 4 servings