Vegetarian Chocolate Chili

The rain ceases to end here in Charlottetown (hopefully it will soon because I am getting pretty sick of my Wicked Witch of the West impersonation…I’m melting!!!! I’m MELTING!!!!!!!). I can’t think of anything better on a wet, stormy day than a steaming bowl of chili. It smells good, it tastes good, and it warms you up from the inside out. It also dyes your spatula orange, something I am not overly impressed about, but c’est la vie. The recipe definitely makes more than one serving, but it is great for leftovers and it can be frozen. I have been eating it up for the past 3 days!

Ingredients:

– olive oil (just a splash to get everything going)
– 2 shallots, finely minced (or onion, just don’t use 2)
– 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
– 1 green bell pepper, small dice
– 1-1 1/2 cups of turnip, small dice
– 1 can of red kidney beans (drained and rinsed)
– 1 cob of corn, kernels removed
– 1 small can of whole tomatoes, pureed (you could use a blender, but it is much easy to mush them up with your hands)
– 1 heaping spoonful each of chili powder and cocoa powder
– cinnamon, to taste
– salt and pepper, to taste
– balsamic vinegar, to taste

 

vegetarian chocolate chili
If you couldn’t figure it out, that’s the shallot and garlic.

 

Heat up a decent sized, heavy bottom pot over medium/low. Sweat out your shallots and garlic with a pinch of salt and a splash of oil. Once they are translucent, add the green bell pepper and turnip. Let everything soften up for a few minutes (well, the green pepper at least, don’t expect the turnip to soften, you will be waiting quite a while!). Add the corn kernels, as well as your spices (cinnamon, chili powder and cocoa) and some salt and pepper. By allowing the spices to toast up, it amps up their flavor.
vegetarian chocolate chili
vegetarian chocolate chili
vegetarian chocolate chili
vegetarian chocolate chili
Then pour in your cans of kidney beans and tomatoes. Stir it up and add the balsamic if you choose. I know it sounds weird, balsamic, chocolate and chili, but it all melds together much better than you would expect. There is even a store here in Charlottetown that sells chocolate balsamic vinegar and it is out of this world! Just one of those sweet, savory, spicy combinations that you would never think to put together but they compliment each other prefectly.
vegetarian chocolate chili
Anyways, moving on, taste to see if more salt and pepper is needed. Now it’s time to wait. I let mine stew away for the better part of the afternoon but if you are in a rush, give it at least 30-45 minutes for the ingredients to get to know each other (not to mention the turnip has to cook through). After a few hours, you know longer taste the individual components, it is more so a symphony of tastes, each one hitting you at a different moment during the eating process. It sounds like I am over-thinking it, at the end of the day, it’s just a bowl of chili right? But if you take my advice and give some thought to what you are tasting, I am pretty sure it will blow your mind. A good chili is truly one of the more complex dishes out there if you take the time to develop it’s flavor profile. Ok, I admit, that was a bit too analytical…but just make it and eat it, it tastes good! And it’s cheap, and it makes a lot of food. That’s sure enough to brighten my rainy day.
vegetarian chocolate chili
See what a difference a few hours makes?
vegetarian chocolate chili
 I’m MELTING!!!! I’m MMMMEEELLLTTTIIINNNGGG!!!!!!!!!!

…..I should probably stop that now……….

6 thoughts on “Vegetarian Chocolate Chili

  • October 5, 2011 at 9:52 pm
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    I adore a good chili. I am so very happy our weather has finally cooled off a bit. I can hardly wait to make some too!

    Reply
  • October 7, 2011 at 8:57 pm
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    chocolate chilli? now that’s a first for me! it was nice chancing upon your blog (: i’m also a student who’s crazy about food and cooking, and it’s always fun meeting fellow students trying to make things work with our busy school, tiny budget, and big appetites hehe!

    Reply
  • October 8, 2011 at 11:56 pm
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    It would also be great if you melted in a few squares of Lindt 70% or even Mexican chocolate just before serving! Cheers!

    Reply

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