Monday, January 23, 2012

Vegetarian Chipotle Chili with Jalapeño Corn Bread Crumbles

Dear New Yorkers, It's Supposed to Be Cold in January.

New York City has had an unusually warm winter. Temperatures have remained consistently in the mid 40s, we've even had a few days in the low 50s. However, during the last couple of weeks we've had a handful of days below freezing and even seen a little snow (also known as... weather typical to the North East region in the month of January).

If you were to overhear a conversation about the recent weather on the subway, or at the water cooler, the gym, the nail salon, or any of the gazillion places in NYC designed for eavesdropping; you would rightfully assume the entire city must have been suddenly and alarmingly transplanted to Antarctica.

This morning I was walking behind a group of teenagers on their way to school. I overheard one of the girls say to her friend, "GURL, it's RIdiculous out here!!!"
Gurl friend responded, "RIGHT?! Even my SCALP is cold".
Needless to say, said teenage girl was sans hat.

I'm sorry to have to be the one to break the news, my darling fellow New Yorkers, but it's likely going to be cold here for many, many... many more weeks. My recommendation? Go put on your incredibly precocious & impractical gorgeous designer coats and assorted winter accessories, and march yourself to the grocery store to stock your shelves with the ingredients for this hearty, healthy chili. Guaranteed to warm your extremities, even after your long 6 minute walk to the subway.

Vegetarian Chipotle Chili with Jalapeno Corn Bread Crumbles
(Adapted from a recipe I cut off a Boca burger box in 2002 & the Canyon Ranch cook book)

2 red peppers, cut into 1-inch pieces
1onion, chopped
2 clovesgarlic, minced
2 tsp.olive oil
1 can(15 oz.)black beans, drained
1 can(15 oz.) chili beans (pinto beans) in sauce
1 can(15 oz.) tomato sauce
1 can(14-1/2 oz.) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 cup frozen corn
1 pkg. (12 oz.) meatless ground crumbles (these are found either in the produce section, or the frozen section of a grocery store)
1/4 cup (or less, but I wouldn't do more) chopped chipotle peppers in adobo sauce 
1 Tbsp.chili powder
1/2 tsp.ground cumin

Heat oil in large saucepan. Stir in peppers, onions and garlic on medium-high heat for 3 min.
Add remaining ingredients; mix well. Bring to boil; simmer on medium-low heat 30 min., stirring occasionally.

*Note: This chili, like most chili recipes, freezes VERY well and I always split it in half. Some for now to enjoy while sitting on the couch, with a big comfy blanket, absorbed in bad TV and watching the snow fall outside. And some the next time I'm feeling really lazy and don't want to cook.

Corn Bread Crumbles
4 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon light corn syrup

Pinch sea salt
3 tablespoons unsalted butter or corn based margarine, softened

1 large egg
6 tablespoons water
4 tablespoons dry fat free milk
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder

1 tablespoon finely diced jalapeno pepper (remove seeds for less spice)

1.  Preheat oven to 325°. Lightly coat a 9-inch square baking pan with canola oil. (or two smaller pans, if you wish to freeze a loaf)
2.  In a large bowl combine sugar, corn syrup, salt, butter, egg and water. When mixed, add the dry ingredients, careful not to over mix.

3.  Transfer batter into prepared baking pans. Bake for 35 minutes or until a knife comes out clean when inserted in the middle, and the tops of breads are lightly browned.
4.  Remove from oven, cool.

5.  Makes 24 pieces. (This serving size is intended for crumbling, if you wish to eat it as a slice of bread, it makes 12.)

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