Often in the kitchen I try to be too clever by combining different elements I like from various recipes for the same dish in order to create (so I think anyway) my own culinary masterpiece…
But, as I feel I’ve been saying a lot recently in different ways; sometimes less is more. Being too busy to over-think lunches these past few days, I reverted to my standard recipes, stored somewhere on the hard-drive at the back of my brain, and I have say they achieved great complements from my primary food-taster Theresa.
I don’t know where this chilli recipe came from. It’s pretty much a fairly classic one bar the addition of the peanut butter, which just gives a little more richness. This trick I do remember I learnt from a certain vegetarian café I used to cook at in Cornwall, UK. Then there’s the south-of-the-border touches that I picked up whilst in Vancouver, like roasting the sweetcorn and adding chipotle. In fact, the Greens’ cookbook, from the restaurant In San Francisco, does a great chilli with toasted and ground spices I totally recommend you trying.
Anyway, this chilli was called “the best chilli ever” when I made it again recently. I do think Theresa is bias, though I have to say it is a pretty good recipe. This is also our submission for the great MLLA competition this month, hosted by Susan at The Well Seasoned Cook
Kidney Bean, Sweet Potato & TVP Chilli
¾ cup kidney beans (soaked overnight, or for at least 8 hours)
1 cup soya chunks/protein
2 sweet potatoes
1 cup sweetcorn
1 tbs butter/veg oil
2 sticks celery
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp corainder powder
1 ½ tsp paprika
1/2 tsp chipotle powder/chilli powder
2 tablespoons tomato paste
½ can chopped tomatoes
2 cups stock (or reserve and use the water in which you cooked the beans)
1 tbs peanut butter
1 tbs honey or agave
1 tsp salt
2 tbs fresh chopped coriander leaf
1. Drain the kidney beans and put them into a large saucepan with 6 cups of water. Bring to the boil, then turn to a medium low and simmer for roughly 1 ½ hours. Drain reserving the bean water if using.
2. Place the soya protein in a bowl and add enough boiling water to cover. Set aside for 15 minutes, then drain and chopped into a fine mince.
3. Peel the sweet potatoes and cut them into 1 cm cubes. Set aside. Chop the celery and carrot into a fine dice and set aside.
4. Place a heavy-bottomed pan on the stove over a medium heat. Now dry-fry the sweetcorn, stirring contantly for 3-5 minutes until it colours a shade darker. Set aside.
5. Heat the butter in a large saute pan or saucepan with a lid, over a medium heat saute the celery and carrot until they start to soften. Then add the sweet potatoes and coninue cooking for 5 more minutes until they start to colour.
6. Add all the spices and stir a few times, then add the tomato paste and a tablespoon of water. Cook until the water evaporates, stirring regularly.
7. Now tip in the chopped tomatoes and stock or bean-water, followed by the peanut butter, honey and salt. Bring to the a simmer and partially cover, stirring intermitantly, for about 30 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened considerably. Add the beans, soya-mince and roasted corn. Cook for another 15 minutes, adding more stock if necessary to keep the chilli nice and saucy. Add the fresh coriander and serve.