Fasten your apron strings and dust off the good china, dear readers, because today you are in for a treat. Joy Manning and Tara Mataraza Desmond are throwing a virtual potluck in celebration of their marvelous new cookbook, Almost Meatless: Recipes That Are Better for Your Health and The Planet, and you're invited!
Today, more than 30 food writers, chefs, bloggers and food lovers from all across the web, will join together and present a dish they've cooked from Almost Meatless. I am thrilled and honored to be in their company.
When Joy Manning first reached out and asked me to "bring a dish", I knew exactly what I wanted to make: Beefed-Up Bean Chili. The reason? Peanut butter. I've been making chili for more years than I care to count ... yet never once has it included peanut butter. This one does. I was so intrigued by this unusual addition, I couldn't wait to try it. The results? Magnificent!
And, really, its not as odd as it seems. Peanuts are a legume, after all, and they pair beautifully with heat and spice. I'm here to tell you it works. It more than works. This chili is so richly spiced, its flavor so multi-layered, you'll be hooked from the first bite. We loved it! The husband went back for a second bowl immediately - and this from a dedicated carnivore. High praise, indeed.
Recipe preprinted with permission from Ten Speed Press and the authors.
Beefed-Up Bean Chili:
- 1 dried ancho or guajillo chlii (I used ancho)
- 1 tbsp. vegetable oil (I used olive oil)
- 4 oz. lean ground beef
- 1 small white onion cut into 1/4 inch dice (about 1 cup)
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
- 3 tbsp. smooth natural peanut butter
- one 28 oz. can of crushed tomatoes
- 1/2 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
- 1 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
- 3 tsp. ground cumin
- 2 tbsp. chili powder
- 1 tbsp. cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup water
- one 15 oz. can of pinto beans, drained and rinsed
- one 15 oz. can of red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 tsp. Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- some chopped scallions, shredded cheddar, chopped red onion, chopped fresh parsley and or sour cream for garnish
Add the oil to the Dutch oven over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, brown the beef for about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally to break it up into small pieces. Add the onion, garlic, jalapeno, and rehydrated chile and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Stir in the peanut butter and continue mixing until it melts. Add the tomatoes, cilantro, cocoa powder, cumin, chili powder, vinegar, 1/2 cup of water and beans. Reduce the heat to low and simmer uncovered for about 45 minutes. Season with the salt and pepper to taste. Ladle the chili into bowls and serve with your choice of toppings; we like scallions, cheddar and sour cream.
Serves 4 to 6.
I served mine over some brown rice and topped it with shredded cheddar, diced red onions and chopped parsley. Its a hearty, healthy meal that I know I'll make again and again. Despite the small amount of meat in the chili, it has an incredibly beefy flavor that is sure to satisfy. And, if you are fully meatless, feel free to omit the beef and make a vegetarian version. The flavor will suffer not at all. I hope you'll try it!
And I hope you'll stop by the party and check out the other dishes as well. You can read the rest of the entries, once they're up, on Tara's site, Crumbs on my Keyboard, or on Joy's, What I Weigh Today. No doubt the feast will be spectacular.
The list of guests includes some of my favorite daily reads: Dan from Casual Kitchen, Charmian Christie from Christie's Corner, and Cheryl Sterman Rule from 5 second rule, as well as a host of others. Come hungry and stay late!
Many, many thanks to Joy and Tara for including me in this web-tacular event. I'm delighted to participate and very happy to recommend this book to you once again. Its a wonderful, healthy cookbook and so much more. Do yourself, and the planet, a favor and pick up a copy of Almost Meatless ... and a jar of peanut butter. You'll be happy you did.