I would like to find a stew that will give me heartburn immediately, instead of at three o’clock in the morning. ~John Barrymore
That was the first question that I actually asked myself when reading the description of one of my “Must Have” recipe books – written by Nigel Slater, “Appetite: so what do you want to eat today?”. Pausing for some praise to this chef – everything I had a chance to lay my hands on, written by him, has had a mouthwatering effect – starting with the cover of this book. And the text on it is quite self explanatory:
The answer came to me after looking at a brand new Le Creuset pot I have received as a present (God forbid I am not advertising anything – just kind of showing the pride in owning such a piece of cookware, thanks to my Loved One :P) and a glance in my fridge – lots of fall harvest veggies that I had brought back last weekend after visiting my parents. Chili… I used to love the stew while eating meat, but since it’s been over 2 years of getting creative with veggies and everything that comes out of water, I never really got to reinventing my own vegetarian version of the chili stew.
So… Following my feelings, as Nigel Slater has directed:
2 red onions
5-6 medium carrots
5-6 medium potatoes
1 can red kidney beans
1 can black eyed beans (I must admit my “instinct” failed me here since I never cooked them before, but they sounded cool – even after slow cooking for 1.5 hours they were still quite solid. Suggestion – throw in another can of red kidney beans)
2 cans of peeled crushed tomatoes
A few table spoons of EVOO (Extra virgin olive oil)
A dash or 2, or 3 of cayenne pepper
A Mexican spice mix
Salt/ Freshly ground pepper
Quite plain and simple – in the same Le Creuset, heat up the olive oil, cook the sliced onions until soft and slightly golden, then add diced or sliced carrots, diced potatoes and spices, cover and cook for 10-15 minutes until softened, stirring occasionally. The following – just add all of the remaining ingredients, reduce to simmer and leave it for 1.5-2 hours, stirring every 15-20 minutes. Et voila! 🙂
All of this seems pretty common, usual, nothing surprising, but… I did throw in something from my “secret ingredient” shelf – dried porcini :). That special twist completed my dish and for dinner I had something hearty, comforting, yet healthy and super tasty!