Family-friendly, tex-mex dishes have a special place in our hearts. This Vegetarian chili is great for dinner parties or family gatherings. For this month's foodie joust that The Leftover Queen forum is sponsoring, the three ingredients to create a recipe are chipotle, zucchini and buttermilk. The only ingredient I can easily find in Brazil is zucchini. I had never even tried chipotle before. Luckily, a few months ago, my brother gave me a can of chipotle in adobe sauce, a gift from a Mexican friend, that was standing on my kitchen counter, waiting for the right recipe. As for the buttermilk, I usually make a homemade version of it, because I have never seen it on grocery stores here either. But that's what challenges are all about! Here's my "almost" vegetarian chili. I could not resist and added a cup of italian smoked sausage... Friends and family told me the chili would taste good even withouth it... and I agree!
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons ground cumin
2 tablespoons each basil, oregano and thyme
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 1/2 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon salt
2 large onions, chopped
2 cups zucchinis, chopped
1 cup frozen corn, thawed
1 cup carrots, peeled and chopped
1 1/2 cups red bell pepper (or green)
4 cups cooked white beans (or a mix of black and red beans)
1 14 1/2-ounce/400g can peeled tomatoes, undrained and crushed
4 cups water
2 cups italian smoked sausage, cubed (optional)
Chipotle cream sauce
1 chipotle in adobe
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 cup plain yogurt
1) In a large pot, saute the cumin, basil, oregano, thyme, garlic, cayenne pepper, paprika, salt, onions, zucchinis, corn, carrots, pepper, sausage and garlic in the olive oil until vegetables are tender.
2) Add the cooked beans, water and peeled tomatoes. Reduce heat to low, and let mixture simmer for about 20 minutes.
3) Meanwhile, make the chipottle sauce: blend yogurt, honey, buttermilk and chipotles. Let stand for 15 minutes at room temperature before serving.
4) To serve, ladle chili into bowls. Garnish with chipotle cream sauce, tortilla chips, chopped green onions and cheddar cheese if desired.
Recipe adapted from Wild Oats.