Monday, May 25, 2009
Three Bean Chilli - Cookbook Case Study - Vegetarian Cooking Without
I'd never made a chilli before, so this was an initial exploration into unfamiliar territory. The recipe calls for red kidney beans, azuki beans, and whole red lentils. I had both varieties of beans in my cupboard - the red kidney beans leftover from a not quite successful Gumbo Z'Herbes (which failed to thicken with my gluten-free roux). I suspect I could have found whole red lentils at an Indian grocery store, but I chose instead to substitute with a blend of split red and whole brown lentils, the first of which a pantry staple in my house.
All in all, I found this a very acceptable chilli. I doubled the recipe, and encouraged by the note at the end of the recipe, have a few servings packed away in the freezer for later convenience.
The one difficulty I had in following the recipe stemmed from my total novice status at cooking dried beans (having been vegetarian for over ten years, too!). I had no idea about cooking times, apart from a vague expectation that it would be a long time. However, after simmering the final chilli for two hours (the beans having already cooked for an hour), I was hungry enough to serve it, slight crunch though there was in a bean or two. (The leftovers, having been left in the pot for the rest of the evening, were perfect.)
I look forward to revisiting this recipe later, when I raid the freezer, and comparing to chillis that I hope to make from other books.
Laying out the ingredients (beans already cooked - not shown because they're ugly!)
Vegetables chopped and cooking. I know, a flash may have shown more, but it looks so much yummier without!
The spices, waiting.