chili is something i haven't made in a while, one reason being that i tend to forget that i can make it without the meat. although, i do have fond memories of one malibu chili cook-off and my first taste of vegan chili. i was skeptical at first, but it was shockingly better than any meat chili i had ever had. when making vegetarian chili you really have to step it up a notch with the flavors and complexity, or else you end up with just a pot full of lackluster beans. you have to overcompensate what normally the meat would do in this case. so, i decided to completely outdo myself and make an extra-special, amazing veggie chili. it was perfect for today's dreary, unusually cold weather backdrop here in LA. and i can't stop eating this, it's so good.
3 Tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 orange pepper, chopped
1 yellow pepper, chopped
2 jalapenos, chopped
1 28-ounce can tomatoes
1 12 oz bottle of amber ale or porter (I used Fat Tire, with an abundance on hand)
2 15 ounce cans red kidney beans
2 15 ounce cans black beans
2 Tbs white wine vinegar
5 minced cloves garlic
2 Tbs chili powder
1 Tbs toasted coriander, ground
1 Tbs toasted cumin seed, ground
2 small chopped serrano chilis
1 Tbs sweet smoked paprika
1 Tbs cinnamon
Salt to taste
Shredded smoked gouda
Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a heavy pot over medium heat. Add onions and peppers and jalapenos and saute until everything is soft, but not brown. Add a pinch of salt.
Add tomatoes, beer, beans, white wine vinegar, garlic, all the spices (the coriander,cinnamon, chili powder, etc.), everything except the garnish.
Give another good pinch of salt, bring to a boil and lower to a simmer. Stir and wait; let it reduce and thicken. It takes 20 - 30 minutes. Taste as you go, and adjust accordingly. I ended up leaving the pot on the stovetop to cool for hours and then reheated when I wanted to serve it. The longer you wait, the better it tastes.
Serve in a bowl, with a dollop of sour cream, shredded cheese, sliced scallions, and cilantro.