Before watching a chili competition on TV, I did not know that the original chili does not contain any beans (I am sure some of you would be grateful about that omission...). In fact, chili was made by American settlers using dried beef, suet, dried chili peppers (usually chilipiquenes), and salt, which were pounded together, formed into bricks and left to dry. They would then boil the bricks during their trip. I think I made my own chili when I was not even 10 years old, probably after seeing a John Wayne movie or, I have to admit, a Terence Hill movie (shame on me). My attempted were not always successful, especially that time when I did not really cook the beans (my cousin Sandrine still remembers me that one). One day, I decided to make a vegetarian chili. I went on the internet, checked few recipes and made my own which is as follows:
Ingredients for 4 servings:
- 14 oz of firm tofu
- 15 oz tomato sauce unsalted
- 2 cans of red beans (15 oz each)
- 3 garlic cloves
- 2 tbsp of soy sauce
- olive oil
- chili powder
- cayenne pepper
It is important to use unsalted tomato sauce as the soy sauce is already salty.
In a dutch oven, put the olive oil, minced garlic and tofu cut in small cube at medium heat. Cook for 5 minutes. Add the soy sauce and cook until half the liquid (soy sauce and olive oil) has evaporated. Then, add the tomato sauce, red beans, chili powder and cayenne pepper (to your liking). Cook at low heat for 45 minutes, uncovered.
I suggest eating the chili the next day to rest it all night so the tofu will get more flavor from the sauce.
You can add to the recipe peppers, jalapenos, etc...I personally like to it it with sour cream, guacamole and cheddar cheese.