Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Dave's improvised veggie chile

I made this killer veggie chile tonight and just had to write down the recipe for future reference.

The sauce is the key; it's a red sauce a la Rick Bayless, but with my own twist.

The sauce:

4 - 5 dried ancho and/or guajillo chiles
2 cans tomatillos
1 can crushed tomatoes

Stem and de-seed the dried chiles.  Get a cast iron skillet really hot then press pieces of the chiles on the hot skillet, about 10 seconds 'til they change color and maybe smoke a bit.  Then re-hydrate them in 1 or 2 cups of very hot water.  Let them soak for 15 or 20 minutes.  Then take about half the liquid and pour it into a blender, then process the re-hydrated chiles in the blender.  Strain it through a sieve into a bowl.  It should be the consistency of tomato paste.

Then I deviated from the Bayless (traditional Mexican) recipe.  This particular batch was really spicy so I cut it with two cans of tomatillos and a can of regular crushed tomatoes.  Sacrilege, I know.  It still had a nice kick but was made reasonably mild for those who aren't into super spicy chile like I am.

So now I've got this fairly sizeable bowl of chile sauce; it was probably still a good 3 cups by the time I made this veggie chile recipe that happened two or three days later.  I pulled the sauce out of the fridge and proceeded as follows.

The veggie chile:

One medium onion, diced small
Two carrots, peeled & sliced thin
One sweet potato, peeled & sliced thin
1/3 of a large head of green cabbage
A cup of chicken stock (or veggie stock)
2 - 3 cups of the chile sauce (see above)
One yellow bell pepper, diced
Two cloves garlic, diced
One large zucchini (courgette), diced
One large tomato, diced
Kernels from one ear of sweet corn (use a serrated knife to get 'em off easily)
A handful of cilantro (coriander), chopped roughly
A can of black beans
Dried mixed herbs, salt & ground pepper

Fry the onion, carrots, sweet potato and cabbage in olive oil in a big dutch oven (a le creuset cast iron pot is ideal), 5 - 8 minutes.  Pour in the stock and the chile sauce.  Let simmer, covered, for 10 minutes.  Stir in the rest of the ingredients.  Season with herbs, salt & pepper.  Let simmer, covered, for another 15 minutes or so, stirring occasionally.

Serve with sour cream, over white rice, with some nice hot corn tortillas on the side.

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