Eggplant a lighter addition to traditional chili
In my kitchen, I use eggplant in many wonderful dishes such as moussaka, hummus and eggplant Parmesan. But I had never seen it used in chili. Usually when I find a recipe I like and type it into my files, I make a note of the source. I didn't do ...
In my kitchen, I use eggplant in many wonderful dishes such as moussaka, hummus and eggplant Parmesan. But I had never seen it used in chili.
Usually when I find a recipe I like and type it into my files, I make a note of the source. I didn’t do that with the Eggplant Chili. More’s the pity, as I’d like to say thank you to someone.
The original recipe calls for using dried beans, but if I want to make this dish quickly, I use canned beans. Canned red or kidney beans may be used instead of the black ones.
If I want to take the time for the dried beans, I wash two cups of beans, put them in a heavy pot with five cups of water, bring to a boil, remove from heat, cover them and let sit overnight. The following day, I bring them to a simmer and cook until beans have softened, about an hour or two. If the beans have been around for a while, they take longer to cook.
The original recipe also calls for fresh corn, but I find the frozen variety satisfactory.
Eggplant chili is a perfect winter dish and lighter than traditional chili.
1½ pounds eggplant, unpeeled, stemmed and cut into 1-inch cubes
Salt for sprinkling on eggplant
2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium onions, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 can (28 ounces) plum tomatoes, chopped
2 cups frozen or canned corn
2 cans (15 ounces each) black beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups water
3 tablespoons good quality chili powder
2 teaspoons ground coriander
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon dried oregano
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 bay leaf
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Coarsely chopped cilantro
Put cubed eggplant in a colander and sprinkle with salt. Let sit for an hour or so then blot with paper towels.
Heat some oil in a large, heavy pan and brown the eggplant in batches, adding oil as necessary and removing each batch to a pot.
Sauté onion and garlic until onion is softened and add cooked eggplant along with tomatoes, corn, beans and water. Stir to combine.
Bring chili to a low boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes. Stir in chili powder, coriander, cumin, oregano, cayenne and bay leaf and simmer covered for about 10 or 15 minutes more. Salt and pepper to taste and serve with grated cheese and cilantro.
Readers can reach Forum food columnist Andrea Hunter Halgrimson at email@example.com .