Chili con Tofu

I pinned this recipe on a whim, Pinterest uses the same analytics as most websites in an effort to show content most relevant to the user. This recipe showed up to me after being marked vegan/vegetarian and although I've tried plenty of chili and plenty of tofu recipes, I had never thought about combining the two into one recipe. I'm pretty happy that Pinterest decided to share this one with me, because this turned out fantastic.

Recipe from Food and Wine.

-1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
-3 medium red onions, finely chopped
-4 medium garlic cloves, minced
-2 large poblano chiles, seeded and finely chopped
-1 large red bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped
-1 medium jalapeño chile, minced
-1/3 cup pure chile powder
-1 teaspoon ground cumin
-One 35-ounce can of Italian peeled tomatoes in juice
-1 cup canned tomato sauce
-1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
-One 1-pound block of extra-firm tofu, drained and patted dry
-One 19-ounce can of black beans, drained

In a medium stock pot, heat 1/4 cup of the oil. Stir in the onions, garlic, poblanos, bell pepper, jalapeño, 1/4 cup of the chile powder and the cumin and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until slightly softened but not browned, about 10 minutes.

Coarsely chop the tomatoes and then add the tomatoes and their juice to the pot as well as the tomato sauce. Stir in the oregano and 2 teaspoons salt and bring to a simmer over moderate heat. Reduce the heat to moderately low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until all the vegetables are soft, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile cut the tofu into 1/2-inch dice and pat dry. Place in a bowl and toss with the remaining 4 teaspoons chile powder. In a large nonstick skillet, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Add the tofu and cook over moderately high heat for 3 minutes to lightly toast the chile powder. Season with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Transfer the tofu to the casserole. Add 1/3 cup of water to the skillet and scrape the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to loosen the browned bits or tofu and seasoning. Add the liquid from the skillet to the casserole.

Stir the black beans into the chili and simmer, stirring frequently, until the flavors are blended, about 10 minutes. The original post recommended letting the chili sit for one hour or more prior to serving to allow the flavor to intensify, once I finished all of the steps, I let the chili sit for forty-five minutes before Dave got home from work.

This chili was so good, I was pleasantly surprised by it. Vegetarian chili recipes seem to be pretty hit or miss in terms of flavor and this one hit all of the right notes. The spices in the chili really help to amp up the tofu and prevent it from being flavorless compared to the other ingredients. Despite the spicy ingredients, neither of us found this to be too spicy, it has a nice hint of heat to it. 


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