Tempeh Chili with Black Beans
MAKES: 4 to 6 servings
TIME: About 2 hours, largely unattended
This is the smokiest, most deeply flavored chili in the book, rich with the combination of tempeh, roasted garlic, black beans, and chipotle chiles. For balance, a little honey helps each bite to end on a slightly sweet note (use sugar to make the chili vegan). Serve bowlfuls with a wedge of Corn Bread or use to fill burritos. You might also consider making a double batch and freezing some.
Use canned beans here if you must; just add them after the chili thickens up a bit, during the last few minutes of cooking.
2 heads garlic
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for coating the garlic
12 ounces (about 3 cups) crumbled tempeh
2 onions, chopped
1/4 cup honey or 2 tablespoons sugar
3 medium carrots, chopped
2 tablespoons chili powder (to make your own, see Chili Powder)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage or 1 teaspoon dry
2 to 5 canned chipotle chiles, chopped with some of their adobo, to taste
3 tablespoons tomato paste
4 cups chopped ripe tomato (about 2 pounds whole; canned are fine; don’t bother to drain them)
2 cups vegetable stock or water
1 cup dried black beans, preferably quick-soaked
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 cup chopped radishes
Coat the whole heads of garlic with a little of the olive oil and roast according to either of the recipes for Roasted Garlic.
Meanwhile, put 2 tablespoons of the remaining oil in a large pot with a lid over medium-high heat. Add the tempeh and cook, stirring frequently and scraping up any browned bits, until it is deeply colored and crisp on all sides, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a shallow bowl. Return the pot to the stove over medium-high heat.
Add the last tablespoon of oil to the pot along with the onions and cook, stirring frequently, until soft, 2 or 3 minutes. Stir in the honey and turn the heat down to medium-low. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are caramelized and deeply colored, about 20 minutes.
Add the carrots, chili powder, and sage; cook for a minute or two, until fragrant. Stir in the chipotles and adobo, followed by the tomato paste, tomato, stock, beans, and tempeh. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat so the mixture bubbles gently and cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid thickens and the beans are tender, about an hour. (Add more stock or water if it starts to look dry.) Taste, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and partially cover.
By now the garlic should be done and cooled enough to handle. Squeeze the flesh into the pot and stir well. Taste again and adjust the seasoning if necessary, adding more chipotle or honey if you like. Serve, garnished with cilantro and radishes.