Sunday, January 20, 2008

Cooking Adventurously

In addition to finally working up the courage to sing Pantera at Metalsome, one of my New Year’s resolutions was to cook more adventurously. I have a tendency to rotate between the same types of dishes and stick with some solid standbys. I want to be more intentional in trying to make dishes that I’ve eaten and loved, from restaurants or at the homes of family and friends, but might take some extra effort, ingredients or skills. It's a much less ambitious version of The Julie/Julia Project -- and without all the liver and marrow-involved dishes -- but conceived along the same lines.

One of the recipes on that list that is in my head is Mulligatawny- a delicious Indian soup that we ate in Cashel during our November trip to Ireland. It was the most flavorful, sweet and spicy soup that warmed my bones on a rainy Irish winter day. Another dish is Mango Sticky Rice, a Thai dish I ate at a party that tasted like angels. Less crunchy I suppose, but just as heavenly.

So I took my first step in fulfilling this resolution this evening, when I made for the first time a vegetarian white chili. I ate white chili once at Ria’s Bluebird Café and couldn’t get it out of my head- I loved that it more cumin and garlic toned than tomato spicy red chili. So I researched it for a while and combined a few recipes that I found online and came up with my own combination and it is SO good! The recipe is below- try it! After a snowy cold weekend, its so nice to make something hot and hearty. I'm excited to share this tomorrow night with Ela and Malissa for craft night.

2008 White Chili!!

2 Tbs butter
2 cups chopped mixed bell peppers, red, green, yellow
A couple handful of coarsely chopped mushrooms
2 medium sized onions
3 tsp. minced garlic
2 cans vegetable broth
1 can each of Butter Beans, Black-Eyed Peas, Garbanzo & Cannelloni Beans, rinsed & drained
½ cup of frozen corn
1 jalapeno, chopped
1 Tbs chili powder
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp ground red pepper
1 cup sour cream

Melt the butter in a large saucepan, add the bell peppers, onions, and mushrooms and cook until soft, about 5-7 minutes. Add all the other ingredients (except sour cream) and bring to a full boil, about ten minutes. Reduce the heat and cover. Cook for 40-50 minutes. Add sour cream and stir. Salt to taste and serve with shredded Monterey Jack cheese.


wes said...

inspiration! interestingly enough, i have very similar aspirations in my life. especially now that i am convincing my new non-cooking carnivorous boyfriend that vegan food is good food! i'll make it this week. no more curries and stir fries!

Red-Handed Jill said...

Oh... kick ass... thank you! Rachel and i were just talking about wanting to make White Chile and not having a good recipe.

Sara Ashes said...

y'all both need to let me know how it turns out! xoxo