Wednesday, January 17, 2007

It's Good To Be Home

During the month of December, Brad and I were traveling for a total of 16 days out of 31. We returned home on the 2nd of January, and after all the food we consumed in restaurants while out of town, I wanted nothing more than to cook and eat at home.

While the weather has yet to be as brutal as one would expect from a New York City winter so far this season, it has been consistently grey, wet and now finally cold. So, as you can guess, the food I've been craving has consisted mainly of soups, stews, hearty pastas and chilies. This pleasantly spicy
Chickpea Soup with Arugula was a goodie from my January issue of gourmet, as was this stewy beef recipe I found while scouring online last week. I had some success with pulled pork this past weekend using a the BBQ sauce Brad learned last year, but the biggest surprise – easy, delicious and sure to be a repeater – was this vegetable chili I adapted from a recipe I found on

Do not fear, this is simple and sure to please. The bulgur is a pleasant and healthy addition, that gives you that thick "meaty" texture you crave in a good bowl of chili. We ate it with cornbread because Brad had made some the night before - but you don't need much more than a salad for a great meal that will warm you from the inside.

Spicy Vegetable Chili

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, peeled, thinly sliced
1 sweet potato, chopped
1 large poblano pepper, seeded, chopped
3 large jalapeño chilies, seeded, minced (about 4 1/2 tablespoons)
5 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes (fire roasted if you can find 'em)
4 cups chicken broth
2 15-ounce cans black beans, rinsed, drained
2 15-ounce cans kidney beans, rinsed, drained
1/2 cup bulgur (cracked wheat)
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
salt and fresh ground pepper
1 cup freshly chopped cilantro

1. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion, carrots, sweet potato, poblano and jalepeño and sauté until onion and carrots are almost tender, about 8 minutes.

2. Add garlic and spices and cook, stirring until spices are fragrant evenly coated on vegetable, about 2 minutes more.

3. Add tomatoes, broth, beans, bulgur, white wine vinegar and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, uncovered, until bulgur is tender and mixture thickens, stirring often, about 20 minutes.

4. Stir in cilantro and ladle chili into bowls to serve.

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