Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Vegetarian White Bean Chili

Don't think for one minute that I'm not cooking much these days! OK, it's not a much as I used to, but there is rarely a day that goes by that I don't use my pressure cooker (at least once!). Knowing how to use a pressure cooker has opened up a whole new world of food because there is hardly anything I can't make in it in a short period of time. Knowing how to use a pressure cooker, fast and effeciently takes practice, but it's the perfect kitchen tool if you want to make good, homemade foods quickly and many times with limited amount of ingredients in your fridge or pantry, and the best recipes are the ones with simple and few ingredients!

Vegetarian White Bean Chili

Dice onion, celery (optional), jalapenos, or any green chili pepper mix
2-4 cloves garlic, chopped or crushed
1-2 tbl. cumin
1-2 tbl. oregano
1-2 small cans green salsa (secret ingredient)
1-2 cups white beans soaked overnight, or quick soaked (see note*)
water or veg stock (water, if you are adding meat with a bone)
bone-in chicken thighs or turkey, skin removed, for a non-vegetarian version

Saute onion, celery peppers in oil, add garlic at the last minute along with spices. Add salsa, beans and water (or stock) to cover. (Add chicken or turkey if using at this point also). Cover, lock lid, bring to high pressure, cook for 20 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally, taste for S&P.

I wanted to keep this chili white, so no red ingredients could added, and that meant no chili powder for heat (although you could probably use 1/2 t. cayenne), so searching through my pantry I found this can of salsa verde I bought at the Mexican Market near my home, but you can also find it in the ethnic food section of most markets, the ingredient list is, tomatillos, serrano chilis (hot!),salt and cilantro, all appropriate for this application, so I just dumped it in.....perfect! Now I stock these little cans of green salsa for just this reason!

And as I mentioned in earlier blog posts if you are using bone-in meats, then you don't need to use stock, or broth, it will automatically be made as it's pressure cooking. But if you are cooking vegetarian, all recipes would benefit from using veg stock....which is a snap to make in the PC!

*Quick soaking beans

Bring a pot of water to a boil, add dry beans, turn off the heat and cover tightly for at least 1 hour, strain from soaking liquid and continue. This method can be used in lieu of an overnight soak.


leslie said...

YUM!!! I'll be trying this soon -- thanks Tracy!

Tracy Reifkind said...


You know these recipes are only guidelines...the more you use your pressure cooker the faster you get at just throwing a bunch of stuff in, shut the lid and 15 minutes later you've created something new and delicious.

I made red chili with beef and this white chili with chicken for a family get-together and everyone wanted the recipe for the this one! I think it's because people don't usually have white bean chili....besides it was awesome good, lol!

One thing I forgot to mention about chili is, like red bean chili, if you want to thicken it up you can use an immersion blender for a few seconds, or put about 2 cups of beans and broth in the blender, and then return to pot....or, simply use a potato masher to mash some of the beans on the bottom of the pot.

Oh, and one more thing....after finding out I would be having more guests than expected, I realized I hadn't bought enough cornbread (OK, I admit, I didn't make it myself....but I wasn't eating it, lol!), anyway, I threw some polenta in the PC with half milk and 1/2 & 1/2 (1 t. salt) and 10 minutes later.....lovely, creamy polenta to pour the chili over, (1 c. polenta to 4-6 c. liquid depending on whether or not you want it firm or creamy)

Keturah Y. said...

Oh, heart be still! Polenta with half-and-half! (I adore oatmeal and polenta.) And the chili looks tasty too.

I've got to get my pressure cooker out and get busy. Fall semester was so wickedly busy, if it weren't for my mother's cooking I'm afraid I wouldn't have ate much besides toast, eggs, coffee, and the occasional salad.

BTW: Merry Christmas, Tracy :-) Thank you for being so generous to share your recipes and thoughts on food with us all. It's helpful and inspiring, and you're a dear to do it.

Franz Snideman said...

Merry Christmas to you and Mark...or should I say Happy Hannukuh!

Either way...have a great holidays!


Franz, Yoana and Marianna

Peggy said...

Tracy, when you say bring the heat up to high pressure, do you leave it on high for 20 min, or turn it down? Thanks Peggy