This tasty chili is an ideal dish for vegetarians as the combination of rice and beans produces a complete protein. I think the flavor is outstanding when it’s made using reconstituted dried chiles. Just be aware that chiles described as New Mexico can range widely in heat. If you are using New Mexico chiles in this recipe, check to make certain that they are not described as “hot.” The “mild” variety is called for.
Yield: Makes 10 servings
1 tbsp (15 mL) olive oil
2 onions, chopped
4 stalks celery, chopped
1 cup (250 mL) brown rice, rinsed
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tbsp (15 mL) dried oregano leaves
1 tsp (5 mL) ground cumin
½ tsp (2 mL) salt
½ tsp (2 mL) cracked black peppercorns
1 can (28 oz/796 mL) diced tomatoes, including juice (see Notes)
2 cups (500 mL) cooked dried or canned red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
2 dried ancho, mild New Mexico or guajillo chile peppers
2 cups (500 mL) boiling water
½ cup (125 mL) chopped cilantro stems and leaves
2 cups (500 mL) corn kernels, thawed if frozen
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced, optional
Works best in a large (minimum 5 quart) slow cooker.
1. In a skillet, heat oil over medium heat for 30 seconds. Add onions and celery and cook, stirring, until celery is softened, about 5 minutes. Add rice, garlic, oregano, cumin, salt and peppercorns and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add tomatoes with juice and bring to a boil. Transfer to slow cooker stoneware. Add beans and 1½ cups (375 mL) of the broth and stir well.
2. Place two clean tea towels, each folded in half (so you will have four layers) over top of stoneware. Cover and cook on Low for 8 hours or on High for 4 hours, until hot and bubbly.
3. Half an hour before recipe has finished cooking, in a heatproof bowl, soak chile peppers in boiling water for 30 minutes, weighing down with a cup to ensure they remain submerged. Drain, discarding soaking water and stems, and chop coarsely. Transfer to a blender. Add remaining broth and cilantro. Purée.
4. Add chile mixture, corn, bell pepper and jalapeño pepper, if using, to stoneware and stir well. Cover and cook on High for 30 minutes, until pepper is tender and flavors meld.
Large cans of tomatoes come in 28 oz (796 mL) and 35 oz (980 mL) sizes. For convenience, I’ve called for the 28 oz (796 mL) size in my recipes. If you’re using the 35 oz (980 mL) size, drain off 1 cup (250 mL) liquid before adding to the recipe.
Low in calories, tomatoes are extremely nutritious. They contain vitamins A and C, potassium and folacin and are loaded with phytonutrients such as lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that may have cancer-fighting properties.
This dish can be partially prepared before it is cooked. Complete Steps 1 and 3. Cover and refrigerate onion and chile mixtures separately, overnight. (For best results, rehydrate chiles while the chili is cooking.) When you’re ready to cook, continue with the recipe.