Friday, May 30, 2008

Chili Casserole Diner

Another very tasty meal from The Voluptuous Vegan, a cookbook well worth buying!

Menu:
Spaghetti Squash with Sofrito
Chili and Corn-Biscuit Casserole
Guacasalsa
Garlic-Braised Broccoli

Cook's Notes:
Soak the beans for the chili
Up to a day in advance: Cook the beans and make the chili. Bake the spaghetti squash and scoop out the flesh
Mix together the biscuit, layer the casserole, and place in the oven to bake
Make the guacasalsa
Sauté the spaghetti squash
Cook the broccoli right before serving
To serve, place a portion of chili casserole in the middle of the plate. Or place an individual ramekin in the middle of each plate. Top with a dollop of the guacasalsa. Serve on either side a little mound of spaghetti squash and a stalk of broccoli.

Spaghetti Squash with Sofrito

Ingredients:

1 1/2 lbs spaghetti squash (1/2 large or 1 small)
1/2 large red bell pepper, stem, seeds, and membrane removed
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon achiote seeds (optional)
1/2 lb plum tomatoes (3 or 4), roughly chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 scallions, thinly sliced on the diagonal

Preheat the oven to 375˚F. Cut the squash in half lengthwise and place the two halves on an oiled baking sheet and bake for 50-60 minutes or until the squash is tender when pricked with a fork. Remove the squash and discard the seeds. Use a fork to scrape the flesh from the squash (it comes out in strands). Put in a bowl and set aside.

Slice the red pepper into thin lengthwise strips and then cut the strips into 1-inch pieces.

Combine the oil and achiote seeds in a small skillet and heat gently over low heat. As soon as the oil is warm and infused with orange color, pour it through a strainer. Discard the seeds. Return the oil to the skillet add the tomatoes, peppers, and garlic, and sauté over medium heat for 5-7 minutes, or until the tomatoes are broken up and the peppers are softened. Add the spaghetti squash and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until warmed through and stewed together. Add salt and pepper. Stir in the scallions.

Chili and Corn-Biscuit Casserole

chili ingredients:
3/4 cup anasazi beans, soaked, or 1 14 ounce can
3/4 cup pinto beans, soaked, or 1 15 ounce can
salt
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 onions, cut into fine dice (2 cups)
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 chipotle chile
1 pasilla chile
1 ancho or jaujillo chile
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes
1 15 ounce can of black beans, drained
1 tablespoon mirin or dry sherry
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Cover the beans with 7 cups water and simmer, partially covered, for about 1 hour or until the beans are softened. Add salt to taste. (Alternatively, put the beans in a pressure cooker with 4 cups water. Bring to a boil, covered, then lock on the lid and pressure-cook for 6 minutes. Let the pressure come down naturally. Remove the lid and salt the beans). For canned beans, drain the liquid and add to a pot covered 1 1/2 cups water. Don't add more salt at this stage, since canned beans are already salted.

Warm the olive oil in a medium skillet. Add the onions and cook over medium-low heat for 10 minutes. Add the garlic, cumin, and oregano and cook 5 minutes more.

Cut off the stems of the dried chiles and shake out the seeds. Place the chiles and sun-dried tomatoes together in a bowl. Cover with boiling water and let soak for 15 minutes, until soft. Drain, reserving the soaking liquid. Put the sundried tomatoes in the blender with the chiles and 1/4 cup of the soaking liquid and blend until smooth.

Place the black beans in a food processor fitted with a metal blade and process until ground. Transfer the ground beans to a skillet with the chile-tomato purée and cook for 5 minutes stirring constantly.

Add the contents of the skillet to the bean pot. Add the mirin and lemon juice to the pot and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes uncovered, to evaporate any excess liquid and allow the chili to thicken. (if you are using canned beans, add the salt now). Stir from time to time to prevent the chile from sticking. Adjust salt to taste.

corn biscuit ingredients:
1 cup all-purpose gluten free flour
1 cup cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon chile powder, preferably New Mexican
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup rice milk
6 tablespoons canola oil
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup tortilla chips, crushed

Preheat the oven to 350˚ F. Oil a deep 7x9 inch baking dish.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and chile powder. In another medium bowl, mix the vinegar, rice milk, oil, and water. Whisk together until thoroughly blended and emulsified. (You can use a blender for this). Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix together with a spatula just until the ingredients are fully moist; do not overmix.

Spread a thin layer of batter on the bottom of the baking dish. Spoon the chili on top and finish with the rest of the batter. With a spatula (a small metal offset spatula works best here). Smooth the batter evenly. Sprinkle with the crushed tortilla chips.

Bake for 45 minutes, or until the casserole is cooked through, and a toothpick inserted in the biscuit comes out clean. Let the casserole stand for 5 minutes before cutting it into squares to serve.

Guacasalsa

Ingredients:
2 scallions, thinly sliced on the diagonal (1/4 cup)
1 jalapeño, stem and seeds removed, minced
1 medium cucumber cut into 1/4-inch cubes (1 cup)
1/2 cup minced red onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 ripe avocados (or 3 or 4;)
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
salt

Combine ingredients in bowl and mash up avocados until you have a nice guacamole (the original recipe calls for chopped avocados not mashed ones, but I much prefer mashed).

Garlic-Braised Broccoli


Ingredients:
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 lb broccoli, cut into florets

Warm the oil and garlic in a medium skillet over medium heat until the oil is shimmering and the garlic barely starts to color. Add the broccoli and stir for a minute or two until it is heated through.

Add 1/4 cup water to the skillet. Cover the skillet and cook for about 2 minutes, until the broccoli is crisp-tender and bright green. Sprinkle with salt.

recipe adapted from: The Voluptuous Vegan

1 comment:

Carynne said...

camille! it all looks delicious, as usual. My sister and I made "mediterranean tapas" for dinner tonight--naan-ish bread with three dips: arugula bruschetta, roasted eggplant, and a spinach-cannellini humus. yummy! and then I spent all evening looking through my cookbooks :)
miss you!