Northeastern University Dining Services Blog

Monday, October 15, 2018

Championship Chili

Monday, October 15, 2018 | 4:38 PM Posted by Northeastern Dining , , , , , , , , No comments


with campus executive chef Tom Barton

Welcome to October, such a great time of year! I personally love this time of year when the weather starts to get a bit colder and I can start to prepare some of my favorite braises in the slow cooker and Instapot. I am inspired by the change in weather and the great local produce we are still able to get.

Another great seasonably appropriate dish is chili. What is your favorite kind? With or without beans? Spicy or mild? Meat or plant based? So many possibilities. Well we now have an award winning recipe, rightfully dubbed "Championship Chili", that I would like to share with you!

Our Championship Chili recipe won us first place in the Vegan Chili Beanpot competition at The Let’s Talk About Food festival last week. It was a competition among the “Beanpot” schools” of Harvard, Boston College, Boston University and Northeastern. As you may know these are called the Beanpot schools because the four schools compete in the much coveted annual Beanpot Hockey tournament in February. Northeastern's Men's Hockey team won the Beanpot this year and we had the trophy on full display on our table at the chili competition. The votes were cast by people who tasted each of the entries and I am happy to report that we were the overwhelming favorite! 

Our Championship Chili included four different beans, fresh char grilled corn, roasted tomatoes, mushrooms and seasoned with toasted ground cumin, chili powder, garlic and finished with a bit of hot sauce. I do have to say that I think the piece de resistance was a cashew ranch dressing that was placed on top along with pickled jalapenos, more char grilled corn and a miniature pepper for garnish. Folding in the cashew ranch I think is a great way to bring all the flavors together and perhaps slightly mellow the heat along with accenting the umami flavors of the mushrooms.

Please join us Friday October 19th at Curry Dining from 12:00PM - 1:00PM to celebrate the victory and sample some of our Championship Chili!

- Tom 


Championship Chili Recipe
Ingredients — yields 6-8 portions
Chili

  • 2 tablespoons vegan butter (can sub vegetable oil)
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 2 medium carrots, diced
  • 3 ears charred corn, removed from cob
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 lb cremini mushrooms, quartered
  • 2 14 ounce cans fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 11 ounces cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 11 ounces chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 11 ounces pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 11 ounces black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 to 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon tamarind paste
  • 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup cayenne pepper hot sauce (i.e. Frank's Red Hot)
  • Salt and pepper to taste 
Cashew Ranch Sauce

  • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked in water 4 to 8 hours
  • 1 cup unflavored soy milk
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh chives 
Garnish 

  • 1/4 cup pickled jalapenos
  • 1 tiny pepper
  • 1 ear charred corn, removed from cob 
Instructions
Making Championship Chili
  1. Place the butter into a large pot and set over medium heat. Melt the butter, then add onion, celery, carrots, mushrooms, and garlic. Saute until the veggies begin to soften, about 10 minutes.
  2. Add tomatoes, cannellini beans, chickpeas, pinto beans, black beans, charred corn, 1 cup of broth, cumin, chili powder, tamarind paste, and 1/4 cup of hot sauce to the pot. Stir to incorporate the ingredients. Raise heat and bring to a simmer. Lower heat and allow to simmer, uncovered, for 30 to 60 minutes. Add up to an additional cup of broth during cooking if the chili becomes too thick.
  3. Taste test and add up to an additional 1/4 cup of hot sauce. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Making the Cashew Ranch Sauce 
  1. Place cashews, milk, lemon juice, garlic, and salt into a blender and blend until smooth, stopping to scrape down the pitcher as needed.
  2. Add parsley and chives, then pulse until finely chopped and incorporated into the mixture.
Serving 
  1. Ladle chili into serving dish. Top with dollop of cashew ranch sauce.
  2. Garnish with pinch of charred corn and pickled jalapenos. Top with tiny pepper.

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