Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Chocolate Chili with Peppermint Pesto

I realized while writing this up that I could have called it "Chocolate Chickpea Chili with Peppermint Pepita Pesto" for even more alliteration, but enough is enough.  This was my first time adding chocolate to chili, and I enjoyed the complexity it added, as well as how it deepened the chili's color.  This makes enough to feed a crowd.

Chocolate Chili
The Ingredients:
1 onion
2 T olive oil
6 cloves garlic, crushed
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
2-3 jalapeno peppers (seeded or not, depending on how much heat you like)
2 t chili powder
3/4 t salt
1/2 t cayenne
1/4 t cinnamon
1/8 t allspice
3/4 c TVP (textured vegetable protein)
1 28-oz can tomato puree (or tomato sauce, but reduce salt if using salted tomato sauce)
1 29-oz can diced tomatoes
3 15-oz cans garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
2 c vegetable broth
1/2 c strong brewed coffee
1/4 c + 1 t cocoa powder
1/3 c semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 batch peppermint pesto (recipe below)

The Process:
  1. Heat olive oil in a large stockpot over medium-high heat.  Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring, until onion is softened, about 4-5 minutes.
  2. Add bell peppers, jalapenos, chili powder, salt, cayenne, cinnamon, and allspice, and continue to cook, stirring, for 5 more minutes. 
  3. Add TVP, tomato puree, diced tomatoes, garbanzos, broth, and coffee, and bring to a simmer.  Sprinkle on cocoa powder and stir to incorporate.  Cover and let simmer gently for 45 minutes to an hour, stirring a few times.
  4. Add chocolate chips and stir until incorporated.
  5. Serve with peppermint pesto (below).
Peppermint Pesto
Pulse together in a food processor until pulverized:
2 c loosely-packed peppermint leaves
1/2 c pepitas (roasted, salted pumpkin seeds)
1/4 c raw cashews
1/4 c olive oil
2 T lemon juice
1/4 t salt

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