Makes 12 muffins
Chili Serves 6 to 8
I’m no Texas chili expert, but I am a culinary reality TV expert, and one thing that’s for sure is that if chefs on a cooking competition talk about Texas, they talk about chili. And if they talk about chili they have to state no less than 10 times that Texas chili has no beans in it. They’ll say it in slow-mo and with echo and dubbed over techno music. Texas chili has no beans. Did you hear that? NO BEANS! So this is my reverse homage to Texas chili. A mean pot of stew filled with all my favorite beans! It’s thick and stick-to-your ribs, and super duper meaty thanks to the cooked down lentils. Serve with Cornbread Muffins and guacamole.
Watch me make it and then I’ll watch you make it! Wait, no I won’t.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced medium
1 green pepper, seeded, diced medium
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 jalapenos, thinly sliced (seeded, if you want it less spicy)
3 to 4 tablespoons mild chili powder
1 tablespoon dried mexican oregano
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
Several dashes fresh black pepper
1/8th teaspoon ground cloves
2 cups water (plus extra as needed)
1 cup dried brown lentils
1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
1 1/2 cups cooked kidney beans, rinsed and drained (15 oz can)
1 1/2 cups cooked black beans, rinsed and drained (15 oz can)
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons lime juiceFor the Corn Muffins:
1 cup almond milk (or your favorite non-dairy milk)
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup cornmeal, medium ground
1/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons refined coconut oil, melted
2 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
1 cup corn kernels (thawed if using frozen)
Set your slow cooker to “sear.”Saute the onion, green pepper and jalapeno in the oil with a big pinch of salt for 5 to 7 minutes, until onion is translucent.
Add the garlic, and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add remaining ingredients, cover and set to slow cook for at least 8 hours. Lentils should be very tender.
Taste for salt and seasoning, and thin with a little water if necessary.
Preheat a 4 quart pot over medium high heat.
Saute the onion, green pepper and jalapeno in the oil with a big pinch of salt for 5 to 7 minutes, until onion is translucent.
Add the garlic, and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the chili powder (start with 3 tablespoons and go from there), oregano, cumin, salt, pepper, and cloves and toss to coat the onions, letting the spices toast a bit (about a minute or so).
Add the 4 cups water and scrape the bottom of the pan to deglaze. Add the lentils, cover the pot and turn the heat up to bring to a boil. Let boil for about 20 minutes, stirring every now and again. The lentils should still be firm, but almost tender enough to eat.
Add the crushed tomatoes, kidney beans and black beans. Cover the pot, and turn heat down to simmer. Let cook for about 30 more minutes, stirring occasionally. The lentils should be quite mushy, almost melting into the chili. You may also need to add more liquid depending on how much the chili has cooked down. Adding up to two cups more would not be unheard of.
Add lime and maple syrup, then taste for salt and seasoning. It tastes best if you let it sit for 10 minutes or so, but if you can’t wait then just dig in!
For the Corn Muffins:
Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly spray a muffin tin with cooking spray.
Measure out the milk and add the apple cider vinegar to it, then set aside to curdle.
In a medium mixing bowl, mix together the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Make a well in the center and add in the milk, oil and applesauce. Stir together the wet ingredients in the well. Then mix the wet and dry together just until the dry ingredients are moistened, being careful not to overmix. Fold in the corn kernels.
Fill each muffin tin most of the way with batter. Bake for 18 to 22 minutes. Tops should feel firm to the touch and a knife inserted through the center should come out clean.
Remove from oven and when cool enough to handle (usually 10 minutes or so), transfer muffins to a cooling rack to cool the rest of the way.