Election Night Chili

“Chili today, hot tamale” has long been one of my fam’s favorite phrases. While yesterday brought chilly temperatures and piping bowls of chili, today brought neither warmer temps nor hot tamales (stay tuned for these HungryTexans annual holiday tamales coming soon!). Today did bring reheated lunch and dinner chili and I dare say this funky spin on chili improved with age. Important to note, this is not this HungryTexan’s normal chili recipe — that I can whip up blind folded, but this was inspired by a real recipe (Cook’s Illustrated, of course) and required a wee bit more focus. It also requires a lot more time, so I might recommend you file this as a weekend recipe or a weeknight you’ll be glued to your TV (ahem…election night).

los ingredientes:

2 cans of black beans

2 cans of white beans

4 racquetball-sized onions

12 cloves of garlic

1/4 cup walnuts

2 ounces dried shiitake mushrooms

1 can diced tomatos (reserve that juice!)

3 tbl tomato paste

3 tbl soy sauce

2 jalapeños

1/4 cup chili powder

3 tbl oregano


veggie oil

1 cup barley

3 cups water

I recommend these three prep steps first:

  1. Combine mushrooms & walnuts in food processor until you’ve got a coarse walnut/mushroom meal
  2. Combine tomatoes (sans juice), tomato paste, soy sauce, coarsely chopped jalapeños, & garlic in your food processor
  3. Chop all your onions

With these steps under your belt, you’ll be ready to start simmering. Heat the oil (about a 1/4 inch high in your pot) and then dump in your onions, let those get soft and start browning, and be sure to salt them while they’re sizzlin’. Next, dump in your beans, add your chili powder, cumin, oregano. StirStirStir. Add your tomato mixture. StirStirStir. Pour in your walnut/mushroom mixture. StirStirStir. Add 1 cup barley & 3 cups water. Cover and let this bubbling pot ride the heat wave until your bulgar’s tender.

Serve piping hot and serve with your favorite dairy (I recommend that other HungryTexan’s sauced up sour cream!)

cilantro-lime black beans

beware: these little beans may be low-maintenance, but they will steal the spotlight if served with anything short of spectacular.

You’ll need:

2 cans black beans

1 cup cilantro

2 limes

S & P, to taste

Cumin, to taste


simmer two cans of black beans in a saucepan.  you could use fresh beans, but when your roommate disappears to Costco for an afternoon and returns with several pallets of legumes, you’ll want to take the easy route.

roughly chop a handful of cilantro and add to the pot.

quarter two juicy limes, squeeze them into the beans, and add a couple quarters to the pot.

season with salt, pepper & cumin.  and then forget about them.  five minutes before serving, if needed, i’ll add a cup of veggie stock to get them happy again.

perfectly simple, protein-rich, and happy on the back burner.  those are our kind of beans!