Contains: Legumes, nightshades. Is: Gluten-free, also dairy free and vegan, depending on toppings. Great for all-week dining.
I attended a potluck with five other women on Saturday. It was a warm afternoon, and we enjoyed what was likely to be one of the last seasonal outdoor sun-warmed, virus-dissipating occasions of the year. A pleasant breeze, too. Our theme was seasoning mixes, and we had to mix up enough of each of our mixes to send home each person with some. So for the sake of mixture-longevity, we all opted for dry blends.
I chose to go the Mexican route, which ended up more Tex-Mex than Mexican in most regards. In the back of my mind was to re-create the highly successful vegetarian chili I’d made for Cinco de Mayo for about 15 houseguests a few years back. I’d been too busy making the entire spread (which included a taco bar and a salad) to record much of anything, however. It was a lot of adding spices by feel. Which for the purposes Saturday of making a stock mix for everyone to take home, left a bit of that “feel” out – which I adapted with by using “wet” supplements to my actual dish. (But the base is a good starting point, precisely the meaning by that word, “base”. A starting point from which one can adapt, especially since this base chili/enchilada dry mix is mild. Not everyone can or wants to do “spicy”, for instance.)
Yes, there is a subtle difference between Mexican and Greek or Turkish oregano. In a chili, it probably doesn’t matter, with all the other flavors going on.
You can find a good workable chart of chili pepper heat indexs (Scoville Units), at this location: The Spruce Eats’ Scoville Scale for Hot Chili Peppers.
- Dried or ground ancho pepper come from Poblano chilies.
- Dried or ground (and generally smoked) chipotle pepper comes from Jalapeño chilies.
The Spicier Sauce listed below is based on some of the more flavorful but semi-hot chili peppers, with a bit of fresh habanero tossed into the mix. Feel free to substitute as you will – there’s a ghost pepper out there with your name on it!
BUTTERNUT SQUASH???? Yeh, it works, very well, and I’ll be including it again and again.
Prep Time: 5-10 minutes.
Serves: Probably about 4 occasions of 6-8 serving pots of chili.
Leftovers: Save in a cool, dry place for about 6 months for best flavor.
The Stock Dry Seasoning Stock Mix for the Chili (or Enchiladas)
- 10 tablespoons chili powder
- 5 tablespoons cumin, ground fresh and THEN measured
- 5 tablespoons smoked paprika
- 2 tablespoons Mexican oregano (Greek or Turkish is fine)
- 2 tablespoons ground garlic.
- 1 teaspoon coarse ground Kosher or sea salt.
Combine all in a bowl with a fork or tiny whisk.
Note: this salt amount may be for some, low. I did this intentionally – salt should be added considering the pot of chili or whatever as a whole. If you end up using a fine-grained salt, start with half a teaspoon.
It is ideal to add your garlic entirely via clove, but for the sake of making up mixes for the future, I add it in the blend this way. Adding more at time of chili/enchilada creation is nice.
Again, this is mild. Feel free to add ground cayenne powder (to taste) to the above, for your personal stock.
Prep Time: 40 minutes.
Leftovers: About a week, refrigerated.
The Spicier Sauce
(Used to spoon some over your chili – make your quantity based on your needs.)
- 2 dried Guajillo chiles
- 2 dried Pulla chilies
- 4 dried Ancho chilies
- 1/2 jalapeño, deseeded and finely minced.
- 1/2 habanero, deseeded and finely minced. (Use more if desired)
- 1-2 garlic cloves
- If you prefer/have other chilis, adapt accordingly!
Soak all dried chilis in HOT water for about 25-30 minutes.
Place in a saucer. For the and the pulla, squeeze out the water and reserve the liquid. As the ancho is more “pulpy” than the other two, squeeze out some. Reserve liquid and the rest of the ancho (excluding stem). Set the rest of the ancho aside.
Strain all the liquid to remove seeds (unless you want some of them).
In a mini-processor, macerate the ancho remains and the garlic together. (If you are using other “pulpy chilis, use this same procedure.)
Add this to to the reserved liquid from the other chilis (actually, I added about half of this to my chili proper, recipe below).
Add the minced fresh peppers to The Spicier Sauce. Serve with the condiments for chili topping, with a small spoon. Scale up quantities AND Scoville properties depending on the divergencies of heat levels in taste buds of family or guests.
You can make this hotter, and mix it all in its entirety into the chili itself towards the end of cooking time, should you desire.
Prep Time: 15-20 minutes.
Cook Time: Around 5 hours.
Rest Time: ???
Serves: 6-8 as the main.
Vegetarian Bean-Based Tex-Mex Chili
- 1 can, approximately 15.5 ounces / grams pinto beans
- 1 can approximately 15.5 ounces / grams black beans
- 1 can approximately 15.5 ounces / grams black eyed peas
- 1 can approximately 14.5 ounces / grams stewed tomatoes. Better yet, stewed smoked tomatoes.
- 1 large can approximately 28 ounces / grams whole tomatoes
- Approximately, 10 ounces / grams fresh butternut squash, chunked.
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2-3 poblanos, chopped
- About 9 teaspoons or more of Dry Seasoning Stock Mix (above)
- 2 small tomatoes, sliced. I didn’t skin them.
- About half of the Macerated Ancho and Garlic from the Spicer Sauce (above)
- Salt and ground pepper to taste.
- Any extra hot chili you feel this pot needs. You know the people you are serving.
Plop everything everything through to the dry mix into a stock pot or other large pan. You can include the liquid in the cans. Bring to a boil and reduce quickly to a simmer. Stir frequently enough that beans don’t stick to the bottom of the pan (ahem). Keep covered loosely, allowing for evaporation. You can now add extra heat in chili format at this point, as well as later if desired.
Allow to cook for around 5 hours, allowing flavors to marry, and liquids to cook down. Watch liquids – add more if things go too dry, or remove lid briefly to allow for more evaporation.
About 1.5 hours before being ready, add the tomatoes, and the macerated ancho/garlic mix. In half an hour, taste and adjust for salt, heat, and overall “chili” flavor.
You can keep this on a very low “simmer” prior to being ready to serve.
Serve over rice if desired.
Whatever your heart desires! I provided:
- The Spicier Sauce
- Chopped cilantro
- Chopped scallions/green onions
- Home-shredded Colby-jack cheese.
- Home-shredded Mexican Cotija cheese – shred this fine, as it is a harder cheese, and looks best if shredded like Parmesan.
- Sour cream.
- I am certain you can think of others. Rings of sliced pickled (or fresh) jalapeño? A bottle of Cholula? Chopped fresh (or pickled) yellow onion? Diced red bell pepper?
No instructions necessary here!