|East meets Southwest in this bowl of chili made with kimchee|
Kim-chili anyone? I entered the Super Bowl chili cook-off at Freddy’s Bar with my vegan black bean chili made with Napa cabbage kimchee (bauchu). The kimchee is partially dehydrated and pan seared at a low heat to create a meaty texture, and it also gives this chili a tangy bite. I soaked and stewed the beans separately so that they have their own flavor. Beans, kimchee, fresh Korean chili and poblano peppers are simmered in a sauce made from dried ancho, arbol, chipotle peppers and kimchee juice. This vegan chili is pretty tasty but I think it still needs a generous topping of sharp cheddar cheese and red onion.
I used a traditional Mexican chili sauce recipe, made purely by blending rehydrated dried chillies. When I was in college, my upstairs neighbor, Pablo made his from scratch every weekend. I remember the sweet aroma wafting down the stairs. This sauce is different from the Texano and Californian tomato-based sauces. Using dried ancho and arbol, he’d lightly toast them in a pan, removed the seeds, then simmer them for 20 minutes. He used his grand mother’s food mill to make a fine bright red paste. My adaption was to include dried chipotle peppers and puree the sauce in a blender. Let’s see if my kimchili wins first prize tonight.