It currently feels like 7 degrees in NYC. I'm fucking cold. Obviously, the only things to be eaten in this weather are soups, stews and (now) chilis. My copy of Yellow Rose Recipes came a couple of weeks ago and the first recipes I tried were the Better Than Basic Chili and Buttermilk Biscuits.
I know the proper accompaniment for chili is cornbread, but biscuits are like gold in my house, so as soon as I saw the recipe, I knew I had to try it.
Before this, I don't think I'd ever really had chili. I stopped eating meat when I was around 13 and was a fan of neither beans nor spicy food before then. I wasn't even much of a fan of them after I stopped eating meat. I didn't really get into beans until a few years ago, and even then, if they looked funny, I wouldn't go near them. I made this chili because my mother asked me too. Yes, my omni mother asked me to make vegan chili.
This recipe couldn't be easier to make. It has a jalapeño pepper in it, so I thought it was going to be too spicy and I was going to cry, but it had just enough bite for me to call it "hot", without actually being uncomfortable. The onions are added in two parts: one in the beginning, to flavor everything, and one at the end to add crunch. The crunchy onions rule.
Yellow Rose Recipes has two chili recipes in it. This one, and one that calls for TVP. I was out in the suburbs when I decided to make the chili, so TVP was out of the question, hence I went with this chili. But I know my mother likes her chili meaty and "gets a kick out of" the meat substitutes, so I kind of cheated and pinched in a package of Gimme Lean Ground Beef Style. And I really did feel like a cheater. I had to tell every person that tasted it that the "meat" was store bought and ask if it seemed too "fake", like it was trying too hard because of the meat. What have I become?!
I LOVED the chili, but here's the big test: What did the omnis think?
Dad: Took one bite (was going out to dinner), grinned and exclaimed "Meat is overrated. This is damn good chili!"
Mom: Took one bite (was going out to dinner). "This is damn good chili!"
Brother: Ate a giant bowl of it. "I don't need Dougies anymore! If you learn to make Fire Slammers, I'll pay you!"
Three friends: All ate hearty portions and said it was good. One thought it should be spicier, but I made it and I'm a wuss.
There you have it. Not a single complaint about the lack of meat.
The biscuits went over really well too. I think I like them even better than the Baking Powder Biscuits from VWAV. These are butterier, more flavorful and also a bit more moist, I think. But that's kind of to be expected when they're called "Buttermilk," not "Baking Powder." Right? Right.