Roasted Tomatoes Part Two: Chili

So we were talking about all my tomatoes I brought home from my parents house. I roasted about 15 lbs (of the 60 lbs) into a marinara the day I got home to take care of the ones which were ready to spoil. There were so many tomatoes which needed attending to, I figured, while the marinara was roasting in one pot, I should try taking all the ingredients for chili and throwing them in another pot to roast. We could eat the chili that night for dinner and I could bring the left overs to work to eat for my lunches.

The main perk for this would be, I wouldn’t have to keep an eye on the pot and stir it to keep it from burning. Cooking in the oven low for a longer period of time keeps things from burning, and it can also accentuate the flavors. While this isn’t a great method for a quick meal after work, it does well for a day you are going to be around the house and have lots of other things to do (like baths and naps) then spend time laboring over the oven.

For my Roasted Chili I used:

  • 10 lbs of tomatoes remaining crushed tomatoes
  • three large onions slices
  • four cups of sliced pablano and red peppers I picked from my parents pepper patch (say that ten times fast).
  • 1 tablespoon of cumin
  • 1-2 teaspoons of salt and chili powder each
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tsp whole pepper corns
  • I also like to add cinnamon and nutmeg to my chili so I added about a teaspoon each

I love all this estimating. I never measure anything, but I realize, people need to know proportions. I mixed this all up using my hands and into the oven at 250 degrees for about three hours.

I had never made chili this way, so I wasn’t sure how it was going to turn out. It wsa about dinner time, when I pulled it out of the oven with the marinara. I felt like my roasted chili was too watery, probably because these tomatoes were more juicy then I had anticipated. I wanted to cook it down quickly, (because Ira and I wanted to eat!) so I put it on the stove top and brought it to a roiling boil to help it reduce.

On left, chili roasting in the oven and on right, chili reducing on the burner.

At this point I added:

  • one small can of tomato paste to help the mixture thicken
  • 1/4 cup of chocolate chips (Mexican style)
  • 1/4 cup of raisins for fun flavor.

After letting it cook for about 10 minutes or so, I was satisfied with the meal and served it up. Ira and I sat down with our friend Eric to eat my first attempt at roasted chili. I asked them both, what they thought; if they felt the flavors were more complex then just cooking over the stove top. They both answered it was good, gave a critique and then almost hesitantly, Eric added, “yeah, I like it. It’s very tomatoey. I would usually think eating chili without beans is weird but, this tastes really good.” Ugh! Shit! I forgot to put the beans in. I ran into the kitchen to find the already opened can of black beans still hanging out on the counter. After dinner, I dumped the can in, mixed it around and my next bowl was full of beans. If I would have remembered to put the beans in before I cooked it down on the stove top, the beans would also have acted as a thickener. Oh well, sometimes you can’t remember everything.

One way or the other, my roasted vegetarian chili was really good and super easy. I thought I was a genius for coming up with this. But no, as with all my great ideas, it has been done before. I am still a genius in my own mind, if only I didn’t forget the beans!

Related posts:

  1. Lamb and Black Bean Chili In Red WIne
  2. Death Proof Chili
  3. Canning Tomatoes: Roasted Salsa
  4. White Chicken Chili with Coconut and Lime
  5. Faux “Sun Dried” Tomatoes