The addition of wine in a standard recipe adds new dimensions to the dish, not to mention bringing out intriguing character in the food itself. Since coming to work in the Patit Creek Cellars winery, and having so many great wines at my fingertips, I have taken to cooking with them :) and with a passion.
Regarding the vegetarian title of this post… I have given consideration to the vegetarian lifestyle a number of times, and I could never seem to make it practical enough to actually follow it. But now Big Ed is under doctor’s orders – NO MEAT – and I am challenged to prepare great meals that we can both enjoy, without sacrificing flavor or variety.
Which led me to create this Vegetarian Chili recipe. It cost me all of $11.50 in groceries, plus $16 for the bottle of Syrah. Depending on how well-stocked your pantry is, your cost may be slightly more or less. We will enjoy hearty portions again for lunch later this week, so let’s set the servings at six. I chose our Syrah for its earthy, peppery notes. Total preparation and cooking time was 1.5 hours.
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium yellow bell pepper, chopped
2 large carrots, shredded (use a cheese grater!)
3 stalks celery, chopped
1 medium rutabega, diced
4 medium crimini mushrooms, sliced
1 jalepeno pepper, de-seeded, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can dark red kidney beans
1 can pinto beans in chili sauce
1 packet chili seasoning
1 bottle Patit Creek Cellars Syrah
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
By the by, Big Ed has also been sworn off the salt, so I used low-sodium options and didn’t add any during cooking. You may want to tweak that to your own tastes. Cheers!