“Sharing a recipe is personal.”
In early November, Munchery HQ held its first annual Chili Cook-off, and competitors faced off, filling the kitchen with the warm, smoky aromas of their secret homemade recipes. At stake—the honor of having their very own chili on the Munchery menu, available for customers across the Bay Area. After a blind taste test and an office-wide vote, one stood above the rest—a rich, gradually spicy portabella chili.
Sweta, an accomplished home cook and one of our beloved engineers, was overjoyed that her vegetarian chili (the only vegetarian recipe in the competition) was able to rise above its carnivorous competition, “I had two goals—I wanted to make a chili that everyone in the office could try regardless of dietary restrictions, and I wanted to show people that you could make veggie food delicious.”
With award-winning chili to her name, she’s proud to be sharing the recipe so that people everywhere can rediscover the age-old but often forgotten friendship between marvelous and meat-less.
Whip It Up Yourself
Sweta’s Portabella Chili
2 Anaheim chiles
1 quart vegetable stock
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
8 portabella mushrooms
1 green chile, thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 onion, chopped
Salt and black pepper
A few pinches of cumin
A few pinches of coriander
A few pinches of cinnamon
2 cans of black beans
1 can of fire-roasted tomatoes
Stem and seed 2 Anaheim chiles. Cut them lengthwise into 4 pieces and place them in a soup pot with vegetable stock. Bring the mixture to a boil then reduce the heat to a simmer.
Add extra-virgin olive oil to a Dutch oven (use a deep metal stockpot with a lid if you need a replacement) and heat over medium-high heat. Stem mushrooms, cube them, and add them to the hot oil for 12 to 15 minutes or until browned. Next, add the garlic, onions, green chile, salt, and pepper for 5 to 6 more minutes or until softened.
Season with paprika, cumin, coriander, and cinnamon to taste.
Add the chile stock (filtering out the chiles), beans, and tomatoes to the Dutch oven and let simmer for about 2 hours. When you are ready to serve, top with lime juice and cilantro.
“If you like a little extra spice, keep the vegetable stock simmering the whole time and leave the chilies in until the very end (just before serving). This extra time gives the chili lovely, back-of-the-throat heat that builds with each bite.”
The Secret Ingredient
The secret to delicious chili (and yummy home cooking of all sorts) is, quite simply, you. Giving yourself creative license will not only help you become more comfortable in the kitchen, it will allow you to tailor dishes exactly to your liking. If you are unfamiliar with experimenting, chili is the perfect place to start. With so many delicious variants and a myriad of ingredients that complement the flavor profile, you can’t go wrong.
“I’m a big believer in using what is on hand. I had bought portabella mushrooms earlier in the week, so I looked up a good mushroom chili recipe and stumbled upon one from Rachel Ray. From there, I had to make several substitutions—I couldn’t find ancho chiles, so I used Anaheim chiles instead. The avocados weren’t ripe, so I left them out. I decided to omit the cream and sour cream to make it fully vegan.”
If a recipe calls for something obscure, out of season, or simply not to your liking, get creative and work around it!
Taste it Today!
If you’re interested in tasting award-winning chili but don’t have the time to simmer yourself a pot, just head over to our menu! As promised, Sweta’s Portabella Chili is being featured in San Francisco as the winner of our inaugural Chili Cook-off.