Friday, November 13, 2009

Bulgur Texas Chili

I found this recipe perusing the "food in a bowl" tag on Molly's blog a few weeks ago. I'm a Texan, but I never knew that our chili isn't supposed to have beans. (My mom is from Ohio, so I didn't grow up eating particularly Texan foods.) All the chilis I've ever made were bean-based, so I was glad to expand my horizons with this bean-free recipe. I've tried using bulgur in chili before, and it was pretty disappointing. I think there wasn't enough in the recipe, so it was just an occasional textural oddity. This chili is chock-full of bulgur, and it definitely doesn't taste or feel like meat, but it gives the chili a really good chew. I omitted the cayenne pepper in the recipe, but it was still kind of spicy for wimpy me. (Jon, of course, added hot sauce to his.) Other than that, both of us really enjoyed this chili, and I'll just use a little less chili powder, or a milder chili powder, next time. We served it over cornbread. If it had lasted longer, I would have liked to try it in Frito pie, but it was gone too quickly. I hear that Molly is entering this chili in a vegetarian chili cook-off in Austin this Sunday. Check it out if you're in the area, and good luck, Molly!

Bulgur Texas Chili

1 or 2 tablespoons oil
small onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
salt and pepper
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon cayenne (optional)
1/2 tablespoon chili powder
1/2 cup bulgur
3 1/2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon ketchup
1 can rotel (I used mild)
1 can water
2 tablespoons tomato paste

Fry the onions in oil until they are soft, about five minutes. Add the garlic and cook another 30 seconds. Add all the spices and stir to combine. You can leave out the cayenne to reduce the heat a bit. Add the bulgur and stir everything together again. Combine the soy sauce and ketchup and pour the mixture over the bulgur. Stir continuously until combined.

Pour in the can of rotel (or about 10 ounces diced tomatoes). Fill the can with water once and add to the other ingredients. Add the tomato paste and stir everything once more. Bring everything to a boil and then turn the heat down to a simmer. Simmer covered for 20 minutes.

Taste and adjust the seasonings. If the chili is too dry for your taste, add some water. Serve over Fritos, cornbread, or tortilla chips. It's OK with me if you serve it over rice, but Molly disagrees.


Katy Bold said...

How many servings does this make? It look good!

Evelyn said...

I'd say about 4 servings. We both had seconds, and there was a heaping serving leftover for lunch the next day.

Anonymous said...

The best texas chili I've tasted uses beer (Guinness of all things) to add some flavor. Have you heard of adding beer to your chili?

Evelyn said...

I've made a chili with dark beer and coffee, but it had beans.