Originally posted by PurpleHaze:
As promised, here's the recipe I made for post-Thanksgiving dinner. As an avowed meat-itarian, I was prepared (expecting) not to like it too much. I was very pleasantly surprised. As always with chili, give it at least a day in the fridge to meld flavors.
Additionally, with my meat and bean chili, I've discovered an interesting twist. I usually have a bowl on day 2 or 3 after letting the chili rest in the fridge. Then I freeze the leftovers. I've found that the frozen chili is noticeably better than un-frozen. I'll thaw it gently and SLOWLY reheat it for at least a half hour on low, stirring regularly. There is some weird alchemy that happens in the freezer, but I've given this to several friends who have been blown away at the depth of flavor. Try it with your chili. Trust me.
NOTE: I heeded the warnings of several folk who made this before I did, and reduced the cumin to 1 TBS. I love cumin, and found that the chili had plenty of cumin flavor at 1 TBS. YMMV. Used half normal and half hot chili powder.
Red Lentil Chili
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
1 medium white onion, diced (1 cup)
1 medium red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and diced (1 cup)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, or more as needed
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or more as needed
1 jalapeño pepper (not seeded), minced, plus fresh slices for serving
4 cloves garlic, minced and mashed with the flat side of a knife
3 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon Spanish smoked paprika (sweet pimenton)
Two 15-ounce cans no-salt-added diced tomatoes and their juices
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 3/4 cups water, or more as needed
3/4 cup dried red lentils, rinsed and drained
One 15-ounce can no-salt added kidney beans, drained
One 15-ounce can no-salt-added black beans, drained
Chopped cilantro, for serving
Diced avocado, for serving
Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Once the oil shimmers, stir in the onion and red bell pepper. Season with 1/4 teaspoon each of the salt and pepper; cook for 3 or 4 minutes, stirring often, until they have just softened.
Stir in the jalapeño and garlic, then add 2 tablespoons of the chili powder, half the cumin, the smoked paprika, the tomatoes and their juices, tomato paste and water, stirring to incorporate. Increase the heat to medium-high; once the liquid begins to boil, stir in the lentils.
Reduce the heat to medium-low, so the mixture is barely bubbling; cook for 15 minutes or until the lentils are mostly tender (they will look plumped). Add more water, as needed.
Add the kidney beans, black beans, the remaining 1/4 teaspoon each of the salt and pepper, the remaining tablespoon each of cumin and chili powder, stirring to incorporate. Once the beans have heated through, reduce the heat to low, cover and cook for 20 minutes, stirring a few times. Taste and add salt and/or pepper, as needed.
Serve warm, topped with jalapeño slices, the cilantro and avocado.
VARIATION: To make this in a slow cooker, add all the ingredients at once and cook on HIGH for 3 hours.
Recipe courtesy of the Washington Post Food Section.
Have you done this in the slow cooker PurpleHaze?