Friday, January 29, 2016

Vegetarian Sweet Potato Chili with Poached Eggs


As I mentioned a few weeks ago when I shared this recipe, I've been on a bit of a poached egg kick lately. In the next few months, I'm going to be working on a series of recipes that I'm calling "Poach Bowls," in which I'll be exploring all kinds of new ways to consume poached eggs. It will include recipes of the breakfast, lunch, and dinner variety, so if you're into eggs, you will want to stay tuned!

As the first official recipe of the series, I offer you this slightly sweet, slightly spicy, and totally satisfying vegetarian sweet potato chili poach bowl. 

    • Ingredients:
    • For Chili

    • 2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
    • 1 chipotle pepper, finely chopped (I buy canned La Costena chipotle peppers at Walmart or Giant)
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 2 T olive oil, divided
    • 1 onion, diced
    • 4 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1 jalapeno pepper, sliced
    • 1 T ground cumin
    • 1 tsp dried oregano
    • 1 (28 oz.) can crushed tomatoes
    • 1 C water
    • 1 additional tsp salt, or to taste
    • 2 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
    • 2 (15 oz.) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
    • 1/2 tsp red chili powder (I used an Indian chili powder from the local Indian food market, which is slightly spicier than what you'll find in the grocery store)
    • 1/4 C chopped fresh cilantro
    • ground black pepper

For Poached Egg


    • 4 eggs (1 per serving)
    • 1 to 2 T distilled white vinegar


Instructions:
For Chili

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Place cubed sweet potatoes in a large bowl and toss with chopped chipotle pepper, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1 T. olive oil. Once sweet potatoes are coated, spread onto the lined baking sheet in a single layer. Roast for 20-25 minutes. The potatoes should be slightly crunchy on the outside but tender on the inside. Set aside to cool.

Heat remaining olive oil in a dutch oven or large pot over medium heat, and add onion, garlic, jalapeno, cumin, chili powder, and oregano. Cook for about 5 minutes or until onion is soft, stirring occasionally.

Add tomatoes and water to the pot and let the mixture come to a simmer. Add 1 tsp. salt and cocoa powder, and allow to simmer for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to low and let simmer for at least 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes, add beans and sweet potatoes. Add a little more water if the consistency is too thick for your liking. Simmer another 15 minutes until beans and potatoes are heated through. Season with salt and pepper to taste and garnish with cilantro.

For Poached Eggs

Fill a saucepan with 3-4 inches of water, add vinegar, and bring to a very low simmer. If the water is barely simmering, there are fewer bubbles that will agitate the eggs. While the water is simmering, crack your eggs into small ramekins. When the water is ready, place eggs, one at a time in a fine mesh sieve, allowing any excess white to separate into another bowl. Then slowly lower the egg into the water and let it slide out of the sieve slowly (I've found that the trick is to let it sit for a second in the sieve under the water before sliding it out. This allows it to solidify a bit). After all the eggs are in the water, set a timer for 3 minutes. Watch the water carefully to make sure it doesn't begin to simmer too much. When the 3 minutes is up, use a slotted wooden spoon to gently scoop the eggs out of the water. Place on a paper towel and pat off excess water. Then transfer one egg to each bowl of chili. 

(Disclaimer- If you already have a working method of making these, stick with that. If you've never made poached eggs, or you've had trouble in the past, I've found that the following approach works well. However, I am by no means an expert at cooking poached eggs. You can also use poach pods, which work great).


P.S. This could be a fantastic replacement dish for regular chili for that party on Super Bowl Sunday! Just add classic guacamole and you can't go wrong. 

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