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Microwaved Chili Mole

This is from Quick and Hearty by Pat Baird.  She called it “Vegetarian Chili,” but that’s too ordinary a name for this flavorful chili; mole (MO-lay) refers to the savory use of chocolate.  I’ve made this many times and it is very reliable.  Don’t be afraid of the long list, since it is mostly just bottles from your pantry – but it does require a very large casserole, or improvising with a mixing bowl and plastic wrap. Or just cut it down.  Crockpot directions follow.

Eight servings.

  • 2 c dried beans such as kidney or pinto or chick peas, soaked and cooked, or 3 cans
  • 1/4 c olive oil
  • 5 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, coarsely chopped
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, coarsely chopped (can replace both of these with frozen peppers)
  • 3 T chili powder (yes, three tablespoons)
  • 2 T ground cumin
  • 1 T oregano
  • 1 T dried basil
  • 1-1/2 t fennel seeds
  • 2 t unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 t thyme
  • 1 t cinnamon
  • 1-1/2 lbs. coarsely chopped tomatoes (or 1 lg can diced tomatoes, and use much less stock)
  • 2 c vegetables stock
  • 1/4 c balsamic vinegar

In a 4-qt coverable and microwaveable casserole, combine the oil, garlic, onion, and peppers and stir well to coat.  Cover and microwave 3 min, stirring halfway through.

Stir in herbs and spices and microwave uncovered 4 min, stirring once.

Stir in tomatoes, stock, and beans (not vinegar).  Cover and microwave 12-15 min or until boiling.  I find it hard to tell by looking when it is boiling, so I use a thermometer to get it at least near 200 degrees.

Uncover and microwave 15 min on 50% power.

Stir in the vinegar.  Microwave on 50% power another 30-40 min.  Let stand 10 min.

Crockpot directions: I make this in a microwaveable crockpot.  Watch out, the lids sometimes have metal hidden in them.  Soak the beans but do not cook them.   I follow the microwave directions, just using a plastic lid, until I add in the tomatoes.  Then add:

  • either 1 small can diced tomatoes plus 1/2 c water OR 1 large can diced tomatoes
  • 6 c soaked but not cooked beans, drained
  • 2 t bouillon paste

Cook in your crockpot on high at least 5 hours.  If you want to speed it up, you can microwave it a bit.  Add the vinegar when the beans are tender.


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