Mole-Inspired Chili – The Veganifaction Way

Mole-Inspired Chili - The Veganifaction WayI adore a good mole.  But rarely, if ever, is it vegan.  So I had to come up with my own recipe.  After perusing many recipes to not much avail, I finally came up with a vegan recipe that hearkens, “Mole! Mole! Mole!”

Not being able to leave well enough alone, I wanted to develop a chili that was a bit out of the box, not your ordinary vegan chili—i.e., beans or beans with seitan or TVP simmered with crushed tomatoes and chili powder.

And then it came to me!  Why not a Mole-Inspired Chili?  Why not?! Resonated with me.  I am so excited about this recipe.  If it is okay to say so myself, I do think it ranks up there as one of my very best.

It is richly savory; immensely textural because of the combination of vegetables, beans, and soy curls; an orchestra of homogenous flavors bursting forth on your palate.  The ever-so-slightest backnote, yet not discernable, chocolate and coffee do much to round out the capsaicinoids that the chiles bring to the party.

I prefer to keep the soy curls whole. However, you can certainly process them into more of a meatless ground, which would definitely change the textural contrast.  Or, you could split the soy curls, half ground, half whole.  Your choice, your pleasure.

Served simply with a garnish of cashew cream, some chopped tomatoes, and cilantro is about all you’ll need.  A side of tortilla chips to scoop up the chili would certainly add to the rustic panache.

Mole-Inspired Chili - The Veganifaction Way

Mise-en-Place ready to roll

There are several steps as part of this recipe’s mis-en-place, but you can prepare those items a day or two in advance and park them in the refrigerator until you are ready to assemble and simmer your chili.

Doing all the mis-en-place first makes this recipe a snap to put together.  You then have the option of preparing each of the steps and parking them, or completing the entire recipe in advance and warming it before serving (it’s one of these dishes that many would agree is actually best when served the day after it’s made).  A great crowd pleaser.  Make a fixings/toppings bar to go alongside your chili for a show-stopping table setting in addition to a delicious (and nutritious) meal.

 

 

 2 dried cannellini beans, soaked overnight in water
 30 shitake mushrooms, dried, reconstituted in 4 cups water
 2 8 Ounce bags Butler Soy Curls
 2 cascabel chili, dried
 4 pasilla negro chilies, dried
 2 mulato chilies, dried
 3 ½ Cups water
 1 Cup large bunch cilantro, stems separated from leaves (set leaves aside)
 ¾ Tablespoon lemon juice
 2 Tablespoons espresso powder
 1 large onion, diced
 10 garlic cloves, minced
 2 large or 3 small-medium carrots, diced
 3 large stalks celery, diced
 1 11-ounce bottle of dark ale (a Stout would be great)
 28 Ounces can crushed tomatoes
 1 Teaspoon liquid smoke
 2 Teaspoons sea salt
  Cup carob or dark chocolate, unsweetened or semi-sweet*

1

Drain beans, tossing liquid, rinse beans well, and set aside.

2

Drain the shitake mushrooms, reserving the liquid. Chop mushrooms coarsely (you can easily accomplish this task by pulsing them in a food processor). Set aside.

3

Reconstitute the soy curls with the reserved shitake mushroom liquid by adding enough liquid to just cover the soy curls. Allow them to set for 10 minutes, then drain the liquid, reserving the liquid. Either air-fry for 10 minutes at 380 degrees Fahrenheit, shaking at 5 minutes; or dry fry in a skillet until toasted and firm. Set aside.

4

Heat the 3-1/2 cups water, and reconstitute dried chilies (approximately 10 minutes), then puree in blender.

5

To the blender, add the cilantro stems, lemon juice, and espresso powder. Puree until well blended.

6

In a Dutch oven or similar pot, sauté the onion in a scant amount of the mushroom water. Add additional mushroom water as needed.

7

Add garlic to the onions, and continue to sauté until fragrant, adding mushroom water as needed.

8

Add carrots and celery, and continue to sauté for another 3 minutes, adding mushroom water as needed.

9

Add the remaining mushroom liquid, the chili/cilantro liquid, beer, crushed tomatoes, liquid smoke, and sea salt. Bring to a simmer and continue to simmer for five minutes.

10

Add the beans and mushrooms.

11

Cover and reduce to do simmer. Cook until beans are tender, approximately 2-1/2 to 3 hours, adding additional liquid as/if necessary.

12

Add in the soy curls, and simmer for an additional 15 minutes.

13

Stir in carob/chocolate to melt.

14

Just before serving, garnish with the cilantro leaves

15

Optional: Serve with a dollop of cashew cream, chopped chives, and chopped tomatoes.

Cashew Cream
16

Soak cashews in water acidulated with white vinegar for at least 3 hours. 

17

Drain cashews.  In a blender, process cashews with just enough water to make the cashew cream the consistency you desire.

18

Add a pinch of sea salt.

19

Optional:  process with a bunch of cilantro or other herb(s) or spices.

Ingredients

 2 dried cannellini beans, soaked overnight in water
 30 shitake mushrooms, dried, reconstituted in 4 cups water
 2 8 Ounce bags Butler Soy Curls
 2 cascabel chili, dried
 4 pasilla negro chilies, dried
 2 mulato chilies, dried
 3 ½ Cups water
 1 Cup large bunch cilantro, stems separated from leaves (set leaves aside)
 ¾ Tablespoon lemon juice
 2 Tablespoons espresso powder
 1 large onion, diced
 10 garlic cloves, minced
 2 large or 3 small-medium carrots, diced
 3 large stalks celery, diced
 1 11-ounce bottle of dark ale (a Stout would be great)
 28 Ounces can crushed tomatoes
 1 Teaspoon liquid smoke
 2 Teaspoons sea salt
  Cup carob or dark chocolate, unsweetened or semi-sweet*

Directions

1

Drain beans, tossing liquid, rinse beans well, and set aside.

2

Drain the shitake mushrooms, reserving the liquid. Chop mushrooms coarsely (you can easily accomplish this task by pulsing them in a food processor). Set aside.

3

Reconstitute the soy curls with the reserved shitake mushroom liquid by adding enough liquid to just cover the soy curls. Allow them to set for 10 minutes, then drain the liquid, reserving the liquid. Either air-fry for 10 minutes at 380 degrees Fahrenheit, shaking at 5 minutes; or dry fry in a skillet until toasted and firm. Set aside.

4

Heat the 3-1/2 cups water, and reconstitute dried chilies (approximately 10 minutes), then puree in blender.

5

To the blender, add the cilantro stems, lemon juice, and espresso powder. Puree until well blended.

6

In a Dutch oven or similar pot, sauté the onion in a scant amount of the mushroom water. Add additional mushroom water as needed.

7

Add garlic to the onions, and continue to sauté until fragrant, adding mushroom water as needed.

8

Add carrots and celery, and continue to sauté for another 3 minutes, adding mushroom water as needed.

9

Add the remaining mushroom liquid, the chili/cilantro liquid, beer, crushed tomatoes, liquid smoke, and sea salt. Bring to a simmer and continue to simmer for five minutes.

10

Add the beans and mushrooms.

11

Cover and reduce to do simmer. Cook until beans are tender, approximately 2-1/2 to 3 hours, adding additional liquid as/if necessary.

12

Add in the soy curls, and simmer for an additional 15 minutes.

13

Stir in carob/chocolate to melt.

14

Just before serving, garnish with the cilantro leaves

15

Optional: Serve with a dollop of cashew cream, chopped chives, and chopped tomatoes.

Cashew Cream
16

Soak cashews in water acidulated with white vinegar for at least 3 hours. 

17

Drain cashews.  In a blender, process cashews with just enough water to make the cashew cream the consistency you desire.

18

Add a pinch of sea salt.

19

Optional:  process with a bunch of cilantro or other herb(s) or spices.

Mole-Inspired Chili

*My preference is Taza Chocolate Mexicano 70% Dark Cacao Puro


Be sure to follow the recipes blog for more great Veganification cooking creations!

*An important aspect of sharing original recipes is to give proper credit to the author(s) of the recipe(s).  I hope that you enjoy using these recipes and making them your own; but please do so with that integrity in mind. With much gratitude. - Linda

Leave a Reply