Tag Archives: habanero

TVP and Habanero Chili (Cashew Remix)

4 Jan

Cooking is a learning experience. I thought about making this post like I’m a cooking expert, but I will let you in on a secret. What I am going to tell you is how I plan on making this chili next time. This time my normally awesome chili was not that great. There’s two big things I learned.

The first is, if you’re going to use canned tomatoes find a brand that you can rely on. I bought the el cheapo Topps brand of crushed tomatoes to make this recipe, and I regret it. For one, it tasted funny. For two, it was not crushed tomatoes. It was tomato sauce. I thought maybe I had forgotten what crushed tomatoes are supposed to be like, but Ellen confirmed it. Laaame. Probably the best course of action is to use fresh tomatoes which is something I’m beginning to experiment with but that can take a long time. So from now on I am not going to skimp when it comes to buy canned tomatoes.

Second, cashews soften up when you cook them. It didn’t occur to me that they would. So, I’ve modified the recipe to take that into account. Soft cashews aren’t horrible, but it’s not what I wanted. I wanted a nice, crunchy consistency. Putting the cashews in too early also cooked the flavor out of them.

So one lesson, one minor modification. But that’s what makes cooking fun. If your tastebuds are operational, you can judge the quality of what you’ve made, and you can adapt for next time! Also check out the sweet bowls Ellen’s sister gave her. I need to get some nicer plattering dishes. Anyway!


2 tablespoons vegetable oil of your preference

1 green bell pepper, chopped

1 yellow onion, chopped

3 habanero peppers, diced (use gloves if you’ve never cooked with habaneros before)

2 28 oz. cans of tomatoes – I use one can crushed and one can whole but you could do whatever

2 15 oz. cans of appropriate chili beans – if you like beans a lot throw in another can

1 cup TVP (this measure could be off because I just dumped a bunch in by eyeball – it might have been closer to 2)

1/2 a small bottle of Dos Equis

1 1/2 cups of roasted cashews


Put the oil in the bottom of a big kettle. Saute the bell pepper and onion until it’s nice and soft. Now just dump in everything else. Yeah! Dump it!

So, I dump the beans in water and all but some people think that’s a bad idea. If you agree, rinse the beans off and and add, like, two cups of water.

Add cumin to taste! Or not. Ellen thinks it’s just fine without cumin, and I have made some very good cuminless chili before. The kettle before this on that I made turned out really, really good without it. The habanero gives it a good flavor and heat.

Then let it cook for a long time. Like, until the TVP gets soft, but since this is chili if you just put it in a slow cooker and leave it alone it’ll be good.

Before it’s all ready to serve, dump in the cashews. Let the chili cook for another minute or two, and it’s ready.


Chili Beans with Onions and Sweet Chili Sauce

16 Apr

My grandmother likes to give me fuckloads of food. If I go visit her I always seem to leave with a box full of mason jars and then inside those mason jars is food. The problem is that the mason jars always contain one type of very specific food. Once it was applesauce. Another time it was sauerkraut. Then it was pickled beets. This time? Chili sauce that my grandpa made.

So what the eff am I going to do with all this crazy chili sauce? “Put it on hot dogs!” my grandpa said. NO. NO TO HOT DOGS. I mean maybe I could get some of those veggie dog things but I figure like most mock meats they’re more expensive than they need to be and maybe they taste funny. I can do mock meats every so often but I’d rather do beans or fruit or veggies or soy.

Did I mention I’m broke? I’m broke. I bought an accordion recently and I’m really happy about that and I bought a t-shirt that has a shark high-fiving a gorilla on it and I’m happy about that too and I bought Electroplankton for the Nintendo DS and if Play-Asia ever ships it I’ll be happy about that as well. Buuut… now I’m broke. So! I made do with things I had on hand. Chili beans! Leftover shallots! Chili sauce! I did buy the potato but that’s okay.

Chili Beans with Onions and Chili Sauce!


1 tablespoon oil

1 15 oz. can of chili beans of some sort

1/2 onion, chopped – I used two shallots and if you like shallots a bunch maybe you could too

1/4 cup of sweet chili sauce

red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper or maybe a habanero pepper

sour cream or your favorite sour cream substitute


Okay, so this is a super-simple recipe that is barely worth talking about, but basically heat your oil in your skillet. Drop in your onions and cook them until they’re translucent. Now add your beans and your chili sauce and, if you’re feeling brave, a habanero pepper. If you’re not habanero brave (and I don’t always feel habanero brave) you can add cayenne or red pepper flakes to your taste. Let it cook and bubble until it’s nice and hot. Okay, now you can serve it! I ate it over a baked potato but I bet it would also taste good served over a crusty roll or rice. Add a dollop of sour cream-ish stuff! I need to work on my dolloping skills because the dollop in the picture? Not very pretty. But it tasted good!

I’m going to try to get the recipe for my grandpa’s chili sauce because it’s real good!