Sunday, November 15, 2009

Cheesy White Chili with Cauliflower

So, remember the other day when my crockpot died? This is the recipe I was trying to make. Since I still had most of the ingredients, I decided I needed to try to make it on the stovetop. Instead of cooking in the crockpot for 8-10 hours, I simmered on the stovetop for 30 minutes. Then I added in the cauliflower, bell pepper, and jalapeno and simmered for another 15 minutes. Then I mixed in all the other stuff (cheeses, chilies, etc) and cooked it just til the cheese was melted.

It is FANTASTIC. Now. I believe it is a very successful white chili. Does white chili count as a true chili? What do you think? Regardless, I definitely think this was amazing and I fully intend to make it again.


Cheesy White Chili with Cauliflower
CLBB (Connor'sMom)

This pale vegetarian chili is both pretty to look at and delicious to eat. Add the cream cheese if you prefer a thicker, cheesier sauce, and the mild green chiles for a flavor boost.

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 onions -- finely chopped
4 cloves garlic -- minced
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon dried oregano leaves
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cracked black peppercorns
1 can white kidney beans -- (14-19 oz) -- drained & rinsed
3 cups vegetable stock
3 cups cauliflower florets -- cooked for 4 minutes in salted boiling water and drained
1 jalapeno pepper -- minced
1 green bell pepper -- diced
2 cups Monterey jack cheese -- shredded
4 ounces cream cheese -- cut into 1/2" cubes, softened -- optional
1 4.5 oz can chopped mild green chiles -- optional
green onions and cilantro -- finely chopped, to garnish

In a skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions and cook, stirring, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add garlic, cumin seeds, oregano, chili powder, salt and peppercorns and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Transfer mixture to slow cooker stoneware. Add beans and stock and stir to combine.

Cover and cook on LOW for 8 to 10 hours or on HIGH for 4 to 5 hours, until hot and bubbling.

Stir in cauliflower, jalapeno pepper, green pepper, Monterey Jack cheese, and cream cheese and chiles, if using. Cover and cook on HIGH for 25 to 30 minutes, until green peppers are softened and cauliflower is heated through. Ladle into bowls and garnish as desired.

TIPS - If you prefer a thicker chili, mash some or all of the beans or puree in a food processor before adding to the recipe. If you are assembling this chili the night before you plan to serve it, for convenience, chop the peppers and cook the cauliflower as well. Cover and refrigerate until ready to add to the recipe in Step 3.

MAKE AHEAD - This chili can be partially prepared the night before it is cooked. Complete Step 1. Cover and refrigerate overnight. The next morning, continue cooking as directed.

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