The recipe for today was created by my husband. Someone once asked me if he was a good cook, and I answered by saying he could follow a recipe. That's a good skill to have if you're not an intuitive cook. But, with this recipe, from 2008, he showed his "cooking wizard" potential.
So where did the inspiration for his terrific chili originate? Well, Ken was at the veterinarian with our dog, Buffy. Buffy was in the back having blood drawn, and Ken was in the waiting room — waiting. And waiting. Now, when I'm at the vet, I always pick up the dog magazines, but Ken's not sentimental like that. He doesn't care that Super Speedo Galactic Fido just won his 10th all-champion dog master competition. He found himself attracted to a Rachel Ray cooking magazine instead. There was a recipe for chili in there that inspired him to come home and create his own perfect version of the dish he'd read about.
The recipe is not gluten-free, but you can make it so by leaving out the seitan and adding 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of liquid smoke. Or, you can soften and season soy bits or curls and add those if you wish. Or you can add quinoa or chopped portabella mushrooms. But really, the chili is so full of flavor, you don't have to substitute for the chorizo unless you want to.
Ken's perfect chili
1. *My husband used Upton's Naturals chorizo-style seitan in this recipe.
2. If we don't have leftover home-cooked beans, we use canned beans with no salt added. The cheapest beans we've found are the organic 365 brand at Whole Foods. The no-salt ones always seem to be hidden on the highest shelf!
3. Salt and spiciness are personal preferences, so add the amount that seems right for your taste. This recipe will be moderately spicy, depending on the heat in your jalapeño and chili powder.
4. I think a few fat leaves of Italian parsley or cilantro would go well with this. It needs a little dark green!