Hey, I like creamy, saturated-befatted foods as much as the next, but for chili... it seems odd. Which is hilarious, since I've been known to spoon copious amounts of sour cream atop a bowl of steaming red.
But since I cook for the lovely ladies of Huntersville, and someone had a craving, I did the deed - White Chili with Tofu and Pinto Beans, and it was pretty interesting.
Since this was such a brothy, creamy bowl, I'd thrown together some faux-Pusas to balance it out a bit - kind of like a South of the Border Biscuits n Gravy plate. It was much improved - the soft corn and bite of tomato balanced the jack-cheese-creaminess. Were I to do this chili again, I'd totally try a Mex-themed spoonbread, perhaps, as well.
White Chili with Tofu and Pintos
1 large onion, chopped
10 cloves garlic, minced
1 green pepper, diced
1 calabaza squash, cut to triangles
1 carrot, peeled and diced
2 stalks celery, diced
Handful of mushrooms
1/2 stick unsalted butter
3 tablespoons corn starch
1/2 pound Pepper Jack cheese, grated
6 cups water mixed
1/3 cup nutritional yeast
1 tablespoon scallion, chopped
1 small handful cilantro, chopped
2 cans pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 block firm tofu, torn to bite sized pieces
1 cup TVP
1 cup frozen corn
1 cup half n half
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp habanero powder or cayenne (for ze spice!), more to taste
1 small can hatch chilis (TJ's has this covered - look in the spice section)
1 small container sour cream
Melt the butter in a stock pot and add onion, garlic, pepper, carrot and celery. Saute until onion is translucent, 4 minutes. Add zucchini and mushrooms, toss, and cook another 3 minutes.
Add water, nutritional yeast, beans, cumin and habanero, herbs, chilis, TVP, salt, and sugar - stir well and simmer 20 minutes, until all veggies have softened. At this point, add your tofu - I fried mine in a little vegetable oil and drained it before tossing it in the pot for texture, but either way works just fine.
Remove the pot from the heat. Add the frozen corn. Toss your cheese with the cornstarch. Add in handfuls at a time and stir to melt. Ladle a small bit of broth into a measuring cup and mix your sour cream into it until well-blended, then pour into the pot. Add half and half a little at a time until the chili is the right consistency and taste for salt and heat.
Garnish with cilantro and chopped jalapeno, or with fresh salsa. Serve with papusas or corn bread, if you'd like.