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Northeastern championship bean chili

This recipe, which uses several kinds of beans, gets its signature flavor from charred corn and pickled jalapenos. A dairy-free cashew-almond ranch completes the chili. Created by Northeastern University chefs for the first annual Chili Beanpot competition at Harvard, this dish won people’s choice for best chili.

YIELD: 6-8 portions

For chili:
2 Tbsps. vegetable oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
2 medium carrots, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 lb. cremini mushrooms, quartered
2 (14 oz.) cans fire-roasted tomatoes
11 oz. cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
11 oz. chickpeas, drained and rinsed
11 oz. pinto beans, drained and rinsed
11 oz. black beans, drained and rinsed
3 ears charred corn, removed from cob
1 to 2 cups vegetable broth
2 tsps. ground cumin
2 tsps. chili powder
1 Tbsp. tamarind paste
½ cup cayenne pepper hot sauce
Salt and pepper to taste

For cashew-almond ranch:
½ cup raw cashews, soaked in water 4 to 8 hours
½ cup blanched, slivered almonds
1 cup unflavored cashew milk
¼ tsp. garlic, minced
½ tsp. onion powder
2 Tbsps. pickled jalapeno juice
½ tsp. salt
¼ cup parsley, chopped
1/8 cup fresh dill, chopped
¼ cup fresh scallions, chopped

For garnish:
¼ cup pickled jalapenos, chopped
tiny peppers
1 ear charred corn, removed from cob

1. For chili: Place oil in large pot and set over medium heat. Add onion, celery, carrots, mushrooms and garlic. Saute until vegetables begin to soften, about 10 minutes.
2. Add tomatoes, cannellini beans, chickpeas, pinto beans, black beans, charred corn, broth, cumin, chili powder, tamarind paste and hot sauce to pot. Stir to incorporate ingredients. Bring to light boil and reduce heat to light simmer. Continue to simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally for 60 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
3. For ranch: Place all ranch ingredients except parsley, dill and scallions into blender and blend until smooth, stopping to scrape down pitcher as needed. Add parsley, dill and scallions, then pulse until incorporated into mixture.
4. To serve: Ladle chili into serving dish and garnish with pinches of charred corn and pickled jalapenos.

Photo and recipe: Northeastern Dining

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