10 oz. (~300g) Tempeh
1-4 Jalapeno peppers (or other hot peppers)
hot chilli pepper powder (or other hot pepper powder)
1 can (28 oz. / 800g) stewed tomatoes
1 can () tomato puree
1/2 - 1 bottle of beer (12 fl. oz. / 0.4 l) (if you don't like beer, don't worry - nor do I)
Rice - enough for 1 cup per serving
Makes four servings
Break the Tempeh into chunks (maybe 1/4 inch cube, if that). Don't cut it - just break it by hand. Put these chunks into a container in which you marinate them in beer (don't use more than 1/2 the bottle for this). You can do this for a whole day, or just half an hour prior to cooking, either way it'll have picked up the flavours. I also always add some of the chilli powder into the marinade.
Cut the jalapenos into pieces, about 1/8 - 1/6 inch square. Keep some seedless pieces aside from the rest (maybe 1/6 of all the jalapenos). Do NOT throw away the seeds (a mistake I made the first time I did this)!
Open the cans of tomatoes and tomato puree. Pour all of the liquid from the tomatoes into a cup for later usage. Put a large amount of the chilli powder into this liquid, and stir up.
Take a large skillet or frying pan, at least 1 inch deep.
If you like, put oil or something in the pan. Turn the stove on to high until the pans gets good and hot. Then throw in the tempeh (without the marinade). You can keep the marinade for adding in later, or throw it away - it all depends on whether you prefer your chili wet or dry. Throw in some of the jalapeno chunks - maybe 1/6 to 1/4 of the total. Fry it all up until you're happy with the result.
Now dump in the stewed tomatoes. Cut them in half in the pan - use your cooking implement so you don't scratch the pan.
Cook everything for a minute or so, then add in some beer and the tomato puree. Stir everything up well.
Things will be drying out fairly rapidly, so add in the tomato juice from the stewed tomatoes and all of the remaining jalapenos with their seeds, other than the 1/6 seedless pieces that you kept aside. Add more chilli powder to taste. Once all of this has been mixed in nicely, turn the heat down to medium.
Start making the rice.
While the rice is cooking, add more beer to the chili as and when it becomes necessary to maintain your preferred level of wetness. If the chili is drying out too fast, turn the heat down some more. You do still want some bubbling going on, at least.
Just before the rice gets done, stir the rest of the jalapenos into the chili.
Serve one quarter of the chili over one cup of rice, together with beer or cider to drink.
Notes and variations:
This is an adaptation of my brother's meaty chili, and, in my opinion, this version tastes hands-down better than his. The tempeh is really ideal for this recipe.
I love the combination of the yellow tempeh with the red tomatoes and the green jalapeno - that's why the last batch of jalapeno is added at the end, to make sure it stays nice and green!
I often play with the timing of when to start the rice, and the timing given in this recipe is the easiest - I don't multi-task very well in the kitchen!
The original recipe always made a very dry chili, almost like a paste, but my wife prefers it somewhat more wet. As I love it either way, I'm more than happy to accomodate her. You can easily change the wetness by adding more or less liquid.
Obviously, you can also adjust the spiciness/flavour by adjusting the amount and kinds of peppers and powder that you use.
You can use something else other than beer for extra liquid, of course. I also strongly suspect that the marinating makes little to no difference - for me it's psychological. It might, however, make the tempeh moister, which is a good thing.
You can always add beans, but I fear that would produce protein overload!