Award Winning Chili – Sweet Potato Chili with Peanuts

It’s been too long since I posted a recipe. So here it is, a recipe.  An Award Winning recipe, I might add.  Last Saturday, this chili won the Hill Street Hoedown Chili Cookoff People’s Choice award.  And I didn’t even have to do all of the campaigning myself.  It actually stood on its own, and then I persuaded other people to try it.

I know, I know, arguably, this is not a chili in the true sense of the word.  No meat, no beans, but boy did it have a good chili flavor.  The original recipe was pretty weak sauce on the spicing, so I amped it up a bit with chipotles and cocoa powder.  Feel free to adjust the seasoning to your taste in chili.

Also, you should probably note that if you are taking this to a cookoff, you should give some sort of warning that there are peanuts in it.  Not something that allergic people are likely to suspect in a delicious chili.

Enjoy!

Sweet Potato Chili with Peanuts
Adapted from AICR

2 Tbsp. canola oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 medium carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
1 medium green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
2 to 6 garlic cloves, minced, to taste
1 1/2 to 2 pounds orange-flesh sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into bite-sized chunks (about 4 cups)
1 1/2 cups unsalted roasted peanuts
1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes in juice
1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
2 cans (4 ounces each) diced mild green chili peppers with liquid
2 chipotles in adobo, chopped
4 to 6 Tbsp. of chili powder, or to taste
2 Tbsp. cocoa powder
1 Tbsp. ground cumin, or to taste 
1 Tbsp. sugar 
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

In a large, heavy pot, heat the canola oil over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots and bell peppers, and sauté, stirring occasionally, for about 8 minutes, until onions are golden. Add the garlic and sauté, stirring constantly, for 30 seconds. Stir in the sweet potatoes, peanuts, canned tomatoes, tomato paste, canned chili peppers, chipotles, chili powder, cocoa powder, cumin and sugar.

Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, for 15 to 25 minutes, until the sweet potatoes are just tender. Halfway through the cooking process, adjust the seasonings, adding more chili powder and cumin if you want. Season with salt and pepper.

Makes 10 servings.

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