The Unusual Ingredient In Eric Ripert's Super Bowl Vegetarian Chili

Both easy to share and brimming with flavor, chili is an excellent choice for a Super Bowl meal. A ground beef-based chili con carne is the classic, but the dish translates well to vegetarian renditions, too, and with the right touches it is sure to please a party crowd. So why not craft a version accessible to all by following French chef and author Eric Ripert's rendition? The acclaimed chef shared his Super Bowl game day chili on Instagram, a version that relies on a traditional spice base — cumin and chili powder — but nixes the meat with a nifty substitution. First, he builds the dish's thick nature utilizing beans, which can be canned or dry. While a controversial component, especially in Texan-born chilis, the legumes perfectly complement the aromatics.

Next comes Ripert's clever, unusual twist: the addition of mushrooms. The fungi best replicates meat's texture while adding an earthy touch. Plus, mushrooms fit right into the cooking process of the chili, with no special care required. To attain ideal consistency, Ripert first simmers the ingredients before transferring a third to a blender. Whirred together, the beans and mushrooms yield a thick and tasty vegetarian chili with pleasantly chewy mushroom bites.

Eric Ripert adds mushrooms to craft a meat-like chili

Achieving a delectable chili is all about employing the best of the mushrooms' texture. Add too much to the flavor-building saute step and they'll release an abundance of moisture. The same will occur if they're cooked down for too long; hence, Ripert constrains cooking times to a few minutes. Sauteing stops at seven minutes total and simmering along with the tomato and bean mixture shouldn't exceed fifteen.

Ripert calls for around four to five white button mushrooms per serving of chili. Each one is quartered, not minced, so that it still retains substance. Alternatively, the dish can be made with portobellos cut in half and into chunks. Flavorful creminis also turn out delicious in chili, or you can mix several types for the most variety. Optionally, increase the chili's savory flavor by integrating dried porcinis.

The aim is to craft an earthy dish with satisfying mushroom morsels. If you prefer your chili texture to be more traditional, throw all the fungi into the blender to eliminate their textural component. Regardless of the exact approach, it's a vegetarian chili sure to delight a Super Bowl crowd.