Sunday, January 16, 2011

Another party meal

My friends decided I needed to hold another Pampered Chef party, to which, I happily complied.  I love hosting parties.  To me, party = good food.  Right?  I get the chance to feed far more people than I usually get to.  Feeding people is a bit of a thrill for me.  Being that it was sooooo cold this week, I went with chili.  I know, right, I just had chili.  Exactly.  So I changed it up.  This is my first vegetarian chili!

I used a huge organic sweet potato, peeled and cubed, for the bulk of the chili.  I also added an entire onion, an organic zucchini a can of black beans, Muir Glen fire-roasted diced tomatoes (instead of the kidneys in the photo....seemed too beany), roasted pablanos, tomato sauce, and a chili kit. 

The onion was first up!  I let it sweat then added the sweet potatoes, tomato sauce, two cans of water, and all the seasonings from the kit.  As a note, next time I'll only use 3/4 of the chili powder.  It was a little overwhelming at first bite, but then it tasted perfect a couple bites in. Still, I wouldn't want anyone turning it away because of the strong chili bite at the beginning of the dish. 

While that simmered away for 30 minutes, these bad boys were roasting away.  Look how black they get! 

After 30 minutes, I mixed the masa with water and added all the other ingredients.  I let this simmer another half hour then put it away for serving at the party.  The chili had the change to chill in the fridge for a couple days.  I honestly feel that chili is best after a day or two, just like lasagna.  So, this was intentional.

The day of the party, I warmed in on the stove while I made this cornbread, only I made it in muffin form for easy serving so I nixed the melty butter step.  That seemed like too much work for each muffin cup! 

Somehow I managed not to get one single photo of the finished goods, but let me just say that everyone gobbled it up and no one missed the meat.  The sweet potatoes melted upon contact with your tongue creating a creamy sweet pillow against the spice.  The combination is phenomenal!  I would make this again in a heartbeat and serve it to even the meatiest of eaters. 

The best part (other than it being ridiculously good)?  Feeding a crowd on just a few bucks!  The whole pot (and it was a huge pot, the net was probably 10-12 cups) was roughly $6....and I made the cornbread out of pantry staples.  Ah, how I love a well stocked pantry! 

What's your favorite crowd pleasing dish?!  Chili is always one of mine, but this was a nice twist!


  1. My favorite crowd pleasing dish are the Zucchini chips that I make, You can check them out on my blog (recipe section!) they are quick easy and so delicious!

  2. That sounds absolutely dreamy. I don't entertain very often, so I don't really have a signature dish. But I need one :)