Good Morning World! Today is one of my favorite days. It’s National Sourdough Bread Day. Keep in mind, to this day one of my most beloved cities to visit is San Francisco. I grew up in the sixties, and San Francisco was the place to be. To this day, I love to go down to the wharf, buy a container of cold crab salad, a loaf of sourdough bread and a bottle of wine, then have a picnic on the beach and watch the seagulls.
Sourdough is the world’s oldest leavened breads. It is believed that bakers in Egypt first began perfecting the sourdough bread around 1500 BC. During the California Gold Rush, sourdough was the principal bread baked in Northern California, and has remained a part of the San Francisco culture. San Francisco sourdough is the most famous in the country today and the San Francisco variety of sourdough has remained in continuous production since 1849. What is even more amazing is that some bakeries in San Francisco can trace their sourdough starter back to the Gold Rush period. The sourdough tradition continued into Alaska and the western Canadian territories during the Klondike Gold Rush as well. And why not?
Sourdough bread is great with soups or stews. It’s a popular choice of breakfast toast. I had considered offering up one of my San Francisco favorites, Clam Chowder in a Sourdough Bread Bowl. But then I realized how pedestrian that offering would have been today. Another popular favorite is spinach dip in sourdough. That’s when the light came on – if you can serve it in a bowl, you can put it in sourdough!
This recipe is perfect for the 23rd Day of Lent for two reasons. First, it’s completely meatless, a vegetarian recipe for chili. And better yet, it’s delicious!
Meatless Chili in Sourdough Bread Bowls
1 cup chopped Zucchini
1/2 cup chopped Red Onion
1/2 cup chopped Red Bell Pepper
1 tablespoon Olive Oil
2 cans (15.5 oz) Chili Beans (no meat)
1 can Ro-Tel Fire Roasted Tomatoes with Chilies
1 cup frozen corn
4 oz Hatch Chilies, diced
2 tablespoons Brown Sugar
4 small Sourdough Bread Bowls
1 Cup Cheddar Cheese, shredded
1 Green Onion, sliced for garnish
Roughly chop the zucchini, red onions and bell pepper. Set aside.
Heat olive oil in a large sauce pan. Add vegetables and saute until tender, about 3 minutes.
Stir in beans, tomatoes, corn and brown sugar. Cover and simmer 8 to 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, trim about 1 inch off top of each bread loaf. Scoop out bread leaving a 1-inch thick shell.
Chop the green onion for garnish and set aside.
To serve: Spoon or ladle some chili into each bread bowl. Sprinkle with cheese and green onions. Serve with bread top on side.