Fit 4 Mom- Los Angeles

Helping moms make strides in fitness, motherhood and life

BLACK BEAN CHILI

on November 6, 2012

Beth made this tasty dish for the food swap a few weeks ago.  She got the recipe from The Greens Cook Book.  Here’s what she said about this dish..

This is how the recipe appears in the cookbook, but I usually don’t do the spice roasting, I just shake the spices from their jars right into the sauteing onions so they get some heat there before I add the tomatoes.  I rarely eat this as a soup – I most often use it as a filling for enchiladas.  I throw it in tortillas, line a baking pan with enchilada sauce, pop the filled tortillas in, cover them with more sauce and sprinkle with cheese if it’s a dairy crowd. Then I bake on 350 until they’re warmed through.   I usually serve with guacamole, sour cream, and salsa.

Ingredients
2 cups Black turtle beans
1 Bay leaf
4 tsp Cumin seeds
4 tsp Dried oregano leaves
4 tsp Paprika
1/2 tsp Cayenne pepper
1 Chile negro or ancho chile, (for chili powder)
or 2 TB Chili powder, or more
3 TB Corn or peanut oil
3 med Yellow onions – diced into 1/4-in squares
4 Garlic cloves – coarsely chopped
1/2 tsp Salt
1 1/2 lb Ripe or canned tomatoes -peeled, seeded and chopped- juice reserved
1 TB Rice wine vinegar (or more)
4 TB Cilantro, chopped

GARNISHES
Green chiles: 2 Poblano or Anaheim, – roasted, peeled & diced
or 2 oz Canned green chiles, – rinsed well and diced
1/2 cup Grated Muenster cheese – (or more)
1/2 cup Creme fraiche or sour cream
Cilantro

SORT THROUGH THE BEANS and remove any small stones. Rinse them well, cover them generously with water, and let them soak overnight. Next day, drain the beans, cover them with fresh water by a couple of inches and bring them to a boil with the bay leaf. Lower the heat and let the beans simmer while you prepare the rest of the ingredients. (Or pressure cook as I do).

Heat a small heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the cumin seeds, and when they begin to color, add the oregano leaves, shaking the pan frequently so the herbs don’t scorch. As soon as the fragrance is strong and robust, remove the pan from the heat and add the paprika and the cayenne. Give everything a quick stir; then remove from the pan–the paprika and the cayenne only need a few seconds to toast. Grind in a mortar or a spice mill to make a coarse powder.

Preheat the oven to 375 F. To make the chili powder, put the dried chile in the oven for 3-to-5 minutes to dry it out. Cool it briefly; then remove the stem, seeds and veins. Tear the pod into small pieces and grind it into a powder in a blender or a spice mill. (Or use powders chile, we have lots available here)

Heat the oil in a large skillet and saute the onions over medium heat until they soften. Add the garlic, salt and the ground herbs and chili powder and cook another 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and their juice. Simmer everything together for 15 minutes then add this mixture to the beans, and, if necessary, enough water so the beans are covered by at least 1-inch.

Continue cooking the beans slowly until they are soft, an hour or longer, or pressure cook them for 30 minutes at 15 pounds pressure. Keep an eye on the water level and add more, if needed, to keep the beans amply covered. When the beans are cooked, taste them and season to taste with the vinegar,
additional salt if needed, and the chopped cilantro.

Prepare the garnishes. If you are using fresh green chiles, roast them over a flame until they are evenly charred. Let them steam 10 minutes in a bowl covered with a dish; then scrape off the skins, discard the seeds, and dice. Serve the chili ladled over a large spoonful of grated cheese and garnish it with the creme fraiche or sour cream, the green chilies and a sprig of fresh cilantro.

Though served in a bowl and eaten with a spoon, this chili is a great deal thicker than most soups–thick enough in fact to be served on a plate right alongside fritters or cornbread. It also, however, can be thinned considerably with stock, water or tomato juice to make a thinner but still very flavorful black bean soup. When thinned to make a soup, it can be served as part of a meal rather than a meal in itself.

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