Espresso Bean Chili

I made Espresso Black Bean Chili from Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything Vegetarian. This recipe makes a whole lot, and Jen at Little Bird Eats cleverly turned leftovers into soup. I deviated somewhat from the original recipe. For starters, I used small red beans instead of black beans. I used flavored diced tomatoes instead of plain tomatoes. I added in half the coffee amount and added in some chocolate. Also, I changed the seasoning just a little bit. Go to Little Bird Eats for the original recipe.

Espresso Black Bean Chili loosely adapted from How to Cook Everything Vegetarian by Mark Bittman

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 onions, chopped
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 can fire roasted diced tomatoes with garlic (14.5 ounces)
1 can diced tomatoes with jalapeno (14.5 ounces)
1 tablespoons decaf coffee powder
2 Tbl. chopped bittersweet chocolate
1 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp coriander
1 1/2 tsp. oregano
3/4 tsp. ancho chili powder
1/4 tsp. chipotle chili powder
1/4 tsp. ground pepper
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons molasses
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 pound dried small red beans, washed, picked over and soaked for around 8 hours

Saute the onions in oil until tender. Add the garlic and cook for a minute. Add the rest of the ingredients and enough water to cover and cook until the beans are tender. This will take hours . . . .

I was somewhat nervous about adding the coffee. I first added all the other seasonings to the pot (also leaving out the molasses and chocolate), and I tasted the broth. The flavor was pretty similar to my usual chili. So I added in just half the suggested amount of coffee. It gave the chili a deeper, richer flavor, but also a bitter, harsh, slightly burnt flavor. The molasses and chocolate smoothed things out, but I am not so sure I am a fan of the coffee thing.  Maybe I should add in even less than I added in. I have leftover chili and I can reassess when I reheat it.

I also made Seitan Lentil Loaf. I haven’t tasted it yet.

Update: The chili improves upon reheating. The bitterness disappears.

Second update: The seitan loaf was interesting. Baking the seitan after boiling it made it go from spongy to dense. The lentils were a tasty addition, but reminded me oddly of chocolate chips in cookie dough.

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2 Responses to “Espresso Bean Chili”

  1. secret admirer Says:

    Espresso beans!?! I recently saw a recipe for beans with maple syrup. Who knew beans were breakfast food! :))

  2. pragmaticattic Says:

    SA: Yes, haven’t you heard? Beans are the best way to start the day. Lots of fiber. ;-))

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