Posts Tagged ‘chili’

The Best Black Bean Chili

August 4, 2011

When I told Chanie that I was making black bean chili, she responded ” Whats your black bean chili recipe? always interested in a good chili….” I described how I made my chili, but I was left with a lingering feeling of guilt for holding out on her a bit.

The recipe I posted is how I usually make chili nowadays: canned beans, canned tomatoes, and seasonings. I have a similar recipe that I make for a crowd with canned small red beans, canned tomatoes (or salsa), tomato paste and seasonings. Both these recipes are easy and good.

But . . . . But, there is a vegetarian chili that is superior that I should really share with you.

It comes from Margaret Fox, an icon in the Northern California food scene. She was famous for her black bean chili, and the recipe appeared in her late 80’s cookbook Morning Food (reprinted in paperback in a revised version in 2006). It is classic Margaret Fox: unpretentious food with unexpectedly complex flavor. Foodie trivia: when Julia Child visited the restaurant, she ordered the black bean chili.

It is much more time consuming than my easy chili recipes, but most of that time is passive, waiting for the dried beans to cook. The active cooking time is not so great.

What makes this chili superior? First, it relies on dried rather than canned beans. Second, it calls for using whole cumin seeds and for toasting the cumin seeds and dried oregano to bring out their flavor. There is also a judicious use of sauteed vegetables and seasonings. These details require more effort than just dumping together canned beans and tomatoes, but there is a big flavor payoff.

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Black Bean Chili Over Roasted Sweet Potatoes

August 3, 2011

This Southwest inspired vegetarian dish is simple and satisfying (and healthy, too). If you want to go the more conventional route, you can serve the chili in taco shells.

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Adjustable Heat Kid Friendly Chili

April 22, 2009

My son loves beans, and they are good for him, but he is not keen on anything “spicy.” So, when I made chili tonight, I made it very, very mild, and made some “mix-in” for me and my husband that would amp up the flavor for us. My son had two or three servings and said it was the “best meal he ever had.” (more…)

Espresso Bean Chili

October 31, 2008

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.