Black bean chili (B-)

April 28, 2006 at 8:52 am (Beans, C (2 stars, okay, edible), Other, soup)

I was craving chili, and was all set to make my typical recipe when I came across a recipe in Gourmet Magazine for the black bean chili from Greens restaurant in California. I figured I had to try it.

The recipe says active prep time is 30 minutes.

1 lb. dried black beans (2.25 cups)
1 Tbs. cumin seeds
1/2 tsp. cayenne
2 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. dried oregano, crumbled
1 small dried pasilla chile, stems and seeds discarded and chile coarsely chopped
3 Tbs. vegetable oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 green bell pepper, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbs. chopped chipotle chilies in adobo
1 Turkish bay leaf or 1/2 California bay leaf
6 cups water
1 14-ounce can whole tomatoes, drained, reserving juice, and chopped
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1. Saok beans in water to cover by 2 inches overnight (8 hours). Drain in a colander
2. Toast cumin, cayenne, paprika, and oregano in a dry 10-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat, stirring constantly, until fragrant and a shade or 2 darker, about 2 minutes (watch out: spices burn easily). Transfer to a small bowl
3. Finely grind pasilla in an electric coffee/spice grinder, then stir into spices.
4. Heat oil in a wide 5- to 6-quart heavy pot over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then saute onion and bell pepper, stirring occasionally, until golden, 6 to 8 minutes. Add garlic, chipotles, and spice mixture and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes. Add beans, bay leaf, and water and simmer, covered, until beans are tender, 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Ad tomatoes, including juice, with salt to taste and simmer, uncovered, 15 minutes, or until slightly thickened. Just before serving, stir in cilantro.

My notes: I thought it was odd that it called for cumin seeds but the other spices ground. I couldn’t find a pasilla pepper, so used one ancho pepper and one new mexican chile. Also, instead of the chipotle in adobo I used I think a 1/2 tsp. chipotle powder. I left out the cilantro as well.

Given the substitutions I had to make, I’m not sure how identical the final product was to the original recipe. Though it tasted more like black bean soup than chili to me, I did like it. I found it a bit intense to eat a whole bowl by itself, but when eaten with some baked winter squash the flavors were more balanced. The sweet squash contrasted nicely with the smoky soup.

I think I used about 2 tsp. salt, which was a bit too much. The recipe says it makes 4 servings, but I found that it made about 8 cups.

Serving Size: 1 serving

Amount Per Cup (about 1/8 of recipe)
Calories 264
Total Fat 6.3g
Saturated Fat 0.9g
Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 136mg
Carbohydrate 40.7g
Dietary Fiber 10.1g
Sugars 3.6g
Protein 13g
Vitamin A 21% Vitamin C 29%
Calcium 9% Iron 23%

Rating: B-

1 Comment

  1. Vegetarian Chili, Serious Eats Style « The captious vegetarian said,

    […] liked any of them.  (Although I have liked the waffling recipes for chili-ish lentil soup and chili-ish black bean soup reasonably well.) In the end I’ve always remained loyal to my mom’s chili recipe. […]

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