Monday, November 14, 2011

Black Bean Chili

Here's a chili that's sure to warm you up from the inside out! Plus, it's easy to let it cook all day when you use a crock pot - filling the house with the smells of dinner. If you don't have a crock pot, it still comes together easily on the stove top. Don't let the long list of ingredients put you off - this comes together quite easily. You'll notice there are a variety of chilies, and that they're added at different times during the cooking process. This gives depth of flavor, something you'll appreciate with every bite.


2 pounds dried black beans
1 bay leaf
2 quarts water

1 tsp olive oil
3 onions, chopped
3 tsp garlic, minced
3 stalks celery, chopped
3 Anaheim chilies, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, minced

1 quart water, more as needed

1 Tbs ground cumin
2 Tbs chili powder
1 tsp chipotle chili
1 Tbs paprika
1 Tbs oregano
1/2 cup molasses

3 12-1/2 oz. cans diced tomatoes
2 12 oz. cans tomato puree
1 Tbs rice wine vinegar

1/4 cup cilantro
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp salt (or to taste)
1 cup shredded cheddar/Monterrey jack cheese


1. Place black beans and bay leaf in a heavy bottomed non-reactive soup pot, then add water. Bring the water to boil, and boil for one minute. Remove the beans from heat, cover, and let soak for 1 hour. After 1 hour, drain the beans.

2. Chop the onions, peppers, and garlic while the beans are soaking. Place them in a large glass microwave proof container along with the olive oil and microwave them on high for 2 to 4 minutes, until the onions are soft and translucent.

3. If cooking on the stove top, add the cooked vegetables to the beans after the beans have been drained. Add the additional 1 quart of water and return the bean and vegetables to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 1 hour, adding additional water as needed to make sure the beans are covered by water. After 1 hour, add the spices and molasses, then test the beans to make sure they are soft.

If cooking in a crock pot, add the cooked vegetables, along with the spices and molasses to the drained beans in the crock pot. Add the 1 quart of water and cook in the crock pot for between 4 - 6 hours. Add the tomatoes, tomato puree, and rice wine vinegar, then continue cooking until hot, an additional hour or more.

4. When the beans are cooked,  add the tomatoes, the tomato puree, and rice wine vinegar. Cook for an addition 30 minutes.

5. Add the cilantro right before serving. Taste the chili, then add additional chili powder and salt, to taste. Serve in bowls, topping each bowl with 1 tablespoon cheese.

Serves a crowd!

Stealthy Cooking Tip:  Chili always seems to taste better the second day. Do taste the chili before serving, as the heat from the spices may decrease overnight. If the chili isn't spicy enough, add additional chili powder. Add fresh cilantro right before serving.

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