Saturday, February 2, 2013

red bean chili

I know chili isn't a revolutionary post, but it's what I made this weekend that I thought turned out tasty. Even though it's not really cold down here, it is a bit cooler and I suppose that's what got me thinking about chili. That, and maybe everybody seems to talk about chili when there's a super bowl. I have really been into beans lately and am loving trying different kinds. I made this chili a bit milder than I normally would be in hopes of the children eating it, but they didn't. The paprika and the chipolte chili give a nice smokey flavor. Brett and I both added a bit of srircha, and I garnished with a dollop of guacamole.

3 cups of red beans, drained (I soaked a batch, but canned would work)
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
1 small red onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
3 celery stalks, chopped
1/2 green pepper, chopped
11/2 tsp cumin
1 t oregano
2 TB chili powder
1 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp chipolte chili, to taste
1/2 tsp paprika
1 tsp salt
1 tsp molasses
2 tsp tomato paste
1 15 ounce can tomato sauce
1 15 ounce can diced tomatoes
1 1/2 cups broth (or water)

Saute in a bit of water the onion, garlic, carrot, and celery for about three minutes. Add the green pepper, molasses, and spices, stir and cook for two more minutes, stirring to distribute the flavors. Add the beans, tomato sauce, chopped tomatoes, and the broth or water, and simmer on a very low heat for about 20 minutes, or longer. Serves two with left overs.

A note about cooking beans: I don't know why some people say you shouldn't add salt when cooking beans. They say it will make them tough, but  it's not true. It only makes sense that if you don't add seasoning, the beans won't be seasoned. Here's what I do. Soak some beans in a big pot water overnight. Drain and rinse and put into a pot filled with water, at least three inches above the beans. Bring to a boil and let boil for a couple of minutes, skim off the top white foam, reduce the heat to a simmer and add salt, maybe a garlic clove, onion, cumin, coriander, and bay leaf. Cooking time depends on the beans, I'd check every 30 minutes or so.

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