Sunday, January 23, 2005

Is My Blog Burning? 11: Black Bean-Mushroom Chili

What says beans more than chili?

And what warms you more on a cold, cold January weekend than slow-cooker chili?

And what could be tastier than a vegetarian slow-cooker chili?

Well, maybe an extra-meaty chili, I admit. But this chili was remarkably full, delicious (not that much different from carnivorous versions), and probably much healthier. It tastes like chili, which is to say, yummy, and not some bland knockoff like so many healthy versions of recipes tend to taste like.

Things I learned while making this:

1) The bread knife chops tomatoes better than all the other knives.

2) Tomatillos can be substituted with regular tomatoes with a dash of lemon juice

3) Tomato paste can be substituted with twice the volume of tomato puree

4) Not even the prospect of chili can get me out of the house in a snowstorm just to pick up a few missing ingredients.


(Eating Well, Winter 2004, p. 57)
1 lb (2 1/2 cups) dried back beans
1 T olive oil
1/4 c mustard seeds
2 T chili powder
1.5 t cumin seeds
1/2 t cardamon seeds
2 med onions, chopped
1 lb mushrooms, sliced
1/2 lb tomatillos, chopped
1/4 c water
5.5 c broth
1 can tomato paste
2 T minced canned chipotle peppers
1.25 c grated Monteray Jack cheese
1/2 c sour cream
1/2 c chopped cilantro
2 limes, in wedges

1. Soak beans overnight in 2 qts water. Drain.
2. Combine oil, mustard seeds, chili powder, cumin and cardamon in a big pot. Place over high heat and still until spices sizzle, about 30 sec. Add onions, mushrooms, tomatillos and water. Cover & cook, stir occasionally, until veggies are juicy (5-7 minutes). Uncover and stir until juices evaporate and veggies are lightly browned (10-15 min).
3. Places beans in the slow cooker. Pour the veggies over the beans, add broth, tomato paste and chipotles and mix well. Turn heat onto high, cover and cook 5-8 hours.
4. Serve it up with a topping of cheese, sour cream and cilantro and a couple of lime wedges.

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