Somewhere out there is my perfect black bean recipe. You know — the one that reminds me of citrusy garlic chicken with fried plantains, black beans, and rice from Versailles in Los Angeles. I haven’t lived in LA for over a decade now, but I still have vivid dreams about those meals.
Before you get too excited, I should warn you that I haven’t found it yet. I did, however, find an acceptable substitute for the time being, which is the subject of my post today.
Black Bean Chili with Sweet Corn
This recipe is inspired by the black bean chili recipe I came across in this month’s Bon Appetit. As usual, I just started throwing in anything I thought would be a good addition once I started cooking, and the photo you see above is the result.
- 1 lb. dried black beans
- 1/3 lb. dried red kidney beans
- 2 red onions, minced
- 8 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 chipotle peppers (packed in adobo sauce), chopped
- chili powder, to taste (you can adjust when the beans are cooked)
- 1 T. cumin
- pinch salt
- 2 T. olive oil
- 1/4 c. orange juice
- frozen sweet corn (Trader Joe’s has the best organic sweet corn I’ve found)
- water (enough to cover beans)
Heat oil in a heavy lidded pot over medium high heat. Add onions and sauté until translucent, then add the garlic, and cook for another minute. Add all the remaining ingredients except the corn, and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down low, until the mix is simmering. Cover partially (so the lid of the pot is slightly ajar), and go find something more exciting to do for a couple of hours. Just make sure to check back every so often, give the beans a stir, and see how lovely your kitchen smells. Once the beans are soft, add the corn, cook for 5 minutes more, and serve. Gresh cilantro, spring onions, and plain yogurt or sour cream are all excellent garnishes.
This is perfect for weekday lunches, or easy weeknight dinners. It’s really cheap to make, as well, which makes me happy. With a fried plantain or two, it should hold me over until I get my hands on some sour oranges and try to make that garlic Mojo…
Thanks to The Wednesday Chef for inspiring this post on one of my favorite pantry meals.
Sustainable Living Tip
You might have noticed that I’ve been posting a lot of vegetarian recipes here. I’m not actually a vegetarian… In fact, bacon and mashed potato pizza (a la BAR) makes me a very happy girl. But given the way most meat is produced in the US, and how expensive free range, pasture-fed meat and poultry is, I think it’s better for everyone if I remember what Michael Pollan said in the NY Times a while back: “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”