Friday, August 11, 2006

black bean memories

My mom used to make feijoada, as my dad grew up in Brazil, so that was familiar "home" food to him. In any case, I've liked black beans for a long time, so this recipe looked good, and as it turned out for a nice Mexican-style dinner tonight, tasted delicious as well, despite (yes!) being vegetarian.

I've adapted this recipe to make it quicker to fix (stewing the beans for 2-3 hours? You've got to be kidding). For an additional kick, mince the dried chipotle chile when you add it to the onions. You can save even more time by making the beans ahead of time (the day before) and simply reheating when ready to cook. The beans by themselves are creamy and delicious.

Black Bean Stuffed Chiles with Chipotle Cream Sauce and Spanish Rice
(adapted from San Francisco Chronicle Cookbook)
Serves 4-6
Prep & Cooking time: 1.5hr

2 15oz. cans black beans (1st can drained, 2nd can 1/2 drained)
1 cup water
2 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 dried chipotle chile (also called "chile morita")
Black pepper to taste

1 tablespoon chipotle en adobo, pureed
1 cup sour cream

8 very large Anaheim (green) or New Mexico chiles
1 cup Monterey Jack cheese, or 50/50 jack/cheddar, grated
Spanish or Mexican rice mix (comes in a box or a bag)

  1. Start the beans: In a large pot, heat olive oil until almost smoking. Add onion and dried chipotle and saute until onions are soft and a little brown, about 7 minutes. Turn up heat to high, add garlic and saute for 30 seconds until fragrant. Add water, then black beans all at once, heat to a simmer, then reduce heat, cover and let simmer, stirring occasionally until ready to assemble chiles (about 30-45 minutes). After about 20 minutes, using the back of a large spoon, mash some of the the beans and stir to make the sauce creamy. Add more water as necessary to keep the beans just covered.
  2. Meanwhile, char the chiles: On a broiler pan lined with aluminum foil, assemble chiles and place under broiler. Broil for 8 minutes on one side or until nicely charred. Flip, then broil for 4 minutes on other. Remove chiles from oven. Place chiles in paper bag, close top, and set aside until cool enough to handle.
  3. Start the Spanish Rice: takes around 10 minutes to prepare. When done, keep rice covered and set aside off of the heat; it will stay warm.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  5. Stuff the chiles: remove the skin from the chiles (should be easy to do). Slice them open on one side, and using a knife, scrape out the ribs & seeds. Place opened chiles, "ribs" side up, into baking dish Using a slotted spoon, scoop out a scant 1/4 cup of beans, letting the excess "bean juice" drain. Place beans on 1/2 the chile, and wrap the other half of the chile around/on top.
  6. Finish assembly & Bake: top chiles with sauce and grated cheese. Bake for 15 minutes at 350, until cheese in nice and melty.
  7. Meanwhile make the sauce: combine pureed chipotle en adobo with sour cream, and set aside (or if ahead of time, cool and refridgerate). TIP: puree the whole can of chipotle en adobo, put leftovers into a plastic ice cube tray, freeze them, take them out of the tray, put them in a plastic back, and freeze them. Will keep 3 months.
  8. Plate and serve: serve with Spanish rice, leftover beans, and leftover sauce. Garnish with cilantro as desired.

No comments: