This is what we had last night. I made an assumption that this chilli bean recipe adapted From Anna's Kitchen was going to be a breeze to make, but I was foolish. This is one of those recipes a person ought to make in advance or when they've got time to potter around in the kitchen, as there are quite a few processes involved. One thing that was in my favour though was I did soak the black beans overnight, plus we recently purchased a pressure cooker. As I am still quite nervous with the pressure cooker hissing and spinning round and round, I permitted D to cook the black beans for me. Once that stage was completed, it was over to me. It was a good two hours before there was food on the table.
To accompany the Smoky Black Bean chilli, I made some Jalapeño and corn muffins. The immediate reaction I got to this was cakes with a spicy -savoury dish. Well these are not the sweet muffins, but savoury ones. Perhaps I should have sold them as Jalapeño and corn bread. But I didn't have to, once they all tucked in, they were enjoying the dish or so I thought. The youngest did not appreciate the smoky flavour of the chipotle peppers in the chilli, but he did quietly eat it all. What a good nephew.
I thought the muffins were exceptional. As you bit in the soft warm texture, the sweetcorn would burst in your mouth, then you would get a gentle kick from the chopped Jalapeño and a hint of coriander. Delicious. I will be making these again.
Unlike other chilli bean recipes I've made in this past, this black bean chilli is deep and dark like chocolate. I really liked it. You don't have to serve it just with the Jalapeño and corn muffins, tortilla wraps and plain boiled rice would work well too, and that's what I'll be having with the left overs this evening.
Smoky Black Bean Chilli
Serves 6-8 generously
500 g dried black beans, soaked and cooked (reserve the liquid)
1 large onion, peeled and finely sliced
4 dried Ancho chillies
3 dried chipotle chillies
4 teaspoons cumin seeds, toasted and ground
4 teaspoons dried oregano leaves
4 teaspoons paprika
2 tablespoons oil
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
400g can chopped tomatoes
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
4 fresh green chillies, sliced
1 bunch fresh coriander, chopped
Salt to taste
Put the dried chillies in a small pot with just enough water to cover them, and simmer for about 10 minutes, or until they are soft. Remove the chillies from the water (reserve the water), let cool for a few minutes, then pull off and discard the stems and seeds. Place the chillies and their simmering water in a blender and puree. Add the dried oregano, ground cumin and paprika to the mixture and puree. Set aside.
Heat the 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large saucepan, and add the onion and garlic. Cook until the onions are soft and translucent, then stir in the chilli puree, the chopped tomatoes and their juices, vinegar, sliced green chillies and salt to taste. Add the beans and as much of their cooking liquid as you like. Bring to a boil, then turn down and allow to simmer over low heat for at least 30-45 minutes, until it has the consistency you prefer. When ready to serve, stir in the chopped coriander leaves, taste and adjust seasoning if required.
The dried Ancho and chipotle chillies I used in these muffins, were those that my nephew bought for me a few months ago from a delicatessen in Cardiff. I may need to place another order.
Jalapeño and corn muffins
150g plain flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ onion, finely sliced
3 tablespoons of Jalapeño from a jar, sliced
Tin of corn (about 125g) drained and rinsed (mine also included some chopped red peppers)
2 tablespoons chopped coriander
oil for greasing muffin tin
In a bowl, sift together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt. In a wide pan, add the oil and the onions and cook until translucent. Stir in the corn kernel, Jalapenos and coriander, and gently heat through and remove from the heat.
Beat together the egg and milk, and stir into the dry mixture. Then fold in the oniony corn mixture into the batter thoroughly but gently. Spoon the batter into 12 muffin cups, and bake at Gas mark 6 for 20 – 25 minutes, or until they are golden on top and a toothpick inserted in the center of the muffin comes out clean. Serve hot or warm.
This is one of my nephews plates where he whirled in some soured cream. MMMmmm I'm not sure, looks like a funny face to me!