Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Black beans with chipotle peppers and sundried tomatoes

It's been a really long time since I've posted anything...but it's not like I haven't been cooking. It's more like I've been making the same things over and over again. I've been tweaking my caesar salad recipe and continually making udon noodles with tofu. At least one or two roast chickens in there too, and some grilling adventures. But the problem is you can't write about the same stuff over and over again! So this is something I made last week in a weird fit of wanting black beans, and it was brand new and not the same old thing, so here it is:

I unearthed a nasty old bag of dried black beans from the back of the cabinet. You know, those little plastic tubes of beans that look all dusty inside. Rinsed well 2 cups of dried black beans and put them in about 4 cups of water to boil, along with 2 bay leaves, 1 tablespoon epazote and 2 cloves chopped garlic. No, I did not soak them. I don't believe that it actually matters whether you soak them or not. Maybe if you are in a hurry and you remembered to put them up the night before or something, then maybe it shaves 20 minutes off your cook time. But you can just go ahead and cook them up without soaking too. I partially covered the pot and did something else for about an hour and a half, checking occasionally and added more water once, then drained them off once they were pretty close to tender. Some people like to keep the bean water for further cooking but I didn't worry about it. I had a chicken stock simmering on the stove top, so I added 2 cups of that liquid, along with the onions floating around in there to my drained beans. If you don't have a chicken stock going, just saute 1/2 a minced onion in olive oil until lightly golden, toss in your beans, then add vegetable stock or packaged chicken stock or whatever you have handy. You don't want too much liquid--you're not making bean soup. Then I opened up a can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, minced up two of the peppers and added those to the pot along with some of the sauce. They have a nice, hot, smokey flavor. I wanted to put in tomatoes but I had none on hand, neither fresh nor canned. So I minced up about 1/4 cup of sundried tomatoes and put those in, figuring they'd rehydrate nicely. And guess what? They totally did! They're a little sweeter and have a nice texture, and it's a better match for the spicy chipotle peppers than fresh tomatoes would have made. After about another 20 minutes or so of everything cooking up together, I added a splash of worcestershire and took them off heat. I packed them away in the fridge because we had chicken soup that night. I just felt like making beans.

However, this was a good thing because the next night I was really hungry and grumpy from work and didn't want to take forever with dinner, so I just put some tilapia in a pan with hot butter, then poured over a mini can of coconut milk, and dusted the top with paprika, salt and pepper. I heated up the black beans (flavor had improved overnight in the fridge) and we had them with lime wedges alongside the fish. I'm pretty sure I diced up an avocado and put that on top of everything too. Anyway, it was delicious.

1 comment:

giovanna said...


it is intriguing the way you talk about Tilapia: did you actually cooked/stemaed it with coconut milk and paprika? I will try the beans for sure, but I never bought chipotle peppers in can or fresh I guess. This summer I am enjoing what the market labels " banana peppers," they are light green elongated sweet peppers. I fry them with oinons and thinly saliced potatoes until golden brown and season simply with salt, pepper and maybe thyme or basil.