Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Give Me Black Beans

I spent this morning catching up on my blog reading and commenting. I hate missing a day. It feels like I'm missing an important part of my morning routine when I can't read and comment. I also caught up on one of my classes--getting some emails answered, some papers graded, and hopping between the schools to check on my students. Ahhhhhh the life of an adjunct professor! It's not for every one! lol

Yesterday, in the interest of my week of late night classes, I started my black beans. However, as life can sometimes do, I did not get to finish them in time for dinner. Luckily, we had some good left overs that fell right in step with needing something quick for dinner. The pan of black beans went into the fridge, only half finished. Today, I was able to finish the meal that will feed us for several days.

Here's the recipe, in case you get a hankering for black bean chile. If you can handle the robust flavor of black beans.
1--16 oz. package of dried black beans
2 cups turkey or chicken stock (not the clear broth but the meaty, rich stock)
Empty the package into a bowl or casserole dish and pick out the pebbles, deformed beans, or burnt ones. Rinse with cold water and then fill the dish at least 2 inches above the line of beans. Set aside to soak overnight.

In the morning, place the beans in a dutch oven or a big pot and add water until it's 3 inches above the beans. Turn the stove to medium high, cover the pot with a cracked lid. 
You are going to let it boil until the water cooks down by half. Then test the beans. If they are more than half way soft, you can add your stock, but if not...Add water for another 3 inches and cook until the beans are soft and nearly done. Add the stock and reduce the heat to a low simmer. Still keep the lid cracked as shown above. Let it cook for about 1 hour with an occasional stirring. You may have to add a bit of water from time to time. The beans should be ready to eat.

Now for the rest of the ingredients! This is the best part--seriously. Beans are just beans until they have some company! With company, they become more enthusiastic in their flavors and aromas! When you have 7 cats twining about your legs, begging for human food off the aroma alone, you know it's some good food!

1/2 onion, peeled and thinly sliced into strings
5-6 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tbsp butter
1 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp Spanish style Paprika
Green chile--to taste!

Heat a medium sized skillet over medium heat. Add half the butter and when it's melted, add the onion. Stir it once to get it coated and then leave it alone. I'm serious. Walk away. Don't be like me and hover over the skillet, stirring and stirring with an occasional WHACK! on the side to loosen the clingy strings. This would be a good time to peel and mince your garlic. Go do it! Please?!?!? *with eye blinks*

When the onions are starting to carmelize, stir, add the garlic and extra butter and stir a bit more. Walk away and dice up your green chile. By this time your mouth should be watering and your significant other or bottomless pits should be haunting you with "It SMELLS good!" comments and doing eye blinks in hopes of a handout. That's how it goes in my house--husband and felines haunting me.

When that has carmelized like the picture below, add to the pot of beans and stir.
Return the pot to a slow simmer like this...
Add your green chile. Now this according to your taste. Since I know how hot these chiles are--I roasted them last August so I do know--I'm only adding a half a cup or about a good handful. That will be plenty of heat without searing our throat-linings into blister-dom for a week. Some of you may want to tone it down and others may want to bump it up. The heat and flavor--that is.
 Add your spices. Stir and continue to let it slowly simmer. 

At this point, you can decide to keep it vegetarian or you go a step further. This is where leftover meat comes in handy sometimes. I would stick to pork or beef because black beans are rather robust and will simply overpower poultry or fish. We had some left over pork chops that I had marinated in a lemon-maple marinade and added Cajun seasoning upon grilling. It was tasty. It was also perfect for this dish.
I simply cut the chops into small bite-sized pieces and added them to the beans. Let the whole pot simmer for about another hour to blend the spices and the flavors before serving. Be prepared for your family dish up second servings! 




  1. I'm a black beans fan so I'm definitely putting this on the list of things to cook in my new pot! Thanks for sharing!

  2. mmmmm, your chili sounds wonderful, I will definitely be trying this@

  3. I am so in awe of people that cook like that, and I wish you could come to my house and cook stuff like that for me....without the meat of course!

    Sounds so good!!!

  4. I did not see a link to your email on your profile. I don't know what the etsy thing is. Can you email me at katebr54@hotmial.com?


  5. Never tasted or cooked black beans - but I want to now!

    Thanks for sharing :)

  6. We love black beans at our house. Thanks for the recipe! You know how I love new ones.

  7. Hey Cathryn, I've given your blog the Sunshine Award for supreme awesomeness! Check out my blog!