I wasn't kidding when I mentioned I've been on a bean kick as of late.
And for anyone who likes to experiment in the kitchen, there is no better dish to make than chili. I honestly don't think I've ever made the same one twice. Other than the requisite beans and tomatoes, this recipe lends itself nicely to improvisation.
It all starts with caramelized onions and garlic as the base. For me the rest varies based on what I have on hand. This version calls for carrots, celery and mushrooms. All great. You could even use some bell peppers if you have them. Even some corn. Just throw it all in.
Spices of course are key. Play around with the quantities to create a recipe that works for you. I think cumin and coriander are essential. These spices seem to creep into all the foods that I like (e.g. Mexican, Indian, Middle Eastern). Additionally, the dried oregano and chili powder are important here. I like a little bit of heat in my chili (not too much). I find the Muir Glen diced tomatoes with chipotle peppers to work well. But if you can't find some, just try adding a bit of Tabasco sauce.
Chili goes great with cornbread and/or rice. Or can be enjoyed on its own.
1 15 oz can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1 15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes with chipotle peppers
1/2 onion, diced
1 carrot, diced thinly
2 celery sprigs, diced thinly
5 crimini mushrooms, sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground coriander
salt to taste
juice of 1/2 lemon
pepper jack cheese, grated
In a medium to large pot, saute the onions in olive oil over medium heat for 8 minutes until golden brown. Then add the carrots, celery, garlic, and oregano. Stir for 5 minutes or until soft. Add the canned tomatoes, mushrooms, cumin, coriander, and chili powder. Bring to a simmer and cover. Cook for another 8 minutes until mushrooms are cooked. Add the canned beans and resume simmer. Let flavors combine, cooking another 8-10 minutes. When finished, remove from heat and add lemon juice. Check salt and adjust to taste.
Top with grated pepper jack cheese, sour cream, and/or labne.
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Mexican Rice and Beans