• Prep Time:
  • Cooking Time:
  • Serves: 8 Servings

Black Bean Chili

  • Recipe Submitted by on

Category: Vegetarian, Main Dish

 Ingredients List

  • 2 c Black turtle beans
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • 4 ts Cumin seeds
  • 4 ts Dried oregano leaves
  • 4 ts Paprika
  • 1/2 ts Cayenne pepper
  • 1 Chile negro or ancho chile,
  • -(for chili powder), -=OR=-
  • 2 tb -Chili powder, or more
  • 3 tb Corn or peanut oil
  • 3 md Yellow onions
  • - diced into 1/4-in squares
  • 4 Garlic cloves
  • - coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 ts Salt
  • 1 1/2 lb Ripe or canned tomatoes
  • -peeled, seeded and chopped;
  • - juice reserved
  • 1 tb Rice wine vinegar (or more)
  • 4 tb Cilantro, chopped


Green chiles:
2 Poblano or Anaheim,
- roasted, peeled & diced
2 oz -Canned green chiles,
- rinsed well and diced
1/2 c Grated Muenster cheese
- (or more)
1/2 c Creme fraiche or sour cream
5 Cilantro sprigs

SORT THROUGH THE BEANS and remove any small stones. Rinse them well, cover
them generously with water, and let them soak overnight. Next day, drain
the beans, cover them with fresh water by a couple of inches and bring them
to a boil with the bay leaf. Lower the heat and let the beans simmer while
you prepare the rest of the ingredients. Heat a small heavy skillet over
medium heat. Add the cumin seeds, and when they begin to color, add the
oregano leaves, shaking the pan frequently so the herbs don't scorch. As
soon as the fragrance is strong and robust, remove the pan from the heat
and add the paprika and the cayenne. Give everything a quick stir; then
remove from the panthe paprika and the cayenne only need a few seconds to
toast. Grind in a mortar or a spice mill to make a coarse powder. Preheat
the oven to 375F. To make the chili powder, put the dried chile in the oven
for 3-to-5 minutes to dry it out. Cool it briefly; then remove the stem,
seeds and veins. Tear the pod into small pieces and grind it into a powder
in a blender or a spice mill. Heat the oil in a large skillet and saute the
onions over medium heat until they soften. Add the garlic, salt and the
ground herbs and chili powder and cook another 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes
and their juice. Simmer everything together for 15 minutes then add this
mixture to the beans, and, if necessary, enough water so the beans are
covered by at least 1-inch. Continue cooking the beans slowly until they
are soft, an hour or longer, or pressure cook them for 30 minutes at 15
pounds pressure. Keep an eye on the water level and add more, if needed, to
keep the beans amply covered. When the beans are cooked, taste them and
season to taste with the vinegar, additional salt if needed, and the
chopped cilantro. Prepare the garnishes. If you are using fresh green
chiles, roast them over a flame until they are evenly charred. Let them
steam 10 minutes in a bowl covered with a dish; then scrape off the skins,
discard the seeds, and dice. Serve the chili ladled over a large spoonful
of grated cheese and garnish it with the creme fraiche or sour cream, the
green chilies and a sprig of fresh cilantro. Though served in a bowl and
eaten with a spoon, this chili is a great deal thicker than most
soupsthick enough in fact to be served on a plate right alongside
fritters or cornbread. It also, however, can be thinned considerably with
stock, water or tomato juice to make a thinner but still very flavorful
black bean soup. When thinned to make a soup, it can be served as part of a
meal rather than a meal in itself.

This is one of the best-known recipes from the San Francisco restaurant


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