BLACK BEAN CHILI AND CORNBREAD
After a little break yesterday afternoon, it’s snowing again at Pie Cottage. Media is saying that Western Washington snow is breaking records that have stood for decades.
This morning my local paper posted an article about some of the “hard winters” that my neck of the woods has had. I’ve been here for the 1985, 1997, and 2007 storms and I know well what is it like to have three and a half feet of snow, like the Press Expedition experienced in 1880, when I lived another ten minutes west of the very junction that is mentioned in the article, and had an additional foot for a total of four and a half feet to cope with during the winter of 1996 which isn’t mentioned. Some out here still call that year “the winter of the big snow.” I write about that winter in the story called The Tree House in my new book, Home Cooking with Kate McDermott.
As a little thank you all for your wonderful comments about my Snow Days post last night, I’m including the recipe for Black Bean Chili that I mentioned I made for our family Sunday supper, and the link to a previous post with my Corn Bread recipe. If I do say so myself, both are delicious. The chili is gluten free, and the corn bread is easily made either gluten full or gluten free. Both recipes are from my new book.
Wherever you are, I hope you are staying warm and cozy. Now excuse me while I go stir the pot and stoke the fire.
Black Bean Chili
- 2 cups dry black beans or four 15-ounce 425-g cans black beans
- 6 cups 1.4 l water
- One 14.5-ounce 411-g can diced tomatoes or up to 1 cup chopped
- 2 to 3 bay leaves
- 2 to 3 tablespoons 30 to 45 ml olive oil
- 3 to 4 medium onions chopped
- 6 cloves garlic minced
- 2 medium carrots chopped
- 1 to 2 tablespoons mild chili powder
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika (optional)
- 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon cayenne (optional)
- Extra minced onion for serving
- Grated cheddar cheese for serving
- Sour cream for serving
- Rinse dry beans several times, place them in a Dutch oven or lidded pot, cover with a few inches of water, and bring to a boil for 3 minutes. Remove and discard any foam on top. Let sit for 1 hour.
- Rinse the beans and cover them again with fresh water. Bring the beans to a boil for 2 to 3 minutes. Turn down the heat. Cover and simmer until soft, about 1 hour. Add extra water as needed. Skim off and discard any foam that rises to the top.
- Add the tomatoes and bay leaves, and simmer covered for another 30 minutes.
- In a large cast-iron skillet or frying pan, heat the olive oil, and sauté onions, garlic, and carrots and cook until the onions are soft and starting to brown. Stir in the chili powder, salt, and optional smoked paprika and cayenne. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes more while stirring occasionally, and then add to the beans.
- Simmer for 20 to 30 minutes more uncovered. Stir occasionally. Add more liquid if needed. Add more salt to your taste.
- Serve with minced onion, grated cheese, and sour cream.