Tag Archives: Beans

fickle spring

"Dave's" Chili

A few days ago, I was having a difficult time coming up with some way to talk about this chili recipe. Chili doesn’t really seem like an appropriate top to discuss while experiencing the first 80+ degree weekend, when my apartment is stuffy and hot because the heat hasn’t been switched to A/C. But I finally dug out this recipe from my mom and have made it a few times over the winter, and just not talked about it. Still, I was wary to bring it up. Continue reading

Venetian Bean Soup a la Rancho Gordo

After receiving 3 bags of the famous Rancho Gordo beans from Dave for Valentine’s, I had to search out a recipe that was worthy of one of the bags. Continue reading

13 Beans

Over the past few months I have wanted to place an order with Rancho Gordo (and buy his book) for some interesting heirloom beans. I did appreciate the quality of the fresh black beans that I was able to purchase this summer at GreenCity, so I have been wondering if they are worth the premium (and the shipping cost). I think I will decide on a few varieties to try in the next few weeks. Anyone try them out or have an suggestions on which of the many tempting varieties I should try? For now, I was just tempted by a bag of 13 Bean Soup that I found at my trusty Treasure Island. Aren’t all the colors wonderful?

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The beans do take a little planning because they need to be soaked over night but the result is wonderful. Warm, hearty, soothing. Perfect for a cold winter weekend. I didn’t get a good picture of the final product, but believe me, it is worth trying. Mine turned out a little thick, so I would not really call it soup, it was more like a thicker stew or veggie chili.

13 Bean Veggie Chili
Recipe adapted from the Bob’s Red Mill Bag

2 Cups of 13 Bean Soup Mix
1 Ham Hock
1 Medium onion; chopped
1 15 oz can of diced tomatoes (I used Hunt’s Fire Roasted diced w/Garlic)
1 Tablespoon Chili Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Cumin
1/4 Teaspoon Aleppo Chili Peppers (optional, I thew some in since I have them; crushed red pepper flakes would also work for some spice)
2-3 Cloves of garlic; minced

Wash and soak the 2 cups of beans overnight. In the morning, drain and rinse and bring 2 1/2 quarts (10 cups) of water to boil in a large dutch oven or pot. Add the beans and ham hock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 3 hours.

Add chopped onion, tomatoes, spices and garlic. Simmer for 30 mins. (Be careful towards the end because it will thicken and I did burn a little of the bottom of mine).

Serve in a bowl with a hunk of crusty bread. Would also be good over white rice.

Quick White Bean Soup

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It has been cold in Chicago this week. Granted it is only my third winter since moving from the Lone Star State, but it hasn’t been this cold for so many days in a row in Dec. I have a feeling its going to be a long winter. Brrrzees!

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Since I am in finals mode, I am loving quick, easy and satisfying recipes. This one fits the bill. You quickly dice up some onions, garlic and two kinds of peppers (red bell and poblano). I find vegetable chopping very therapeutic and stress relieving. Is that weird?

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Then you saute them in some olive oil for 5 mins, dump in a box of vegetable broth (I like the TJs brand but if you are super fancy you can make your own). Simmer for another 10 then add in 2 cans of white beans, cumin and lime juice.

Serve it with some grated Monterey jack and a dollop of sour cream. Its the perfect light december dinner. And if you are lucky, there will be plenty leftover for a quick lunch tomorrow.

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White Bean Soup
From Cooking LIght Magazine

2 cups chopped white onion
2 cups chopped seeded poblano chile
1 cup chopped red bell pepper
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 (14 oz) cans of navy or great northern beans, rinsed and drained
2 (15 oz) cans low sodium vegetable broth (I used 1 box worth of TJs brand)
1/4 cup lime juice (I just squeeze the juice from one lime)
2 tablespoons ground cumin
1 cup shredded queso chihuahua or Monterey Jack
2 1/2 tablespoons sour cream

Heat a dutch oven (or a big pot if you don’t have one like me) with a little olive oil. Add the onion, poblano, bell pepper and garlic and saute for 5 mins. Add broth, bring to a bowl. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 10 mins. Remove from heat. Add the beans, lime juice and cumin. Cover and let stand for 5 mins. Ladle soup into a bowl and top with cheese and sour cream to taste.

Warm and hearty: Black Beans and Rice


A few weeks ago at Green City, I picked up a pound of super fresh black beans, bell peppers, garlic and a smoked ham hock.  Then I pulled out my trusty The New Best Recipe Book to find a good way to cook them up. This did take the better half of a Saturday afternoon but it smelled awesome the entire time. The pot made enough for 2 weekend meals, a few packed lunches and a big portion sitting in the freezer for a quick weekday meal.

Boil the beans and veggies in a big pot

Boil the beans and veggies in a big pot

Lots and lots of garlic

Lots and lots of garlic

Big ole ham hock

Big ole ham hock

Sofrito

Sofrito


Look at all the garlic

Look at all the garlic


Pick apart the ham

Pick apart the ham


Hunting for the 2nd bay leaf

Hunting for the 2nd bay leaf


Tasty meal

Tasty meal

Black Beans serve with white rice
From: The Best New Recipe Book, Page 232

Beans
12 cups water
1 pound (about 2 1/2 cups) dried black beans; picked over and rinsed
1 smocked ham hock (about 2/3 pound-mine was almost twice as big)
1 green bell pepper, cored, seeded and quartered
1 jalapeno (my addition)
1 medium onion, minced
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 bay leaves
1 1/2 teaspoons salt

Sofrito
2 tablespoons EVOO
1 medium onion, minced
1 small green pepper, cored, seeded and quartered
8 medium garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons dried oregano (I used an mix from Spice House that contained oregano)
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 round cumin
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

For the beans: Bring all the beans ingredients to a boil over a medium-high heat in a large pot (this would be a great place to use a Dutch Oven but sadly I don’t have one…yet.) Skim the surface as the scum rises. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, partially covered for about 2 hours. Add more water if it is getting low and taste the beans to make sure they are getting tender but not splitting. Remove the ham hock. When cool enough to handle, remove the ham from the bone, discard the bone and skin, and cut the meat into bite-size pieces; set aside. Remove and discard the bay leaves.

For the sofrito: Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat; add the onion, bell pepper, garlic, oregano, and salt; saute until the vegs soften, 8 to 10 mins. Add the cumin; saute until fragrant, about 1 more min.

To finish: Scoop 1 cup of the beans and 2 cups of the cooking liquid into the pan with the sofrito; mash the beans with a potato masher until smooth. Simmer over medium heat until the liquid is reduced and thickened, about 6 mins. Return the sofrito mixture with the meat from the ham hock to the bean pot; simmer until the beans are creamy and the liquid thickens, 15-20mins. Stir in the cilantro and salt/pepper to taste. Serve hot over rice.