Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Rosie Makes A Black Bean Chili Casserole With A Cornbread Topping.

Making this meal was contentment. The flavors of my adored black beans, tomatoes, oregano, cumin, and chili powders, made my life happy. It warmed my innards. That's just what it did. It was a cold gray day and my body was cold. I ate some of this and the first warmth started in my belly and spread outwards. Good meal. I needed hearty. I needed to be sustained. I needed food comfort.
This is a picture of the base for our dinner. It's black beans, onions, tomatoes, peppers, garlic cumin, oregano, chili powders - both Ancho and regular chili powders - fresh bay leaves, ancho chile. Probably some other stuff which I'm sure I'll elaborate on, later.
Yesterday was cold and rainy and I love cold and rainy days. They give me a good excuse to stay warm inside and take my time to cook something good. Which is just what I did. Quite relaxing and satisfying. What I made is a Black Bean Chili Potpie with a Corn Bread Topping.
My mise en place for the black bean chili: 1 cup dried black beans some bay leaves (Mine are fresh off my bay tree.) 1 TB oregano 2 TB chili powder 1 TB cumin (Forgot to put that in my mise.) (I used 1 TB Ancho chili powder and 1 TB regular chili powder.) 2 poblano peppers, seeded, deveined, and finely chopped (If you don't want as much spice, you could use a sweet bell pepper.) 1 ancho chili (which is a dried poblano) 2 TB olive oil 3 garlic cloves, minced 1 large onion, chopped 1 can diced tomatoes salt and pepper, freshly ground Beans are a wonderful resource to use. They're cheap. They're full of proteins, complex carbohydrates, which are the nutrients responsible for providing energy to the muscles and brain, and fiber and we all know the benefits of fiber. And they're meaty to boot, at least to me. Don't let the directions on the back of a bag of beans deter you from making a bean dish. They always say to rinse the beans and soak overnight. This is totally not necessary. If you want beans for today's lunch or dinner, you can have beans in under an hour. Always rinse them first, then bring them to a boil in salted water. Simmer for about 20 minutes, then rinse the beans in a colander and refresh the water. Bring to boil again, and let simmer until just tender - al dente. Usually black beans take about 40 minutes. When Mr. Hawthorne cooks beans, he brings them to a boil, then covers the pot and turns off the heat. In an hour, he'll bring them back to a boil and cook until done. He says he gets more consistent results this way. I don't have a problem with consistency.
Rinse your beans in cold water.
Pour into salted water ...
... and bring to boil. Simmer for about 20 minutes.
Rinse beans and refresh water to cover about 2 inches.
I added a few fresh bay leaves.
A tablespoon of oregano.
A tablespoon of Ancho chili powder.
A tablespoon of cumin.
And an ancho pepper.
Stir to combine, bring to boil, and then simmer until beans are tender. You want them al dente, not al mushe.
Drain beans and add in can of diced tomatoes.
Rinse can out with water to get all the tomatoes.
Then I added another TB of cumin.
A tablespoon of regular chili powder.
And another tablespoon of oregano. Heat through, then remove ancho and bay leaves.
Mince garlic and chop onions and peppers. Heat 2 TB oil in a skillet and add onions. Cook about 2 minutes.
Then add in peppers and garlic. Cook another 2 minutes.
Stir in a tablespoon of chili powder ...
... and a tablespoon of oregano.
Stir to evenly distribute the spices.
Remove one cup of beans ...
and puree in a processor.
Add the puree back to the beans and stir them together to thicken the chili.
Add in the onions, peppers, and garlic.
Stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Pour into a baking dish and set aside.
Mise en place for the cornbread topping:
1/2 cup flour 2/3 cup yellow cornmeal 2 TB sugar 1 tsp baking powder 1/2 tsp baking soda 1/4 tsp salt 2/3 cup buttermilk 1 large egg 1 TB oil Mix all dry ingredients and sift into a large bowl. In a small bowl, stir the buttermilk, egg, and oil. Pour the liquid mixture into the dry ingredients. Mix together and spoon the batter over the chili. Bake at 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes.
Sift dry ingredients into a large bowl. For those of you jonesin' for fashion tips from Rosie, let me tell you what she's wearing. Black apron from Kitchen Collection in Nags Head and a pink Piggly Wiggly T Shirt that Xmaskatie had waiting for me as a present when Mr. Hawthorne and I returned from our Grand Tour across the United States.
Add egg to small bowl ...
... and whisk in oil.
Whisk in buttermilk.
Pour buttermilk mixture into dry ingredients.
Stir to mix.
Pour batter onto black beans
Spread batter evenly to within 1 inch of the edges.
Grate some cheddar cheese.
Sprinkle edges with cheddar cheese.
Bake at 375 for 25-30 minutes until topping is golden.
I opened up a carton of sour cream and would you just look at what I found. Possibly a teaspoon left. I guess my boys know their limits - especially after I've made them 238 burritos over Christmas vacation which they richly adorned with sour cream.
This meal was perfect for this weather. It's hearty, stick-to-your-ribs fare that's oh so comforting in the winter time.
And I'll take that scant teaspoon of sour cream, thankyouverymuch.
I will have to agree with Mr. Hawthorne, though. This would be much better with some seasoned ground beef thrown in.


SweetPhyl said...

ooh Rosie, this looks great. I know what you mean about needing food of comfort. I made a hearty taco soup over the weekend and then a big batch of chicken and rice on Monday and I wish remembered to start my crockpot this morning...I would love a pot roast for dinner. What are y'all having and what time should I be there? He He He...

Rosie Hawthorne said...

Hello SweetPhyl,

We didn't have supper today. We had a three o'clock lunch of tempura fried shrimp and softshell crabs, courtesy of Mr. Hawthorne.

Accoutrements: Mr. Hawthorne's tartar sauce (mayo,dill pickles, sweet relish, jalapeno joose, vinegar), my cocktail sauce HOT, my Mango/Habanero sauce, and Rosie's Pig Shack Sauce (her version of Boar and Castle).
It was great.

Sorry you missed it. :(


Anonymous said...

Piggily Wiggily (as my niece spells it) t-shirt looks great, glad to see you're protecting it with the apron, it'll be a collectors item one day. Pretty in oink! And that was a typo, but it worked so I left it there.

SweetPhyl said...

figures I missed it...I made matzo ball soup with chicken, carrots, celery, chives and parsley. 'twas tasty, but something tells me the shrimp & softshells woulda knocked my socks off!

SweetPhyl said...

Actually, it's too darn cold to be without socks, so it's fortuitous that I missed it--right?

Rosie Hawthorne said...

Well actually, Phyl, I'm sitting here now with a glass of wine, in my big comfy chair, my sockless feet on my footstool, in front of my fireplace.

Hmmm. You missed it girlfriend.