Monday, December 19, 2011

The Soup Project: Black Bean Chili with Hominy (and 48 more soup recipes)

I was so busy last week, but it was all fun, and I'll tell you more about that in another post, but when my schedule is full, I bring out my favorite default recipes, like chili.

I posted this chili recipe from The Northwest Vegetarian Cookbook last February, so I suppose this makes the second chili recipe this year, but the truth is it's one of my favorites and I never get tired of variations of chili.

I found another version in Lorna Sass's classic Great Vegetarian Cooking Under Pressure. I added hominy to because chili and corn are meant to be together and since fresh local corn isn't available in the winter, dried cooked hominy is a great option with a sweet flavor.

I used Rancho Gordo hominy this time. I first tried this hominy last year and my Cooking Assistant was willing to pose with the package, but he didn't like this little school boy outfit I made him wear for the picture. He definitely isn't a "dress-up" dog.

Rancho Gordo hominy has a different appearance than Ayers Creek hominy and the recipe for cooking it seems a bit less labor intensive than the posole or hominy from Ayers Creek Farm, but the flavor of these dried versions are more rewarding than canned hominy, which I've never really liked.

I mean seriously, take a look at those cans of hominy in grocery stores, how long have they been sitting there? Who eats that stuff?

Here is the post on how to cook hominy the Ayers Creek way--it's a bit of a process, but the colors are lovely and the flavor, stunning.

Cooked in a pressure cooker this recipe is ready in minutes. My Cooking Assistant almost missed posing with the soup of the week. But he runs fast, at least he thinks he does.

I don't think he realizes how goofy he looks when he runs.

This chili is definitely worth racing to the table to eat. I hope you like this version adapted from Lorna Sass's recipe.

Be sure to check out the other recipes I've posted since last January. The Soup Project only has a few more weeks to go, and I've got a few ideas for themes I'm noodling about for my Monday posts for 2012. If you have any suggestions for themes--sides, salads, etc., let me know.

You can make this chili as hot as you like, depending on whether you leave the seeds in the smoked jalapenos or take them out. Also I taste as I cook and if the flavor is too acidic, add a half a teaspoon of honey or sugar to the mix.

Black Bean Chili with Hominy
(Serves 4 to 6)

1 cup dried black beans, picked over, rinsed and soaked for at least 4 hours
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
1 cup minced onions or shallots
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 or 2 dried chipotle, stemmed, seeded and minced
1 heaping tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried whole fennel seeds
Pinch of ground cinnamon
1 28-ounce fire-roasted canned tomatoes
1 large carrot, diced (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 cup cooked hominy
2 to 3 cups boiling water
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup minced cilantro
1 lime cut into wedges

1. Drain and rinse the beans and set aside.

2. Heat the oil in the pressure cooker over medium heat. Add cumin seeds and let them sizzle until they begin to pop--5 to 10 seconds.

3. Add onions and garlic; stir and cook for about 1 minute. Add reserved beans, chipotle chili, chili powder, oregano, fennel seeds, cinnamon, fire roasted tomatoes, carrot, hominy and 2 cups boiling water. Add more if you want a more soupy texture.

4. Lock lid in place Bring to pressure over high heat. Then reduce heat, just enough to maintain temperature and cook for 12 minutes. If using a regular soup pot, simmer, covered, on medium low for at least an hour, stirring every once in awhile.

5. Allow pressure to come down naturally or use quick release and if beans aren't quite tender, simmer a few more minutes. Open lid away from you. Add salt and pepper to taste. Just before serving stir in cilantro. Serve with lime wedges.

The 2011 Soup Project

1. Sweet Potato and Kale Soup

3. Basic Soup Stock

4. Locro Guascho Argentino (white beans, sweet potatoes and hominy)

16. Red Velvet Soup (with beets)

49. Black Bean Chili with Hominy (see recipe above)

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