Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Slow-Cooked Black Bean Chili

I know that buying dried beans is cheaper than canned.  I know they usually have a better consistency.  I know that in reality it doesn't add many more steps to a recipe.  And yet, I confess to using canned beans 99% of the time.  It's not a bad thing, but it's definitely something I want to be better about.

This recipe helps with that, because it calls for dried beans from the start.  It kind of forces you to buy a bag of beans rather than open the cans!  It adds one step to the process: soak the beans overnight.  That's pretty easy enough -  no complaining necessary.

So besides black beans, this vegetarian chili also has onions, garlic, and baby portabella mushrooms.  Now my whole family hates mushrooms, so I may or may not have told them it was eggplant.  Unfortunately, they figured me out, and both sisters were seen picking out the minuscule mushrooms (I diced them to hide them).  The boys refused to come near it.  So I was left with a giant pot of super delicious chili that only my mother and I would eat.  Luckily Christy came to my rescue and took the leftovers!  She said that her whole family loved it, both on its own and served in tacos.  She finished off the last of it at work.  I was glad that it didn't go to waste, because this is a great little chili.  Plus, is anything greater than using a slow cooker in the summer?  No stove or oven necessary to heat up the whole house!  One more summer cooking tip to keep you out at the pool longer - most of the work for this recipe can be done ahead of time.  This includes the soaking the beans and cutting and cooking the veggies!


slow-cooked black bean chili
from A Couple Cooks
serves 8

1 pound dried black beans
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 medium yellow onions
3 cloves garlic
1 pound baby portable mushrooms
1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
1/2 tablespoon chipotle powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 quart vegetable broth
28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, and sliced scallions for garnish


1) The night before making the chili, rinse and cover the black beans with water in a  bowl.  Soak overnight at room temperature.

2) Prepare the fresh ingredients (this can be done early and kept in the refrigerator).  Dice 3 medium onions, mince 3 cloves garlic, and slice 1 pound of mushrooms.

3) Saute the vegetables (also can be done early, or directly before on the day of making).  On the stove, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat.  Add the onions, garlic and mushrooms.  Stir in chili powder, chipotle powder, and salt.  Sate for 5 minutes until onions are tender.

4) About 10 hours before serving, discard the liquid on the beans and place the beans in a large slow cooker.  Transfer the onion and mushroom mixture to the slow cooker with the beans.  Cover with vegetable broth and crushed tomatoes.  Cook on low 10 - 12 hours.  When ready to serve, garnish with cheese, green onions, and sour cream.

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