Remember yesterday when I told you it was a really good idea to make a pot of black beans because you were going to need them for today’s recipe?
This is serious business, people!
This black bean chili, originally from The New York Times, is definitely the most unique chili I’ve ever tasted. It’s also one of the very best. It’s vegan (well, it was vegan until I dumped goat cheese on top) and actually more like a thick, Spanish black bean soup than a typical chili. It’s pretty hard to describe, but totally delicious and completely worth the effort of making the black beans the day before!
The thing that really sets this chili apart from the standard American chili is that it really only has two components: the simmered black beans and the tomato mixture. The black beans are made from scratch with onion, garlic and cilantro, and the tomato mixture is spicy and garlic-y.
When you combine the two, you get perfection!
And you know what goes really well with this vegetarian chili? Goat cheese!
I also like to dump pique on my chili, which is a homemade Puerto Rican vinegar-based hot sauce that I bought from one of my favorite restaurants, Sol Food. Any hot sauce would be good though—I just love to bring out the Spanish flavors of this chili!
This chili also freezes extremely well, and actually what I did was make the beans on Friday night, freeze half of them (for future black bean and rice cravings!) and then use the other half to make this chili (I halved the recipe you see below). It worked out perfectly and now my freezer and belly are full of spicy black bean goodness!
Black Bean Chili
loosely adapted from nytimes.com
1 pot cuban black beans
1 yellow onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 T canola oil
3 T dark chili powder
2 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp salt (or to taste)
1 tsp dried oregano
28 oz can diced tomatoes
2 T tomato paste dissolved in 1 cup water
2 chipotle chilies in adobo sauce, chopped
fresh cilantro, minced
limes for serving
crumbled goat cheese
Heat the canola oil over medium high heat in a large skillet. Add the onion and cook for 8-10 minutes until slightly golden. Add the garlic and saute for another thirty seconds.
Add the chili powder, cumin seeds and oregano and mix well. Cook for two minutes until fragrant and toasty. Add the diced tomatoes and bring to a simmer. Cook for about three minutes until thick.
Add the tomato paste/water as well as the two chipotle chilies. Mix well and continue to simmer for another ten minutes, until very thick.
Add the tomato mixture to the cuban black beans and mix well. Season with salt to taste and serve with a squeeze of lime, goat cheese and minced fresh cilantro.
30 minutes, not including time to prepare black beans
**this chili freezes extremely well and will stay fresh in the refrigerator for up to a week in sealed tupperware containers.