I am addicted to Food52 and their recipe contests. I’ve been doing pretty well, two of my thirteen recipes have been chosen “Community Picks”. That’s a win for a novice like me. In an effort to broaden my horizons (read: obsessions) I happened upon Gilt Taste, Ruth Reichl’s website. I love, love, love this site. Their great recipes are accompanied by intimate stories. For me that is what cooking is all about. And yes my name is Judy L. and I have a new addiction.
On my recent click Ruth was talking about cooking beans, black beans to be exact. This brought back a rush of memories from El Teddy’s restaurant where I cooked for many years back in the day.
I worked there as grill wench and pastry chef. The sous chef was Romero. The sweetest, most even tempered man to walk the earth. He also taught me about peppers, the hows, whys and ways of those capsicums. He taught me the difference between heat and flavor. I fell in love with the smoky richness of chipotles in adobo.
As fate would have it Food52’s contest this week is “Your Best Chili”. The planets have aligned to provide this serendipitous moment. Last night I whipped up this recipe. It passed the Nahid test, enough spice and heat. I was meant to cook this chili and enter it into the contest. I’ll keep you posted. I made this with ground turkey, but to be honest you can leave it out or add whatever ground meat you’d like.
Black Bean Tomatillo Chili
- 1/2 pound of dried black beans and follow Ruth’s instructions or 19oz can of prepared black beans
- 6 whole chili arbol with seeds removed
- 12 garlic cloves chopped
- 2 onions chopped
- 2 tablespoons ground cumin
- 2 lbs. tomatillos chopped in eighths
- 1 T strong instant coffee
- 2 pasillo peppers
- 2-4 chipotle chilies in adobo finely chopped or pureed in blender. The amount depends on how hot and smoky you want your chili
- 4-8 pieces of jalapeno peppers in brine finely chopped. Once again, it’s up to you for the heat level
- 1 splash of olive oil
- 1 bottle of dark beer or any beer you have in frig
- 1 lbs ground turkey or ground me of your choice. Optional
- If you want to make your own beans, do what Ruth tells you to do. If you want use canned beans just remember to add a dash of cinnamon, T of instant coffee and a hunk of chocolate to the canned beans.
- Heat a medium fry pan till it’s hot. Add six chili arbol pods. Brown on each side. Cool pods and grind into a powder.
- In pan that you used for chilis, brown the ground turkey season with salt and pepper. If your want to make it vegetarian. Go to next step.
- Heat large stew pot. Add a splash of olive oil to coat bottom of pan. Once the oil starts to dance, add onions and garlic. Cook on medium heat for 2-3 minutes.
- Add cumin, ground chili arbol, chopped chipotles (start with 2 and adjust) Stir cook for 2 minutes. Add beer. Bring to boil. Add instant coffee.
- Add chopped tomatillos or a large can (19 oz) of tomatillos and cooked ground turkey. Bring to boil, then reduce heat. Add jalapenos. Start with a few and adjust as you go. Reduce heat and cook until tomatillos begin to soften. Taste for heat, balance of peppers, salt and pepper.
- Canned Beans: Rinse and drain black beans. Add to pot. If you chose to cook your own add about half the amount that you cooked. The other half can be frozen. Cook for another 15 minutes. Taste, adjust. Eat.