"Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time." Marthe Troly-Curtin

Friday, June 11, 2010

Baked Black Beans with Goat Cheese

My favorite goat cheese is .. Nunsuch, owned by a former nun (and great cheese maker) in New Hampshire. Its mildness perfect­ly offsets these spicy black beans, making them perfect for a party.
Serves 6 to 8 as a side dish

1 small ancho chili
1/2 cup hot water
2 teaspoons canola oil
1large yellow onion, peeled and diced
1 green pepper, seeded and diced
4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon cumin seeds, toasted and ground
1 tablespoon coriander seeds, toasted and ground
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 cups dried black beans
4 cups water or Chicken Stock or Pork Stock
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
l/2 cup goat cheese
1/4 cup finely diced red onion
l/4 cup minced cilantro leaves
Tortilla chips, for serving

1. In a small, dry saute pan, toast the ancho chili until fragrant. Transfer to a small bowl, cover with 112 cup hot water, and let stand until softened, about 15 minutes. Drain the chili, reserving the liquid. Remove and discard the stem and seeds; mince the chili and set aside.

2. Heat the oil in a 4-quart stock­ pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the onion and green pepper; cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables start to brown, 15 to 20 minutes. Add the ancho chili, garlic, chili powder, cumin, coriander, and salt; cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add the beans and water or stock, mixing and scraping the bottom of the pan, and bring to a boil.

3. Adjust heat to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the beans are very tender and the water is absorbed, 11/2 to 2 hours. Season liberally with salt and pepper.

4. To serve, preheat oven to 350°F. Transfer the beans to an 8- or 9-inch cast-iron pan or casserole dish that can be used for serving. Crumble the goat cheese evenly over the beans, and sprin­ kle red onions on top. Bake until the cheese starts to brown, about 20 min­ utes. Remove from the oven and let cool for 15 minutes before garnishing with cilantro and serving with tortilla chips.

The Fearless Chef

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