Monday, June 13, 2011

Black Bean and Corn Chili

A few days ago we drove past a lovely country farm stand, and they had some great fresh corn. I'd never cooked fresh corn before, except straight on the cob, so I decided to look for a few recipes, and came across this one.  I modified it a bit to fit my tastes, and the result was a hearty vegetable chili with great flavor and texture, which was perfect served on rice.

I made it just before I had to leave town for a few days, so I froze the leftovers. When I got back it was late and I needed a quick dinner, so I defrosted and heated the chili in the microwave and wrapped it up in a tortilla with a bit of melted cheddar for a quick burrito. It was delicious, and the chili didn't seem to suffer at all from being frozen.

Black Bean and Corn Chili 

Ingredients (for a large pot of chili, about 6-8 servings): 

- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 bell peppers, whatever color you liked, diced.
- 1 hot pepper (Serrano or jalapeno or something similar) , finely diced. You can deseed it if you don't like heat, or leave some of the seeds for a bigger kick.
- 6 medium tomatoes, preferable ripe red ones, diced.
- Fresh kernels from 2 corn cobs (or about 1 cup of kernels frozen or from a can)
- Seasoning: black pepper, cumin, chili powder, salt
- 2 cans of black beans, rinsed and drained.
- 1.5 cups vegetable stock or water with bullion seasoning
- grated cheese to serve (optional)


1. Heat the oil in a large pot. Add all of the vegetables (except the beans) and saute until the onion is softened and becomes somewhat translucent.

2. Season with the various seasonings. The original recipe calls for 1 tsp of the black pepper and cumin and 1 tbsp of the chili powder, but you can modify this according to your tastes.

3. Add the beans and the vegetable stock, and bring to a boil. Then take 1.5 cup of the chili and put it in a food processor or blender and puree it (if you only have a stick blender, you can also just slightly puree the chili, but still leave it chunky). Add the pureed chili back into the pot and cook for another 10 minutes or so. Check seasoning. If wanted, top with grated cheese.

You can serve this by itself as a thick soup/stew, or over rice as a chili. You can also serve it over nachos or inside a burrito.

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