The Democratic Party of Bernalillo County needs a new copier, so they're sponsoring a Chili Cook-Off on June 18. Unfortunately I can't be there, and they have no provisions for virtual cooking-off, but since when does that stop an intrepid blogger?
Here's my recipe for vegetarian Black Bean Chili with Pineapple Salsa. If you like it, go here and donate to the party. They don't have an online contribution form yet, but go ahead and send them a check—$10 buys you all the virtual chili you can taste. (Only if you're an American citizen. FEC rules specify Yanks only.)
Or post your own chili recipe on your blog, and link here in comments.
By the way, the Bernalillo County Dem party has been infiltrated recently by lots of progressives, who now serve as ward chairs and state central committee members. We expect to take the district away from Heather Wilson in '06, and put a progressive in the house.
But they can't do it without that copier. So go on, send them a check and tell them next time you want to see virtual chili included in the cook-off.
Vegetarian Black Bean Chili with Pineapple Salsa
I've made this many times, and it's almost foolproof. You can use canned beans if you haven't soaked the beans the night before—about 4 cans are enough. If you're using dried, don't add the salt until the beans are cooked. Taste them to tell.
If you can't find the chile, use canned green chiles—Hatch are best, if you can find them. (I've so far managed to keep a supply from New Mexico visitors.)
And do try the Pineapple Salsa. It's delicious with the black beans, and adds a taste of the Caribbean.
2 cups dried black beans, rinsed (you can also substitute 3 cans)
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoons dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon red pepper, or more
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 medium-sized green bell peppers, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup tomato puree
1 teaspoon salt
black pepper, to taste
1 medium hot green chile, minced or 1 4-oz can diced green chiles
Wedges of lime for garnish
Soak the beans in plenty of water for 6-8 hours or overnight. (But first rinse them, and rinse them again, then pick through them to make sure there aren't any bits of dirt posing as beans. Or use canned.) Drain off the soaking water, and cook in boiling water, partly covered, until tender (1—1 1/2 hours). Check the water level during cooking; add more as necessary. (If you're using canned, this is the point at which you'll come in.)
In a separate skillet, saute garlic, cumin, basil, oregano, red pepper, lime juice, onion and bell peppers in olive oil over medium-low heat until the peppers are tender, 10—15 minutes.
Add the sautéd vegetables to the cooked beans, along with the tomato puree and chiles. Simmer, covered, over very low heat, stirring every now and then, for about 45 minutes. When the beans are done, add the salt and pepper to taste.
Serve topped with Pineapple Salsa and, if desired, grated soy cheese and/or sour cream. Squeeze a wedge of lime into the bowl if desired.
2 cups minced fresh or canned crushed pineapple
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup fresh mint, minced
2 tablespoons lime juice
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
cayenne pepper, to taste
Mix all the ingredients except the pepper. Taste and add pepper as needed.