Category Archives: Beans

Grilled Black Bean Burgers with Chipotle Guacamole

Grilled_Black_Bean_Burger (1 of 1)I consumed what seems like a ton of meat at a cook-out on Saturday, so I wanted to grill something meatless. I generally don’t think veggie burgers grill well because they are so delicate (loose, runny, etc.), so I did my best to use binders (flour, cornmeal and eggs) and a technique (freezing) to come up with something that would work well on the grill — I was successful! These burgers held up and grilled easily to perfection, and the creamy chipotle guacamole on top was absolutely delicious. I hope you’ll try them next time you grill out!

2 15-oz cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup cornmeal
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 medium shallot, finely diced
1 large clove garlic, very finely grated or minced
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground ancho chili
3 1/2 tsp salt, divided
2 ripe avocados, peeled, pitted and coarsely chopped
1 Tbsp lime juice
Fresh corn cut from 1 ear
1 plum tomato, seeded and diced
2 scallions, chopped
1 chipotle chili (from can, in adobo sauce), very finely chopped
1/4 cup sour cream

Combine first 9 ingredients (black beans through ground ancho chili) and 3 tsp salt in a food processor. Process until ingredients are well-incorporated, but not puréed. Spoon 6 equal portions onto a platter that has been sprinkled with some cornmeal. Form into patties, cover with plastic wrap and place in freezer until firm (about 1/2 hour).

Meanwhile, prepare the guacamole by placing the avocados and lime juice in a bowl. Mash with a fork until smooth. Stir in the balance of ingredients (corn through sour cream). Cover and place in refrigerator.

Prepare grill. Remove burgers from freezer and place on the hot grill. Grill 5 minutes per side. Serve with lettuce on hamburger buns that have been brushed with butter and browned on the grill. Top each with a generous portion of the guacamole.

Serves 6.


American Black Bean Chili with IPA Beer

Black_Bean_Chili (1 of 1)Chili is a popular go-to comfort food in this household, especially when the snow is as deep as f#$^%$! and the temperature is constantly below f*^%k!. I have many recipes for chili, and this is a combination of the things I like the best about each. Additionally, I’ve added IPA (India Pale Ale Beer) and allspice, which I think help to create a fantastic depth of flavor for this version. I hope you’ll try it next time you are wanting comfort food!
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, very finely grated or minced
1 1/2 lbs lean ground beef
1 large green bell pepper, diced
2 Tbsp chili powder
1 Tbsp ground cumin
1 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp ground allspice
2 Tbsp tomato paste
2 Tbsp brown sugar
3 – 5 dried Thai (or similar hot) chilies, cut with scissors into 1/8 pieces, seeds and all
3 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 28-oz whole peeled tomatoes, squeezed to a pulp in a bowl by hand
3 15-oz cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1 12-oz bottle beer (preferably IPA)
Sour cream for garnish
Grated white cheddar for garnish
Diced fresh tomato for garnish
2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
Tabasco sauce (optional) for garnish

Heat oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic, beef and bell pepper. Cook for 8 minutes.

Stir in the next 8 ingredients (chili powder through ground black pepper) and cook 1 minute.

Stir in the beans, squeezed tomatoes and beer. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 1 hour. Remove lid and simmer an additional 30 minutes, or until chili has thickened. Remove from heat and let stand 15 minutes. Adjust seasoning (I added an additional 2 1/2 tsp salt, which seemed good). Ladle into serving bowls, garnishing each with a dollop of sour cream, cheddar cheese, diced tomato, parsley and a few drops of Tabasco sauce. I like to serve with fresh, crusty bread.

Serves 6.

Indiana “Ham and Beans”

Ham_and_Beans1 (1 of 1) Fall begins tomorrow in this hemisphere, so it’s time to switch to hearty, comforting dishes. This dish is from the state of Indiana. It is so common there that everybody and their grandmother knows about it, loves it and makes it without following a recipe. My readers know that I’m always up for “comfort food,” and this  ranks as one of my favorites. So simple and delicious — I hope you’ll try this in the coming months or so! Also, if you’re not intending to cook it for a crowd, a half recipe turns out just as tasty.

2 Tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, diced
2 carrots, peeled and diced
2 celery stalks, diced
8 cups chicken stock
6 15.5-oz cans great northern beans
1 lb diced, smoked ham
2 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
2 tsp chopped fresh thyme (or 1 tsp dried)
1/4 tsp grated nutmeg (optional RB)

Rinse and drain beans. Set aside.

Heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion, carrots and celery. Sauté 8 minutes. Increase heat to high. Add chicken stock, beans, ham, salt, pepper, thyme and nutmeg. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cook uncovered for 1 hour, stirring occasionally, until creamy and thick. Serve with cornbread and coleslaw.

Serves 8.

Italian-Style Saffroned Lentil Soup (Minestra di Lenticchie e Zafferano)

Saffroned_Lentil_Soup1 (1 of 1)I have a “go-to” lentil soup recipe that I’ve been making for several years. It’s a typical lentil soup with carrots, thyme, etc., and it’s very good. I wanted to try a different version; I found this Italian lentil soup recipe, and it’s delicious! I think the toasted saffron steeped in warmed Cognac are what make this dish. I hope you’ll try it!

1 lb Italian or French (de Puy) lentils, rinsed and soaked in cold water for 1/2 hour
1/4 tsp saffron threads
3 Tbsp Congnac, warmed
2 Tbsp olive oil, plus a bit of additional for toasting the baguette slices
3 oz pancetta, diced
2 large garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1 bay leaf
6 cups cold water
1 14-oz can diced tomatoes
2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1 baguette, thinly (1/2 inch) sliced on the diagonal
1 cup heavy cream
1/3 tsp ground cloves
1 Tbsp chopped fresh Italian parsley

Lightly toast the saffron in a small, heavy skillet over high heat, then stir into 2 Tbsp of the warmed Cognac in a small bowl. Set aside to steep.

Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the pancetta and saute for 5 minutes, stirring in the garlic the last 30 seconds. Add bay leaf, water, lentils, saffron/cognac mixture, tomatoes and salt. Bring to a boil, stirring well. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 1/2 hour. Remove from heat and stir in the red wine vinegar. Season with additional salt, if desired (I added another tsp salt, and thought that was good). Let soup sit for a bit, uncovered.

Meanwhile, whisk together in a small metal bowl the cream, remaining 1 Tbsp Cognac and ground cloves until thick. Cover and place in refrigerator.

Heat about 1 Tbsp olive oil in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add baguette slices and lightly brown on both sides.

Ladle soup into bowls. Place a dollop of cream mixture over each and garnish with parsley. Serve with toasted baguette slices.

Serves 6.

North African-Inspired White Beans and Chicken

White_Beans_and_Chicken1 (1 of 1)I’ve always thought that chicken and beans go great together. This recipe is a nice, North African-inspired version. The beans dominate the recipe (thus “beans and chicken,” rather than chicken and beans). I think this dish would probably have been prepared with chickpeas in North Africa, but the cannellini beans are delicious with the North-African spice blend. I hope you’ll try this one!

1 Tbsp olive oil
4 scallions, finely chopped
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1 lb ground chicken
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp cayenne chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp plain flour
1 15-oz can chopped tomatoes
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 15-oz cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
2 tsp brown sugar
4 Tbsp finely chopped cilantro
Freshly ground black pepper

Heat the oil in a Dutch oven or large saute pan over medium heat. Add the scallions and saute for 2 minutes. Add the celery and jalapeño pepper;  saute for another 2 minutes.
Increase the heat to medium-high;  add the chicken and brown, stirring to break up clumps (4 minutes). Add the garlic, cinnamon, cayenne pepper and cumin. Stir well to combine for 1 minute. Add the flour, stirring well.

Stir in the tomato, stock and salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce to low. Cover and simmer for 12 minutes.

Remove lid. Add beans and simmer for another 15 minutes, or until mixture has thickened. Add the sugar and season with additional salt to taste, if desired. Garnish with the cilantro, sprinkle with black ground pepper and serve.

Serves 4.

Black Bean Soup

Black Bean SoupThis is another simple soup that I make at any time of the year. It’s a fusion of Caribbean and South Western (U.S.) flavors (because I love both!), which I think go together pretty well. I hope you’ll try it and let me know what you think!

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 cup diced onions
1 tsp finely grated garlic
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp dried oregano
¼ tsp ground cayenne pepper
2 15.5 oz cans black beans, undrained
1 cup chicken broth
1 bay leaf
1 tsp brown sugar
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp white wine vinegar
Sour cream as garnish
Chopped fresh cilantro as garnish
Red pepper flakes
Heat olive oil in a medium sauce pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic, and sauté until onions are translucent (about 3 minutes).

Add the coriander, cumin, oregano, and cayenne pepper. Sauté for another minute.

Add the beans, chicken broth, bay leaf, brown sugar, salt, black pepper and vinegar. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to low. Simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes. Remove bay leaf. Season with additional salt and pepper, if desired.

Serve with crusty French bread. Add a dollop of sour cream and some cilantro and red pepper flakes on top of each serving.

Serves 4.