Tag Archives: Beans

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.

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New Mexico Chili Mac

Chili_Mac3 (1 of 1)While searching on-line a while back for an “American Chop Suey” recipe (a classic New England comfort dish), I stumbled upon this recipe for “Chili Mac.” I didn’t search any further, and ended up trying this — it is delicious! I highly recommend using New Mexico chili powder, as it has much more flavor than grocery store chili powder (thus, “New Mexico Chili Mac” — I believe Texas is the true origin of this dish!).

2 tsp olive oil
2 medium onions, finely diced
2 jalapenos, minced
1 Tbsp salt
2 lbs lean ground beef
5 Tbsp New Mexico chili powder
1 Tbsp dried oregano
2 Tbsp minced garlic
1 28-oz can whole plum tomatoes, well-squeezed with your hands (don’t strain out juices)
2 15.5-oz cans kidney beans, drained
1/2 cup water
1 lb dried macaroni
1 lb shredded sharp cheddar cheese (about 2 cups)
Sour cream for garnish

Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in a Dutch oven. Add onions and jalapenos, salt, and saute  until onions are translucent, about 2 minutes. Add ground beef, chili powder, oregano and garlic, and stir, breaking up beef with the back of a wooden spoon, for 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, beans, and 1/2 cup water. Stir and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, and simmer until chili is thick, about 20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Cook macaroni according to package instructions.

Combine 1/3 of the shredded cheese with the chili and cooked macaroni in a bowl, then pour chili mixture into a 9 x 13.5-inch casserole dish. Top with the remaining cheese, and place casserole in oven. Bake for about 10 minutes, until cheese is melted. Remove from oven and let cool for about 5 minutes. Garnish plated servings with a dollop of sour cream each.

Serves 6.

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.