Thursday, October 4, 2007

EW's Black Bean Mushroom Chili

This is not an original Peef and Lo recipe (although, if you read through my notes, you'll find that we don't exactly follow the rules). But, it is a lovely thing, nonetheless. And one of our very favorite vegetarian comfort foods. The spice combo might sound unusual at first -- but, it's lovely and earthy. And entirely worth making.

It is made all-the-more-fabulous by the fact that it is a crockpot recipe, which means it can simmer all day long and supply us with a lovely meal at a fraction of the time-commitment of most BURP! meals.

Eating Well Magazine

1 pound dried black beans (2-1/2 cups), picked over and rinsed
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup mustard seeds
2 tablespoons chili powder
1-1/2 teaspoons cumin seeds or ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon cardamom seeds or ground cardamom
2 medium onions, coarsely chopped
1 pound mushrooms, wiped clean, trimmed and sliced (4-1/2 cups)
8 ounces tomatillos, husked, rinsed and coarsely chopped
1/4 cup water
5-1/2 cups mushroom broth or vegetable broth, homemade or canned
1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
1 to 2 tablespoons minced canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
1-1/4 cups grated Monterey Jack or pepper Jack cheese
1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 limes, cut into wedges

Soak black beans overnight in 2 quarts water. (Alternatively, place beans and 2 quarts water in a large pot. Bring to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand for 1 hour.) Drain beans, discarding soaking liquid.

Meanwhile, combine olive oil, mustard seeds, chili powder, cumin and cardamom in a 5- to 6-quart Dutch oven. Place over high heat and stir until the spices sizzle, about 30 seconds. Add onions, mushrooms, tomatillos and 1/4 cup water. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are juicy, 5 to 7 minutes. Uncover and stir often until the juices evaporate and the vegetables are lightly browned, 10 to 15 minutes. Add broth, tomato paste and chipotles (with sauce). Mix well.

Place the beans in a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker. Pour the hot mixture over the beans. Turn heat to high. Put the lid on and cook until the beans are creamy to bite, 5 to 8 hours.

To serve, ladle the chili into bowls. Garnish each serving with cheese, a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkling of cilantro. Pass lime wedges at the table.

Yield: 10 servings, generous 1 cup each.


  1. This never fits in my 5-quart slow cooker... so be sure to use a 6 quart.

  2. We tend NOT to use low-fat dairy products

  3. We like thick chili (and beans), so we tend to add MORE black beans than are called for (and only about 32 oz of mushroom broth, rather than the recommended)

  4. We almost always use 2-3 cups of tomatillo sauce in lieu of the fresh tomatillos.

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