Tuesday, January 1, 2019

fancy-pants bean chili

I adapted David Lebovitz's Chocolate Chili to a) use an InstantPot to cook the beans and b) not have beef (though I did end up using beef bouillon). Recording my modifications here because it's something I'd happily make again:

Chocolate Bean Chili


  • 2 pounds (900g) dried red or variegated heirloom beans (I used a mix of pinto, red, and kidney beans)
  • 4 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1 glug oil
  • 3 teaspoons smoked salt 
  • 2 to 4 dried chiles (I used chipotle, with seeds)
  • about 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 2 medium onions, peeled and diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 2 teaspoons chipotle chile powder
  • 2 teaspoons ancho chile powder (if available otherwise use an additional teaspoon of red chile powder)
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 cups (50cl) beer (I used an IPA)
  • 2 cans (15oz, 200g each) crushed or diced tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 ounces (55g) unsweetened chocolate (or 3 ounces, 85g, bittersweet chocolate, in which case skip the brown sugar)
  • 4 teaspoons bouillon
  • 3 tablespoons cider vinegar or lime juice (I forgot about this....)

First, the beans: soak them overnight, then drain, rinse, and add to instantpot. Add 8 cups of water, a few smashed garlic cloves, and a glug of oil. For this particular mix of beans, I used 8 minutes at high pressure, natural release. It is a lot of beans!

Prepare the dried chiles by chopping them up (remove the seeds if you don't want it to be spicy) and pouring boiling water over them (just enough to cover). When they've softened, drain them.

When you're ready to actually make chili, saute the onions in the oil in a large stock pot over medium-high heat until they turn translucent, 5-7 minutes. Add the drained chiles, salt, garlic, chile powders, oregano, cumin, and paprika, and saute for another minute, stirring continually to avoid burning.

Add the beer, tomatoes, and chocolate (plus sugar if you're not using bittersweet chocolate). Stir and add the beans, plus as much cooking liquid as seems necessary. Bring to a gentle simmer and add the bouillon, if using. Simmer for 45-60 minutes, until the flavors have melded. If it seems like you need it, add the vinegar or lime juice.

serves: 10-12

Monday, May 7, 2018

Fall Cleaning

I have a stack of probably 200 recipes that is floating around our kitchen (not really, but the stack keeps migrating from one place to another). It's a mix of things I intend to make, things I aspire to make, things we've made a million times, and things we made once but didn't really like. I'm cleaning it up! (This morning we tried to find the recipe for buttermilk waffles there, and it was a delay to breakfast we just didn't need.) So.

Recipes in our regular rotation:

Roasted Chicken Thighs with Winter Squash: Melissa Clark is my go-to, and this recipe is a perfect example of why - it hits every flavor note for me.

Warm Kale, Coconut, and Tomato Salad: I could eat this forever, loads of umami

Joan's on Third's Curried Chickpeas: great thing to make on the weekends to throw into salads during the week


Things we tried:

Indian Roasted Broccoli and Sri Lankan Dal: both were incredibly rich, but good

Eggs in Spicy Tomato Sauce: I loved this; Victor felt the cardamom pods were too much

Masoor Dal: very meh

Sunday, July 9, 2017

A Few Spring/Early Summer Recipes; A Menu for Summer Entertaining

Warm Kale, Coconut, and Tomato Salad: requires heating up the oven, but I suspect could also be done well in a grill basket. And it's sooo worth it.

Jamie Oliver's "Eggplant Parmesan": better not to think of it as Eggplant Parm, because it's not really very like it, but it's delicious.

Tender and Easy Buttermilk Waffles: true to their name, and they freeze and reheat (in a toaster oven) very very well.

ALSO: we had folks over for a grown-up dinner party and had this as the menu:

  • Chicken Shawarma
  • oven-roasted cubed eggplant (I didn't pre-treat with salt/drain and it was totally fine)
  • pitas
  • hummus
  • feta
  • chopped tomatoes and cucumbers (I used a "burpless" variety)
  • olives
Just served all of the above separately and let people assemble their own. We had drinks and for dessert ice cream. I didn't come up with a good appetizer-type thing, but it worked out anyway.


Saturday, February 18, 2017

some recipes to remember

Roasted Cabbage with Mustard Vinaigrette (so good, and also convinced me that I should roast cabbage more often)
Roasted Carrot and Red Lentil Ragout (we've been roasting a lot of veggies on the weekend for eating during the week, which makes this into a super-fast pre-prepped weeknight dinner. also it will make your house smell amazing.)
Seitan Porcini Stew (delicious, you won't miss the beef)
Marinated Tempeh (ended up tasting oddly cheesy when added to a salad, but in a way I enjoyed)
Pasta with Tomatoes, Corn, Squash, and Ricotta (yep, this is a summer recipe - it's been a long time since I've posted here)
Yotam Ottolenghi's Legume (Noodle) Soup (amazing, but best eaten the first or second day)
Balsamic Grilled Potatoes (another summer recipe, this was basic but is a technique I want to remember)
Farro Salad with Cranberries (a delicious and healthy make-ahead lunch)
Squash and Chickpea Salad with Tahini (both great on its own and mixed into a bunch of greens)
Paloma (for summer parties)
Pan-fried Chicken with Asparagus and Lemon (and Potatoes) (simple, and springy - will probably make this again soon)


Saturday, July 2, 2016

early summer misc recipes

Initially didn't think this was very flavorful, but apparently it just needed an extra day for the flavors to meld - it was a fantastic lunch: Farro Salad

This was delicious, and the potatoes were basically bliss itself: pan-fried lemon chicken with asparagus and skillet potatoes

Although it was (very) tasty, this butter chicken was kind of a pain to make, and super duper rich.

This spring-time carbonara was kind of meh (and also Victor thought it had too much egg).

We made this soup back when it was actually appropriate, seasonally speaking, but I don't think I noted it at the time: white bean and kale soup.


Sunday, June 12, 2016

some late spring recipes and miscellany

Loving this chickpea salad right now. (Note: I always end up cooking the onions for closer to 15 minutes than 8.)

Liked - but did not love - this farro salad.

Attempted this approach to having pre-prepared shredded beef on hand, with only moderate success (there may have been a truly disgusting attempt at making beef-barley soup in the pressure cooker).

Trying to take more of a 'make-ahead' approach in general, I made carrot-coconut soup, which we both liked a lot.

I currently have a big batch of farro cooling, as suggested in this post.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

unbelievable rice pudding

It doesn't seem possible that this is enough rice - but it is!

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