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Spicy Chipolte Chili Soup with White Beans and Chicken

21 Dec

Drastically adapted from Organic Gardening.

2 TBSP olive oil
1/2 sweet onion, chopped
4 large garlic cloves, minced
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into 1/2 inch chunks
1/2 to 1 tablespoon chipotle chile powder (the more powder, the spicier the chili!)
2 teaspoons ground cumin
3 cans (19 ounces each) cannellini (white kidney) beans, drained and rinsed
3 cups chicken stock
1 cup half-and-half
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
salt and pepper to taste

In a large Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium-low heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until they begin to soften, 4 to 5 minutes. Push the onions to one side of the pan, add the chicken, and sprinkle with the chipotle chile powder, cumin, and salt to taste. Cook, stirring, until most of the chicken is opaque on the outside, 5 to 6 minutes. Stir in 3 cups of the beans and 2 cups of the stock. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a simmer. Partially cover and cook until the chicken is cooked through, about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a food processor, combine the remaining beans and remaining 1 cup stock. Process to a smooth puree. Stir the bean puree into the soup. Gradually add the half-and-half, stirring as you add it, so it doesn’t curdle. Dip one cup of the soup out and into a bowl, add the sour cream and stir until blended. Gradually add sour cream mixture into the soup (again, this is so it doesn’t curdle). Stir in the cheddar cheese, cilantro, and salt and pepper to taste.

It is important not to let the soup boil again after the dairy products have been added, so it doesn’t curdle.

Serve with additional shredded cheese and sour cream, which cuts down the heat if you find it’s too spicy. If you want a thicker consistency, dissolve 3 TBSP of corn starch with 1/2 cup of half-and-half, and stir into the soup before adding the sour cream.

Serve with potato rolls! They’re awesome.

I suppose you could lower the considerable fat content by using fat-free half-and-half, sour cream, and cheese, but where’s the fun in that?

Crock Pot Pinto Beans with Bacon and Potatoes

6 Sep

These are incredibly flavorful, incredibly simple pinto beans that go great with crusty bread or Mexican cornbread. Cooking them on high for five to six hours instead of on low for ten to twelve results in tender-firm beans that, thrown together at lunchtime, are ready by dinner. The beans thicken nicely with the addition of the potatoes. You’ll need to soak the beans and the ham hock overnight, so keep that in mind for your dining plans.

- 1 pound pinto beans
- 1 ham hock
- water

- 2 cups beef broth
- 1/2 sweet onion, chopped
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper

- 1 15oz can white potatoes, diced
- 1 lb bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled

To prepare the beans and ham hock overnight:

Soak the beans overnight – place in a large bowl and cover with water two inches above the level of the beans. Cover and leave on the counter. Soak the ham hock overnight – place in a small stock pot, cover with water, cover with a lid, and place in the refrigerator overnight.

The next day:

Drain and rinse the beans, and place them in the crock pot. Place the ham hock in the crock pot with the beans, and reserve the soaking liquid. Pour the beef broth over the beans, add the chopped onion, oregano, chili powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Pour in the liquid from the ham hock, until the beans and hock are covered (you may not use all of the liquid – if you run out, add water). Stir well to combine.

Set crock pot on HIGH and cook for five to six hours.

In the final half-hour of cooking time, cook the bacon until very crisp, and crumble. Reserve two TBSP of bacon grease, and fry the diced potatoes until golden. Add the bacon and the potatoes to the beans and stir. Continue cooking the beans until they are the desired tenderness (mine are done usually right at five hours, but I let them sit on “keep warm” for another few hours until we’re ready to eat, and they’re just fine).

Remove the ham hock (you can chop the meat up and add it back in – I don’t really care for hock meat myself) and serve the beans with bread, sour cream, shredded cheese, sliced jalapeƱos, etc. IF there are any leftovers, they keep well in the refrigerator for several days.

Sonoran Chicken (Crock Pot)

20 Apr

- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, halved
- 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 can sweet corn, drained
- 1.5 – 2 cups salsa of choice
- 1 jalapeno, sliced (optional – can also use nacho style jalapenos in a jar)
- 2 tbsp minced garlic
- 1 tbsp worcestershire
- your favorite spicy seasonings, to taste (red tabasco, green tabasco, Cholula, mexican spiced salt, etc.)
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 8-oz pkg cream cheese -or- 2 cups shredded cheese (cheddar, cheddar/jack, mexican blend, etc.)
- garnish – tortilla chips, sour cream, etc.

Place chicken breast halves in the crock pot. In a large bowl, mix together beans, corn, salsa, jalapeno, garlic, worcestershire, spices, salt and pepper. Pour over chicken. Cover and cook on LOW for six hours. In the last 20 minutes of cooking, add cubed cream cheese or shredded cheese to the crock pot, continue to cook until melted.

Serve with warm flour tortillas, or accompanied with spanish rice or skillet fried potatoes.

Baked Enchiladas

25 Feb

- 3 cups cooked beef roast (use leftovers!) (-or- cooked chicken -or- cooked pork -or- a combination of any/all three -or- sauteed peppers, onions, spinach, or other vegetables for vegetarian enchiladas)
- 3/4 cup salsa of choice (we use a mild red)
- 1 sm. can (one to three oz) diced mild green chilis
- 1 32-oz can mild green enchilada sauce
- 1 16-oz can refried beans
- 1/4 cup water
- 3 cups cooked rice (we use instant rice)
- 6 large (burrito size, or 12 inch or larger) flour tortillas**
- Additional salsa
- Shredded cheese of choice (we use a cheddar/jack combo)
- Garnish recommendations: Sliced jalapenos, Sour cream, sliced black olives, chopped tomatoes, shredded lettuce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9×15 casserole dish with non-stick spray.

Shred the beef roast into a skillet. Add 3/4 cup salsa, green chilis, and 1/4 cup of the enchilada sauce. Stir to combine and heat over medium-low heat. Meanwhile, combine refried beans and water in a bowl and stir to combine until smooth. Prepare rice.

Line six flour tortillas on the counter, assembly-line fashion. Place 1/4 cup (or two heaping spoonfuls) of refried bean mixture onto each tortilla and spread down the center, stopping about 2-inches from the edges. Place 1/4 cup of beef mixture on top of refried beans. Place 1/4 cup rice on top of beef. Sprinkle each with two tbsp of salsa and 1/4 cup shredded cheese (or to taste). Keep in mind to stay away from the edges of the tortilla throughout!

To roll the enchiladas, fold one side over the ingredients. Fold top and bottom over the inside, then roll lengthwise to create a closed-ended wrap. Place side-by-side in casserole dish.

enchilada1 enchilada2

enchilada3 enchilada4

enchilada5

Bake uncovered for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and pour remainder of enchilada sauce over all. Return to oven and bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle generously with shredded cheese. Return to oven and bake for 5 minutes. Remove and serve with sour cream, jalapenos, additional salsa, additional cheese, black olives, shredded lettuce, or whatever garnish you desire.

enchilada6 enchilada7

You will likely have leftover refried beans, rice, and roast mixture. Combine all in a large bowl and heat for an excellent dip served with tortilla chips, or for fast lunchtime burritos. Very versitile leftovers!

**For gluten free recipe, substitute flour tortillas with corn and roll taquito-style.

Crock Pot Chili

25 Jan

2 cans (16 oz ea) pinto beans, rinsed and drained
2 cans (16 oz ea) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
2 cans (16 oz ea) tomato sauce (I used Ragu’s Seasoned Tomato Sauce for Chili)
1 can (16 oz) diced tomatoes (I used Ragu’s diced tomatoes with green peppers, celery, and onions)
1 1/2 lbs. hamburger
1/2 onion, chopped
3 cloves fresh garlic, crushed or minced
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. garlic powder
4 tbsp. chili powder
1 tbsp. oregano
1 tsp. cumin
salt and pepper to taste
2 tbsp. Worcestershire
2 tbsp. Green Tabasco
1 tbsp. Cholula (optional – we use it in EVERYTHING)
1 tbsp. liquid from a jar of Pepperocini peppers (trust me)
1/2 cup water

shredded cheese and sour cream (for garnish)

Sautee chopped onion and crushed garlic in olive oil over medium heat, until onions are barely golden. Add hamburger and cook until browned. Drain.

Dump all the beans, all the tomato sauce, and the diced tomatoes into the crock pot. Add hamburger mixture and stir well. Add remaining ingredients (except cheese and sour cream) and stir well again. Turn the crock pot on low and allow to cook for four hours. It’s ready at that point, but it can hang out safely in the crock pot all day – the longer it sits, the better it is!

Garnish with your favorite chili toppings – we use shredded cheddar cheese and a dollop of sour cream. The flavor has a little bit of a bite without being overwhelming (that is, too hot). Folks who like Four Alarm Chili would do well to add no more than a tablespoon of Cayenne pepper.

Maine Baked Beans

25 Jan

This recipe needs no preamble. This is a staple dish in any Maine household. This recipe works well in a crock pot, too – just mix all the ingredients together, dump ‘em in, and cook on low all day.

2 lbs kidney beans
1 lb salt pork (or more, up to 2 lbs if you love it)
1 tsp. salt
3/4+ cup molasses
2 tsp dry mustard
2 tbsp. brown sugar
2 cups water
2 sweet onions

Soak kidney beans in a cold water bath overnight. In the morning, put one onion, cut into large chunks, into each of the pots (2 bean pots, or 2 large baking dishes, or what have you). Put 1/2 lb of salt pork (“salt pork makes the beans!”), cut into chunks, into each pot. Drain the beans, and evenly divide them into the pots (leave enough room to add liquid for the cooking process). Mix salt, molasses, dry mustard, and brown sugar into 2 cups of water. Pour half of the mixture into each pot, and stir (I tend to double this mixture to make the beans extra saucy).

Put a cookie sheet under the bean pots as it may boil over into your oven. Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Cook for three hours or until beans are tender – monitor cooking process continually and add additional water and molasses to the pots as needed.

Garbanzo Bean Salad

25 Jan

From “The Schwarzbein Principle Cookbook”

13 3/4 oz canned garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1 cup diced celery
1 cup diced carrots
1/2 cup fresh parsley
1 cup cucumber, seeded and diced
1 cup diced red bell pepper

Toss all ingredients in a large bowl. In a second small bowl, combine the following for Vinaigrette dressing:

1 minced garlic clove
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp balsemic vinegar
1 tbsp dijon mustard
4 tbsp pure pressed extra virgin olive oil (the only kind to have!)
ground black pepper and salt to taste

Mix dressing ingredients well, pour over bean salad and toss to coat.

garbanzobeansalad

Four Bean Salad

25 Jan

1 15oz can green beans, drained
1 15oz can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
1 pound wax beans
1 15oz can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 onion, sliced into thin rings
3/4 cup white sugar
2/3 cup distilled white vinegar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. celery seed

Mix together all ingredients. Allow to chill in refrigerator for at least 12 hours.

Refried Bean Dip

25 Jan

1 32 oz can of refried beans (or two 16 oz cans! Woo! I am a Math Goddess!)
1 4 oz can chopped green chilies
1 1/2 cups salsa
1/2 lb prepared taco meat (browned hamburger with taco seasoning)
jalapeno slices to taste (I usually put about 8 in)
3 tbsp. of the jalapeno “juice” from the jar
two big handfuls of shredded cheddar cheese, or a jack/cheddar combo
1/2 cup water
salt and pepper

Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl. Heat in microwave until warm (about 5 minutes on High, stir halfway). Serve with tortilla chips, beer, and a football game or sporting event of choice. The beer is very important. Sporting event optional.