So I've gotten kind of sick of thinking up (and reading/cringing at) the cute titles I feel obligated to make for posts. But I do have recipes to share, so hopefully that makes up for any lack of cleverness or charm.
Anyway, last week I cooked up a bunch of dried black beans, and then forgot what I had originally planned to do with them. NYC has actually been experiencing genuine autumnal weather lately, so soup seemed like a good idea. I also wanted to make use of pantry items and some of the vegetables I had lying around, and I got the idea for a mole-style black bean chili with winter squash. This is kind of a different take on the Pumpkin Chili I posted last October, and while I actually like the latter the best of the two, this version is good in its own right. Some people may even prefer it.
Here's the recipe...
Mole Black Bean & Winter Squash Chili
makes a lot, 6-8 servings?
3 dried pasilla chilis, de-stemmed
1 1/2 cups boiling water
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp cumin
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp cloves
1 tsp sea salt (plus more to taste)
2 tbsp almond butter
1 tbsp tahini
4 cups cooked blackbeans (or canned)
2 cups peeled and cubed winter squash (I used 1 regular-sized Delicata)
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 carrot chopped
2 tsp canola oil
1/3 cup tomato sauce
2 tbsp brewed coffee (optional)
1 cup water
Pour boiling water over chilis (a pie tin works well for this). Set aside to soften for at least 15 minutes. You can use this time to chop up all your vegetables.
In a medium saucepot (which you will use later to make your soup) toast your spices over medium heat for about 30 seconds, until fragrant.
In the jar of a blender, place soaked chilis and soaking water, cocoa powder, almond butter, tahini, spices, tomato sauce, coffee, and salt. Blend until almost completely smooth. Set aside.
Heat 2 tsp of canola oil in the medium saucepot you used to toast the spices. Add onions and carrots and saute over medium heat for about until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and saute for a minute or 2 more. Add a splash of water to the pan now and then if it looks like you could use more oil. Add squash and saute for a minute before pouring in the mole. Stir to combine and lower the heat a bit. Add 1 cup water, and simmer covered for 10 to 20 minutes or until squash is almost tender.
When squash is almost tender add the black beans. If the chili looks too thick you can also add a bit more water. Cook until black beans are heated through, about another 5 minutes.
One thing I noticed about this chili is it is actually a lot better reheated after sitting for a day in the refrigerator. The flavors really develop nicely. Also, after making this mole-concoction, I discovered via Wikipedia that my free-form mole very nearly resembles in its ingredients the authentic Mole Coloradito. Now I want to make this again, but adding at least the oregano and pumpkin seeds (and possibly some banana too if I feel brave enough). And I encourage anyone who feels like making this recipe to try out such additions. It is also pretty good as it stands, though.
To address the issue of the cornbread mentioned in the title and seen lurking in the left of the photo: Yes, I made some, of a pumpkiny sort; however, I'm going to save that recipe for a second post. You know, so I actually have things to post about.