Monday, October 30, 2006

Black Bean and Sweet Potato Chili

Black Bean and Sweet Potato Chili
8 minutes at high pressure; natural pressure release; 5 minutes stovetop cooking
Serves 6 to 8
Inspired by a recipe in Simple Vegetarian Pleasures by Jeanne Lemlin

The colors are reminiscent of Halloween but there's nothing scary about this dish.
The sweet potatoes provide an interesting taste and texture to this chili. The smokiness of the chipotle pepper adds a special dimension and flavor. If corn is in season, you can add at the end of cooking for another textural and flavor variation.

1 tablespoon canola oil
2 large onions, finely diced
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 red bell peppers, chopped
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon chipotle chili powder or 1 chipotle chili, chopped, seeds removed
2 medium yams, peeled and cut into ½-inch dice
2 cups black beans, presoaked
1 1/2 cups water

3 cups finely chopped tomatoes, fresh or canned
1/4 cup tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon salt
Chopped cilantro for garnish

Heat the oil in the cooker over medium heat. Add the onions and cook for 3 minutes. Add the garlic, red peppers and spices and cook another 2 minutes. Add the yams, black beans and water. Lock the lid in place and bring to high pressure over high heat. Reduce the heat to low to maintain high pressure.
After 8 minutes, remove from the heat and let the pressure come down naturally.
When the pressure is down, remove the lid tilting it away from you. Add the tomatoes and tomato paste and salt. Cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes, until the tomatoes have broken down into a sauce. Taste and adjust seasonings. Serve over rice, or other grain, garnished with cilantro.

Note: This is best imade int he pressue cooker and ifyou don't have one ask for one for a gift. In the meantime, just cook this on the stove top, using high quaility orgnaic canned beans such as Eden or Westbrae. Follow the directions, cooking the yams until partially done. Add 2 drained cans of black, or your favorite, beans. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste andsalt. Add extra liquid at any time, if you need it. This should be thick and delicious.

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