|Warm Black Beans With Chiles And Cilantro|
Drain and rinse the soaked beans; place them in a large saucepan with the water, oregano or marjoram sprig, sage, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and cook, uncovered, at a gentle boil until tender, 30 to 35 minutes. While the beans are cooking, water-saute the onion and 1/2 teaspoon salt over medium heat until the onion softens, about 5 minutes, then add the garlic, cumin, and dried oregano. Keep the onion on very low heat. Add the beans and their broth to the onion with 1/2 teaspoon salt and the chile purees. Cook, uncovered, over medium-low heat for 20 to 30 minutes. If the beans need more liquid, add a little water to keep the dish saucy. Add the orange juice, 1 teaspoon of vinegar, and the cilantro just before serving. Add salt to taste and a splash of vinegar if needed. For spicier beans, add more of the Ancho and Chipotle purees.
Black beans lend themselves to pungent spices and citrus flavors. In this rustic, saucy dish, both are used to balance the heat and smoky taste of dried chiles. The beans broth is important here, so be sure to use all of it. Serve with warm tortillas and Salsa Fresca or alongside a spicy polenta gratin.
From: Annie Somerville in "Fields of Greens", adapted by Curtis Jackson
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