|spicy spanish-mexican black bean stew|
After discovering black turtle beans some months ago at a restaurant, Simon took an instant liking to them and wanted to utilize them for our home-cooked meals. Not long after, we made a trip to the local grocery store and got ourselves a bag of dried black turtle beans. For some reason, though, I never got around to using them until recently, when he asked if I could make a Mexican-style black bean stew for him.
|black turtle beans, known as frijol negro in Spanish, feijão preto in Portuguese.|
When I drafted out my idea for the recipe, I saw this as an opportunity to use my beloved Spanish hot smoked paprika, but I also took inspiration from the Mexican mole sauce and added some cocoa powder. The following recipe makes 2 servings - or 4 if you bulk it up with a side of rice or bread.
|spanish-mexican black bean stew, reminiscent of a vegetarian chili con carne.|
spicy spanish-mexican black bean stew
1 cup dried black turtle beans
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 chilli, chopped
2 large tomatoes, chopped
2 teaspoons Spanish hot smoked paprika
1 teaspoon cocoa powder
2 bay leaves
a little oil, for frying
salt, to taste
- Soak the dried black beans overnight in a large bowl of water.
- The next day, drain well, rinse and transfer to a pot with 4 cups water, bring to boil and turn down to a simmer.
- Meanwhile, sauté garlic, onion and chilli in about one teaspoon oil until soft. Add in the chopped tomatoes and hot smoked paprika and lightly sauté for a few more minutes. Stir the mixture into the pot with black beans. Add in the bay leaves and cocoa powder.
- Simmer until the liquid is thick and reduced, and the beans are tender. Mine took just under 2 hours of uncovered simmering. If you like, you can lightly puree half the beans for a creamier soup/stew.
- Season with salt to taste. Garnish with fresh tomatoes and a sprinkling of herbs such as parsley, if desired. Retrieve bay leaves before eating.
- This can be eaten by itself or accompanied with salad, rice or bread. It also benefits from an addition of fresh-tasting and/or slightly acidic elements. We kept it super-simple and had it with sliced tomatoes, yoghurt and pita bread. Next time, I'd like to try it with guacamole and feta cheese as well! I imagine it would also go well with this lemongrass yoghurt dip.
So there you have it, a bold, earthy Spanish-Mexican inspired black bean stew. We had this for lunch and dinner and I believe it tasted even better the second time around, as the sauce thickened and the flavours developed further. Simon liked it a lot and wanted to know more about the ingredients in the dish. I gladly obliged - here's hoping next time he'll be cooking this for me!
|thick, rich and earthy black bean stew.|