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Beans with Cotija
Very simple treatment; I make no claims as to authenticity but we were going for something that would remind us of bean and cheese enchiladas, without using tortillas: * 2lb dry anasazi beans or pinto or black * 2 Tbsp. olive oil (lard or bacon fat would give a deeper flavor, but olive oil or your vegetable oil of choice makes it vegetarian; this isn't a high heat recipe so it doesn't need a high smoke point) * 1 jumbo onion or 2 medium * lots of garlic, chopped (we used a full head) * 2tsp whole cumin seed * mix of dried ancho, guajillo, and chile de arbol chiles, to taste * New Mexico chile powder, to taste * 1 tsp oregano (we don't have any epazote or I'd have tried that) * 1 lb. cotija, grated (or mild white cheese such as Monterey Jack or meunster, though it will be more melty) * 1qt. tomatoes; we used a quart of locally canned whole ones and ran an immersion blender over them to break them down some first; diced or ground are fine * 1 bunch cilantro if you like it * salt to taste Use a dutch oven; we used our nice big Lodge enameled one. This could also go into a slow cooker on low overnight but you then need to use a skillet to toast and brown things. Soak the beans, drain and rinse. Preheat oven to 225. Toast the cumin seed and whole peppers in the pan over low to medium-low heat until the peppers darken and the cumin smells toasty. Take the peppers out, pull off the heads, and pull out seeds to taste. We wanted this to be pretty mild so we removed most of the seeds even on the milder anchos and guajillos. Add more spicy peppers like chile de arbol if you want more of a kick to it. Break up the peppers and reconstitute in a cup of hot water. I added the ground chile to the water at this point, too. Heat oil and add onions and garlic and cook until golden over medium to medium-low heat. (If you're impatient it doesn't have to cook as long; I was just doing other things when I did this so they got to golden.) Grind up the chili-water paste with an immersion blender. (You can skip this step if you broke up the peppers, but I hadn't broken them up very thoroughly.) Add chiles and soaking water and tomatoes and oregano, then enough water to cover the beans by an inch. Stir to incorporate everything and bring to a fast simmer. Cover and pop into the oven for overnight baking. In the morning, stir in half the cheese and about half the bunch of cilantro (I use the stemmier half for this.) Top with the other half of the cheese, and stick it under the broiler until the cheese browns. Cotija doesn't get very melty but got a nice chewy texture and yummy brown spots. Or this could use queso fresco or queso blanco instead, but skip the browning step and only sprinkle it on top. If using another cheese it will probably spread and melt more. Top with fresh chopped cilantro if you like cilantro.20090321 Black Bean Soup
Black Bean Soup made according to a recipe by heatherlynn917. As a lover of basic cooking - this is very good. And all vegetarian by the way. Vegetarian Black Bean Soup Recipe by heatherlynn917 1 dried chipotle pepper 1 cup chopped green pepper 1 large onion, chopped 3 cloves garlic, minced 2 15oz cans of black beans, rinced and drained 2 cups vegetable broth 1 large tomato, chopped 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped 1 teaspoon dried thyme 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano Cut dried pepper open, discard stem and seeds. Place pepper in a small bowl and cover with boiling water. Let stand for 30 minutes, drain and chop into small pieces. In a 3 1/2 to 4 quart slow cooker, combine dried pepper pieces, green pepper, onion, garlic, black beans, vegetable broth, tomato, cilantro, thyme and oregano. Cover and cook on low setting for 8 hours (or on high setting for 4 to 5 hours). Easy! And it's really good if you garnish it with a dollop of sour cream or some shredded jack cheese.
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