During my camping excursion last week, my friend Lindsey made a big pot of Black Bean and Chocolate Chili for us to heat at base camp. Once the sun went down, it gets cold in Missouri this time of year. This hearty stew sure hit the spot – warming our bodies and our souls.
It isn’t quite as cold in Tampa, but this afternoon was rainy and dreary, so I thought I would recreate the moment and make my husband and I some of the chili. The original recipe is from the Moosewood Restaurant Celebrates recipe book (which I don’t have, but was lucky enough to score the recipe online – meanwhile I’ve put a hold on as many Moosewood cookbooks as I can at my local library).
When I cook chili I normally just throw black beans and other yummy ingredients in the pot, stir, taste and continue the process until I’m satisfied with the outcome. It was nice to follow a recipe though to eliminate part of the trial and error with the spice mixture. The unique blend of spices and the addition of dark chocolate made for an interesting and satisfying meal.
My husband thought the chili was a tad sweet for his taste buds. I’m not sure if that is because of the chocolate or the use of cinnamon which he normally equates with sweets. I, however, really enjoyed this easy to make dish.
Let me know how you enjoy it as well.
Black Bean and Chocolate Chili
Moosewood Restaurant Celebrates Cookbook
2 T. vegetable oil
1 1/2 c. chopped onions
4 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1 celery stalk, thinly sliced
1 small fresh chile, minced
1 T. ground cumin
2 t. dried oregano
1/2 t. ground cinnamon
pinch of ground cloves
1 t. ground coriander
1/2 t. ground black pepper
1/2 t. salt
1 1/2 c. chopped bell peppers
3 c. cooked or canned black beans
2 c. undrained crushed canned tomatoes
1 T. fresh lemon juice
1 T. soy sauce
1 1/2 oz semi-sweet chocolate, broken into small pieces
In a saucepan, warm the oil on medium heat. Add the onions ad garlic and saute until the onions become translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the celery and chile, cover, and cook for about 5 minutes.
Reduce the heat and stir in the spices and bell peppers. Cover and cook for 5 minutes, until the bell peppers begin to soften. Stir occasionally to keep the spices from burning. If needed, add a little juice from the canned tomatoes.
Add the black beans, tomatoes, lemon juice and soy sauce. Bring the chili to a simmer, cover, and cook for 5 to 10 minutes. Stir in the chocolate. When it is melted, adjust the salt, black pepper and lemon juice to taste.
Garnish with chopped scallions.
– As I’m making the recipe I’m searching long and hard on the internet only to get conflicting information. Is 1 celery stalk in fact 1 rib of celery or the bunch/bundle? I called my friend to see how she made it, but got her voice mail. Google was no help because apparently a stalk of celery really does mean the bunch, but in recipes a stalk really does mean a rib. I ended up using 3 ribs, and after I had added them to the pot, Lindsey returned my call and told me she normally uses 3 also. Whew!
– I used a 30 oz. can of uncrushed tomatoes, since that was the size of my can, and after only adding half, I thought it could use a little more liquid.
– My favorite type of chocolate is Lake Champlain’s Dark Spicy Aztec, which by the way I’m indulging in right this second, and I think would have been lovely in the soup. Due to already adding a jalapeno, I decided against it (too much spice means my husband won’t enjoy it). However, I urge you lovely readers to consider using it if you love the spice (or just buying it to enjoy). I buy it at Whole Foods or other health food stores.
Serving Size: 1 (207 g)
Servings Per Recipe: 8
- Calories 198.2
- Calories from Fat 64
- Total Fat 7.1 g
- Saturated Fat 2.3 g
- Monounsaturated Fat 3.5 g
- Polyunsaturated Fat 0.8 g
- Trans Fat 0.0 g
- Cholesterol 0.0 mg
- Sodium 401.5 mg
- Potassium 594.4 mg
- Magnesium 88.6 mg
- Total Carbohydrate 28.8 g
- Dietary Fiber 9.7 g
- Protein 8.8%
- Eat well