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Sunday, November 1, 2009

black bean pureee

Mexican cusine is exceptional! Brilliant, complex combinations of fresh and dried vegetables and spices make this bean puree a culinary treasure. You can use this simply by itself as a dip for some blue corn chips or you can use this in enchiladas, tacos, burritos, chimichangas, empanadas or any other Latin flavored dish that calls for black beans. Play around with the recipe using different combinations of dried and fresh chilis and spices. If you can get the herb epazote, use it sparingly in place of, or perhaps in addition to cilantro.

I remember when i became vegetarian someone once told me, "with no meat, beans will have no flavor". Unfortunately, many people prepare beans in ways that make this absurd statement become true. However, it is very easy to produce bean soups, stews and purees that explode with flavor. A simple approach is all that is necessary: use very fresh, in season vegetables, and then add very high quality spices and dried chilis, fresh herbs and oils.

1 cup dried black beans, soaked overnight
1 onion, choped
1 carrot, chopped
1 red or yellow bell pepper or gypsy pepper, seeded, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded, chopped
1 chipotle, reconstitued, chopped
1 dried guajillo pepper, reconstitued, seeded, chopped
1 serrano pepper, seeded, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced

1 1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp sweet paprika
1 tsp ancho chili powder
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp cumin
3 tbsp olive oil

juice of 2 lemons
2 tbsp chopped cilantro

Soak beans overnight and then change the water and place in saucepan and simmer for 45 minutes or till soft.

In frying pan, heat up olive oil, add salt and onion and over medium heat, sautee for 2 minutes. Add the rest of vegetables and spices and continute to sautee. Add 1/2 cup of the bean cooking water, to keep the spices from sticking. Make a thick paste. You may need to add a bit more of the bean cooking water. Cover, cook 5 minutes, till vegetables are soft.

Drain the beans, discard the water or use in your garden. Place the drained beans and the cooked vegetable/spice mixture in a food processor. Add lemon juice and cilantro and process till very smooth.


  1. Yum! Those sound great. Gracias Madre just opened in SF - we should go!

  2. i have an allergy to the landmark cult :)

  3. i'm pretty sure you don't have to be a member to eat there, silly, but fine, i'll go with someone else. if it's any good, i'll drag you there later. :)