Friday, August 27, 2004

Recipe Time

In the midst of moving, I forgot to post a Friday recipe last week, but my Friday recipe sharing is back. The following recipe is my favorite chili, although by many people's standards it doesn't qualify, because it is meatless. I've made plenty of chili con carne both with hunks of steak and ground beef and although I will do almost anything for some good red meat, I happen to like this chili better anyway. The recipe came from a cookbook called Quick and Light and has received just a shade of revision over time.

Black Bean Chili
serves 4

1 cup long-grain rice (I especially like basmati)
¾ teaspoon salt -- divided
2 teaspoons olive oil
4 green onions, sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 pickled jalapeño pepper, finely chopped
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 zucchini, quartered lengthwise and cut into ½-inch pieces
14½-ounce can stewed tomatoes (diced tomatoes work just fine too)
2 19-ounce cans black beans, rinsed and drained
5½-ounce can spicy tomato-vegetable juice
⅓ cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 teaspoon chili powder

In a medium saucepan, bring 2¼ cups of chicken broth or water to a boil. Add the rice and ¼ teaspoon of the salt. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook until the rice is tender, about 17 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, heat the oil until hot but not smoking over a medium heat. Add green onions, garlic and jalapeno and cook, stirring occasionally, until green onions are softened -- about 4 minutes. Add the bell pepper and zucchini and cook until slightly tender -- about 5 minutes.

Stir in the stewed tomatoes, beans, tomato-vegetable juice, cilantro, lime juice, chili powder, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the chili is slightly thickened and the flavors have blended, about 7 minutes. Divide the rice among bowls, top with chili, and serve.

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