Mystery House



Black Bean Chili

This one will put a hurt on you.  Don’t show up all flustered and overcome by chili vapors the day after you try this recipe, acting like I didn’t warn you how good it was going to be.

Chili is a big thing at the Mystery House.  As far as
we’re concerned, no amount of chili is too much chili.  We could eat it
every week, possibly every day.  All kinds.  Beef, pork, turkey, lamb,
venison…bean.  I was in the mood to make chili and wanted to try
something different when I remembered that The Cafe Brenda Cookbook,
by Brenda Langton & Margaret Stuart, was sitting right there on the
shelf, and lurking within it was her recipe for black bean chili.  I’d
made a couple of other things out of the book and been quite happy with
them. (The soba noodle salad is a favorite.)  Why hadn’t I ever tried
the chili?

Cafe Brenda has been in business for twenty years.  It’s an elegant gourmet vegetarian and seafood restaurant (although I notice she currently has lamb and chicken on the menu) in downtown Minneapolis which is so good it’s popular with eat-everything-atarians.  It’s been ages since I’ve been there, but I still remember how good the black bean chili was.

This is a vegetarian chili, but don’t let that fool you.  Don’t let the fact that the recipe is easy and healthy fool you, either.  The flavor is so complex and rich, you’ll be grateful there are leftovers.  I recommend making it a day ahead of time and letting it rest overnight so the flavors can really get friendly with each other.  Then taste and adjust the seasonings (including the lemon!) right before you serve it.  A couple of the ingredients may sound odd; throw them in anyway.  They have important parts to play.
Ms. Langton sprinkles roasted, spiced pumpkin seeds on
top of this chili, the ingredients for which are included with the
recipe.  I forgot to make them.  Nobody noticed.


Oh, and those Cheese & Scallion Biscuits on the side of the plate?  Call 911 ahead of time and have the ambulance waiting outside.  You’re going to eat far too many of them.  They’re a perfect excuse to try the chili recipe, if I haven’t already convinced you it needs trying.

[Note:  I have the 1992 edition of the book.  Since the new one is an anniversary edition, I’m assuming it contains the same recipes. Happily, you can find the recipe right here.]

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Comments

  1. * Olga says:

    Ahh, your killin me with all the great suggestions for food! And I think your little alien plant looks like a puffer fish!Let’s
    call him ‘Spikey’

    Posted 10 years, 1 month ago
  2. * Olga says:

    Ahh, your killin me with all the great suggestions for food! And I think your little alien plant looks like a puffer fish!Let’s
    call him ‘Spikey’

    Posted 10 years, 1 month ago
  3. * ragan says:

    OMG…that looks soooooo good!!!!!

    Posted 10 years, 1 month ago
  4. * Deb says:

    WATCH OUT – there’s a bear stalking your chili!!! OK – if it wasn’t like a million degrees out, I’d probably want that chili. Maybe in a few weeks when it gets cooler.

    Posted 10 years, 1 month ago
  5. * Deb says:

    WATCH OUT – there’s a bear stalking your chili!!! OK – if it wasn’t like a million degrees out, I’d probably want that chili. Maybe in a few weeks when it gets cooler.

    Posted 10 years, 1 month ago
  6. * Jeanne says:

    Damn…when’s lunch?

    Posted 10 years, 1 month ago
  7. * Chris says:

    Hee – for the first millisecond when the post came up, I thought you had a black kitty creeping up to your bowl…

    Posted 10 years, 1 month ago
  8. * Chris says:

    Hee – for the first millisecond when the post came up, I thought you had a black kitty creeping up to your bowl…

    Posted 10 years, 1 month ago
  9. * Lisa says:

    Mmm-mmm — we’re chili fans over here, and I’ll definitely be trying that one. But I’m pretty sure I WILL have a little black kitty creeping up on my bowl…

    Posted 10 years, 1 month ago
  10. * Connie says:

    That does look delicious – when cooler weather comes I believe I will make it and put it in smaller containers in the freezer.

    Posted 10 years, 1 month ago


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