Slow cookers go in and out of fashion. Currently, they seem to be more popular than ever, with new cookbooks dedicated solely to this method of cooking.
A number of you have requested recipes to use with you brand new slow cooker that you found under your Christmas tree! Always aiming to please, here is a favorite around the OUAP kitchen — Black Bean Chili!
While this particular chili takes between eight and nine hours to make, you can make it faster (five to six hours) by using canned black beans and preground spices. Either way, this is a very hearty chili! Add a tossed salad and some crusty bread and there you have it. . . a complete and balanced meal!
|Black Bean Chili with Cornbread Crust – Slow Cooker Style!||
- 1 pound (2 cups) dried black beans
- 6 cups water
- 6 allspice berries
- 1 stick of cinnamon, 4 inches long
- 1 teaspoon cumin seed
- 1 teaspoon coriander seed
- 1/4 teaspoon anise seed
- 1 can (28 ounces) tomatoes
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 1/4 cup diced red bell pepper
- 1/4 cup diced green bell pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
- 1 to 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
- Cornbread Crust:
- 1 cup cornmeal
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1-1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1/4 cup thinly sliced scallions
- 1/2 cup sliced black olives
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- Sort through beans, removing any stones or bad looking beans. Place in a colander. Rinse well under cold running water.
- Place beans in the slow cooker.
- Add the water to the beans.
- In a spice mill or a mortar and pestle, grind the allspice berries, cinnamon, cumin, coriander, and anise.
- Add all the ground spices, onion, garlic, peppers, oregano, tomatoes, chili powder and cocoa powder to the beans and mix well.
- Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours, until the beans are tender then turn the slow cooker on to high.
- To make the cornbread crust: In a food processor, pulse the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt until thoroughly mixed.
- Add the eggs, vegetable oil and buttermilk and pulse until the liquid ingredients are thoroughly mixed in with the dry ingredients.
- Spread the cornbread mixture over the top of the chili or drop large spoonfuls around the surface of the chili.
- Continue cooking on high with the lid slightly ajar, for one hour longer, or until a toothpick inserted into the crust comes out clean.
- Ladle the chili into bowls.
- Top each bowl with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkling of scallions, cilantro, and olives.