Monday, March 16, 2009

Great Northern Chipotle Beans

This recipe was inspired from 101cookbooks.com and the particular recipe I put in here earlier. Click here for the original. But below is my version...

Giant Chipotle White Beans
1 pound of large, dried white beans (I used Great Northern, but you could use any great white bean you can find), rinsed, picked over and soaked overnight - or up to 24 hours. (I soaked mine for 6 hours per package instructions

Chipotle-tomato sauce:
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 big pinches of red pepper flakes
2 pinches of salt
1 large clove garlic, chopped
1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes (original called for crushed)
1 tablespoon fresh oregano leaves (I forgot to use this)
1 1/2 tablespoons adobo sauce from a can of chipotle peppers (I used 1 TBL)

Cilantro Pesto:
1 medium clove of garlic
1/3 cup fresh cilantro
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil (I didn't use this much)
big pinch of salt

1 cup kale or chard, washed, de-stemmed, and very finely chopped (I also added some chopped cilantro)
1/4 cup of reduced fat feta cheese - you could use full fat... original called for 1 cup of feta or queso fresco

For the beans:
Drain and rinse the beans after you have allowed them to soak. Place them in a large saucepan and cover with an inch or two of water. Bring to a boil and simmer until the beans are cooked through and just tender. This can take an hour to 2 hours or more... mine took a little under an hour so watch them as you don't want to over cook. I didn't do this next step, but you could if you want to... remove from heat, salt the beans (still in bean broth) with about a tablespoon of salt - enough that the bean liquid is tasty but on the salty side. Let the beans sit like this for ten minutes or so before draining and setting the beans aside.

Towards the end of the beans cooking, make your tomato sauce. Place the 2 tablespoons olive oil, red pepper flakes, couple pinches of salt, and chopped garlic into a cold medium saucepan. Stir the mixture while you heat the saucepan over medium-high heat. Saute about 45 seconds or until everything becomes fragrant - don't brown the garlic. Stir in the tomatoes and the fresh oregano(if you have it) and bring to a gentle simmer, should take a couple minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the adobo sauce - taste test here to ensure sauce doesn't need more salt or adobo sauce... add now if it does (and don't burn your tongue)!!!

Make the cilantro pesto by combining the clove of garlic and cilantro in a food processor. Pulse while you drizzle in the olive oil. You could also do this by hand. Season with a bit of salt and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 425F degrees. In a 9x13 baking pan (or large oven-proof casserole/dutch oven) toss the beans with the tomato sauce and the kale, and the cheese. Bake in the top-third of the oven for about forty minutes. Watch for the cheese to brown and any of the beans to get a bit crusty. Remove from oven and let sit for about ten minutes. Drizzle with the cilantro pesto just prior to serving(I used maybe 1/2 tsp and it was good).

Serves about 6.

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