Anasazi Cave Beans with Poblanos and Okra Rice

Today is clean out the freezer day! Going into April, I want to use up all the odds and ends of last year’s harvest before this year’s veggies start coming in, as well as making sure that nothing from the back of the freezer languishes forgotten.

Lo and Behold, what do I find in the frozen depths but a couple of bratwurst sausage patties, a few bags of poblanos, a bag of okra, and a rotisserie chicken carcass. Time to match that up with some beans, also from last year’s harvest.

I used 1500 Year Old Cave Beans (aka Anasazi Beans), but this is also delicious with red beans, for a variation on Red Beans and Rice.

I started by putting the chicken carcass in a stockpot full of water and let it simmer for a few hours to make the chicken broth while the beans soaked. This will also be used for making jambalaya, so plenty of broth is good.


Black Bean Soup with Andouille Sausage

Nailed it. Nuking it with spices was the key. I used a Black Hungarian pepper because that’s what I grew this year, feel free to substitute a mild chili pepper of your choice. For my Cleveland friends: Penzeys Spices has a location in the old Bank Building in Ohio City, across from the West Side Market.

1 15 oz can of black beans, drained or 1 lb of cooked black beans.
2 links chicken andouille or chicken Cajun style sausage, sliced into 1/4 inch rounds.
1/2 cup of broth, plus about 1 cup additional broth as needed
1/2 cup (approx) jarred tomato sauce.
1 medium onion, chopped
1 cup chopped red and yellow bell pepper
1/2 cup corn
4 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder (I use the Chili 3000 from Penzeys Spices
1/2 tsp thyme
1 1/2 tsp oregano
1 black Hungarian pepper, finely chopped (or one mild chili pepper)
1 tsp red pepper flakes
2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp black pepper
2 tbsp white cornmeal plus additional cornmeal as desired.

Saute onions, garlic, peppers, and corn in 1/2 cup broth until onion is translucent.
Add seasonings.
Add black beans, cornmeal and tomato sauce. Add additional broth as desired to achieve “soup” consistency.
Bring to boil then lower to simmer. cook for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Mash some of the beans against the side of the pot and add additional cornmeal to thicken the soup.

Serve with a nice crusty bread.