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Categories: Healthy eating, Main courses, Vegetarian

Three-bean and hominy chili

Three-bean and hominy chili
Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times

It's been called both a "bowl of blessedness" and the "soup of the Devil," and it's the stuff of legend. Frank and Jesse James reputedly downed a few bowls before pulling some of their heists -- and supposedly spared one ... Read more

Total time: About 2 hours | Makes 20 to 24 (1-cup) servings
Note: The chili is best made 1 day ahead to allow the flavors time to marry. Achiote paste is available at Latin markets.
  • 3 poblano chiles
  • 3 jalapeno chiles
  • 1 to 2 dried New Mexico chiles, stemmed, seeded and ground (grind using a coffee grinder, or substitute 1 heaping tablespoon New Mexico chile powder), more as desired
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin, divided, more as desired
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon ground oregano, divided, more as desired
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander, more as desired
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 3 large onions, diced and divided
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons achiote paste (or ground annato seeds), or as desired
  • 2 (28-ounce) cans diced tomatoes, divided
  • Salt
  • 3 (15-ounce) cans hominy, drained and rinsed
  • 6 cups vegetable broth, divided, more as desired
  • 2 teaspoons smoked Spanish paprika, or as desired
  • 1 teaspoon celery salt, or as desired
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • Tabasco, or vinegar-based hot sauce

Step 1Roast the fresh chiles: Place the poblanos and jalapenos on a rack set over a gas stove-top burner and heated over high heat. Roast until the skin on all sides of each pepper is charred, turning frequently, about 5 minutes. (If you have an electric or ceramic stove top, roast the chiles in the oven using the broiler setting until charred on all sides.) Wrap each pepper in plastic wrap and set aside until the peppers are cool enough to handle, then peel the skin (the skin should stick to the plastic wrap). Rub the plastic wrap against the skin to loosen and remove it; do not rinse the peppers to remove the skin, as rinsing will remove flavor. Stem and seed each pepper, then dice the peppers into one-fourth inch pieces.

Step 2In a large heavy-bottom pot (preferably earthenware or cast iron) heated over medium-high heat, toast the ground New Mexico chile powder, 2 tablespoons cumin, 1 tablespoon oregano and the coriander until fragrant, stirring constantly, 30 seconds to 1 minute.

Step 3Stir in the oil along with the diced onions. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and the achiote paste (be sure to mash the paste until thoroughly incorporated and there are no lumps). Stir in 1 can diced tomatoes (with liquid), and season with 2 teaspoons salt. Bring the mixture to a simmer, stirring to scrape any flavorings from the bottom of the pan.

Step 4Stir in the hominy and 4 cups broth, then stir in the diced poblanos and jalapenos. Bring the mixture to a gentle simmer and cook, uncovered, until the hominy is tender but still slightly chewy, about 30 minutes. Stir occasionally, adding broth if needed (the mixture will thicken as it simmers and the hominy cooks).

Step 5Stir in the paprika and celery salt, as well as the remaining cumin and oregano. Stir in the remaining diced tomatoes (with liquid) and vegetable broth, as well as the black, pinto and kidney beans. Taste and adjust the seasoning and flavorings as desired. Continue to gently simmer, uncovered, until the beans warm and the flavors marry, about 20 minutes.

Step 6Remove from heat, and thin if desired with additional broth. Taste and adjust the seasoning, acidity and heat with a little Tabasco, cider vinegar, or both. The chili is best made 1 day ahead to allow the flavors time to marry.

Each of 24 servings:
165 calories; 7 grams protein; 29 grams carbohydrates; 7 grams fiber; 4 grams fat; 0 grams saturated fat; 0 mg. cholesterol; 3 grams sugar; 1,470 mg. sodium.
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