If you haven't realized by now, I love the spicy and deep flavors of the southwest! So my recipe for Chili Fries with Smoky Black Bean Chili Sauce by just wanting something different was born.
This recipe is very inexpensive to make and I give you several options for adapting it to use in other meals. The sauce is also delicious adding grilled chicken and rice topped with grated Cotija cheese or as a dip, with roasted tortilla chips or lightly fried flour or corn tortillas. It freezes extremely well in sealed containers and is great reheated for a quick fix on busy days.
This recipe is made from scratch! Using dried black beans and the quick soak method and adding smoky chipotle chili peppers with adobo sauce, tomatoes and fresh cilantro which adds a deep flavor here. You could substitute canned black beans, adding them in later in the recipe, but I have to say they fall apart dramatically and the texture would not be the same. So I insist you use the former in this recipe for best results.
Besides, the beans in the can will cost you three times more than the bag of dried beans I used here. With minimal hands-on preparation, this means you have time to do other things while this sauce cooks itself - like the laundry that's piling up. Put this together and let it do its thing - with a little occasional stirring!
This recipe makes approximately 3 quarts of black bean sauce. It can be used as a substitute for refried beans or as a great party dip.
2 1/2 cups dried black beans
16 cups water
1/4 cup olive oil
1 large yellow onion, diced
4 cloves fresh chopped garlic
2 large chipotle chili peppers, chopped
4 tbps. adobo sauce from the can
1/2 cup tomato paste
1 16 oz. can diced/chopped tomatoes with sauce (with juice)
24 oz. chicken stock/broth
1 large bunch of fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
Kosher salt to taste
Crispy frozen french fries or your favorite
Mexican Cotija cheese, available in most markets, grated
1. Place the beans and water in a large pot and bring it to a rapid boil. Cook for 2 minutes and then remove from the heat and cover with a lid or foil for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Drain and rinse with cold water in a colander.
2. In the same pot, heat the olive oil over a medium heat and add the onions. Cook for 3 minutes and then add the garlic cooking for 2 minutes more. Then, add the chipotle chili peppers, adobo sauce and tomato paste. Stir to combine well cooking for 3 minutes more to combine the flavors.
3. Next, add the tomatoes and juice from the can and the chicken broth. Bring to a slight boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer cooking uncovered for approximately 1 hour or more, stirring occasionally. The sauce will cook down and become thicker as it reduces. If the sauce seems way too thick, you may add one half of a cup of water at a time to thin it out, just until the beans are cooked (they should have a little bite to them.) So taste them often.
4. Lastly, when the bean sauce is cooked, remove it from the heat before the next step. Take a handheld blender and puree some of the beans in the sauce pot. This will thicken the sauce more - so however you wish to use this recipe is up to how much you blend. For instance, blending more beans will create more of a dip, whereas blending a little will give you a saucier texture to eat over rice etc. If you dont have a handheld blender, a regular potato masher will work just fine.
Lastly, taste the sauce and season it with salt and pepper if necessary - and one last note: - In this sauce I only added one can of tomatoes with its juice, however, if you wish more of a tomato taste you can add more to your liking.
Serve the sauce over french fries, topped with Cotija cheese (similar to Feta only not as salty - it's delicious.) Please use cheddar, pepper jack or any other that you wish!
Always taste your recipes before serving them and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper, it makes a big difference. This is an easy, inexpensive sauce with tons of delicious dinner options - give it a shot!