Saturday, October 31, 2009

Halloween Happiness

It's Saturday, October 31 --- Halloween! Happy Halloween!!

I made Halloween Chili (aka Sweet Black Bean Chili) and Sweet Potato Spelt Biscuits for dinner. A black bean chili that looks blood red with orange sweet potatoes and squash peeking through, paired with quick and easy biscuits. I've been dreaming about making this chili all week.

I'm also entering (is this the right word) it in my first Blog Event, My Legume Love Affair, an event created by Susan at The Well-Seasoned Cook and hosted this month by Cook sister!.

Sweet Black Bean Chili
1 1/2 cups dried organic black turtle beans, picked through and soaked for one day
5 1/4 cups water
2 bay leaves
1 tsp ground cumin + shakes
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon + shakes
1/4 tsp Mexican chili powder
28 oz crushed organic tomatoes
2 sweet potatoes or yams
1 small orange squash
2 T olive oil
1 small yellow onion

What To Do
Pick through and soak the black beans at least the night before (if not more). Change the water once or twice. Drain, then place in large LeCrueset with 5 1/4 cups of water and two bay leaves. Cook for 1 to 1 1/2 hours. To see if your beans are finished, you can take one out and blow on it. If the skin comes off, the beans are done. You can also taste them! My beans, fresh from the Cayuga Pure Organics farm stand at my farmers' market, took a little more than an hour to cook. When they are cooked, remove one cup of beans and set aside for another recipe. Keep the remaining water.
While the beans are cooking, peel sweet potatoes, then chop them into 1 inch or 1/2 inch pieces. Peel the squash, cut it in half, scoop out the insides, and then chop into 1 inch or 1/2 inch pieces.
The beans are done and you've removed the cup of cooked beans. Add the sweet potato and squash, the spices, and the crushed tomato. Stir well to combine, then cover with tipped lid and cook on medium-low heat.
Chop the onion. Heat up a saute pan over medium-low heat, then add the olive oil. When warm, add the onion and sprinkle on the ground cinnamon and ground cumin (as much or as little as you like). Saute for approximately five to seven minutes, until the onion is soft and fragrant. Add the onion to the large pot. Stir to combine and continue cooking with the cover tipped. Total cook time should be approximately one hour to allow all the flavors to combine.

Sweet Potato Spelt Biscuits
1 cup freshly milled spelt flour (bought this morning at the farmers' market!)
1/2 cup organic whole wheat flour (King Arthur's)
3 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp sea salt
4 T organic vegetable shortening
1 medium sweet potato
1/4 cup vanilla (unsweetened) almond milk

What To Do
Scrub the sweet potato and cut off any bad parts. Cook it. I cooked mine in the microwave by piercing it many times and cooking it for five minutes at 5 power, then flipping it over to cook for another six minutes at 5 power. Mash it when it is finished cooking and eat the skins.
Mix the flours, baking powder, and sea salt.
Cut in the vegetable shortening until the flour mixture looks like coarse meal.
Mix in the mashed sweet potato and the almond milk with your hands.
Make 12-14 rounds for the biscuits and place on a cookie sheet.
Preheat over to 410, and then bake biscuits for 20 minutes.


We (D, J, and I) had this for dinner. It was enough for us all and for D (several bowls) to not claim severe hunger later. Slightly sweet, but not overly so, and delicately spiced. Definitely something to make again.

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