Posts tagged “spicy

Black Bean Pot Roast Chili in Molé Sauce

I’ve been looking for a different chili recipe for quite a while now. While I do have my go-to, which is a ground-meat version, although very good, I wanted something with a little more soul. I came across this recipe from The Washington Post. I loved the way it looked and all of the ingredients made it sound wonderful. Well, the anchovies did not but I do know they impart a nice undertone to food and add saltiness so I put aside my fright and bought a little can. By the way, my dog LOVES anchovies. Needless to say, this is not my recipe in any way, shape or form but it is delicious as well as beautiful and would like to share it with you.

I call this a molé sauce because it has the dry chile and cocoa which are two ingredients in molé. One thing I changed up is, I used dry savory instead of oregano. One, because I don’t like oregano and, two, I didn’t have any oregano. I do, however, have a huge bag of savory that my husband got for our Christmas filet roast and I try to find any reason to use it. But, use whatever you like, I don’t think it makes a difference in the end. I also wasn’t sure what espresso powder was and since I had a bag, or brick, of ground espresso from our trip to Italy, I used that. I assume it’s the same thing. Again, it made no difference that I could tell.

I was able to purchase most of the ingredients in the supermarket but I had to go on  a little search for the dry ancho chile but, luckily, we have a wonderful Mexican grocery in town and they had bins and bins of dried chile in many varieties. Next time I think I will buy all of my Mexican products there.


After happily leaving the grocery and hitting the liquor store for a lovely bottle of Sangiovese, which has nothing to do with this post, I headed home to get started. I wanted to make it a day ahead so the flavors had a good 24 hours to meld. This recipe does take time but is totally worth it.


Yield: Makes about 13 cups



  • 2 tablespoons chili powder

  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

  • 2 tablespoons smoked Spanish paprika

  • 1 tablespoon espresso powder

  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder

  • 2 tablespoons dried minced onion

  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano or savory

  • 2 teaspoons salt



  • 6 dried ancho peppers (4 ounces total)

  • 2 chipotle peppers in adobo, such as La Morena brand

  • 6 cloves garlic

  • 4 oil-packed anchovy fillets

  • 3 cups low-sodium beef broth, heated, plus 5 cups broth at room temperature


  • 3-pound chuck roast, trimmed of excess fat and patted dry with paper towels

  • Salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • 2 tablespoons canola oil

  • 2 large yellow onions, chopped (4 cups)

  • 6 ounces canned tomato paste

  • 4 ounces canned green chili pepper, such as Hatch brand

  • 1 large bay leaf

  • 1 small bunch thyme, tied together with kitchen twine

  • Two 15-ounce cans no-salt-added black beans, drained and rinsed

  • 8 tablespoons Salvadoran crema or sour cream, for garnish

  • 1/2 cup grated pepper jack or extra-sharp cheddar cheese, for garnish

  • 4 whole scallions, trimmed and chopped, for garnish

  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro, for garnish


For the spice mix: Combine the chili powder, cocoa powder, smoked paprika, espresso powder, garlic powder, minced onion, crushed red pepper flakes, cumin, oregano and salt in a medium bowl.


For the chili puree: Heat the ancho peppers in a heavy-bottomed Dutch oven over medium high-heat, turning them often, until they soften, puff up and char and blister slightly, about 2 minutes. Note: This part worried me a bit because they were immediately hardening  upon transferring them to the plate, but the hot broth in  a next steps took care of that.


Transfer the peppers to a plate to cool.


When they are cool enough to handle, remove and discard the stems and seeds and transfer the peppers to a blender along with the chipotle peppers, garlic, anchovies and 3 cups of hot beef broth. Remove the center knob from the blender lid and hold a clean kitchen towel over the opening to contain any splash-ups. Puree for 1 minute, until the mixture is smooth.



For the chili: Preheat the oven to 225 degrees. Season the roast generously on both sides with salt and pepper.


Heat the oil in the Dutch oven over medium-high heat. When the oil shimmers, add the roast to the Dutch oven and let it cook undisturbed for 5 to 7 minutes, until it is well browned. Turn the roast over and brown for 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer the roast to a plate or a slow cooker.

Add the onion, spice mix and tomato paste to the Dutch oven. Scrape up the browned bits from the bottom, stirring for 2 to 3 minutes to allow the spices to bloom.

Stir in the chili puree, the remaining 5 cups of beef broth and the green chilies.


Submerge the roast in the liquid and add any juices from the plate. Add the bay leaf and thyme. Cover, transfer to the oven and cook for 4 1/2 hours, until the meat is very tender, occasionally skimming off any fat that floats to the top.


Transfer the meat to a cutting board and let it rest for 10 minutes. Use two forks to shred the meat into bite-size chunks. Return the meat to the Dutch oven with the cooking liquid, add the beans and cook, covered, for 20 minutes.


To serve, discard the bay leaf and thyme bundle. Garnish each portion of chili with crema, grated cheese, scallions and cilantro.


NOTE: To make this in a slow-cooker, place the roast in the slow-cooker after browning it. After cooking the onion, spices and tomato paste and adding the chili puree, broth and green chilies, stir to combine and pour over the meat in the slow-cooker. Add the bay leaf and thyme, cover the slow-cooker and cook on HIGH for 4 1/2 hours. Shred the meat as directed, return it to the slow-cooker with the beans and cook for 20 minutes.


Mare’s Kill Devil Hills Bloody Mary

You know that show The Best Thing I Ever Ate on Food Network?  Well, this is the best thing I ever drank. Or close enough to it, from what I remember.

Every year, or almost every year, we rent a huge beach house with about 25 family members and just relax on the beach, eat, drink and have fun.

One year, we stayed in Kill Devil Hills.  Some of the gals and I went to do some shopping and on the way home we stopped at this crab joint for something to drink. The bartender made us the best damn Bloody Mary we’ve ever had.  I remember watching her assemble it and the one thing that stuck out was her use of Old Bay in the drink and on the rim.

So, I messed around, gathered up some recipes from here and there and came up with my version.

Now most of these ingredients are to taste, so you can omit any if you don’t like them or play around until you get the right taste for you.  We’re all different.

  • 2 shots of good-quality vodka
  • 2-3 dashes of Tabasco
  • 4 – 6 dashes of Worcestershire
  • 1 tsp. Old Bay
  • dash of pepper
  • dash of sea salt
  • slice of lemon or lime
  • small can of tomato or V-8 Juice
  • sea salt mixed with Old Bay for rimming

Get a tall glass and fill it up with lots of ice. The colder, the better, for a Bloody Mary.

Add vodka, Tabasco, Worcestershire, Old Bay, pepper and salt.  Fill remainder of glass with tomato juice.

Pour entire contents into a shaker and shake vigorously. Rinse out your glass then rub the rim of glass with lime or lemon and dip into the sea salt that you spiked with a little Old Bay for an extra kick and a pretty presentation.

Pour entire contents of shaker back into the glass.  Add a stalk of celery or olives or jalapeno peppers. Whatever you want.  Or nothing at all.


Baby Back Ribs with Tennessee Dry Rub

This is, by far, the best dry rub I’ve tried.  I, well actually, my husband, found it in the Philadelphia Daily News years ago.  I’ve been making and using it ever since.  We put it on baby back ribs. Ask anyone who has eaten here when Tom barbecues, they are the best.  Of course, barbecue technique is  a big player in the end result, but the rub is a good place to start.

  • 2 Tbsp. each of brown sugar, black pepper and paprika
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. each of white pepper, crushed hot red pepper and coarse salt
  • 1 Tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder

Mix all together and it can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container.

This is enough for 2 to 3 pounds racks of ribs.  Rub ribs vigorously with mixture, then wrap each rack in THREE layers of heavy-duty aluminum foil.  Refrigerate overnight.

When ready to cook, remove from refrigerator and bring to room temperature.

Heat grill.  Keep one section on high, set the middle on low and the last turned off.  This is if you have three burners. A lot of this is trial and error, but this is what works best for me.

Place racks on the side of the grill without the heat. Cook, undisturbed for one hour. The grill’s temperature should be about 350 degrees. Turn over after one hour. Cook an additional one hour on the other side.   Remove from heat and carefully remove foil and cook an additional 20-30 minutes to crisp, turning once or twice. You will want to put the ribs on the side near the heat to do this and you will want to lower the heat to medium so they do not burn.