Sunday, January 23, 2011

Mexican Stew with Cilantro Dumplings

Spicy black bean stew rich with red and green bell peppers, jalapenos, carrots and onions, slow simmered in tomato broth and spices. Cilantro masa dumplings cooked in the stew until dense and flavorful.

Mexican Stew
2 tbl extra virgin olive oil
1 spanish onion, small dice
1 carrot, small dice
1 celery stalk, small dice
2 jalapenos, one or both seeded, small dice
1 green bell pepper, medium dice
1 red bell pepper, medium dice
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 bay leaves
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp salt
2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup white wine
2 cups vegetable stock
1-15oz can diced tomatoes
1-15oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels
3 tbl fresh chopped cilantro
1 avocado, cubed

In a large soup pot, sauce the onions, carrots, celery and jalapeno in oil until the carrots just start to soften, 7 minutes. Add the bell peppers and garlic and saute 7 minutes more. Add all of the spices and toss to coat, toasting for 3 more minutes. Add the flour and stir to combine, stir for 2 minutes. Deglaze the bottom of the pan with the wine, scraping all the bits off the bottom. Add the stock, tomatoes, black beans and corn kernels and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes. Once the dumplings are ready, bring to a boil then submerge the dumplings in the stew. Boil, covered for 12-15 minutes. Taste a bit of a dumpling to check for doneness. The size of the dumplings might determine a long cooking time. Garnish with cilantro and avocado.

Cilantro Dumplings
1 cup masa harina
2 tbl coconut oil, solid and in chunks
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 tbl cilantro, minced
2 tbl sauteed onion (or pull some out from the stew)
1/2-1 cup warm water

In a food processor combine all of the ingredients except the water. Pulse until the coconut oil is in small pea sizes. Add 1/2 cup of water and pulse into a stiff dough. Add more water if necessary. Toss out on the counter and lightly knead into one mound. Use a small ice cream scoop or a spoon and divide into small balls. Press down in the center of each ball slightly.
Once the stew is to a boil, add and submerge completely, cover and boil for 15 minutes. Taste test and cook a bit more if necessary depending on the size of your dumplings.

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