Spiked Chorizo and Black Bean Chilli with Chipotle, Roasted Garlic and Plantain

Eat Well Edibles Recipe

Cooked low and slow, this spicy twist on classic bean and meat chilli — with a shot of bourbon for good measure — is guaranteed to satisfy even the heartiest of eaters on the coldest of days. A perfect stick-with-you meal that fills your home and your belly with delicious warmth.

The recipe I’m sharing today features sweet roasted garlic, zucchini and summer squash, plantain, smoky chipotles in adobo, banana peppers and, for depth, two types of tomatoes — fire-roasted and sun-dried. To suit your taste and availability, you can vary these with in-season winter squash, dark leafy greens and sprouts, or root veg like parsnips, rutabaga, sweet potato and beets. Dried oregano, nutmeg and cinnamon add to the complex layering of classic Mexican flavors, and a scattering of fresh cilantro leaves cool and refresh as the finishing touch.

We used lean pork ground at home and seasoned in the style of chorizo, but you can use meat from fresh chorizo sausages purchased from a butcher. To make it vegetarian, omit the chorizo and stick with the black beans (canned or home-cooked from dry), or pump up the protein with additional beans, cooked lentils, or pan-seared tempeh or tofu crumbles.

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Plantain Tortillas

Eat Well

We lived a hop, skip and a jump from the Texas-Mexico border on and off for several years, absorbing the super-heated sun’s rays, the colorful surroundings, the local culture and cuisine — the extraordinary tortillas, in particular. Whether at a sit-down restaurant or a run-down truck in the long-closed tire shop parking lot, they were as close to perfection as you could find without traveling further south. Tender and pliable, yet sturdy enough to withstand soupier fillings. Not too thick, not too thin. Always warm and fresher than fresh, pressed only minutes before landing in front of us.

As soon as possible I learned the time-tested methods for both corn and flour, purchased the requisite ingredients and tools, and haven’t looked back since. The origin story of a tortilla snob, perhaps, but nothing compares to handmade.

A recent addition to our routine line-up: plantain tortillas. Yes, they’re unconventional, but they’re also worthy of your experimentation. And if you’re new to plantains, this recipe is a good starter. Made from a handful of basic ingredients, these tortillas are surprisingly simple with flavor and good looks that speak for themselves.

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Have You Met… Plantains

Eat Well Have You Met...

This post is part of the series Have you met… meant to spotlight ingredients, providing nutritional background, a little culinary inspiration, and perhaps encourage you to take an adventure into new markets and cuisines.

Have you met… plantains?

Plantains, known as platanos in Spanish, are often misunderstood in this part of the world. Though they belong to the same genus as bananas, Musa, they are not gigantic versions of our common lunchbox fruit. In fact, plantains are an entirely separate species. When their powers are combined, these look-alikes comprise the world’s largest fruit crop!

Cultivation and consumption of plantains have occurred throughout Southeast Asia, Central and South America, the Caribbean, and Africa for many centuries. These starchier cousins to the banana are often considered a staple food, both for their great taste and flexibility in a wide range of simple methods, and as a concentrated source of calories and quick energy if food becomes scarce.

To this day plantains are grown in these regions, as well as some of the warmer parts of the United States, like southern Florida. The current leader in plantain production? The tiny east-central African nation, Uganda.

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