Monday, April 5, 2010

Fast and Flavorful - Cannellini Bean Chili

Cannellini Bean Chili

You will, of course, think that I am biased. You will think that I cannot possibly be objective about such praise because, after all, the cook is now a member of my family. Seriously, though: this is the best damned chili I've ever had, and I've had it twice now. Had I not volunteered to participate in Kristen's latest installment of Adopt a Blogger, I might never have been introduced to such an easy, novel, and vibrantly tasty recipe, nor the wonderful blogger whom I am mentoring. Cheri of Kitchen Simplicity hails from Canada, but finds herself living in Oslo, Norway, with her husband and young son. A very active member of the online food community, Cheri is a contributor to the recently launched Simple Bites, and the creator of Colorful Mondays, a bi-weekly, easy-to-participate-in food photo event. Between cooking up deliciously streamlined meals for her family, Cheri also posts her bright and appetizing photos on Flickr, as well as manages to say "hello" to a growing group of friends on Twitter. I am beyond impressed that she does all this while taking care of a little one. Young mothers need every moment, and I can only attribute Cheri's successful juggling of her enthusiastic lifestyle to her willingness to experiment in the kitchen with recipes that work without worries. I encourage crazy-busy bloggers and readers to stop by her blog for a lingering look. I'm sure you will find more than one delightful recipe to adopt as your very own.

Cannellini Bean Chili - Adapted from the Kitchen Simplicity recipe

Serves 4


1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
1 large dried red chile pepper
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried epazote
1/4 teaspoon. cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 large fresh Serrano chile pepper, sliced into coins (optionally remove seeds to temper the heat level)
4 -5 cups cannellini (white kidney) beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup vegetable broth, salted
1 cup sour cream
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds, toasted briefly in a dry skillet over low heat


In a large skillet, thin the oil briefly on low heat. Add onion and garlic, stirring to coat with oil. (Heating slowly ensures that the garlic will not brown too quickly.) Increase heat to medium-low and sauté until the onions are golden and translucent (about 6 minutes). Add all dry seasonings, stirring to combine. Allow them to sizzle briefly before adding beans, Serrano coins, and broth, again stirring to combine. Increase heat to medium to bring chili to a boil. (This will thicken the broth slightly with the bean starch.) Remove from heat and divide into four bowls, topping each with 1/4 cup sour cream. Scatter cumin seeds over sour cream. Serve immediately, stirring in sour cream to barely heat through, avoiding curdling. Cheri's original recipe also calls for 1/2 cup half and half, which I highly recommend if you are unaccustomed to very spicy dishes. It can be stirred into skillet right before serving. Serve with tortilla chips.
This recipe is also for my tardy submission to Superchef's hosting of My Legume Love Affair 21 which closed March 31. Superchef will have the round-up online very soon. Do stop by her lovely blog, Mirch Masala, for all the grand recipes and the announcement of the monthly random drawing winner.


  1. Oh yum, cannellini beans are so delicious!


  2. I feel the spiciness coming from the photo. Very inviting: cannellini beans are so good and versatile.

  3. Really lovely, Susan. I like this idea of using canned beans, which can be boring sometimes.

  4. Mmmm, this looks like just the thing for a chilly autumn evening... And since you describe it as the best damned chili you've ever had, I simply MUST try it. Thanks Susan.

  5. Mmmm, I don't think you're biased at all - I already want to gush about this recipe too, and I haven't even gotten to fix it yet! :-) I will very, very soon, though - cannellini beans are one of my favorite legumes!

  6. This looks GREAT. I'm so into thick chilis, so the fact that this appears to have no broth in the photo made my heart palpitate a bit.

  7. I am a sucker for white bean chilis, this one looks fantastic. Hello to Cheri and her lovely blog!

  8. The recipe does look very impressive Susan. Consider it bookmarked.

  9. Is that bowl for me Susan? :-) I could have it all.

  10. I would love this dish. Beautiful as always Susan!

  11. Cannellini Bean is my fav one. Your recipe looks simple and delicious. Nice click.

  12. This sounds like a delicious chili! YUM!

  13. And I do believe you, awesome dish x

  14. Very nice. This looks very healthy, tasty and sans meat. Great work

  15. Spicy foods and lovely presentation can really get someone's attention.

    Herbs and spices found in your spice racks are really important in making a good dish, these are the secrets of many successful chefs and restaurant owners.

  16. Looks like everything you have said in the opening para. Beautifully vibrant and healthy. I am going to stop by your new family member's blog.

  17. All those spices sound great, especially epazote!

  18. What a delicious and tasty looking dish! Love those beans!

  19. Thank you, Susan, for posting a chili recipe I don't have to vegetarian-ize =D. I even have most of these ingredients on hand except for the epazote (I had to look that up, haha). But there's a Mexican store like every other block in my area so I think I'll be able to find it.

  20. You two are just so awesome!! Beaming with pride about how great your adopt a blogger experience has been. Thanks so much for participating and for being such a great mentor :)

  21. I love chili made with cannellini beans. I love beans of any sort.....
    I would be one who needs to temper the heat.... But I'm getting better.

  22. Thank you, Rose! Great to hear from you!

    Simona - Thanks, dear girl. I adore cannellini beans. They are excellent in so many meals.

    Anh - Thank you. Yes, canned beans (or cooked for that matter) can leave you searching for options. This dish is easy and sparkling with spices.

    Robyn - Hello! Thanks so much. Best damned chili - of course, I am subjective, but I just finished another round of leftovers with a fried egg & shredded cheddar on top and can say the dish still rocks.

    Thanks, Rosa!

    Astra - you dear. Thanks very much.

    Welcome, Donuts4Diner! And palpitate your heart it will. Hope you enjoy it if you make it. : )

    Hi, Easy Recipe! Thank you!

    Sarah - Thanks. I have to say this recipe is amazing. : ) Truly!

    Thanks, Val. It really is a beautiful dish. I hope you try it.

    Soma - If you insist.; } This recipe really rocks. I've made it three times now - would love to share.

    Dear Lisa - Thank you. This would be right up your alley. : ]

    Welcome, Shriya! Thank you very much. It is very simple, yet the flavors are rich and complicated. : }

    Hi, Kathleen! Very glad to see you! Welcome! And thanks so much. : )

    Welcome, Ana! Thanks very much. Good to see you. : }

    Prezepisy - Thank you. Much appreciated.

    Hello, Mark! Much thanks and welcome! Yes, it is tasty AND pretty healthy!

    Harini - Thanks, dear girl. This recipe really is the bomb.

    LL - Hello! Thanks. : }

    Xialou - You, sweetie! Thank you.

    Kristen - This really has been a most rewarding experience. Thanks for making it happen.

    Katie - As much as I love and tolerate fierce heat, I am not an advocate of Scoville martyrdom, so I say work up to it and enjoy your tempering with dairy.

  23. Indeed simpl, flavourful and good to look at too.
    Thanks also for intrducing me to Cheri's blog. Its amazing.