Off The Counter: Black Bean And Sweet Potato Chili

It's been quite some time since I've featured an Off The Counter post.  It's not that we're not cooking, it's just that we haven't been culinarily creative enough (or so it  has seemed to me).  This black bean and sweet potato chili has definitely turned that notion around.  I found the recipe here a few months back and have experimented with several versions of it since.  Garnished with fresh cilantro, green onions and avocado this hardy dish carries a lighter note than most chilis do.  The last time I took a stab at it, Alex prepared pulled pork as a companion, which took the chili to yet another level of yumminess.

It has become my favorite 'leftover'.  In the morning, I warm it up and top it off with an egg [over-easy]!


  •  tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 pound sweet potatoes (about 2 small), cut into 1/2-in. dice
  • 1 tablespoon New Mexico chile powder, or 1/2 to 1 tsp. cayenne or ancho chile powder
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle chile powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 can (14 oz.) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • Kosher salt and pepper
  • For toppings: 1 orange, 1 lime, chopped cilantro leaves, diced avocado, sour cream, and crushed tortilla chips
  1.  Heat oil in a medium pot over medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic, bell pepper, and sweet potatoes and cook, stirring, until vegetables soften, about 5 minutes. Add New Mexico and chipotle chile powders, cumin, and coriander and cook until spices are fragrant, about 10 seconds. Stir in beans and broth and partially cover. Reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until sweet potatoes are soft and chili is slightly thickened, about 15 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  2.  Meanwhile, zest orange and lime into a small bowl (you should have about 1 tbsp. orange zest and 2 tsp. lime zest). Add cilantro. Quarter lime. Reserve orange for another use.
  3.  Ladle chili into 4 bowls. Top with cilantro-zest mixture, avocado, sour cream, crushed chips, and lime wedges.

Julia Lee, Sunset 

Do you have an unexpected favorite dish?  If so, please share.