Friday 19 May 2006

black beans and ries·ling

This was not what I had planned for the Fabulous Favorites Festival but it came together as a fabulous favourite nonetheless! I was planning to describe a fantastic salmon feast with a specially chosen bottle of de Lapeyre Jurancon Sec, but when the happy accident described below came together it seemed more fitting.

The concept of the Fabulous Favorites Festival as hosted by Lenn and Alberto is to combine Is My Blog Burning and Wine Blogging Wednesday by either picking a favorite bottle of wine from your cellar and create/cook a dish that goes with it or picking a favorite dish in your culinary repertoire and seek out a wine that will pair will it.

I picked a favourite dish and choose a wine to accompany it.

Black bean chilli. I really love black bean chilli. One of the stand by meals that I look forward to, secretly hoping that there might not be anything else planned for dinner and that we have to have [yay!] black bean chilli.

There are as many ways to serve black bean chilli as there are to make it. If you have made it quite liquid then it is good with rice, or if it is thicker you can wrap it in a tortilla. It can be the filling for a pie, the topping for a snack, so many things. Then there are the accompaniments - guacamole, salsa, cheese, sour cream, the list goes on.

So imagine my pleasure when I decided to pick a bottle of wine to accompany the black bean chilli and came up with a winner. A wine that accentuated the hotness of the chilli (sweet), kept up with the flavours in the chilli and guacamole (had a definite character), yet slightly acidic that went beautifully with the fatness of the guacamole and the sour cream.

Waimea Classic Riesling 2003 from Nelson. I had not tried this wine before. Neither had I purposely chosen a wine to serve with black bean chilli before now. I was rather pleased with myself, definitely one to go in the book!

Black bean chilli
not really a recipe, more a guideline!

Soak some black beans overnight. The next day drain, rinse and put in a pot with enough stock or water to cover by an inch. Add a couple of bay leaves and while dried chillis. Bring to the boil then turn down to a simmer and cook until tender.
Meanwhile, slowly fry some onions, garlic, chilli and cumin until sticky and golden.
Add the beans to the onion mixture, reserving some of the liquid if you think there is too much. Bring to a simmer and adjust the seasoning.
Serve immediately or for a better flavour, leave to cool overnight and reheat to serve the next day, adjusting the seasoning once again. Serve on rice or quinoa (as in the photo above) with guacamole, salsa and sour cream.
Remember to make enough so you can pop a couple of servings in the freezer for a happy midweek unplanned dinner. And serve with a classic Riesling!


Elizabeth said...

That's cool (heh, no pun intended) that you found a wine that goes well with chili. It's not easy to pair spicy things with wine, is it? So many of the wines get lost.

We've had good luck with Portuguese vino verde though - it's also a little on the sweet side like a Riesling is. We like the slight spritziness of vino verde too.


Emma said...

Oh! I will have to keep an eye out for a Portuguese vino verde. My solution to the spicy food wine thing is to have a glass of wine while I am cooking and then not bother while I am eating . . .