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Chat Leftovers: These peppers don't lose their pep

Here's an inside tip from the WP recipe tasting front: The Cabbage Rolls With Chestnuts in today's section are awesome. Or rather the filling is; I didn't get any of the cabbage. But I swear I could eat it for every meal. The recipe is part of Bonnie Benwick's Book Report on "The Turkish Cookbook,"

Another good bet: Lisa Yockelson's Almond Crumble Sharing Cookie, an ironic name indeed because no one saved any of it to share with me. Yes, I'm bitter. But the cookie got rave reviews from everyone who tried it, which I guess is why none of it lasted long enough to reach my desk.

Enough about my deprivation; time to start thinking about today's Free Range chat. Remember: Noon is the new time. Show up today, and you'll be able to chat with the usual bunch plus four (!) guests: Sheilah Kaufman and Nur Ilkin, authors of "The Turkish Cookbook"; the aforementioned Lisa Yockelson; and Monica Corrado, a cooking instructor and expert on lactofermentation, who figures into today's story about fermented foods.

What all that firepower, you've gotta be there. To tide you over until the action begins, here's a leftover from last week's chat that we couldn't get to during the allotted hour:

I made some nice sauce and a few other things this week with chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, but I still have a few extra. Is there a good way to use a lot at once, so I don’t feel like I’m wasting an entire can for two or three of them?

Good news: You don't really have to use them all up anytime soon. Those peppers, kept covered and submerged in their sauce, will last for a good long time in the fridge. You can either leave them in their can or transfer them to a clean glass jar or plastic container, and they'll keep very well for months and months. Some folks freeze them, measuring out the peppers and sauce and sometimes pureeing them first, but to me, that seems like needless work.

So long-term storage is possible. Besides, you don't really want to use "a lot at once," unless you have an asbestos palate. Those things pack heat.

Try adding a small amount of your leftover chilies to mayonnaise, soups, salsas, stews, chile and other foods where you want a smoky, spicy hit. But remember to go easy. A little goes a long way.

Because cold weather will soon be here and we're all starting to think about more substantial foods, I nominate this bean soup recipe from our archives as a good way to use up one of your peppers.

-- Jane Touzalin

Chipotle Black-Bean Vegetable Soup

This recipe can be made in a 5-quart slow cooker.

Here's a zippy black bean soup that is deeply flavored, thanks to a combo of chili powder, cumin and a chipotle chili pepper in adobo.

For a non-vegetarian version, add a hambone or 1 link of andouille or smoked sausage.

MAKE AHEAD: If you start this soup at breakfast time, it will be ready to eat for lunch. It can be frozen for up to 3 months.

4 to 6 servings

3 15-ounce cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1 medium onion, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
2 small carrots, coarsely chopped (about 1/2 cup)
1 rib celery, diced (about 1/4 cup)
1/3 cup minced red bell pepper
1 chipotle chili pepper en adobo, cut into small pieces
4 1/2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth (may substitute low-sodium chicken broth if making a non-vegetarian version)
1/4 teaspoon dried marjoram
1/4 teaspoon pure chili powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
Shredded Monterey Jack or cheddar cheese, sour cream and lime wedges, for garnish

Combine the drained black beans, onion, carrots, celery, red bell pepper, chipotle chili pepper, broth, marjoram, chili powder and cumin in a 5-quart slow cooker; stir to combine. (If using meat, submerge it in the center of the mixture.)

Cover and cook on HIGH for 3 1/2 hours, stirring once or twice during that time. The soup will thicken slightly as it cooks.

Working in batches, puree the soup in a food processor until smooth; or use an immersion (stick) blender. (If using meat, remove it before pureeing and return it to the soup afterward.) Taste and add salt as needed.

To serve, ladle the soup into individual bowls; top with grated cheese and a dollop of sour cream, and place lime wedges on the side.

By Jane Touzalin  |  September 15, 2010; 7:00 AM ET
Categories:  Chat Leftovers  | Tags: Chat Leftovers, Free Range, Jane Touzalin  
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Next: Q&A: Heather Chittum, cheftestant


I take the whole can and puree them in my mini-processor then stuff them in a plastic container and leave them in the fridge for weeks. No chopping necessary and the easier they are to use, the more I tned to use them.

Posted by: ranger99 | September 15, 2010 5:01 PM | Report abuse

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