On Friday I went to Ruth's Chris Steak House, to celebrate Helene's birthday. It was a girl's only celebration, so I made Bob's dinner early in the day. In fact, I had some of it for lunch and it was very good. The entire meal was primarily a pantry production. So, if I'm ever stuck in my house and unable to leave for long periods of time, I see that good meals can be created from canned food. Actually, there was a fresh onion involved in this. And I was lucky to have that. Every onion, except for one, was in very bad condition. And I was sure there was a green bell pepper in my refriderator. I practically climbed into the fridge trying to find it, but had to face the fact that it had vanished. Is someone sneaking into my house just to steal my bell peppers? Luckily, I had a can of green chilies in my pantry, along with a vast assortment of canned beans and hominy. They're my emergency staples for when the bird flu finally strikes and I barricade myself in my home for weeks.
This black bean and hominy contains one of the great staples for any pantry, chipotles in adobo sauce. I always keep several cans of it in my pantry, just in case it suddenly vanishes from my grocery store.
I served the stew with cilantro, grated cheese, and sour cream--not pantry items, I admit. The stew tasted wonderful wrapped in corn tortillas. My charred Ahi tuna at Ruth's Chris was fabulous. But, I also enjoyed this for lunch.
Black Bean and Hominy Stew (Food & Wine Magazine)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 green bell pepper, coarsely chopped (or one can green chilies)
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
1 large garlic clove, minced
1/2 pound smoked ham, cut into 1/2-inch dice (optional, I didn't use it)
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1 canned chipotle chile in adobo, minced (about 1 teaspoon)
Two 15-ounce cans black beans, drained
One 15-ounce can hominy, drained
1 1/2 cups chicken stock or canned low-sodium broth
1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1. In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil until shimmering. Add the bell pepper, onion and garlic and cook over moderately high heat until the vegetables are just beginning to brown, about 4 minutes. Add the ham, cumin, coriander and chipotle and cook until the ham is lightly browned, about 3 minutes longer. Add the black beans, hominy and stock and bring to a boil. Simmer the stew over moderate heat until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes.
2. Add the cilantro and season the stew with salt and pepper. Spoon the stew into deep bowls, sprinkle with the Cheddar and serve.
SERVE WITH Warm corn tortillas and a bowl of sour cream.