Kidney Bean & Eggplant Pibil
No, it doesn't always have to be a "chili con carne"- at least that's what I decided this evening, when I came up with the idea for this dish. It seems that the only thing that kidney beans are ever used for is for that yummy... but lets face it, done-to-death dish.
So I decided to do something a little different and combine it with succulent eggplant and season it with Achiote powder, fresh chili and lime. Yup- that worked just fine! I think I have a new favorite dish on my hands here!
Achiote is another ingredient that I love and that I have experimented with... but still associate mostly with delicious "puerco pibil"- a slow-roasted, stewed or bake pork dish, seasoned with the deep orange-red powder or paste made from Annato seeds- rich, mild and delicious. Made firery-hot with jalapenos and tangy with lime and tequila, it is a bona-fide Mexican classic. This is not! it is not at all Mexican... this-here gringo invented it! But I raise my sombrero to Robert Rodriguez, who inspired this dish after immortalizing puerco pibil in his movie Once Upon a Time in Mexico- and I wish you all a lot of fun in trying out my dish if you please!
To make this great bowl of food, you will need 1 medium eggplant, 1 can of kidney beans, 1 lime, 1 Spring onion, 1 tablespoon Achiote powder- or paste, some fresh parsley and some tortillas as an accompaniment.
There is no meat missing and you will not feel disappointed when you try this out- trust me! This is not a chili con carne, it is a whole different thing, tangy with lime juice and oregano, but every bit as spicy and satisfying! Try it- you'll like it!
Cut the eggplant and the onion into a fine dice and fry together in a little olive oil for 3-4 minutes, then add the achiote powder, or paste, whichever you happen to be using, some finely chopped chili pepper- as much as you dare, and continue frying for 3-4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and keep stirring until everything is nicely coated and beginning to turn nice and brown.
Next, squeeze in the juice of half a lime, add the kidney beans, including the juices from the can and continue stirring for 4-5 minutes.
Add enough boiling water to cover the eggplant and beans, sprinkle generously with dried oregano and allow to boil away for a further 4-5 minutes until the water has cooked-down into the eggplant and beans and spices and has begun to thicken into a nice sauce.
And after around 25 minutes, your eggplant and beans will look a little something like this and taste absolutely wonderful! And maybe even a little better than that!
Serve piping hot with some extra slices of chili for the brave, a couple of slices of lime as a garnish and plenty of toasted tortillas on the side- and you have a meal and a half right there! Inexpensive, quick and delicious!
Absolutely all you need- and as much flavor as you can handle! Es verdad amigos! Enjoy!