smoky mex­i­can beans with po­lenta but­ter­milk dumplings

donna hay - - FAVORITE THINGS -

1 egg­plant (aubergine), halved length­ways 2 ta­ble­spoons ex­tra vir­gin olive oil sea salt and cracked black pep­per 1 onion, finely chopped 2 cloves gar­lic, crushed 2 tea­spoons ground cumin 1 tea­spoon smoked pa­prika ¼ cup (80g) chipo­tle chill­ies in adobo 700g tomato puree (pas­sata) 1½ cups (375ml) water ¼ cup (60ml) maple syrup 400g can chick­peas (gar­ban­zos), rinsed and drained 400g can black beans, rinsed and drained 400g can black-eyed beans, rinsed and drained

po­lenta dumplings

1½ cups (225g) plain (all-pur­pose) flour 1 ta­ble­spoon bak­ing pow­der ½ cup (85g) in­stant po­lenta 1½ cups (375ml) but­ter­milk 1 cup (120g) grated ched­dar 40g un­salted butter, melted

Pre­heat oven to 240°C (475°F). Brush the cut side of the egg­plant with 1 ta­ble­spoon of the oil and sprin­kle with the salt and pep­per. Place, cut-side down, on an oven tray lined with non-stick bak­ing pa­per and cook for 30 min­utes or un­til very ten­der. Re­duce tem­per­a­ture to 200°C (400°F).

While the egg­plant is cook­ing, heat the re­main­ing oil in a large heavy-based oven­proof saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, gar­lic, cumin, pa­prika, salt and pep­per and cook, stir­ring, for 4 min­utes or un­til the onion and gar­lic is soft­ened. Scoop the flesh from the egg­plant, add to the pan and stir to com­bine. Add the chill­ies, tomato puree, water and maple syrup and bring to a sim­mer. Add the chick­peas, black beans and black-eyed beans, cover with a lid and cook in the oven for 30 min­utes.

To make the po­lenta dumplings, place the flour, bak­ing pow­der, po­lenta, but­ter­milk and ched­dar in a large bowl and mix to com­bine. Spoon the dumpling mix­ture over the top of the beans, brush with the butter and cook in the oven for 20 min­utes or un­til golden and cooked through. Serve. Serves 6.

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