A few months ago, when I first bought these gorgeous, shiny, dried black beans from Full Belly Farm, I thought it would be fun to dream up a completely black dish.
No, this doesn't come from depression. Just nutty creativity.
So: Black beans... What else?
Chinese black vinegar? Yeah, sure. Black pepper? No problem. Black ale? I've heard it can be procured.
Oh. And the final black protein to make it all worthwhile: Boudin noir, aka blood sausage.
I've never dared to eat blood sausage before, but now that I'm an old hand with cocks' combs, etc., I didn't think I should chicken (heh) out.
Anyway, the entire combination seemed to be adding up to a black chili. So I added some ground dried pasilla chiles, which were so old in my pantry, they were definitely black.
This was a feel-your-way-through recipe. I had no idea where I was going.
I thought some Scharffen Berger cacao nibs might go nicely, and they do have a dark taste (well, "almost" black). So I tossed in a spoonful. But chocolate needed cinnamon, so I shook in a sprinkle of that. Of course there was salt.
The boudins noirs, from Fabrique Délices, were nicely seasoned with baking spices, so I sort of backed off in that area. But it still needed something to offset the bitterness of the Big Bear Black Stout (from Healdsburg). Kong Yen Chinese black vinegar to the rescue.
I must add: Beans love cooking in fat. The blood sausages were terribly lean. But we had a bit of leftover Black Sheep bacon fat (Website? mm; sorry) in the fridge, and even if the fat wasn't black, the sheep was. Go figure.
There was also the expected minced red onion... I've learned there's such a thing as black garlic, but I'm not resourceful enough to procure some.
We finished this stew by stirring in some cooked Trader Joe's black japonica rice. Everything's still a little chewy right now, but here's a preview.
Looking forward to our black meal.