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Cave Beans, AKA Anasazi Beans, Braised with Pasilla Sauce

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Cassoulita: Braised Beans

You can make a great dish by taking beans just cooked barely tender, and braising or oven- baking them with flavorings and a small amount of vegetables. Cassoulita is a Mexican-influenced vegetarian casserole of native corn, Anasazi beans and fresh vegetables braised in a chilaca or pasilla sauce, baked with white cheese.

Step one, cook the beans:
1 pound dried Anasazi beans soaked and drained
1 medium onion, halved and stuck with 4 whole cloves
1 carrot, chunked up
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
5 large cloves garlic, halved
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup minced celery
1 cup minced carrot
1 cup minced onion
1 cup fresh corn kernels (about 2 ears)
1/4 cup minced parsley
1/4 cup minced cilantro
1 recipe pasilla chili sauce below
2 1/2 cup grated fresh white cheese (queso quesadilla) or Monterey Jack Cheese
1 cup sour cream or plain yogurt (garnish)
1 Avocado, peeled, seeded, sliced (garnish)
1/4 cup fresh cilantro sprigs (garnish)

Prepare the beans and the pasilla sauce below and set aside- can be done ahead and frozen. When you are ready to make the dish, saute the chopped vegetables and parsley in oil over medium high to golden, stir in chili sauce, cook for another few minutes. Stir and cook at a lively bubble about 4 minutes, or until thick. Gently stir in beans, removing the big chunks of onion with the whole cloves. Add bean liquid if needed to moisten and simmer about 15 minutes to blend flavors. Taste for seasoning.

Pour into a large shallow baking dish, cover with the shredded cheese, and stir in lightly. Bake 1 hour.
Before serving, garnish the dish with sour cream, avocado and fresh chopped
Pasilla Braising Sauce

Pasilla Braising Sauce

2 tb Peanut oil
1 2-oz. package dried pasilla Chiles, stemmed, seeded, torn into 1-inch pieces
1/2 c whole blanched almonds, chopped
4 c vegetable broth
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
4 plum tomatoes, cored, seeded, quartered
1/2 Onion, quartered
4 Cloves garlic, peeled
2 tablespoons firmly packed golden brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt and pepper to taste

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in large pot over high heat. Add chiles and almonds. Saute until chiles darken and almonds are golden, about 2 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer chilies and almonds to bowl.
Toast cumin seeds in heavy small skillet over medium-low heat until aromatic, about 1 minute. Mince or blenderize cumin seeds.
Add cumin, chili mixture, tomatoes, quartered onion, garlic, sugar and salt to stock. Simmer until all ingredients are very soft, about 45 minutes.
Working in batches, puree stock mixture in blender. Return to pot. Boil until reduced to 3 cups, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes.