Cheesy Grits

1 1/2 cups grits (not instant)
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter
6 ounces sharp white Cheddar, shredded
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Hot pepper sauce

Bring 4 cups water to a boil. Gradually whisk in grits and bring to a boil, whisking constantly. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until grits are tender and resemble a porridge, 15–20 minutes. Stir in butter and cheese until melted. Season with salt, pepper, and hot pepper sauce.

Low Country Hoppin’ John

Peas:

2 quarts Pork Stock or Chicken Stock
1 cup Anson Mills Sea Island Red Peas, soaked in a pot of water in the refrigerator overnight
1 1/2 cups medium dice onions
1 cup medium dice peeled carrots
1 1/2 cups medium dice celery
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 fresh bay leaf
10 thyme sprigs
1/2 jalapeño, chopped
Kosher salt

Rice:

4 cups water
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup Anson Mills Carolina Gold Rice
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed

Red Pea Gravy:

Reserved 1 cup cooked red peas
Reserved 2 cups cooking liquid from the peas
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Cider vinegar
Sliced chives or scallions for garnish

For the peas:

Bring the stock to a simmer in a small pot. Drain the peas and add to the stock, along with all of the remaining ingredients except the salt. Cook the peas, partially covered, over low heat until they are soft, about 1 hour. Season to taste with salt. (The peas can be cooked ahead and refrigerated in their liquid for up to 3 days; reheat, covered, over low heat before proceeding.)

Drain the peas, reserving their cooking liquid, and measure out 1 cup peas and 2 cups liquid for the gravy; return the rest of the peas and liquid to the pot and keep warm.

Meanwhile, for the rice:

About 45 minutes before the peas are cooked, preheat the oven to 300°F.

Bring the water, salt, and cayenne pepper to a boil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium, add the rice, stir once, and bring to a simmer. Simmer gently, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the rice is al dente, about 15 minutes.

Drain the rice in a sieve and rinse under cold water. Spread the rice out on a rimmed baking sheet. Dry the rice in the oven, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. Scatter the butter evenly over the rice and continue to dry it, stirring every few minutes, for about 5 minutes longer. All excess moisture should have evaporated and the grains should be dry and separate.

For the gravy:

Put the 1 cup peas, 2 cups cooking liquid, and the butter in a blender and blend on high until smooth, about 3 minutes. Add cider vinegar to taste.

(The gravy can be made up to 3 days ahead and kept in a covered container in the refrigerator; reheat, covered, over the lowest possible heat, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching.)

To complete:

Use a slotted spoon to transfer the peas to a large serving bowl. Add the rice and carefully toss the rice and peas together. Pour the gravy over them, sprinkle with chives or scallions, and serve.

Basic Chana Masala

Soak 160 grams who,e chickpeas overnight.
Boil until soft. Set aside.
Mash 300 grams tomato in a mixer. Set aside.
Heat 5 teaspoons ghee. Saute a medium sized chopoed onion and 1 teaspoon chopped green chili until brown.
Add 1 1/2 teaspoons ginger paste and 1 teaspoon garlic paste. Saute for 2-3 minutes.
Add tomato puree and pinch of tumeric. Saute until cooked through.
Add cooked chickpeas, 2 teaspoons channa masala, salt to taste, and about 200 mL water to get desired consistency. Simmer 5 minutes.
Garnish with cilantro and julienned ginger.
Serve hot with rice.

Basic Chana Dal Masala

Boil 200 grams chana dal in 800 mL water until tender. Set aside.
Fry 80 grams chopped onions in 40 grams oil until tender.
Add 100 grams chopped tomatoes and 15 grams chana dal masala. Stir for 4-5 minutes until it becomes paste.
Take 1 part of tge boiled dal and add to paste. Mix well, then add remaining dal.
Check seasonings, then simmer for five minutes.
Serve with rice or roti.

Garlic Herb Cheese Bombs

2 cans (7.5 oz. each) refrigerated biscuits
4 oz. Mozzarella cheese, cut into 20 cubes
4 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
Some fresh parsley leaves, finely chopped
A tiny pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Open the biscuit cans and separate the biscuits. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Wrap the cheese bombs by placing one cube of the cheese in the center of each biscuit. Carefully wrap the biscuit dough around the cheese, pinch the biscuit to close and seal tight. Place the seam part down and arrange the biscuits so they are at least 1-inch apart. Bake for 10 minutes or until the surfface turn golden brown.

While the biscuits are baked in the oven, mix the butter, garlic powder, salt, and parsley leaves together. Set aside.

Remove the biscuits from the oven and brush with the butter mixture immediately. Serve warm.

Sweeney Potatoes

2 1/2 pounds russet potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted, plus more butter for the pan
1 cup sour cream
1/4 to 1/2 cup whole milk
Kosher salt and ground black pepper, to taste
2 1/2 cups freshly grated sharp Cheddar cheese (about 8 ounces)
Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish (optional)

Heat oven to 325 degrees. Put potatoes in a large heavy-bottomed pot and cover with cold water. Set on stove over high heat and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and allow potatoes to simmer until they have just started to soften, about 10 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Combine cream cheese, melted butter and sour cream in a large bowl and stir to combine. Add enough milk so that the mixture is creamy but not soupy. Season mixture with salt and pepper to taste. Add potatoes to bowl and stir gently to combine.

Generously grease a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Tip half the potatoes into the dish and spread to the edges, then scatter half the grated cheese over the top. Add remaining potatoes and spread to the edges, then top with remaining cheese.

Sweet Potato and Gruyere Gratin

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened, for pan and foil
1/3 cup grated Parmesan
3 cups heavy cream (or half-and-half)
3 tablespoons fresh sage, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped
4 fat cloves garlic, grated or minced
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more as needed
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
3 pounds sweet potatoes (about 4 large or 5 medium), peeled
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 2/3 cups/6 1/2 ounces grated Gruyère
1/2 cup grated parmesan

Heat oven to 400 degrees and generously butter a 9-by-13-inch baking pan or shallow gratin dish. Butter a piece of foil large enough to cover top of pan. Sprinkle Parmesan all over bottom of pan.

In a medium pot, bring cream, sage, rosemary, garlic, nutmeg and a pinch of salt to a simmer. Simmer until reduced by 1/4, about 10 minutes.

In a large, heatproof bowl, whisk eggs just enough to break them up. Slowly pour hot cream into eggs to combine, whisking while pouring, and reserve the mixture.

Meanwhile, using a mandoline or sharp knife, slice the potatoes into 1/8-inch-thick rounds.

Place 1 layer of potatoes in the pan, slightly overlapping as you go, using about a third of the slices. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper to taste, then pour 1/3 of the egg mixture over potatoes. Top with 1/2 cup Gruyère.

Repeat with another layer of potatoes, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, pepper and 1/3 egg mixture. Top with 1/2 cup Gruyère.

Top with remaining potatoes, 1/4 teaspoon salt, pepper to taste, and remaining egg mixture (but not the remaining cheese). Press down to compact the potatoes.

Cover with foil and bake until potatoes are tender, about 40 minutes, then remove foil, sprinkle top with remaining 2/3 cup Gruyère and parmesan and bake until browned and bubbling, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool slightly, then serve.

Cake (and Brownie) Mix Waffles

For cake mix: Whisk together a box of your favorite flavor of cake mix with 1 cup of water or milk, 1/3 cup safflower oil, and 3 eggs. Heat up a waffle iron and spritz with cooking spray. Ladle in a spoonful or two of the batter and cook until the waffle is crisp. Stash the waffle in a 300 degree oven to stay warm while you make more.

For brownie mix: Dump the brownie mix (ghirardelli 20 ounce dark chocolate is recommended) into a large mixing bowl along with 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. Crack 3 eggs into the bowl, then pour in 1/3 cup grapeseed or canola oil and 5 tablespoons melted butter. Mix until well combined, then add a big splash of very fizzy seltzer.

At this point, you can heat the waffle iron and get down to business. Alternatively, you can jazz up the brownie waffle batter with some mix-ins. Classic brownie lovers may want to go with finely chopped walnuts, while chocoholics may opt for chopped chocolate. Peanut butter, butterscotch, and white chocolate chips also won’t disappoint. Whatever you choose, fold in about 1/2 cup of the mix-in into the batter.

Heat your waffle iron and grease it with cooking spray or melted butter. Cook waffles in whatever manner the waffle iron’s directions recommend.

Another (simpler) variation: eggs, water and oil as directed on the box
1 additional egg
1 box Ghirardelli Triple Chocolate brownie mix
Desired toppings

Whisk together eggs, water, and oil until combined. Add brownie mix and mix until just combined.
Pour into preheated waffle maker and bake for 3 minutes or as directed on your waffle maker.
Remove and enjoy topped with fruit, whipped cream, hot fudge, caramel sauce, or ice cream.

Simpler yet:
1 box (1 lb 3.8 oz) Betty Crocker Supreme walnut brownie mix
3 eggs
1/4 cup vegetable oil

Heat waffle maker. (Waffle makers without a nonstick coating may need to be brushed with vegetable oil or sprayed with cooking spray before batter for each waffle is added.) In large bowl, stir brownie mix, eggs and oil with whisk just until smooth.

Pour slightly less than 3/4 cup batter onto center of hot waffle maker. (Check manufacturer’s directions for recommended amount of batter.) Close lid of waffle maker. Bake about 5 minutes or until steaming stops. Carefully remove waffle. Repeat with remaining batter.

Pressure Cooker Beef Chili

2 1/2 lb Ground beef
1/2 large Onion (chopped)
8 cloves Garlic (minced)
2 15-oz can Diced tomatoes (with liquid)
1 6-oz can Tomato paste
1 4-oz can Green chiles (with liquid)
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup Chili powder
2 tbsp Cumin
1 tbsp Dried oregano
2 tsp Sea salt
1 tsp Black pepper
1 medium Bay leaf (optional)

In a skillet over medium-high heat, cook the chopped onion for 5-7 minutes, until translucent (or increase the time to about 20 minutes if you like them caramelized). Add the garlic and cook for a minute or less, until fragrant.

Add the ground beef. Cook for 8-10 minutes, breaking apart with a spatula, until browned.
Transfer the ground beef mixture into a slow cooker. Add remaining ingredients, except bay leaf, and stir until combined. Place the bay leaf into the middle, if using.
Cook for 6-8 hours on low or 3-4 hours on high. If you used a bay leaf, remove it before serving.

Instant Pot pressure cooker instructions

Select the “Sauté” setting on the pressure cooker (this part is done without the lid). Add the chopped onion and cook for 5-7 minutes, until translucent (or increase the time to about 20 minutes if you like them caramelized). Add the garlic and cook for a minute or less, until fragrant.

Add the ground beef. Cook for 8-10 minutes, breaking apart with a spatula, until browned.
Add remaining ingredients, except bay leaf, to the Instant Pot and stir until combined. Place the bay leaf into the middle, if using.

Close the lid. Press “Keep Warm/Cancel” to stop the saute cycle. Select the “Meat/Stew” setting (35 minutes) to start pressure cooking.

Wait for the natural release if you can, or turn the valve to “vent” for quick release if you’re short on time. If you used a bay leaf, remove it before serving.

Beef Stew in Red Wine Sauce

1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 pounds trimmed beef flatiron steak or chuck, cut into 8 pieces
Salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup finely chopped onion
1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
One 750-milliliter bottle dry red wine
2 bay leaves
1 thyme sprig
One 5-ounce piece of pancetta
15 pearl or small cipollini onions, peeled
15 cremini mushrooms
15 baby carrots, peeled
Sugar
Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish

Preheat the oven to 350°. In a large enameled cast-iron casserole, melt the butter in 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Arrange the meat in the casserole in a single layer and season with salt and pepper. Cook over moderately high heat, turning occasionally, until browned on all sides, 8 minutes. Add the chopped onion and garlic and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened, 5 minutes. Add the flour and stir to coat the meat with it. Add the wine, bay leaves and thyme, season with salt and pepper and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve any brown bits stuck to the bottom of the pot.

Cover the casserole and transfer it to the oven. Cook the stew for 1 1/2 hours, until the meat is very tender and the sauce is flavorful.

Meanwhile, in a saucepan, cover the pancetta with 2 cups of water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Drain the pancetta and slice it 1/2 inch thick, then cut the slices into 1-inch-wide lardons.

In a large skillet, combine the pancetta, pearl onions, mushrooms and carrots. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 1/4 cup of water and a large pinch each of sugar, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer until almost all of the water has evaporated, 15 minutes. Uncover and cook over high heat, tossing, until the vegetables are tender and nicely browned, about 4 minutes.

To serve, stir some of the vegetables and lardons into the stew and scatter the rest on top as a garnish. Top with a little chopped parsley and serve.

Pasta e Fagioli

170g dried borlotti
5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves
A sprig of fresh rosemary
300-500g fresh tomatoes
Salt and black pepper
180g fresh egg pasta, cut into small, misshapen squares or 220g dried small pasta, or broken tagliatelle

If you are using dried beans, soak them for 12 hours or overnight. Drain, cover them with enough cold water that it comes at least 3 inches/10cm above the beans and cook at a simmer until tender, which usually takes about an hour and a half. Leave the beans to cool in their cooking liquid.
If you are using fresh beans, pod them, then cover them with enough cold water that it comes at least 10cm above the beans. Bring to a very gentle boil and then reduce to a simmer for 30 minutes or until the beans are tender. Leave the beans to cool in their cooking liquid. If you are using tinned beans, drain and rinse them.

Meanwhile, in a large, deep sauté pan or casserole, warm the olive oil over a low flame, add the peeled and gently crushed garlic cloves and rosemary, then fry them gently until fragrant. If desired, you can remove the garlic at this point. Peel the tomatoes, if you like, then roughly chop them and add them to the pan. Raise the heat just a little and cook the tomatoes for 10 minutes, or until soft and saucy. Add the beans and a couple generous ladlefuls of bean cooking water, then let the pan bubble away for another 10-15 minutes. Season with salt. At this point you may like to blend half the soup for a creamier consistency.

Add another couple of ladlefuls of bean cooking water and then the pasta. Continue cooking, stirring attentively until the pasta is tender. You may need to add a little more bean cooking water. Serve immediately.

Meatballs in Tomato Sauce

2 slices of day-old bread (about 50g), crusts removed
A little milk
500g minced beef
2 eggs, lightly beaten
A small garlic clove
A sprig of parsley
Salt and black pepper

For the sauce
750g ripe, fresh tomatoes
6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1–2 garlic cloves, peeled or crushed
A pinch of red chilli flakes (optional)
A tin of peeled plum tomatoes, chopped roughly in the tin
1 tbsp tomato puree (optional)
Salt

Rip the bread and soak in a little milk until soft, and easily crumbled. Squeeze out excess milk. Put the crumbs in a large bowl along with the beef and lightly beaten eggs.

Peel and chop the garlic very finely along with the parsley, salt and pepper. Add to the meat, then use your hands to mix everything together.

Divide the mixture into 12 meatballs: if the mixture is very sticky, flour your hands lightly. Let the meatballs rest.

Meanwhile, make the sauce. Peel the fresh tomatoes by plunging them first in boiling water, then in cold, at which point the skins should slip off. Then chop them roughly.

Peel the garlic and crush for a milder flavour or finely chop for stronger. Put 4 tbsp of the olive oil in a large, deep frying pan or cassarole and cook the garlic gently over a low heat until it is fragrant. At this point you can remove the whole garlic if you wish.

Add the chopped tomatoes and chilli. Cook for 5 minutes, then add the final 2 tbsp oil and the tinned tomatoes. Add 1 tbsp tomato puree if you feel it needs it. Cook for 20–40 minutes, or until the sauce is rich and thick.

Drop the meatballs in the sauce, making sure they are submerged. Turn the heat to low, cover the pan and poach for 15 minutes, by which time the meatballs should be cooked through but still tender.

Beef Braised In Chianti

3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1kg stewing or braising beef – chuck, flank or neck, cut into large chunks of about 5cm
3 garlic cloves, peeled but whole
1 bottle red wine, ideally chianti
Salt
1 tbsp whole black peppercorns, plus a few extra just in case

To serve
Bread or buttery mashed potato

Warm the olive oil in a heavy-based casserole or stockpot, then brown the meat in batches over a medium heat. Return all the meat to the pan, add the peeled but whole garlic cloves, the red wine and a pinch of salt. Use a pestle and mortar to pound the peppercorns until fine, then add that to the pan.

Bring the pan almost to a boil, then cover and reduce to a simmer for 2-2½ hours or until the meat is very tender but still holding its shape. If you like, remove the lid for the last 45 minutes to reduce the sauce. If you want it reduced further, remove the meat and boil the sauce until slightly thickened, then return the meat to the pan.

Taste and add more salt and pepper if needed. Ideally allow to rest for a few hours – better still, overnight – then reheat gently.

Paste e Ceci

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
Freshly ground black pepper or red pepper flakes, to taste
1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas (from one 15-ounce can, drained and rinsed)
1/2 cup (2 ounces or 55 grams) uncooked ditalini pasta (or another small shape; I use annelini)
2 cups (275 ml) boiling water

2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil (estimate 1 per serving)
1 clove of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
Salt and red pepper flakes

In a medium-large heavy-bottomed pot or deep saute pan, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil until it shimmers.

Add 2 smashed cloves of garlic and cook, stirring until it becomes lightly, barely browned but very fragrant. Stir in the tomato paste, salt, and pepper and cook them with the garlic for 30 seconds or so.

Add the chickpeas, pasta, and boiling water. Stir to scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the pot, lower the heat, and simmer until the pasta is cooked and a lot of the liquid has been absorbed, about 15 to 20 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning and ladle into bowls.

Make finishing oil: Heat 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil in a small sauce- or frying pan over medium-low heat with remaining clove of garlic, rosemary, a pinch or two of salt and pepper flakes, until sizzling; pull it off the heat as soon as the garlic is going to start taking on color. Drizzle this over bowls of pasta e ceci and eat it right away.

Pressure Cooker Creamy Tomato Soup

2 tablespoons (60 grams) unsalted butter
1 large onion, chopped
1/2 carrot, chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
3 pounds tomatoes, cored, roughly chopped
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 sprig fresh thyme
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup chopped basil
3/4 cup cream or milk

Select the sauce feature and high heat to preheat the cooking bowl. heat the butter until just foaming, then add the onion and carrot. Sauce until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.

Add the tomatoes, salt, pepper, thyme, and stock. Stir to combine.

Select the pressure cook soup feature and adjust cooking time to 10 minutes.

When the cooking has completed, remove and discard the thyme. Add the basil and blend soup until smooth. Stir in cream and season to taste.

Pressure Cooker Chicken and Dumplings

3 1/2 pounds bone-in chicken pieces, preferably dark meat (if using white meat, cut cooking time by 2 minutes)
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more as needed
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
2 carrots, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
1 Spanish onion, diced
1 turnip, peeled and diced
4 garlic cloves, smashed
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 quart chicken stock, preferably homemade
Chopped fresh parsley or celery leaves, for serving

FOR THE DUMPLINGS
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup fine cornmeal
1/4 cup minced fresh chive (optional)
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons butter, melted
3/4 cup whole milk

Quick Sesame Noodles (Single Serving)

4 oz. fresh wheat noodles (or 1 serving of dried noodles)
1/2 tablespoon sesame paste / tahini
1 tablespoon peanut butter
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
1-2 teaspoons rice vinegar (optional to taste)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon sugar
5 tablespoons hot water (or braised meat sauce)
A small handful of chopped scallion
Chili oil (optional)

Cook the noodles according to the package instructions.

While the noodles are cooking, make the sauce by mixing together the sesame paste, peanut butter, light soy sauce, rice vinegar (optional), vegetable oil, sugar, and water. Stir in one direction until it turns into a smooth, even paste.

Once the noodles are cooked, drain them and toss with the prepared sauce, chopped scallions, and chili oil (if desired).

Pimento Cheese

8 ounces extra-sharp cheddar cheese, grated with a food processor or hand grater (not pre-grated)
1/4 cup softened cream cheese (2 ounces), pulled into several pieces
Scant 1/2 cup jarred pimento or other roasted red peppers (from a 7-ounce jar), finely diced
3 tablespoons Duke’s, Hellmann’s or other high-quality store-bought mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon dried red chile flakes
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

In a large mixing bowl, place the cheddar cheese in an even layer. Scatter the cream cheese, pimentos, mayonnaise and chile flakes over the cheddar cheese. Using a spatula, mix the pimento cheese until it is smooth and spreadable, about 1 1/2 minutes.

Transfer the pimento cheese to a plastic container or bowl, cover tightly, and store in the refrigerator. Pimento cheese keeps in the refrigerator for 1 week.

Chili Paneer

1 1/2 teaspoons cumin seeds
14 ounces paneer
canola oil
4 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 fresh green chili, very finely sliced
3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon sugar
4 scallions, finely sliced into rings
lemon wedges, to serve

Throw the cumin seeds into a mortar and pestle and roughly grind them to a coarse powder. Next cut the paneer into 3/4-inch cubes. Pour a thin coating of oil into a large frying pan and bring it to a high heat. Fry the paneer in batches, turning the pieces until golden brown on each side, and transfer them to a dish lined with paper towels. Watch out, as the paneer may spit; if so, half cover the pan with a lid.

Put 2 tablespoons of oil into the pan, followed by the garlic, green chili, cumin, black pepper, and salt. Sauté for around 3 minutes on a low heat, stirring occasionally. Add the tomato paste and sugar and stir, then put the paneer back into the pan along with a splash of water. Cover the pan and simmer for a further 5 minutes.

Take the lid off the pan, add the scallions and simmer until there is no water left. Serve fresh and hot with a squeeze of lemon.

Cuban Black Beans

1 pound dried black beans, picked over and rinsed
1 green bell pepper, quartered lengthwise
2 bay leaves
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
1 red, 1 green and 1 yellow pepper, minced
1 large white onion, minced
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon oregano
1/2 cup minced garlic
1/4 cup tomato paste
Salt

Put the black beans, quartered green pepper and bay leaves in a large saucepan add 8 cups of water. Bring to a boil over moderately high heat. Reduce the heat to low, partially cover the saucepan and cook, stirring occasionally, until the beans are tender, about 2 1/2 hours. Remove and discard the green pieces and bay leaves.

Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large skillet. Add the minced bell peppers and onion and cook over moderate heat until softened. Stir in the cumin and oregano. In a small saucepan, cook the garlic in the remaining 1/2 cup of olive oil over moderately low heat until golden brown.

When the beans are tender, add the sautéed pepper mixture, the garlic in its oil and the tomato paste. Season with salt and simmer gently for 5 minutes to blend the flavors. Cover and refrigerate overnight or for up to 3 days. Reheat gently before serving.