Black Bean and Plantain Stuffed Peppers

Morita chiles are red, fully mature Chipotles. This gives them a unique, medium – hot smokey flavor which is popular in many Southwestern dishes. These can be added to sauces (including Mole) to add smokey flavor and maintain the red color of the sauces. These peppers are about 2-4 inches in length, 1 inch in width, and have a deep brick reddish brown color. The word Chipotle translated to smoked chile. Consider the Chipotle a 6.5 on a scale of 1-10 (10 being the hottest). Scoville heat units 7,000-25,000.

Suggested Use:
Use Morita in enchilada sauces, chili, stews, barbecue ribs, and corn bread. Their smoky quality combines well with poultry, meats and fall squash.

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1 1/2 cups black beans, soaked in water overnight
1 dried chipotle chile
6 large red bell peppers
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for cooking the plantains
2 cups finely diced onions
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon Red Chile Paste
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
3 ripe plantains
1 1/2 cups grated Cheddar cheese, or queso quesadilla or Monterey Jack


Drain the beans and transfer to a medium pot. Add 4 cups of water and the chipotle chile, cover, and bring to a boil. Add 1 1/4 teaspoon salt, lower the heat, and simmer, partially covered, until the beans are tender, about 60 to 70 minutes. Check to make sure there is water to cover. Drain , reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid, discarding the chile.
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Cut the tops off the bell peppers and pull out and discard the seeds and membranes, keeping the peppers whole. Reserve the tops. Place the peppers on a baking dish and back for 20 minutes, just until they start to soften.

Warm 2 tablespoons of the oil in a medium skillet. Add the onions and saute over medium low heat until softened, about 7 to 10 minutes. Dd the garlic, cumin, and oregano and saute an additional 3 minutes. Turn the heat up to medium, add 1 cup of the beans and 1/3 cup of the been cooking liquid to the onions. With a potato masher or the back of a spoon, mash the beans into the liquid. Continues cooking until the liquid evaporate. Add another cup of the beans and 1/3 cup of the cooking liquid, and mash and cook again, stirring. Repeat one more time, adding the rest of the beans and 1/3 cup more cooking liquid, cooing and stirring, until the liquid is absorbed and the beans hold together. Some of the beans should be mashed and some will be whole. Stir in the chile paste and lime juice and adjust the salt to taste. Cut the skins off the plantains. Use a pairing knife, score the plantains and then peel back and remove the skins. Cut the plantains into 1/4 inch diagonal pieces.

Film a large nonstick skillet with oil and heat over medium high heat. Add half the plantain pieces, sprinkle with salt and cook 2 to 3 minutes on each side, until golden brown. Repeat with the second batch, adding more oil in necessary. Stir into the beans. Stir in 1/4 cup of the cheese, if using, into the bean mixture, and stuff into the peppers.

Distribute the remaining cheese on top of the peppers. Position the reserved pepper tops on top of the peppers. Transfer to a baking sheet and bake 30 minutes, until the peppers are completely softened and the cheese is melted.

Note: This holiday menu comes from Myra Kornfelds, The Healthy Hedonist Holidays, via