Fresh Bean and Corn Stew with Paprika Oil
- SERVINGS: 6
Chileans love beans and have a vast repertoire of bean recipes. But this one, thickened with corn and pumpkin, is the national favorite. It's usually served as a first course, but it makes a luscious side dish with grilled or roasted meats.
- 4 cups fresh or frozen shelled beans (about 1 1/2 pounds), such as kidney beans, cranberry beans, black-eyed peas or lima beans
- 3/4 pound pumpkin or butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (2 cups)
- 2 cups chicken stock or canned low-sodium broth
- 2 cups water
- 1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 1 medium carrot, coarsely grated
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 6 ears corn, kernels removed, or 3 cups frozen corn (two 10-ounce packages)
- 10 basil leaves, coarsely chopped
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- MAKE THE PAPRIKA OIL In a large heavy casserole, combine the beans with the pumpkin, chicken stock and water and bring to a boil. Cover and cook over low heat until the beans are barely tender, about 15 minutes, depending on the size and type of bean.
- Heat the oil in a medium skillet. Add the onion and carrot and cook over moderate heat, stirring frequently, until lightly browned, about 8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add this mixture to the beans and simmer for 15 minutes longer.
- Add 1 cup of the corn kernels to the beans. Puree the rest of the corn in a blender. If the puree is very dry, add a ladle of the bean cooking liquid. Stir the corn puree and basil into the beans and simmer for another 15 minutes, stirring frequently; the corn puree will thicken the stew. If it gets too thick, thin the stew with hot water; it should be slightly runny. Taste; adjust the seasonings.
- Heat the oil in a small skillet. Add the garlic and cook over moderate heat until golden, about 2 minutes; discard the garlic. Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the paprika. Drizzle the stew with the paprika oil and serve hot.