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Slow-Cooker Pinto Bean Stew with Jalapeno-Corn Dumplings
“This healthy slow-cooker pinto bean stew recipe is bursting with veggies—onion, bell pepper, celery and corn—and topped with crunchy bits of radish and chile- and lime-flecked cornbread dumplings. If you're pressed for time, skip the dumplings and serve this pinto bean stew straight out of the crock pot, topped with crushed tortilla chips and a sprinkling of Monterey Jack cheese. Make sure to soak your dried beans before using them in the slow cooker to ensure even cooking.”
1 pound dry pinto beans, soaked (see Tip)
6 cups water
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium red bell pepper, diced
2 stalks celery, sliced
1 cup frozen corn, thawed
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 tablespoons lime juice
1½ teaspoons salt
½ cup all-purpose flour
½ cup cornmeal, preferably whole-grain
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons cold butter, cut into cubes
1 fresh jalapeño, finely chopped
Zest of 1 lime
½ cup buttermilk
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
½ cup sliced radishes
1Drain the soaked beans. Combine the beans, water, onion, bell pepper, celery, corn, garlic, chili powder and cumin in a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker. Cook on High for 4 hours (or on Low for 8 hours).
2To prepare dumplings: Just before the end of the 4 (or 8) hours, whisk flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Add butter and use a pastry blender, two knives or a fork to cut the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add jalapeno and lime zest and toss to coat. Add buttermilk and stir to form a dough.
3After the stew has cooked for 4 (or 8) hours, stir in lime juice and salt. Using generous tablespoonfuls of dough, drop 8 dumplings on top of the stew. Cover and cook on High for 1 hour. Serve each portion of stew topped with a dumpling. Garnish with cilantro and radish.
Make Ahead Tip: Soak beans; prep vegetables, cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day; measure seasonings.
Equipment: 5- to 6-quart slow cooker
Before using beans in a slow-cooker recipe, soak them to ensure even cooking. Start by sorting beans to remove any pebbles; rinse well with cold water. To soak overnight: Place beans in a large bowl, cover with 3 inches of cold water and soak at room temperature for 8 to 24 hours. To “quick soak”: Place beans in a large saucepan with enough cold water to cover them by 2 inches. Bring to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat, cover and let stand for 1 hour.
For easy cleanup, try a slow-cooker liner. These heat-resistant, disposable liners fit neatly inside the insert and help prevent food from sticking to the bottom and sides of your slow cooker.