Black-Eyed Bean Chili with Cornbread and Wild Texas Guajillo Honey Butter

More commonly known as black-eyed peas, this subspecies of the cowpea found its way to the Virginias via the West Indies in the the 1600’s before becoming an important Texas crop following the American Revolution.  Extremely high in protein and minerals, black-eyed beans remain culturally important throughout the American South..

Black-Eyed Bean Chili with Cornbread and Wild Texas Guajillo Honey Butter

For the Cornbread

1 1/2 cups stone-ground yellow cornmeal
1/2 cup organic all-purpose flour, soaked
2 pastured eggs
8 oz culture butter, melted
1 cup cultured buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon aluminum-free baking soda
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon chili powder (optional)

Melt butter and allow to cool slightly.  Whisk in eggs and beat until well blended.  Combine buttermilk and baking soda and stir into egg mixture.  Stir in cornmeal, flour and salt and mix until only a few small lumps remain.  Pour batter into a greased 8″ square dish and bake at 375 degrees until just done, about 30 minutes.  Remove from oven and allow to stand 10 minutes before cutting into serving portions.

For the Guajillo Butter

1 1/2 tablespoons wild Texas guajillo honey
3 tablespoons cultured butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
pinch of salt

Beat all ingredients together in a small bowl until fluffy.  Store in refrigerator up to 2 weeks.

For the Chili

1 pound fresh black-eyes beans/peas
2 cups vegetable stock
1/2 Spanish onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon more-or-less smoked chili powder
2 Roma tomatoes, diced
1/4 cup fresh poblano pepper, chopped
3 dried New Mexico chilies, stemmed, seeded and chopped
2 tablespoons ancho chili paste
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon oil
salt and pepper

Simmer beans in stock until just tender, about 30 minutes.  Meanwhile, toast cumin and dried chilies a a dry skillet until fragrant, about 5 minutes.  Add oil, garlic, poblano and onions and sauteé until lightly colored.  Add tomatoes, cinnamon, chili powder, cooked beans and enough stock to barely cover and simmer 15 minutes.  Stir in ancho paste and cilantro and simmer 5 minutes.

To serve, ladle chili into shallow bowls and place a piece of hot cornbread in the center.  Put a dollop of honey butter over the top and serve with hot sauce on the side (I like Cholula for this dish).

“Guajillo (or Huajilla) is a wild desert bush that is native to Southwestern Texas and Northern Mexico. The plant blooms in March and early April, and it is during this time that bees seek out the little blonde blossoms that give Guajillo honey both its unique flavor and color. Guajillo honey is crystal white with a pearly reflection like new milk or a very light amber color. Guajillo has an extremely delicate and distinctive taste that is described as very light, mild, rich, smooth and sweet, with a hint of lavender. The honey is cold centrifuge extracted, retaining the beneficial antioxidants and amino acids that would otherwise be depleted during a high temperature filtration process.”  –localharvest.org

This post is in support of Meatless Monday, whose goal it is to goal is to help reduce
meat consumption by 15% in order to improve personal health and the health of our planet.

11 thoughts on “Black-Eyed Bean Chili with Cornbread and Wild Texas Guajillo Honey Butter

  1. It’s a custom in the south, I’ve learned, that one must eat black eyed peas and collards on New Years Day. I did that and expect to have an extremely lucky year. I think I will, however, limit my intake to that occasion. Love the corn bread recipe and will use it this week for dinner guests.

  2. It was fine for the occasion but not something I’d eat on a regular basis. It’s the peas I’m talking about…nice fresh collard greens cooked the day they’re picked are awesome.

  3. I have never considered making chili out of black eyed peas. Brilliant. The peas you used were fresh instead of dried? I’ve never seen them that way. I love honey butter. In fact, I’m pretty sure that I need honey butter tonight with my dinner! Another excellent meal, Ren.

    • Thanks, Millie!

      Yes, fresh black-eyes from Poteet, Texas. Has a fresh, green taste reminiscent of English peas, but toothsome & hearty like a bean.

  4. Hi, a friend just sent me this link, must say that I love black eyed peas, not sure where to get them fresh here in Austin. Will try the recipe with the corn bread… Thanks

    • This particular batch of black-eyes came from greenling.com (as did the guajillo honey). I’ve also seen them at Wheatsville Co-op, I think.

      Good luck and thanks, Julissa!

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