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Bush Family Zuni Stew
1 1/2 cups pinto beans (soaked overnight and drained)
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons corn or vegetable oil
2 yellow onions, chopped into 1/4-inch pieces
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tablespoons red chile powder (or more if you'd like)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1 pound fresh tomatoes, peeled, deseeded and chopped
2 dried ancho chile peppers, deveined, seeded and cut into narrow strips
1 pound yellow or zucchini squash, cut into 1-inch pieces
4 ears corn (cut the kernels off)
8 ounces fresh green beans. cut into about 1-inch pieces
4 ounces Monterey jack or Muenster cheese, grated
1/2 bunch cilantro, roughly chopped - reserve a few whole leaves for garnish
Place beans, bay leaf and oregano in a saucepan; cover with plenty of water and cook over medium heat for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
Remove from heat when beans are soft, but not mushy. Add salt. Drain beans, but save the broth.
Heat oil in a large skillet; sauté onions over high heat for 1 to 2 minutes.
Lower the heat, then add garlic, spices, and stir.
Add a little bean broth so the chile powder doesn't scorch. Cook until onions begin to soften, about 4 minutes.
Add tomatoes and cook for another 5 minutes.
Stir in chiles and remaining vegetables, along with the cooked beans and enough of the broth to make a moist, thick stew.
Cook at a high simmer until vegetables are done, about 20 minutes.
Stir in cheese and chopped cilantro, and garnish with whole leaves of cilantro.
Serve with cornbread or tortillas.
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