I never figured out why paprika was featured so often in chili recipes.  It never seemed to add anything worthwhile.  Its color was not powerful enough to shade a dish red.  The tomatoes took care of the redness, after all.  Its taste was non-existent.  Was that because my tin of paprika was ten years old?  Go get a small fresh sample of smoked paprika and, like me, you will understand. We use black-eyed peas in this recipe instead of red or navy beans since they are lower in oxalic acid for those following a low oxalate diet. Also, using dried peas instead of canned lowers the salt content for those on a low salt diet.  It is amazing how many bodily systems are messed up on a high salt diet! Ingredients: 1 ½ cups dried black-eyed peas, soaked in bottled/filtered water for six hours, drained   …a few red beans and/or black beans for color and variety will not raise oxalate levels greatly 24 ounces canned or fresh crushed tomatoes 3 tablespoons tomato paste, for richer tomato color and flavor 1 onion, peeled and diced 1-3 tablespoons olive oil to sauté the onion 1/3 teaspoon salt, or to taste 1-2 tablespoons sugar, or to taste 1-2 teaspoons cumin, or to taste ½ - 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes Optional: ½ - ¾ pound ground beef, browned and crumbled (browned with the onion after the onion turns translucent).  Add this with the tomatoes. Sour cream or Pecorino for garnish 2 tablespoons brown sugar, or to taste ¼ - ½ tablespoon smoked paprika, fresh dated.  Not from an ancient jar from the back of the pantry, please.  When fresh, this will taste of one single strong note, so add it gradually while testing. 1-2 tablespoons Vietnamese fish sauce (omit for a low salt version) 2-4 tablespoons ground cumin Place the soaked and drained beans in a large pot and add fresh water to cover them plus an extra 2 inches.  Boil, then simmer for 30 minutes. How tender do you like your chili beans?  Check for tenderness and drain off the cooking water when pronounced done.  Dry off the large cooking pot and reuse it:  Add the oil, apply medium-low heat, and sauté the onions until they turn translucent then start turning mostly brown.  Add the tomatoes and heat to simmering while stirring often. Add the tomatoes and all the seasonings and simmer for another 10 minutes.  Taste to check for seasoning.  A pinch of baking soda will reduce the acidity from the tomatoes if you like. When the seasoning is done, add the cooked black-eyed peas and heat through to combine. Top individual serving bowls with a blop of sour cream or serve over/with rice.  A little Pecorino on top is a good idea. Slow Cooker Version! For the long cook: 2 cups dried beans, combo of mostly black eyed peas and a few red beans 1 teaspoon ground cumin ½ teaspoon garlic powder 8 cups chicken stock ( I use Better Than Bouillon) After 7 hours: 2 cups cooked turkey or chicken, shredded 8 ounces chopped green chiles (2 x 4 oz cans) 2 tablespoons corn meal 1 teaspoon salt 1 cup corn kernels (frozen or canned) ¼ cup sour cream, more for serving For serving: Sour cream Cilantro leaves, chopped Shredded sharp white cheese Onion, chopped Stir the beans, cumin, garlic power and stock in an 6-8 quart slow cooker.  Cook, covered, on low for 7 hours until beans are tender. The beans will swell as they cook.  At 7 hours, remove just 1 ½ cups of the swollen beans and mash them with a potato masher and return them to the cooker.  The smashed beans will help thicken the chili. Also add the meat, the canned green chiles, corn meal and salt. Add a little of the sour cream for tang, but not too much as the color of the chili will turn milky. ( I don’t like milky chili!) Stir all to combine and heat through.  You may need to turn the cooker on high and uncover the cooker to thicken the sauce a bit. Serve with more sour cream on top plus cilantro, cheese and onion.
Black-eyed Pea Chili (Low Oxalate)
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