Archive for the ‘Bean Dishes’ category

Recession Special: Bulk Bin Bean Soup – Dressed Up

January 17, 2010

Occasionally, I’ll try a multi-bean soup mix.  This time, I had a beans & barley mixture from the bulk section of one of my local stores.  My friend Wendy and I put together an impromptu 4-course meal with things we had in our respective fridges instead of going out to eat one evening. This was the first course, followed by some Trader Joe’s multigrain pasta & TJ’s Organic Vodka pasta sauce.  Then stir-fried onions, zucchini, and shrimp (seasoned with garlic & lemon pepper), and some of the leftover thumbprint cookies for dessert, washed down with a $3.49 bottle of Malbec.

Here are my guesses on proportions & spices I used:

Bulk Bin Bean Soup
1-1/2 cup bean and barley veggie soup mixture
2 cups of different vegetable stocks (I use Trader Joe’s broth packets & some powdered stuff)
3 cups of water
About 1/2 teaspoons each:  garlic granules, onion powder, marjoram and basil
Plenty of salt & pepper

Cook in slow cooker around 8-10 hours on low. Garnish with carmelized onions and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.  *Voila*  A cheap, but sort of elegant, little bowl of soup.


Zesty Chick Pea Soup

January 3, 2010

It’s Sunday, when, if I get my act together, I cook ahead for the week. Today, I made a few adjustments to this recipe.

Zesty Chick Pea Soup
1 medium onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, sliced
2 T. olive oil
1/2 t. cumin
1/2 t. coriander
1/2 t. basil
1 t. garlic granules or garlic powder
1 t. salt
plenty of ground black pepper
3 1/2 c. vegetable stock
1 15 oz. can garbanzo beans/chick peas, drained and rinsed
1 15 oz. can peeled/diced tomatoes
lemon wedges
chopped cilantro

Sautee the onion and celery in olive oil over medium to medium-high heat until onions are transluscent. Add cumin, coriander, basil, garlic powder, salt & pepper. Sautee for another minute.
Add stock, chick peas, and tomatoes. Simmer for at least 30 mins, or all afternoon if you can.
Squeeze lemon and sprinkle cilantro over.

Two Legume Dishes: Imjadara/Mujadara & Spiced Chick Peas et al.

January 3, 2010

Once a month, I help with Dinner-In-The-Shul at my synagogue, a Shabbat meal for dozens.  We’re never quite sure how many are coming, with RSVPs as a vague indicator.  My role in the cooking group is to make a protein-filled vegan or vegetarian option Although I eat meat, I hate to see veggies go without protein!  Two challenges a la “Dinner Impossible” are 1) make a dish that will go well with just about any other dish and 2) limit cooking to baking because the stovetop in the meat kitchen is fairly useless.  These are the legume dishes I’ve done in the past two months. Proportions are scaled to regular meals, not the 50 people we fed with the first dish!

Imjadara/Mujadara:  Lentils with Carmelized Onions

First – bake brown rice using Alton Brown’s brilliant recipe.
1 1/2 cup of brown rice
2 1/2 cups boiling water
1 Tablespoon olive oil
dash of salt
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Grease an 8” X 8” baking dish.  Put rice in the dish and pour the boiling water over it.  Add oil & salt.  Cover with foil.  Bake 1 hour.  Fluff with a fork when cooked.

Next (or beforehand depending on method) – carmelize the onions
3-4 medium onions, thinly sliced
2-3 Tablespoons olive oil.
Salt & pepper
3 options:
1 – stovetop – preheat oil to medium high heat.  Add the onions and lower the heat to medium-low to low.  Stir the onions every 10 minutes or so for 45 mins. to 1 hour until they are golden and carmelized.  .
2 – oven – put onions & oil in a dutch oven.  Roast at 400 degrees for about 2 hours, stirring the onions every 20-30 minutes.
3 – crock pot – onions & oil in the crockpot.  Cook on low 8-10 hours.  Add about 1/2 extra onion as some sticks to the side and you lose a little this way.  But, it’s the easiest.

And then – cook the lentils
2 cups lentils with 4 cups of water
1 – 1 1/2 teaspoon(s) salt
1/2-3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for approx. 20-30 mins. until lentils are soft but solid.  Mix about half of the rice, the onions, and the lentils together and season according to preference.

Spiced Chick Peas et al.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

1 can chick peas/garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
You can combine any combination of about 3-4 cups of other beans/peas
I used:
1 lb. bag frozen peas
1 c. frozen butter peas
Mix in a big bowl.  No need to thaw the peas.  Add seasonings (proportions approximate):
1 t. cumin
1/2 t. ground pepper
3/4 t. garlic salt
1/2 t. smoked or other paprika
1/2 t. ground coriander
2 t. olive oil
Toss to mix well.

3 T. butter or margarine:  cut up into little squares.
1/4 c. water
In the bottom of an 8 X 8 baking dish, put 4 little cubes of butter or margarine and add water.  Pour half of the bean mixture.  Put 4 more little cubes on this layer, then pour the rest of the beans in and then top with a couple of cubes of butter. Cover the dish with foil

Bake for 30-45 mins.  Stir every 15 mins. or so.  Add water if the beans are getting dry.

Black Bean Burgers

December 31, 2009

After having a really good black bean burger in an airport of all places (Chili’s Too at O’Hare), I wanted to work on mastering my own. These turned out quite well.  I combined elements from different recipes.

Black Bean Burgers

1 15 oz. can of black beans (or 1 c. cooked from dry)
1 medium onion, rough chopped
1 green bell pepper, rough chopped
3 cloves garlic, smashed
1 sm. or 1/2 bigger chipotle pepper in adobo sauce (from canned – I freeze these 2 peppers apiece in snack baggies)
2 T. sunflower seeds
1 egg
1/3 c. quick oats
1/3 c. matzo meal
1 t. cumin
salt & pepper to taste

Process onion, pepper, garlic, chipotle, and sunflower seeds until minced into small pieces.  Important:  Drain water out of this mixture in paper towels surrounded by rags.

Mash the beans in a large bowl with a fork. Leave some beans whole.

Beat the egg slightly and add onion mixture, egg, oats, matzo meal & spices.  Mix well.  Let sit in the fridge for at least 15 mins.

Form into patties. Either bake on parchment or Silpat at 400 degrees until browned (probably 20-30 mins. depending on size of patties), or fry in a pan with a small layer of olive oil, about 3 mins. a side.

Chicken Salad / Navy Bean Soup

December 23, 2009

Yesterday, I remembered I had cooked chicken breast in the fridge that was still good.  So, Chicken Salad it was.  I’ll share two ways to do this.

Basic Curry Chicken Salad

2 cooked chicken breasts or the equivalent amount of meat – cut into cubes
1-2 rib(s) celery finely chopped
2-3 T. minced red onion
1/4 c. mayonnaise
1 T. lemon juice
zest of 1/2 orange
juice of 1/2 orange
1-2 t. curry powder
1/2-1 t. salt
Black pepper to taste
(optional:  about 10 grapes, cut in half)

Whisk together: mayonnaise, lemon juice, orange juice, orange zest, curry powder, salt & pepper.
Add chicken, celery, onion, (and grapes).

Chicken Curry Salad From The Pantry
1 Costco can of chicken breast
1 can mandarin oranges in juice, drained
make dressing above – about 2/3 the amount – do not add grapes.  Add some unsweetened flaked coconut if you’ve got some.

I also remembered that I made a simple navy bean soup for a party last week.  This made a full pot of soup that fed about 10 people.

Navy Bean Soup

1 lb. navy beans, rinsed and picked over to remove non-beans and other scary looking pieces
Lots of water

2 medium onions, chopped
2 T. olive oil
1 T. canola margarine or unsalted butter
4 carrots, peeled and sliced (I find that peeling them prevents souring later)
5 celery ribs, chopped
1 1/2 t. thyme
1 1/2 t. marjoram
2 t. salt
1 t. black pepper
4-5 cups vegetable stock

Soak the beans overnight.  Saute onions in olive oil & margarine or butter until transluscent.  Add thyme, marjoram, salt & pepper and saute another minute.

Add beans, carrots, celery, and onion mixture  to a slow cooker.  Add vegetable stock.  Cook 8 hours on low.  Ideally, refrigerate the soup a day ahead of serving.  Something really good happens to the flavors in that day.

Hello world!

December 22, 2009

Welcome to yet-another-food-blog!  I’m starting this because I almost always forget what I’ve cooked, especially when I make things up on the spot.  There are also times when I am so happy with the way an impromptu combination looks that I think maybe I should snap a photo and admire after it’s gone.  I have CRS – Can’t Remember Shit – and so, I hope this blog will be a place to collect recipes I’ve tried, recipes I’ve tweaked, and ways I’ve figured out how to make something tasty out of what’s in the fridge and pantry.  And when I CRS, I’ll come here and remember what I did.  I’ll also add some thoughts on food and cooking techniques.

So far this week, I’ve made Sufganiyot – yummy Hanukkah doughnuts – from Epicurious’s recipe.  I tried them two ways:  once with making two thinner disks and putting the jelly in the middle before frying.  They were, to quote quickly aging pop culture slang, “Aiiight,” but the jelly got too liquidy in the cooking.  My next batch was full-thickness doughnuts and I cut a slit into the cooked doughnut and then used a condiment squeeze bottle to get jelly (seedless strawberry and all-fruit black raspberry) into them.

Then, for a party, I made the scrumptious Mushroom and Nut Pate from Recipezaar.  Yu-um!  I used half almonds, half pecans for the nut portion. I also made Bea Goldman’s Vegetarian Chopped Liver from Cooking Jewish by Judy Bart Kancigor.
1 lb. green beans, cooked (I thawed frozen ones)
1/4 c. canola oil
1 large onion, chopped
1/2 c. walnuts, toasted
2 hard boiled eggs, coarsely chopped
1 t. kosher salt
Black pepper to taste.

Dry the green beans.  Cook the onions on low heat 20-30 mins – about half-carmelized.  Cool the onions.  Combine everything in a food processor and pulse until just blended.  Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, up to 3 days.

And finally, this evening, I remembered (*amazing*) that I still had some Patak’s curry paste in my fridge, so I’m cooking some chick peas and will mix with an onion, a can of diced tomatoes, and a good glop of the curry paste.  And salt.  Always salt.

UPDATE:  Not only do I have CRS, but I have a new disorder:  CWB – Cooking While Blogging.  While figuring out categories, I let some oil get too hot while getting ready to pressure-cook the rice for the chick peas.  This is a new challenge.  The timer will be my friend!