Ayocotes are big, flat-ish beans (I’ve sometimes called them beans on steroids) that were popular in pre-Hispanic México and during the colonial time, but somehow got out of fashion. You can still find them, though, and luckily for those in the US, Rancho Gordo sells quite a variety of them. To make the ones here, I combined their instructions on the bag, Sara Kate Gillingham‘s idea of adding beer (that I got off an Instagram of hers) and my aunt’s recipe in Puebla, México. Here I’m using the same ones my aunt used for the recipe she gave me, scarlet runner beans.
- 1/2 lb Scarlet Runner Beans
- 1/2 head of garlic, each clove peeled, left whole
- 1 box of baby portobello mushrooms, sliced
- 10-15 cilantro sprigs
- 1 pasilla chile
- 1tbsp dried epazote
- 2 bottles Red Stripe beer
- 10 c water
At least 6 hours before (or better yet, the night before) soak the beans in cold water. I recommend checking them for stones or little pieces of dirt that sometimes get into the bags of beans. As a child it was my favorite part of helping my dad cook beans: the game of find the pebble in the bag. But I digress.
In a large pot, add the soaked beans, including the soaking water (you’re throwing out flavor otherwise) and add the 10 cups of water. Turn stove to high heat and, when the water is warm but not boiling, add the garlic, cilantro, pasilla, mushrooms, epazote and beer. Bring to a boil. The liquid will foam. Remove it with a spoon (beans are famous for causing gas. According to my aunt, removing this foam is what makes the beans less gass-y).
Lower the heat to low and cook, covered, for about 2 hours or until the beans are soft. I like my beans on the less-saucy side, so I discarded a lot of the liquid after they were cooked (normally I would save it for a tortilla soup, but not this week). Once you have the desired quantity of liquid, season with salt and pepper to taste.
These beans work wonderfully as a side-dish or added to a quinoa salad. If you try them, let me know what you think!
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Posted in Quick and Easy, Soup, Vegetarian, tagged chard, easy, Quick, soup, spinach, Vegetarian, veggie, winter on January 20, 2014|
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It’s been months since I’ve posted here. Studying for grad school qualifiers will do that to you. I made myself focus on the books and not cook as much, so therefore there was hardly anything to post. But now the test is over and I am back in the kitchen and loving it.
This recipe begins as many do: With a bunch of things left over in the fridge and the need to make something with them. That, and a strange craving for soup (don’t get me wrong, I love soups, but I’ve never been the biggest fan of them).
- 8 cups chopped collard greens, stems removed (I got this from about 1 large bunch)
- 3tbsp olive oil
- 4 oz baby spinach
- 1/2 onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 c hot water
- generous sprinkling of dried oregano
- 1 can cooked chickpeas, drained
- 2 c vegetable or chicken broth
- 7 oz (1/2 can) coconut milk
- 1/2 c ground cashew nuts, unsalted
- salt and pepper to taste
- juice of 1/2 a lime (about two tbsp)
- Cook the chard in a large pot of water until just wilted. Drain.
- In the same pot, heat the olive oil. When glistening, add the onions and garlic, reduce heat slightly and cook until translucent.
- Add spinach and the cup of hot water.
- When the spinach has wilted, add the cooked collard greens, oregano, chick peas and the two cups broth of your choice.
- Season with salt and pepper, bring to a soft boil and let the flavors mix, about five minutes.
- Remove from heat and let cool slightly. With an immersion blender, blend until you have a smooth and uniform soup.
- Return to the stove, add coconut milk and pureed cashews and bring to a soft boil, reducing thickness of soup until desired consistency (I like my soups on the creamy side, so I reduce them quite a lot).
- Add the lime juice, taste and adjust salt and pepper if needed.
Soup freezes well; picture doesn’t do justice to the flavor punch that this experiment turned out to be.
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This weekend I shopped, but for baking stuff, so when it came to cooking today’s lunch I had to go with the three things I had on hand (you will see the Campari tomatoes from last week). I could’ve done an episode of 5 ingredient fix… It turned out to be soo yummy and creamy I am in love with it and am taking some for lunch tomorrow.
FISH À LA “WHATEVER-IS-IN-THE-FRIDGE”
- 2 tilapia loins, cut in cubes
- 1/4 onion, chopped
- 4 Campari tomatoes, quartered
- 2 teaspoons dried parsley
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/4 c white wine (I used Chardonnay)
Heat one tablespoon oil in a medium temperature and fry the onion. Add the tomatoes and cook until the tomatoes soften a little. Add the parsley and garlic. Mix well. Remove from heat and pour into bowl. Return the pan to the flame, add second tablespoon oil and when hot, add the tilapia cubes. With a pair of tongs, turn tilapia so that all sides are white and seared. Return tomato mix to pan. Add salt and pepper to taste. The mix will look creamy. Add the wine and let it reduce until the creamy texture returns.
(apologies for the less-than-stellar picture, I forgot to take a picture of the plated version before eating it :D) It may not be the best-looking thing, but trust me, it was good.
Because tilapia is such a delicate fish, it will cook quickly. As you see from my picture, several of my cubes broke apart, so be careful if presentation matters.
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