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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The middle of the summer is always the time in which I least want to cook. Not because I don’t want to, necessarily (though when I’m really tired I don’t), but because it’s too hot to cook! So I end up craving salads and other cold meals.
This is an adaptation of a recipe I found in the Epicurious website. As usual, I’ve adapted it to make-do with what I had at home. I used tri-color quinoa, but any color will do.
(WARM) KALE AND QUINOA SALAD
Serves about 3 as a main dish
- 1 c quinoa, rinsed thoroughly
- 2c water
- 1/2 onion, minced
- 1/4 c pistachios, shelled
- 6 or 7 Campari tomatoes, washed and quartered
- 1 teaspoon mustard
- 1/4 c white balsamic vinegar
- 4 tbsp olive oil, divided
- 1 head of kale (about 4 cups), washed, stemmed and chopped
Add two tbsp olive oil to a large pot or casserole over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté until they become translucent. Add the quinoa and stir a bit to mix it in. Add the kale and the water.
Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium, cover and cook for about 15 minutes, or until water is absorbed and the quinoa has gotten fluffy. Remove from heat and toss to start cooling it.
Meanwhile, mix the mustard, vinegar and remaining tablespoons of olive oil to make vinaigrette. Mix until emulsified.
Once the quinoa-kale mix has cooled, add it to the pistachios and quartered tomatoes.
Drizzle the dressing on top, add salt and pepper to taste and mix.
I find that refrigerating the salad overnight enhances the flavors. You can heat it up a bit (hence the “warm” in parentheses) or you can eat it chilled.
I got distracted and neglected the onions a bit, so some of them caramelized. I think it works to the advantage of the dish.
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