Archive | core techniques RSS feed for this section

Beans, Veg, Yogurt, Meat

23 Nov

Another simple meal pattern: legumes, roasted vegetables, yogurt, and optionally meat.

In this case, fresh shelling beans (simmered on medium-low 30-40 minutes with aromatics + herbs), winter squash from the garden and broccoli (both chopped, tossed with olive oil and salt, and roasted in a 400F oven for 20-30 minutes), and a pan-fried sausage and some yogurt (optional: fermented hot sauce).

It does take three pots/pans, but only 45 minutes (depending how long the beans take to cook), so it’s on our roster as a common weeknight or weekend meal with endless variants…IMG_20191003_201919.jpg

Cooking Fresh Beans

10 Nov

Every year I grow a few varieties of fresh shelling beans, and when I’m lucky I find them at the local markets as well.

A common even weeknight-fast way of cooking them is to combine beans, salty water, a splash of olive oil, some aromatic (half an onion, a shallot, a clove of garlic), a whole dried hot pepper pod (without seeds if I want it to be less spicy), and a bay leaf.

IMG_20191003_194011

Just low-simmering this combination for 25-45 minutes until creamy-soft (time depends on the particular beans, their size, and their maturity) and then draining and dressing with good olive oil is consistently delicious.

 

Cooking Dry Beans

10 Mar

IMG_20190310_202652_940IMG_20190310_183228

Cooking dry beans? How boring and simple a concept is that?

I just cooked some great dried-but-not-old beans (Good Mother Stallard beans from last summer’s back yard garden, picked once the pods got papery and brittle and just stored in a mason jar), so I’m jotting down a few notes.

I didn’t soak them overnight. I covered them with a few inches of water, fairly heavily salted (a palmful of salt, such that it actually tastes like salty water, though not seawater), added a spoonful of olive oil, a whole peeled shallot, and maybe 1/2 tsp each of mustard seed and fennel seed.

Then I brought them to a very low simmer and let them cook uncovered… they took just under two hours to be creamy-soft and delicious.

On the other hand, cooking the same beans after another year of storage (18 months old rather than 6 months old) took about six hours, even with some pre-soaking, so it seems to dependĀ  how old they are (and perhaps how well salted?)