I always use long beans in a Thai curry, but last summer I tried something different. Unfortunately, it took me months to finish writing about it. But then, this is California, and there are loads of green beans at the farmers market, so who is to say this isn't seasonal?
Liana Krissoff's Canning for a New Generation has a recipe for Fermented Yard-Long Beans which she based on a recipe from Sandor Katz's Wild Fermentation. I haven't seen his version, but I realized that this is made exactly the same way kim chi is made. My favorite kim chi recipe uses 1/4 cup salt to a cup of water, and this one uses 1/2 cup salt to 12 cups of water, but the idea is the same. Submerge vegetables in a brine long enough for the fermentation to work a transformation. It's the chile powder, garlic and ginger that make the kim chi taste Korean, so I was curious to try long beans pickled with nothing but chile pepper.
They taste Chinese! And wonderful.
I tried these in a stir fry and thought they were very good. A few of these add a bright acidic note which I really like. My children, however, hated it. You decide.
Two bunches of yard-long beans (they are long, but not a yard long...)
1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
1/2 cup salt
12 cups water
Trim the beans and cut them in half. Put them in a food-grade bucket or a big mason jar and sprinkle the pepper flakes over them. Dissolve the salt in the water and pour enough over the beans to just cover them. Now pour the rest of the brine into a gallon zip lock bag and seal it well. Put it on top of the beans to keep them submerged. Or make your life easier with this pickle press. I use mine regularly.
Now you wait three to five days. Some scum may form on the surface of the brine, and you can just skim that off. After three days, start tasting the beans to see if the appropriate sour pickle flavor has developed. It can't get much easier!
Pronounced "jew-vedge", this hails from the part of the world formerly known as Yugoslavia. This is home cooking at it's best- simple, nutritious and rich. The miracle of this dish is that I made a mistake, turned off the oven halfway through cooking, and came home three and a half hours later to perfection. My kids have activities every afternoon right now, and I don't get home until around 7. I will be making this dish as often as my family will eat it.
I found this recipe in Elisabeth Luard's The Old World Kitchen: The Rich Tradition of European Peasant Cooking. It was published in 1987, so it's hardly the hot new thing, but it is a good thing. The directions were so simple I reread them again and again because I kept thinking that I had left something out. No- it's just that easy. And did I mention delicious?
My kids abhorred the eggplant, but my sympathy is limited. Your family, your call. This needs at least an hour and a half to bake.
1/2 cup olive oil (it's rich, not greasy)
2 sliced onions
3-4 cloves of sliced garlic
2 pounds of boneless lamb, cut into bite sized pieces
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon hot paprika
salt and pepper
2 pounds of chopped mixed vegetables (bell pepper, zucchini, green beans, eggplant)
1/2 cup of rice
1/2 pound sliced fresh or canned tomatoes
Options and Alterations:
You can leave out the meat and add feta cheese during the end of the cooking. You can switch out the vegetables for whatever is in season. You can substitute chicken for lamb. You can use 4 peeled, sliced potatoes instead of rice. You can also add some cumin to the spices. The original recipe called for 1/2 teaspoon of chili powder, not the paprikas that I used.
I love trying new foods, cooking, and gardening. I hope to share these experiences on this site. Thanks for taking a look!