This is the least glamorous recipe in existence, but we recently had to cut out gluten from our diets and this recipe saved me many times. It's based on one my mom made all the time growing up, and also happens to be one of only two bean recipes in existence that my son will eat. I try to always keep some of this on hand. While my favorite tortillas are flour, we use the corn tortillas right now to avoid gluten.
You have to start soaking the beans the night before, but once the beans are soaked and cooked everything else is very quick. Sometimes I make small batches, sometimes I make enough for an army. I freeze it in two cup batches so it's always on hand when there's nothing else to eat. If you make beans already you'll see how ridiculously easy this is when you glance through the directions.
two cups of dried beans
olive oil or bacon fat
1 T. cumin
a clove of chopped garlic
half an onion, chopped
1/2 T. coriander powder
1 t. turmeric
1 t. garam masala
1/4 t. chili powder
For the beans:
Begin the night before by soaking the beans in plenty of filtered water to cover. Leave it out for 8-24 hours. When you're ready to cook the beans, strain them and put them in a big pot. Add plenty of water again to cover, and bring them to a boil. Turn it down to simmer and cook them until all the beans are very soft. Try at least five to make sure, because for whatever reason sometimes they don't all cook evenly. In any case, you can't overcook them in this context. Strain the beans, but save some of the cooking liquid.
To finish the beans:
Heat up some kind of fat or oil in a big flat pan. Add the onions and garlic and cook over gentle heat until the onions are transparent. Turn off the heat and add the beans and onion mixture to a food processor, but NOT the bean liquid or you will end up with soup. Once they are blended together you can add some of the cooking liquid to make a smooth puree.
In the same pan you sautéed the onions and garlic in, add a little more oil if you need to and put in the cumin and all the optional spices if you're using them. Stir for a few seconds until the spices become fragrant, and then add in bean puree back in.
To make the tortillas:
Spread the beans on a tortilla, sprinkle with grated cheese, and top with another tortilla. Heat in a dry pan until the cheese melts.
In the pictures above you can see we added sliced ham and fried it up like a grilled cheese sandwich. It was great. My husband is master of the grilled cheese and I love it this way, but I still do it the way we had it growing up. It was always a bit more austere, and always heated in a dry pan.
This is one of the oddest vegetables. Like the potato, nagaimo is a tuber, but when you cut into it the texture is bizarrely slimy. But don't be scared, because it's low calorie and surprisingly refreshing. Usually found at Japanese grocery stores, I believe you can also find it at Ranch 99 or Berkeley Bowl. It's usually wrapped in plastic wrap with something that looks like sawdust (rice bran, maybe?) on the ends to keep it from seeping.
Peel as much as you're going to eat, and then grate it with a box grater.
Serve it over hot rice with a big squeeze of lemon juice and soy sauce. Re-wrap the unused portion of nagaimo and store it in the refrigerator.
I'm sure there are other ways to eat this, but this is the way I was shown. I started a nagaimo board on pinterest, but who knows when I'll get around to trying it other ways. Leave me a comment to tell me how you eat this if you've had it before. I'd love to know.
When I buy kale or swiss chard, I try to cook it immediately before I forget about it. Sometimes I buy it with a specific dish in mind, like a kale-white bean-sausage soup, or the torta recipe I posted last week, but more often I just clean it and cook it right away to use in soups or eat right out of the container.
It never occurred to me to do this until I read about it in Tamar Adler's An Everlasting Meal.
any mix in any amount of any leafy greens
red pepper flakes
1. Put the greens in a huge bowl and fill it with water. Swish the leaves around a little to remove any grit that has collected there, allow the grit to settle at the bottom of the bowl, and pull the greens out and put them in a strainer. Repeat this a few times until you are confident your greens are clean.
2. Cut out any thick stems and slice up the leaves. I used to leave the stems in, but sometimes it's nicer to save the chewier parts for stem pesto.
3. Heat some oil in a sauté pan and throw in some sliced garlic. Add some red pepper flakes as well. Before any of it starts to burn, throw in some of the leaves and salt them lightly. You may have to do this in batches depending on the size of your pan and how much you're cooking. Any water still on the greens will help them to steam. Keep stirring. It won't take long.
You are now left with an oily, garlicky mess of. No more horrible fibrous reminders that you're doing this to cleanse your colon, to fight cancer, for calcium, or because you're supposed to.
If you start eating them now, while the mess is still warm, you will finish it. But if you put it away for another day, here are some ideas for how you can use it.
This sandwich is made with toasted bread, butter, sautéed greens, salt, pepper, a little lemon juice, and cheese. I know it doesn't sound like much, but it's really good. I haven't been able to stop at just one.
We ate at Lazy Dog in Dublin a few days ago and I ordered the pizza on baked lavash. It was great! So now I have stolen their brilliant idea, if not their recipe. It is done in 10 minutes flat and makes a great quick lunch or dinner. I tried different combinations of very thinly sliced tomato, mushroom, and eggplant with fresh and dried basil. Oddly enough, the mushroom was the winner. I will write down exactly what I did in case I forget, but obviously this is one you can just make up as you go along. If you have lavash, cheese, and any thinly sliced vegetable, you have a meal.
whole wheat lavash
Trader Joe's Shredded Four Cheese Blend
thinly sliced mushrooms
roasted garlic chips or thin slices of fresh garlic
Spread a little oil on the lavash. Spread some cheese over it, then mushrooms, a pinch of basil, a few garlic chips, and the lightest sprinkling of salt. Broil it for about 2 minutes.
I love trying new foods, cooking, and gardening. I hope to share these experiences on this site. Thanks for taking a look!