beans are boring!
rice and beans- done too much lately
what else is there?
i have a can of every kind of bean imaginable in the cupboard and don't want to do the usual- chili- rice& beans- bean salad- soup
Heres a few:
make your own baked beans
Hummus (chick peas)
Falafel (chick peas)
Bean soup (ministrone, or black bean, or navy bean) oh you said soup- oh well
Pannelle - chickpea fritters
Pasta e fagioli
- bean moussaka (borlotti beans are the best for this recipe)
- white bean dip with garlic, onions and the herb of your choice
- bean salads can be versatile, lots of possibilities - not sure if you are giving up on the concept or a given repertoire.
Boring??? Today is Monday! It's Red Beans and Rice Day in New Orleans! Has been for generations. The whole city eats Red Beans and Rice at home or in restaurants EVERY Monday. It's on all the menus from the top places to the dives. Even Popeyes's offers it all over the country with their fried chicken - seven days a week.
My kids used to ask "What's for dinner?" and I asked back "What day is it?" When they said "Oh, Monday!!!!" they knew that we were having Red Beans and Rice.
Now that I'm an Empty Nester, I make a double batch and they stop by for a big container of Mom's Red Beans to take to their own homes for supper. They're on their own for the rice and green salad. The tradition lives!!
Nothing boring about Red Beans and Rice.
Embarrassingly simple. First, you need fresh dried beans. Lots of beans sit on market shelves for too long and get too dried out so they never cook well. I get a couple shipments a year from my sister in New Orleans of Camellia brand. The turnover in NOLA is really high since everyone eats so many there and they're always fresh. Second, I use the quick-soak method of boiling and then letting the beans sit for an hour covered before throwing out that water and then cooking. The beans soften more evenly. Cooks Illustrated also did one of their super-OCD tests and said there were fewer of the gassy compounds left in beans soaked this way - seems to be true.
I use a simple mirepoix of onion, celery, green pepper and garlic, sautéed usually in some bacon drippings. Bay leaf and thyme. Black and cayenne pepper. No salt because it toughens the beans and you can add it after they're cooked. A meaty ham bone or some chunks of ham. Then add the soaked beans and fresh water to cover well. Simmer until the beans are done to your liking. If you want creamy liquid, you can squash a few of them against the side of the pot with a wooden spoon. I remove the bone and ham chunks and shred the meat which I return to the pot. Adjust the seasonings and add salt to taste. We serve with chopped raw onion.
Most places in New Orleans use plain white rice. I always did until some years ago when I served brown rice to my father, a Cajun, because I was out of white rice. He said it was just like the rice that they used when he was young and lived in the country before rice was so refined as it is now. Hey, I figured it was probably more "authentic," so I've been using brown rice ever since and we really like it better. His Cajun family never used andouille and neither did most people I knew in New Orleans or in the country. If we had company, I sometimes did use some kind of sausage (similar to kielbasa) or added pork chops. We always have plain green salad with an oil and vinegar dressing.
Many people in New Orleans make red bean soup with leftovers by puréeing some beans, leaving some as-is, and thinning it out with chicken stock.
I had a recipe that came to me second hand from Dulac, Louisiana, through a fellow Captain. The one from MakingSense is pretty close to it. It would use a kielbasa-like sausage, but never anything like andouille, and it called for adding strips of bacon.
You can take that recipe and adapt it for all different kinds of beans and change the meats you add to it. get some inexpensive chorizo, take out the celery and maybe the pepper, and make it with black beans, using a longer soak. Change to a smoked turkey leg and make it with dried limas.
As far as fresher beans, I doubt I have ever had them.
This is great in the crockpot, too. I don't use green peppers (doesn't sit well with me) but use carrots in the mire poix. Chunky bacon is always good. Don't crucify me for not being authentic! I make rice in the rice cooker. There's nothing like coming home at 6 or 7 to that great smell and a dinner ready to eat. I find a meaty ham bone works better to flavor the beans than just ham (which I will add before serving, if I have time).
I always keep a great variety of beans on hand. I make a couscous salad with different beans all the time. I usually just add in a bunch of veggies (red onion, cucumber, tomato, marinated artichokes, zuchinni, red bell pepper) with feta and the beans, a little vingerrette and it is wondeful. I also make a variety of patties with them. I'll cook down the beans with red onion and chipotles and puree them and then mix with egg and bread crumbs and cook them and serve with salsa and sour cream.