February 2009 COTM Schneider: Vegetables & Beans and Other Legumes
February 2009 COTM: A New Way to Cook by Sally Schneider
Please post your full-length reviews of vegetables, beans and other legume
recipes here. Please mention the name of the recipe you are reviewing and the book and page number, if possible, as well as any modifications you made to the recipe.
A reminder that the verbatim copying of recipes to the boards is a violation of the copyright of the original author. Posts with copied recipes will be removed.
Thanks for participating!
Hummus, p. 101
This is my go-to recipe for hummus. The key is the toasted and freshly-ground cumin, coriander, and sesame seeds. She says to coarsely grind them, but I finely grind. Also, I add a bit of olive oil to the hummus. The other ingredients are chickpeas, tahini, garlic, lemon juice, salt, and cayenne. Everyone always asks for the recipe since it has more flavor than the typical hummus.
Yes, the sesame seeds are also ground and added to the hummus. She says to crush the spices in a mortar or coarsely grind them to provide "crackle" but I prefer the spices finely ground. The recipe actually calls for only 2 teaspoons of extra virgin olive olive for drizzling, thinning the hummus with the bean cooking liquid (I use water if using canned beans). It's a very flavorful, light and fluffy hummus, although I do add a bit of oil when I make it.
Sometimes I use it in place of tahini (when I'm making it from scratch) and when I buy a prepared plain hummus, I just add some. It just adds something rich. Maybe it has more sesame oil in it. I don't know. I started using it because I didn't have tahini once and subbed it to great effect.
We tried the hummus this weekend for my house-warming dip party. It was extra good with the Parmesan Rosemary Crackers from Martha's Baking Handbook (I love those crackers!)! I really wanted to try the Hot-buttered Hummus, but couldn't find basturma in time, but this was a very flavorful version of hummus, which I usually find to be somewhat bland. The garlic sure intensified over time! We joked that everyone left the party with some very rank breath! If they didn't like garlic or cumin, they probably didn't like our party! ;-)
Parsnip Fries, p. 48 (? will check it tonight)
Tried these last night as Superbowl snacks. While not a particularly complex or revolutionary recipe, I'd never thought to make parsnip fries before, and they were good. You basically roast oiled and salted parsnip matchsticks at 375 for 45 minutes. I added a bit of cumin and oregano to keep things interesting. Made them along with sweet potato fries, and the combination of the two went well together.
Provencal-Style Mushrooms, p. 41
The recipe calls for roasting wild mushrooms, onion, garlic, juniper berries, thyme, sherry, olive oil, S&P and optional cognac or grappa at 375 for 35 minutes. Toss finished mushrooms with 2 cloves minced garlic and 1/2 c minced parsley.
For the mushrooms, I used a blend of portobello and shitake, as those are pretty cheap at TJ's. I opted for shallots instead of onions, replaced the juniper berries(hard to find!) with rosemary and mortar-and -pestled the parsley and garlic rather than mince. I didn't use the grappa/cognac.
The result was good, and used a lot less oil (only 1 T) than my usual saute method. We ate these on top of a wild rice and brown rice pilaf, and they were very garlicky, and very good. I like a lot of garlic, and can take it raw...if you can't I'd omit the last step, as it was almost raw, with just a tad of the bite taken off by being tossed in the hot mushrooms.
Gratin of Beans, Pg. 100
I made a mess 'o beans a while ago and am just getting around to posting on the result of about a half of those pinto beans.... which BTW are very, very nice indeed.
The recipe calls for the following:
1 1/2 cups "rich meaty broth". I used home made chicken broth..
a clove of garlic, unsalted butter, 6 cups cooked beans, FGBPepper, and freshly grated Parmigiano.
The beans are put into a 2 qt. gratin dish which has been smeared with the cut side of a clove of garlic then buttered liberally. After this sits for a few minutes to dry the beans are poured into the dish, the broth is poured over after being reduced from the 1 1/2 cups to 1 1/3 cups.... and then dusted with the freshly ground black pepper.
The dish goes into a preheated 400* oven and baked for 40 minutes or until they are "very creamy." After that you take out the dish and sprinkle the Parmigiano evenly over the beans then back into the oven they go till the cheese is melted and golden brown.
All in all the gratin was very tasty and we liked it very much. As usual, you can substitute any variety of bean which will give you the desired creamniess she's looking for.
I made a half recipe of this last night using 3 cups of canned flageolets. I didn't halve the amount of broth, but reduced it to a cup, which actually wasn't enough. When I checked the beans after half an hour they were in danger of drying out rather than becoming creamy so I added a little bit more water and cooked for a bit longer before adding the parmesan.
I served these with venison sausages from the farmer's market (amazing) and purple sprouting broccoli and I thought the combination went well. I liked the beans but wasn't wowed by them - they lacked the requisite creaminess, imho. Mr GG on the other hand was a big fan and had two portions. Given that he liked them so much, they're relatively healthy and he's trying to lose weight at the moment, I'd definitely make them again.
Red Lentil Stew with Caramelized Onions, p. 104
Hmm, I just realized that I attached my review of Red Lentil Stew with Caramelized Onions to yamalam's post in the soups & salads thread (link below), but I think the discussion really belongs over here under the beans thread.