Beans Archive

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

red kidney bean curry

rajmah

I have a confession to make: For years, I have been cooking a dish that I love very very much but I haven’t told you about it because it comes from two words that I cannot bring myself to publicly own up to.* Especially on a site where if you suggested I use one, I’d suggest you haven’t been paying attention.

It’s a box mix, people. And it makes the most fantastic rajmah, or kidney bean curry. Wait! Let me explain. Long before I had cooked a single Indian dish, I was overwhelmed at the thought of it. I didn’t have the spices. I didn’t know which spices I’d want. I was sure I’d use them all wrong. There’s like an art and a science to this and I am a dilettante in the world of Indian cooking.

kidney beans

And one day we were at Whole Foods, and they of course had some cooking samples out, these provided from a company that was packaging Indian spice mixes for classic dishes, for which they helpfully provided recipes on the back. The aloo gobi was okay. The chicken tikka masala was, you know, not bad either. But the kidney bean curry? Swoon. We took it home with us that very night.

In the years since, I have found Indian recipes I can’t get enough of. There are Curried Lentils and Sweet Potatoes, Tangy Cabbage Salads and an Everyday Yellow Dal, Red Split Lentils with Cabbage, Indian-Spiced Vegetable Fritters and my favorite, the one that we make many times a year, Indian-Spiced Cauliflower and Potatoes.

indian spiced cauliflower and potatoes

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Monday, February 2, 2009

crisp black bean tacos with feta and slaw

black bean tacos

Let me just get this out of the way before I begin: I’m a little embarrassed by this meal. Not because it took 10 minutes to make, but because it came entirely from things that were already packaged and it tasted… well, not bad, but certainly not like I made any great effort. I bet you can’t wait to sign up, huh?

smashing black beans

So why I am telling you about it? Because we’ve all been there, haven’t we? Even in New York City, where you can get anything delivered at any moment’s notice, there are days when one more meal that arrives in plastic-lidded foil containers will send you over the edge. I made this on one of those days. It was 8 p.m., we were both starving and I had one chance to ask Alex to grab something at the store on his way home and I didn’t want to miss it. So I Googled probably one of those most popular searches on the Internet, “10 minute meals” and, well, that pretty much brings us up to today.

slaw with scallions and lime juice

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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

warm butternut squash and chickpea salad

butternut chickpea salad

I’ve confessed again and again that I’m just not the kind of person who likes to eat things repeatedly. What’s bad for, I don’t know, using up leftovers, however, is good for having the kind of site that updates three times a week with new recipes. So I’d say it all evens out. But every so often, actually — way too rarely, rarely — I hit on something that I cannot stop eating. For weeks, months. And now, we’re over a year and I’m telling you, if I had a butternut squash at home right now, we’d already have dinner made.

peeled butternut squash

I’ve mentioned this salad before but I realize that this is one of those recipes I’m going to refresh as often as I can get away with. The second I had these ingredients together — lemon, tahini, butternut squash, garlic, chickpeas — I couldn’t believe it was the first time. They were made to be together, and in the times that I’ve had them apart in other recipes, I always know what they’re missing.

butternut squash

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Monday, January 19, 2009

smashed chickpea salad

smashed chickpea salad sandwich

It has been over one week since I told you about the Light Wheat Bread (and just as long since we’ve been out of it, sob), a post I ended with a promise to tell you about my new favorite sandwich next. But instead I told you about Clementine Cakes and then Mushroom Bourguignon and Chouquettes and do you know what happened? Not a single person griped that they were owed a sandwich. Because really, who does that?

zesting the lemonjuicing the lemon

I take issue with the banality of most sandwich recipes. I will actually change the channel if I see a food program that walks viewers through making one of any kind. I mean, is this how low the bar has dropped for “cooking”? But it’s not the shows that are to blame, I think, or not fully: it’s the sandwiches. Most sandwiches are dull. Some sliced stuff and schmear between two uninspired slices of bread. Who can stay awake for that?

ready to mix and mash

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Wednesday, January 7, 2009

squash and chickpea moroccan stew

Squash and Chickpea Moroccan Stew

Our first night in Paris in October, we had dinner at a great, inexpensive Moroccan restaurant in the 3ème called Chez Omar. The specialty is couscous, and the various stews you ladle over it. Alex had the chicken, I had the vegetables, but I hear we really missed out on the Royal, which is a big mess of meat. Served family style, the food was unpretentious, light and so healthy, I made a mental bookmark to try my hand at it when I got home.

chickpea squash stew mise

Which, being me, I promptly forgot about. What jogged my memory was a version of a Moroccan vegetable stew on Ask Aida on the Food Network last week. I think that Moroccan cooking can be intimidating: I don’t have a 1 3/4-Quart Le Crueset Cast Iron Moroccan Tagine in Caribbean Blue for the low price of $200, nor do I have one I picked up for $2.95 at the central souk in Marrakesh in 1968. (Okay, I wasn’t even alive in 1968 but for some reason, everyone but me seems to have a story about something fabulous they bought there when backpacking across the world and I am jealous.) I also don’t have a couscousier, yet astoundingly, I was able to pull off this squash and chickpea stew for dinner on Sunday, and it was delicious.

stew, simmering

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