Monday, August 22, 2011

another bean recipe

there are enough bean recipes on here, but i just invented this one yesterday and i like it. it is basically frijoles rancheros cooked in the style of the okra stew of mark bittman's recipe.

1. soak a pound of dried pinto beans overnight, rinsing several times before and after
2. boil them in just enough water to cover until they are soft, occasionally adding water to make sure the level doesn't go too low. i prefer a smaller amount of concentrated bean broth.
2a. make a raw tomato concassé with a pound of very ripe tomatoes, then mill it so you have a puré with no seeds or skin in it (quarter the tomatoes, let sit in a bowl with about a half teaspoon of salt to extract the juices, then mill them; or just blend the whole thing if you don't have a food mill)
3. get a pound of pork shoulder "rib" with bone in it, and a half pound of ham that has fat on it, that you have diced. put a little olive oil in a dutch oven and brown these together, so both sides of the shoulder are well browned and the ham gets a little charred on the edges.
4. remove the pork and add in a large carrot, a stick of celery, two jalapeños (optionally remove the seeds and gills) and a large onion, all chopped. cook these until the onion is soft and they are starting to get browned. 
5. deglaze the pot with a can of beer.
6. when the beer is almost all boiled off, put the pork back in, then put in the reserved beans and bean broth.
7. add the tomato puré and a teaspoon of salt, and possibly some water so that it barely covers the beans, and simmer gently for 2-3 hours, until the pork shoulder is fork tender.
8. remove the pork shoulder, take out the bone, chop the meat and put it back in the pot.
9. turn off the heat, stir in one bunch of chopped cilantro and a tablespoon of freshly ground cumin.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

okra stew

We tried this recipe from Mark Bittman and we like it. It has the texture of gumbo but the flavors are completely different, since it's made with pork products, no shellfish, lots of tomato and carrots, and no roux or filé. if not for the white wine, it would be much cheaper than gumbo to make.


Okra Stew

Yield 4 servings

Time About 2 1/2 to 3 hours

Mark Bittman

    * 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    * 8 pork ribs, or 4 country-style ribs or pork chops
    * 1/2 pound bacon or ham, cut into chunks
    * 2 small dried red chilies, optional
    * 1 large onion, chopped
    * 2 celery stalks, chopped
    * 1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
    * 2 tablespoons minced garlic
    * 1 pound okra, trimmed and roughly chopped (frozen is fine)
    * Salt and freshly ground black pepper
    * 1/2 cup dry white wine (like Sauvignon Blanc)
    * 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes with their juice
    * Chopped fresh parsley leaves for garnish.


    * 1. Put the oil in a deep skillet or large pot over medium-high heat. When it’s hot, add the pork, bacon and chilies, if using, and cook, stirring and turning the pork occasionally, until browned on all sides, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove everything from the pan with a slotted spoon or tongs, leaving the fat behind.
    * 2. Add the onion, celery, carrot, garlic and okra to the pan and sprinkle with some salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the wine and stir for about a minute to scrape up all the browned bits from the bottom of the pan, then add the tomatoes and 1 cup water.
    * 3. Return the pork, bacon, and chiles to the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat so the mixture bubbles gently, cover the pan and cook, checking every now and then, until the meat is falling off the bone, about 2 hours. Take the pork out of the pan, remove the meat from the bones, roughly chop it, and return it to the pan. Taste and adjust the seasoning, and serve garnished with parsley, if you like.

Thursday, August 4, 2011


I have finally gotten over my mental block and made Gazpacho. It would be hard to name an easier, more nutritious, or sublime blend of ingredients than this!  All you need is some crusty bread and good cheese to go with it.
This recipe is taken from "Moosewood Cookbook" by Mollie Katzen, my favorite vegetarian cookbook author. 

4 cups tomato juice
1/2 cup finely minced onion
1 medium clove garlic, minced
1 medium bell pepper, minced (I used red)
1 tsp. honey 
1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded, & minced
2 scallions, minced
juice of 1/2 lemon + 1 lime
2. Tbs. wine vinegar
1 tsp. each - basil & tarragon
1/4 scant tsp. cumin
1/4 c. freshly minced parsley
2 to 3 Tbs. olive oil
1 - 2 tsp. salt or to taste (adjust according to the tomato juice chosen)
black pepper, cayenne, to taste (I used 1 very small serrano pepper instead)
2 cups freshly diced tomatoes

Combine all ingredients. 
(Optional: Purée all or some) CHILL UNTIL VERY COLD. 

Monday, August 1, 2011

Ham, Asparagus, and Gruyere Crustless Quiche

This is  a very good and simple recipe. I substituted gruyere with swiss cheese and it turned out great.  
Ham, Asparagus, and Gruyere Crustless Quiche
adapted from The All Purpose Joy of Cooking
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 leek, thinly sliced (white and light green parts only)
1/2 pound asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces
6 ounces ham, cubed, about 1 cup
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon salt
fresh ground black pepper, to taste
3 ounces shredded Gruyere cheese, about 1 cup
1. Butter a 10-inch pie plate or quiche dish.  Position oven rack to center position and preheat to 400 degrees.
2. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add olive oil and butter and swirl to melt butter.  Add leeks, and cook, stirring, for a couple minutes until softened. Add asparagus, and cook, stirring, for 5 – 8 minutes, or until just tender. Turn off heat. Add ham and toss together with asparagus.  Scrape ham and asparagus mixture into the buttered quiche dish.  Sprinkle grated cheese evenly over the top.
3. In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, heavy cream, salt, and pepper.  Pour egg mixture over the ham, asparagus, and cheese.  Place quiche in the oven and bake for 30 minutes or until quiche is set and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.