Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Mean Beans

It’s often remarked upon how strangely I eat, an observation wholly based in fact. And yes, that does include a lot of beans, because they’re delicious, easy, cheap, and insanely nutritious. But eventually you eat enough hummus (or not) and need to branch out. I made, or rather stumbled upon, both these white bean ideas this weekend and was sort of impressed with myself, so I present to you all.

Cannellinis with Chevre
When that awesome, huge package of chevre was hanging around our house, before we finished it off with Peter’s (delicious) bread on Monday, I shoved a spoonful into some hot beans that I had warmed on the stove and threw in some coriander and cumin. The cheese was so soft to begin with that it melted instantly and created a really nice, warm, comforting bowl of mush.

White Bean Dip
1 can Cannellini beans
1 roasted red pepper
lots of salt, pepper, and fresh herbs
a healthy sprinkling of breadcrumbs.
Put everything in the food processor and blend.

This one is from the amazing Gourmet Cookbook, which we swear by in Bed Stuy. There had been some talk about how to make hummus really creamy before, and I think the addition of the bread crumbs could be a help. It gave the dip plenty of body, and it really came out smooth without the addition of any fat. Not sure how it would work with chickpeas, which tend to be drier than cannelinis, but successful here, nonetheless.
Herb wise, I used a bunch of basil and parsley from the jungle that has become our front steps. Super easy and kinda pretty too.

Anyhow, I’m always looking for new bean-y things to try, especially if they involve a food processor, so feel free to suggest.

And I’m just gonna put it out there that Tagalongs may actually be better than Thin Mints.

I Like My Beef Like I Like My...Wait, No I Don't

I like my beef medium rare in fact, and seeing as I don't cook ground woman patties at my barbeque's, I can't say as much for the opposite sex. Nevertheless, this weekend was filled with the delight of grilled beef that (mostly) everyone looks forward to on Memorial Day weekend. And while it also included many fancy cheeses, salsa, pasta salad, and several types of potato salad, I didn't get a chance to photograph/taste any of them. They will henceforth go unmentioned.

The burgers I made this weekend turned out pretty well (pun intended...nice!). I think what made them turn out so well (again!) was the added sausage that Pete and I bought at the amazing Italian deli down 7th Ave. There's not much of a recipe, so just enjoy the pictures.

Also, with considerably less success, I tried to make sweet potato fries. While they were still tasty, they lacked the crispiness that I had been hoping for. Some people still ate them.

Monday, May 21, 2007

I Like My Greens The Way I Like My Women

Hot, quick, and easy, of course.

I envy Simon’s passion and patience—the way he lovingly cares for his collards and kale, infusing them with a precise blend of spices probably ground by hand, massaging every leaf clean, and cooking to perfection—but sometimes you don’t have the time or energy for all of that foreplay. I offer two quick green ideas as a counterpoint, a complement, a quickie to his honeymoon.

One For The Top Of The Stove...
Ok, so this is essentially a stripped down version of Simon’s, I admit it.
-Wash and chop into bite-sized pieces
-Heat a bit of olive oil in a large skillet (or pot, or wok, I don’t care). When it’s hot throw in some garlic. And yes, I love the pre-minced kind you buy at the store; it’s always ready for some action. Cook it all a bit.
-Throw in the greens, stems first if you aren’t as lazy as I am, and cook, stirring, over medium-high or so. I really couldn’t tell you how long it takes. They’ll wilt but stay bright green.
-While the leaves are wilting, grind some salt and pepper into the mix, plus a little heat if you choose (cayenne is nice). I like cumin in everything.
-When it’s done, turn off the heat and throw in some acid. Lemon juice works well, so does vinegar. ‘Tis all.

And One For The Bottom…
Roasted Kale is nearly orgasmic. Thank you, Michael Pollan.
-Wash, separate the stems from the leaves, and chop.
-Heat the oven to 450 degrees, the hotter the better.
-On a sheet pan, spread out the bite size leaves of the kale, spray lightly with olive oil and season. Salt and Pepper are, of course, essential, but again, add whatever the hell you want. I’m a sucker for red pepper flakes, as un-gourmet as they are.
-Stick it in the over and roast until crispy, and eat with your fingers. Only with your fingers. Nice with some vinegar thrown on top too.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Cooking on the Cheap

Found this on the Times' front page. Thought it might be interesting/informative.