Friday, July 16, 2010

It's Your Turn

Here are a couple of recipes from our Cooking with Beans class.

Hlelem (Tunisian Vegetable and Bean Soup)

3 ounces dried lima or butter beans (about 1/2 cup)
3 ounces dried chickpeas (about 1/2 cup)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced (about 1 teaspoon)
1 celery stalk, large outer veins trimmed, diced (about 1/2 cup)
1/2 onion, minced (about 3/4 cup)
1 quart chicken broth
1/3 cup tomato paste (about 3 ounces)
4 large Swiss chard leaves, stems removed and cut into 1-inch pieces, leaves shredded (about 5 1/2 ounces)
1 1/2 ounces angel hair pasta, broken into bite-sized pieces (about 1/3 cup)
2 tablespoons harissa*
salt to taste
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/2 cup chopped parsley

Soak the dried lima beans and chickpeas separately overnight in three times their volume of water.  Drain and cook them separately in two times their volume of fresh water until they are tender, about 45 minutes.  Drain and reserve the cooking water from both the lima beans and the chickpeas.  Combine the lima beans and chickpeas, set aside.  Combine the cooking waters and set aside.

Heat the olive oil in a soup pot over medium heat.  Add the garlic, celery and onion.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent, 4 to 6 minutes.

Add the broth, reserved bean cooking liquid and the tomato paste.  Mix together until well blended and bring to a simmer for 10 minutes.

Approximately 10 minutes before serving, add the cooked beans and chickpeas, the Swiss chard and the pasta.  Simmer until the pasta and chard stems are tender, about 10 minutes.

Add the harissa an stir until blended.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Serve in heated bows, garnished with the chopped parsley.

(Note, harissa is made of ground chilies and spices.  You can purchase it or make your own.)

Black Bean Brownies

1 (15.5 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
3 eggs
3 T vegetable oil
1/4 c cocoa powder
1 pinch salt
1 t vanilla extract
3/4 c white sugar
1 t instant coffee (optional)
1/2 c milk chocolate chips (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Lightly grease an 8x8 square baking dish.

Combine the black beans, eggs, oil, cocoa powder, salt, vanilla extract, sugar, and instant coffee in a blender; blend until smooth.  Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish.  Sprinkle the chocolate chips over the top of the mixture.  Bake in the preheated oven until the top is dry and the edges start to pull away from the sides of the pan, about 30 minutes.

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