Tag Archives: black beans

Honduras…

Saturday, March 16 –

For this dinner we had: BestestFianceEver, Bestie Extraordinaire (wine), Mistress Whiskey (wine), Hot Momma (wine), Mr. Hero (baleadas), BabyBear, GrandpaBear, LittleBigBrother, ChinUp (mango, avocado photosalsa and chips), and MyBuddy (banana milkshakes). Later in the evening we also had LightsOn and WingWoman show up to hang out and drink some wine.

I started by adding oil to a pan and cooking the onion and bell pepper until they were just starting to brown. Then I added the garlic and let that heat up. While the veggies were cooking on the stove I added the rest of the ingredients to the crockpot. Once the veggies were done I added them in, stirred to mix, and let it simmer for a couple of hours. I did not use the sherry and I substituted a seeded habanero for the yellow pepper, which made it really, really spicy. Almost too spicy, really (which is really weird for me to say). After a few hours I blended the soup with an immersion blender and let it continue to simmer until everyone was ready to eat.

The sweet potato I substituted for a yam because I like their flavor better. Steamed, drained, crisped in hot oil, then drained. Put on a bed of baby arugula (which is what I had in the fridge) and feta, then tossed. I added the dressing in on top, made exactly as the recipe says, and gave that a good toss too.

ChinUp and MyBuddy had the salsa and chips out. Mr. Hero made the baleadas with all the toppings (basically tacos on soft corn tortillas), including beef, beans, onion, cheese, sour cream, and avocado. The wine was flowing freely, and dinner was served!

The soup was ok. I think I would have liked it better unblended. It was spicy but not terribly flavorful. Maybe it needed some ham or something to go with it? I’m not sure. The salad was good, the dressing was tangy and delightful. The beleadas were good and a great compliment to the other dishes. And the mango, avocado salsa was a perfect topping to chips and to all the rest of the food. Last we get to the milkshakes. They were good… and then they added rum. Banana rum milkshakes are pretty darn delicious. And dangerous, because you don’t really notice the rum!

Honduras
(recipes borrowed from the cooks at: http://sidewalkmystic.com)

Bahia Black Bean Soup

  • 1 Onion
  • 1 red or yellow bell pepper, finely diced
  • 2 garlic minced garlic cloves
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 3 15-oz cans black beans, drained
  • 2 C stock
  • 1 1/2 t. oregano
  • 1 yellow chili, seeded and chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped (brave souls leave the seeds)
  • 1 15-oz can whole tomatoes with liquid or 18-oz can sauce
  • 1/2 lime, squeezed for juice (critical)
  • 1/4 c. sherry (I use red wine)
  • fresh cilantro (1 1/2 t. if fresh isn’t available)

Directions:  [The website author says: my adjustments to the recipe include adding a smoked ham hock for flavor.  As well, if you find the soup too heavily favored by the tomatoes, merely back down on the amount of tomato and increase the stock proportionately]. Saute onion; bell pepper and garlic in oil until onion is translucent. Add beans, stock and oregano. Heat thoroughly. Seed and chop yellow and jalapeno chilies and put into blender. Add lime juice and tomato. Puree to finely mince the chilies. Add black bean mixture to blender (in batches) and puree. When everything is pureed, return it to the soup pot. Simmer at least 1.5 hours. Add wine and fresh cilantro to taste.

Garnishes: Rice, grated cheeses, diced onion, salsa, sour cream, plain yogurt, grilled sausages.

Mixed Greens with Sweet Potatoes and Feta Cheese

  • ¾ lb sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into ¼ to ½ inch dice
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 T fresh lime juice
  • 1 T balsamic vinegar (don’t pinch; buy the top shelf stuff)
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • ½ t of Dijon mustard
  • ¼ C of buttermilk (you can use regular milk; just let it stand with a T of regular vinegar in it)
  • 8-10 oz of fresh greens (we use spinach and escarole – small slices of red cabbage add to the esthetic appeal)
  • 4 oz fresh feta cheese (I have used blue cheese when I make a fresh blue cheese dressing to accompany the salad)

Directions:  Steam the sweet potato for 5-8 minutes.  Just tender.  Remove and drain on paper towels.  Get the steamed potatoes very dry. Heat 2 t of olive oil in medium skillet over medium heat.  Add potatoes, shaking pan often for 15 minutes.  Remove when crisp and drain again on paper towels.  Mix together the lime juice, balsamic vinegar, garlic, mustard, salt pepper, and remaining olive oil and buttermilk.  Whisk in a blender (start to drool). Place greens and cheese in a salad bowl and toss with the dressing.  Top the salad with the sweet potatoes, serve, and call me.  Serve with tortillas.

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Grenada…

Monday, January 14 –

This dinner definitely won a place in my top ten dinners from this project. BestestFianceEver even agreed with me, which makes it super, extra delicious times two. If you like pork loin, you will love this recipe.photo(12)

I started with the pork roasting part of the recipe by chopping the shallots, dumping them into a mixing bowl, then throwing all of the spices on top. I put the two tenderloins (that came in one 2-3/4 pound package) into the bowl and moved them around to coat with the mixture. Most everything stuck to them without much effort. Then I put the spiced pork onto a roasting rack and put it in the oven at 450*.

Next was the sauce – mince the ginger and throw it all into a pan, let simmer. I let it simmer almost the whole time the pork was baking so that it was nice and gingery.

Finally, the salad. I threw the black beans and frozen corn into a colander and rinsed it all at the same time. Then the corn and black beans were put into a mixing bowl and I added the rest of the recipe, mixing well.

For plate presentation I put a pile of spinach leaves (torn into more bite-sized pieces) in the middle, scooped the salad on top, placed slices of avocado onto the top of the salad, then the sliced pork. It did take longer for the pork to reach 155* in the middle than the recipe said, so it is important to check it before you cut into it. Also, remember to let your cooked meat rest for a few minutes so that the juices all stay inside the meat. Slice, then serve. Drizzled over the top of the whole thing was the orange-ginger sauce. Dinner was served!

The meat was juicy, the sauce was perfectly gingery, the salad was a nice counter flavor – all in all it was amazing. I will be making this dinner and variations of it much more often now. Please, do try this at home!

Grenada
(recipe borrowed from the cooks at: www.caribbeanchoice.com)

Roast Pork with Black Bean, Heart of Palm, and Corn Salad

Roast Pork:

  • 3 shallots, chopped
  • 2 bay leaves, crumbled
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 3/4-pound pork tenderloins

Sauce:

  • 1 1/2 cups fresh orange juice
  • 1/4 cup minced shallots
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3/8 teaspoon ground allspice

Also:

  • Fresh spinach leaves
  • 2 avocados, peeled, pitted, sliced crosswise
  • Minced fresh parsley

Black Bean, Heart of Palm, and Corn Salad:

  • 1 16-ounce can black beans, rinsed, drained
  • 1 10-ounce package frozen corn, thawed, drained
  • 1 7 1/2-ounce can hearts of palm, drained, cut into 1/4-inch-thick rounds
  • 2 large tomatoes, seeded, diced
  • 1/2 red onion, minced
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander

METHOD / DIRECTIONS:

For Roast Pork: Preheat oven to 450°F. Combine shallots, bay leaves, salt, allspice and ginger in small bowl. Add generous amount of pepper. Rub mixture into pork. Set on rack in roasting pan, Roast pork until thermometer inserted into centers registers 150°F., about 25 minutes. Cool slightly. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Bring pork to room temperature before serving.)

For Sauce: Combine first 6 ingredients in heavy small saucepan. Season with pepper. Simmer until slightly syrupy, about 10 minutes. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)

For Salad: Mix all ingredients in medium bowl. Season salad to taste with salt and pepper. (Salad can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)

Line platter with spinach. Mound black bean salad in center. Slice pork. Alternate pork and avocado slices around salad. Discard bay leaves from sauce and drizzle sauce over pork and avocado. Sprinkle with parsley.


El Salvador…

Wednesday, August 22 –

Slow. Cooked. Pork. Need I say more? Yum.

This dinner we had BestestFianceEver, Bestie Extraordinaire (salad and wine), Hot Momma, Mr. Hero (wine, mead, and tortillas), BabyBear, and LightsOn (wine). It was still nice enough to eat outside, but not so imagehot that it was miserable to cook dinner. Win all around.

I started with pork early in the morning. I put 3.6 pounds of pork shoulder (the only good pork cut I could find at the late-night hour I was out shopping at the night before) into the crock pot and poured on top one can of pureed tomato sauce. Then I sprinkled the salt and pepper and the teaspoon of cumin. Set on 6 hours on low, I left for work and let it simmer all day. When I got home I shredded the pork and left it to simmer on warm.

Next I made the flan, which was something that I had never made before. I made it exactly as it’s written – and ended up baking it for about 1 hour and 25 minutes. I tried testing it with a knife like it says, but custard sticks to a knife anyway, so I switched to the toothpick test and had much better luck.

While that was baking I made the salsa, which simmer on the stove for a while and then I blended it with an immersion blender. I set that aside while I finished the rest. I put the rice in the rice cooker without anything fancy in it. I made the veggie and bean mix in a separate pot and then mixed it altogether in the rice cooker to serve.

We plated the salad and dressing on the side, then piled the pork, rice and beans, and salsa into fresh-made tortillas from the store. The pork was absolutely heavenly. Theimage mix together as a burrito was pretty delicious, and overall the food disappeared quickly. The flan was good, the texture was good, but it wasn’t everyone’s favorite dessert. Apparently flan is “no cheesecake!”

Successful dinner and I’m happy everyone could join us!

 

El Salvador
(recipe borrowed from the cooks at: www.catholicreview.orgsouthamericanfood.about.com, and www.whats4eats.com)

Salvadorian-style Chicharrón – Chicharrón Salvadoreño

  • 3-5 pound pork butt
  • 1-2 cups salsa
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon saltimage
  • Black pepper
  • tortillas to serve

Preparation:  Cut the pork into several large pieces and place the meat in the slow cooker with 1 cup salsa, the cumin, salt, and pepper to taste. Cook on low for 6-8 hours (or 4 hours on high) or until pork is fork tender. Remove pork from slow cooker, reserving liquid, and shred finely with fork or using a food processor (fitted with the plastic blade). Place shredded pork and reserved liquid in a large skillet and saute until liquid evaporates and pork starts to brown slightly. Stir in remaining salsa until desired consistency. For making pupusas, add pork and salsa back to food processor, fitted with metal blade, and process with short pulses until finely ground.

Casamiento

  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can black beans, drained, liquid reserved
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 cups cooked rice

Directions:  Heat oil in a large pot. Add the onions, bell pepper, and garlic. Sauté for two to three minutes, until tender. Stir in the drained beans, some of the bean liquid, and salt and pepper. Cook at medium-low until heated through. Add rice and stir until cooked through. Adjust seasoning and add a little more bean liquid if necessary. Serve hot.

Salsa Roja

  •     Olive oil — 3 tablespoons
  •     Onion, chopped — 1/4 cup
  •     Garlic, chopped — 1 clove
  •     Serrano or jalapeño chile pepper, chopped — 1
  •     Tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped — 2 cups
  •     Dried oregano — 2 teaspoons
  •     Salt and pepper — to taste
  •     Cilantro (optional), chopped — 1/4 cup

Method:
Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium flame. Add the onion, garlic and chile and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the onion is translucent.
Stir in the tomatoes and oregano and simmer for about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and cool a bit.
Puree the tomato sauce in a blender until smooth, adding a little water if needed. Add salt and pepper to taste, stir in cilantro if using and serve.

Flan de Leche (Latin caramel custard)

  • Sugar — 1 cup
  • Water — 1/4 cup
  • Eggs, beaten — 4
  • Sweetened, condensed milk — 1 (14-ounce) can
  • Whole milk or water — 2 cups
  • Vanilla — 1/2 teaspoon
  • Sugar — 1/2 cup

Method

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Place the 1 cup sugar and water in a heavy-bottomed saucepan and stir to dissolve the sugar. Place over medium heat and boil the sugar, without stirring, until it just starts to turn a honey brown, around 10-15 minutes.
  • Remove the caramelized sugar from heat and pour into a 9-inch cake pan or in equal amounts into each of 6 individual ramekins, swirling to coat the bottom. You may not need all the sugar. Place the cake pan or ramekins in a baking pan large enough to hold them without touching.
  • In a large bowl, beat together the eggs, condensed milk, whole milk or water, vanilla and 1/2 cup sugar until smooth. Pour into the cake pan or into each of the ramekins.
  • Fill the baking pan with enough warm water to come about 2/3 of the way up sides of the containers. Place in the oven and cook until a knife inserted into the center of the custard comes out clean, anywhere from 45 minutes to over an hour. Do not overcook your flan or it may curdle.
  • Remove the custard(s) from the water bath and chill well. Run a knife around the edges of the custard, invert over a serving dish and serve.

Variations

  • Flan de Café (Coffee flan): add 3-4 teaspoons of instant coffee granules to the milk-egg mixture.
  • Flan de Coco (Coconut flan): substitute 2 cups of coconut milk for the sweetened condensed milk. Or simply stir 1/2 cup shredded coconut into the milk and egg mixture.
  • Flan de Piña (Pineapple flan): Makes 4 servings. Caramelize the sugar and pour into containers as above. For the liquid, boil one cup of pineapple juice with 1 cup of sugar until the sugar is dissolved and the liquid is reduced to about 1 cup. Allow the the juice to cool, then beat in 4 eggs until smooth. Pour into individual ramekins and proceed with the recipe. Popular in Puerto Rico.
  • Pumpkin Flan: increase to 5 eggs and add 1 cup pureed pumpkin, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger.
  • The basic ratio for a custard is 1 egg to 1 cup liquid with sugar added to taste. The liquid used in most recipes varies widely and can be heavy cream, half-and-half, whole milk, sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk or coconut milk. Mixing these liquids in different amounts is also common. Experiment to find the flavor and richness you like best.
  • For a richer, thicker flan, substitute one of the eggs with two egg yolks.
  • In Argentina, flan is often accompanied by dulce de leche.

British Virgin Islands…

Sunday, January 29 –

Mmmmmmmmmmmmmm… crab. Yes, please and thank you. (I could probably just say that and this blog post would mostly be written for me!)

Also, finally a form of meat that it’s ok to boil! Whooweee!!

For this country, I found a couple of recipes for crab dishes, but I thought to myself, “Self, you know what’s better than crab mixed in something? Devouring a whole crab!” So it needed to happen – butter covered, shell splattered, crabby goodness.

I also made a dish called Rasta Pasta, which was really good. But that’s not really what anyone wants to hear about after you tell them you’re making crab. So if you’re interested in a wonderful, flavorful side dish, check it out in the recipes.

We had seven of us total, with the newcomer of MoneyShot. MoneyShot is Hot Momma’s brother, and a crab enthusiast just like us. (He got his nickname from this dinner, because he managed to splatter both himself and Mr. Hero with crab juices and shell parts and the jokes went downhill from there. While this might not be PG13 dinner company, we certainly aren’t doing anything more than enjoying our food – a little too much sometimes!) We also had Baby Bear, Amine Chef, Roommate Extraordinaire, and of course my Wonderful Boyfriend.

This dinner took almost all of us to make. With 7 crabs, 3 pots of water, and a whole mess of splatters, we finally got everything cooked, cleaned, and devoured. A big “thank you” to Roommate Extraordinaire, Mr. Hero, and Wonderful Boyfriend for making it happen! Another big “thank you” to Hot Momma, Roommate Extraordinaire, and MoneyShot for bringing all of the wine for this dinner.

With melted butter, lemon juice, napkins, and huge smiles on our faces, we were ready to eat. If you haven’t had a crab feast lately, I highly recommend it!

Things I have learned: Cooking that many huge crabs took many hands. Remember to get help when you need it!

British Virgin Islands
(recipe borrowed from the cooks at: www.caribbeanchoice.com)

Rasta Pasta

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 2 yellow and/or red peppers, cored, seeded and cut in lengthwise julienne slices
  • 1 pound fettuccini
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cups cooked drained black beans
  • 2 cups cooked broccoli floweretes (just the top portion of small broccoli)
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh basil or 1 teaspoon dried
  • 2 teaspoons fresh chopped oregano or ½ teaspoon dried
  • Parmesan cheese

METHOD / DIRECTIONS: Heat oil in a large skillet and sauté garlic, onions and peppers just until limp. Add drained, cooked black beans. Cook fettuccini in rapidly boiling salted water just until cooked. Drain and toss with olive oil. Combine cooked pasta with pepper mixture, broccoli and seasonings. Sprinkle generously with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

SERVING SUGGESTIONS: This can be served hot or at room temperature as a salad or main dish.