In search of a recipe with beans , and how not to burn the kitchen.

Good Morning, I woke up this morning listening to the sounds of the birds out my window.  Knowing I have the whole day to myself, I immediately start thinking of ideas of what to cook from scratch.

The first cookbook that came to mind to read was ” The Whole Food Catalogue” by Nava Atlas.    Fetching a piece of notebook paper, I start to jot down page numbers of interesting recipes.  I settle on Navy Beans, I happen to have a bag of the dried beans.  In my kitchen, I keep a  list of calcium rich foods, navy beans included.   My Whole Food Cookbook, reports that Navy Beans are very nutritious, high in potassium, phosphorus,iron, zinc, and the B-vitamin complex compared with other legumes.

First , I measure 1 cup of the dried beans and add it to my stainless steel pot  filled 2/3 full of water and I add 2 Tsp of baking soda.  I had just read on-line about  precooking  the beans with a little baking soda eliminates the gas.

My entry for Facebook reads : ”  now cooking Navy Beans on the stove to make a soup I found on-line; and my Next new recipe is : Mangu- boiling Plantains and mashing a D.R. recipe one of my co-workers told me about.”

Well this is funny.  After setting my kitchen timer for 25 minutes, I walk back upstairs to my desktop computer and start browsing on-line for another recipe.  But before I left the kitchen, I cast a glance at the two green plantains sitting on top of the counter  next to the stove and I add to my notebook paper list ( we are a frugal family and  have not submitted to I-pad3 frenzy or I-phone).  ” Need – to cook the green Plantains , Mangu recipe.  I type in my Google reader, “Mangu recipe”, and   jot down the basic recipe.  I hear the kitchen timer go OFF.  I have a few minutes, I think to myself.  I switch back to look at another Navy bean.  As I’m about to  recipe copy and paste onto a word document, the home telephone rings. As I get up from the desktop computer to go get the phone, I now smell the boiling navy beans.  It is my mother calling, as I rush down the stairs to the kitchen to see my stainless steel pot boiling up to the top with foam, I turn off the heat.  Whew, I say to my mother, “It’s a good thing you called, I would have burned the beans. Saved!!!

Here is the Navy Bean Recipe: ( Which I’m modifying )

1 TBSP Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 Onion [about 1 cup, chopped]
2 Carrots [about 2 1/2 cups, sliced]
3 Garlic Cloves [minced]
1 Yukon Gold Potato [skin on, chopped]
2 TBSPTomato Paste
4 cups Vegetable Broth [or water with good quality veggie bullion]
Sea Salt [to taste]
1 TBSP Smoked Olive Oil
2 1/2 cups Navy Beans [cooked till very tender*]
6 Collard Green Leaves [about 3 cups, sliced thinly]

Heat extra virgin olive oil in a large pot. Sauté onion for about 5 minutes, add carrot + garlic and sauté a few minutes more. Add remaining ingredients + bring to a boil. Cover and simmer until the vegetables are very tender, about 25 minutes. Season with sea salt to taste.

What to do with 2 green Plantains:   make a Mangu

Making Mangu is the same process as making mashed potatoes. You will need green plantains, salt, butter (or ghee), and an onion (you can also add cilantro when you saute the onion). You can buy green (make sure they are green with no yellow coloring) plantains.  These, I found at my local big Vegetable/Fruit market but you can also find at an Asian Supermarket.

  • 4-6 green plantains (not ripe)
  • a little more than 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil or butter
  • sea salt to taste

Cut plantains into chunks, place in large pot, cover with water and bring to boil.  Once water starts to boil, plantains should be done within 10 minutes.  Another recipe source  says boil for 25 minutes.  Plantains take longer to cook than potatoes. (You’ll know when they change a deeper yellow color and you can easily insert a fork into a piece.)

Once plantains are done. Remove cooked plantains from water (save 2 cups of the water to add while mashing).

Mash cooked plantains.

[This is where I get out my trusty Hand -held “potato masher”, he he. I like simple kitchen tools.  There’s not much fancy about me in the kitchen.  I still have my Grandma’s apron hanging on a hook on the Pantry door, just dreaming,  no,  my soft, faded, blue and  pink pattern   ” Grandma’s ” apron is hung on  a  tall baker’s shelf/ with a single wine rack.]

Gradually add  water, 1/3 cup olive oil and salt.  Continue mashing and mixing until smooth (some lumps are okay- the plantains will stiffen as they cool).  Top with  sauteed onions and serve immediately.

Everything came out delicious. I sample both the soup and the mashed planntains with a little butter and Lite salt.

We’re headed out to a Bruce Springsteen concert.  I made a quick menu for a tailgate party I’ll share in another post.  It is quesedillas with pulled pork and Shredded cheddar and mexican cheese,  sliced cukes on the side, Marble cake for dessert, and bunches of green grapes.

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