Tag Archives: Beans

Lighter French Cassoulet

Cassoulet, the name of the earthenware dish in which it is served, is an aromatic, hearty bean and meat stew with some aromatic herbs and spices, the flavor is subtle and delicate, and really comforting.
The key to a perfect cassoulet is the slow cooking process that tenderizes the meat and the beans and infuses the stew with its rich flavor. Your house will be filled with an incredible aroma that will get anyones stomach rumbling as soon as they walk thru the door.
There are many varieties of Cassoulet depending on your meat choices. My personal preference is smoked sausage, bacon, pork and chicken. You could go for Duck confit, but I find it too heavy so I have opted for the chicken instead.

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS:

• 2 fresh small ham hocks
• 5 oz. diced smoked Bacon
• Salt and freshly ground pepper
• 1 pounds dried cannellini beans, soaked overnight
• 2 small carrots, thinly sliced
• 1 medium onions, diced
• 1 celery stalk, sliced
• 2 Bay leaves
• 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped
• 1 head of garlic, unpeeled, plus 2 small garlic cloves, peeled
• 1 glass of dry white wine
• 1 can chopped tomatoes
• 1/4 tsp. All spice
• 1 quart / 1 liter, chicken broth
• 4 parsley sprigs, 2 thyme sprigs and 2 bay leaf
• 4 chicken legs
• 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
• 4 pork sausages, your favourite kind
• 1 smoked kielbasa or other smoked sausage, or 2 small ones

METHOD:

• In a bowl, cover the beans with 3 inches of water and soak overnight.
• Add the bacon and ham hocks to a very large frying pan or pot and brown them all over.
• Remove and set aside.
• Add the carrots, onions and celery and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the onions are golden, about 7 minutes. Add the chopped garlic and bay leaves.
• Add the all spice.
• Add the glass of wine.
• Add the head of garlic and the tomatoes and cook, stirring for 1 minute. Add the broth and the herbs and bring to a boil.
• Add the beans to the pan and simmer until the beans are just tender, about 2 hours.
• Pick out the ham hocks. Cut the meats into bite-size pieces; discard the bones, skin and gristle. Pick out the head of garlic and reserve.
• Put the meat back in with the beans.
• Transfer the beans and liquid to a casserole dish
• Preheat the oven to 180 ° C / 350° F
• Heat the vegetable oil in a medium skillet.
• Season the chicken legs with salt and pepper.
• Add the sausages and chicken legs to the skillet and cook over moderately high heat until browned all over.
• Nestle the sausages, the chicken and the kielbasa into the cassoulet.
• Put the garlic bulb in the middle.
• Bake the cassoulet for 1 hour longer, until it is richly browned on the surface. Transfer to a rack and let rest for at least 20 minutes before serving.
• Serve with plenty of crusty french bread.

Enjoy!

Smokey Black Bean Sweet Potato Tacos

Smokey Black Bean and Sweet potato Tacos with Onion Garlic Lime Crema.

Smokey Black Bean Sweet Potato Tacos

To make the Monday less of a drag I’ve decided to make it Taco Monday!
I think we can all agree that Tacos can turn any dreary day into a fun day in a split second.
It will most certainly ease us into the week gently and give us something great to look forward to when we come home from work. You could actually do all the prep work the day before on Sunday and make dinner time a breeze. Soaking the beans is what takes the longest, because the actual recipe is pretty simple, we want simple on Mondays, am I right? If it’s to much hassle for you to soak the beans and cook, just use two cans instead.
Either way, this is some seriously good food to start off the very first day of the week.
And who am I kidding really, we love Taco’s around here and we’ll have them more than once a week without a problem, different flavours and textures of course, and now that I think about it, it’s probably (one of ) our favourite foods.
So these are different, I have added Sweet Potato. and I can only tell you that I kept on asking myself why I hadn’t thought of this before. The sweet potato is just sooooo good with the smokey beans, I mean KA-POOOW!!


Prep time: 15 min.
Cooking time: 15 min. plus cooking beans
Serves : 4


INGREDIENTS:

SMOKEY BLACK SWEET POTATO TACOS
• 1 lb. dried black beans or adzuki beans
• 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1 inch chunks
• 2-3 cloves garlic minced or grated
• 2 onions
• 2 tbsp. Taco seasoning
• 2 tsp. liquid smoke
• 2 tsp. cocoa
• 1 tsp. hot sauce (optional for heat lovers)
• 1 12 oz. can passata
• 1/3 cup fresh cilantro chopped
• 3 green onions chopped
• Himalayan salt and pepper to taste

Smokey Black Bean Sweet Potato Tacos
ONION GARLIC LIME CREMA
• 1/2 cup (vegan) cream cheese
• 1/2 cup (vegan) sour cream
• 2 tsp garlic powder*
• 1 tbsp. onion powder*
• 1 lime juiced
• salt and pepper taste
• maybe 1-2 tablespoons of milk or water
To serve:
• 12 corn tacos warmed
• Shredded Iceberg lettuce,
• avocado slices
• Grated cheese
• salsa of choice or check out this one.
• more chopped cilantro
* I’m using dried onion and garlic powder on purpose, do not sub for fresh garlic because it will not get the right consistency and flavour. The dried powder will  thicken the crema in a way that cannot be achieved with the fresh counterparts.

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Prepare the beans. Rinse and check beans for any dirt etc. Soak your beans over night.discard the soaking liquid after soaking.
2. Add beans to a large pot with about 5 cups of water. Bring the beans to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook until the beans are soft, but not quite done. About 45 to 60 minutes. Keep checking, not all beans cook the same. Drain.
3. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add olive oil. Add onion and sweet potatoes and stir. Fry for a couple of minutes and add the garlic, stir.
4. Cover and cook for 10 minutes, until sweet potatoes are just beginning to softened.
5. While the sweet potatoes are cooking make the crema.
6. Place all the ingredients for the Onion Garlic Lime Crema in a bowl and mix thoroughly. Add a little water or milk to thin if you like. It will get thicker and thicker as you let it stand.
7. Now add the remaining ingredients to the sweet potatoes except the cilantro and spring onions.
8. Cover and cook another 10 minutes. Add a little water if it becomes to dry.
9. Just before serving add the cilantro and spring onions
10. To assemble, place generous spoonfuls of the sweet potato + bean mixture on top of a bed of Iceberg lettuce in a warm taco. Top with the onion garlic lime crema and avocado, and some cheese or any other topping of choice.

Enjoy!
Myra Xo

Smokey Black Bean Sweet Potato Tacos

Baked Beans, three cooking methods

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…Slow Cooker, Oven or Stove Top.

If you have never had home made Baked Beans before, you’re missing out on something very good and comforting. Seriously the first time I had them, I just couldn’t believe how a simple pot of beans could blow me away like that.

The ingredient list may seem long but it’s effortless to throw together.

Throw everything in a pot and that’s it. Dinner done, ok a couple of hours later. If you cook it in a crock pot you don’t even have to stay home.

I’ve given you the cooking times of the three common methods, crock pot, stove and oven. Which ever you prefer. Oven being the authentic way, but all just as good.

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Serves 6

Ingredients:

1 lb. white Beans , soaked overnight in plenty of water

1 tbsp. Olive Oil

1 large onion, peeled and chopped

4 oz. smoked bacon cut into cubes

2 Bay Leaves

1  2.5 oz can of Tomato Paste

2 tbsp. Pure Blackstrap Molasses

2 tbsp. Maple Syrup

1 tbsp. Dijon Mustard

1 tbsp. Liquid Smoke

1 tbsp. Sweet Smoked Paprika

1 tbsp. stock concentrate, beef or chicken

1 thick slice of salted smoked pork (loin or shoulder), known also as Kasseler

2 tbsp. thick Dark Balsamic Vinegar

1 tsp. Himalayan Salt

Black Pepper

1/4 C. Tomato Ketchup

3 C. water

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Method;

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat until shimmery. Add diced bacon, garlic, and onion to pan and stir frequently until bacon begins to crisp, about 8-10 minutes.

Reduce heat to medium and add the remaining ingredients.  The liquid should cover the beans by 1/2 inch. Add more water if necessary. Bring to a simmer.

Oven : Preheat oven to 300° F . Transfer to an oven proof dish and cover with foil. Cook without stirring, until the beans are tender and the liquid has thickened, about 6 hours. Check the beans every hour to see if you need to add more water, the beans should be saucy at all times.  For the last hour of cooking, uncover beans.

Slow Cooker : Transfer to slow cooker and cook on high for about 4-5 hours, depending on your slow cooker, so check.

Stove Top : Bring to a simmer and cook for about 2 hours with the lid half on, check for liquid every now and then.

I like to serve the Baked Beans with home made bread.

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If you try this recipe let me know! Leave a comment below and don’t forget to snap a pic and tag it #thecookingspoonblog on instagram! You’ll make my day.

Green Beans with Chorizo & Thyme

     

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Serves 4 as a side dish

This is a wonderful side dish, crispy green beans blanched and then sauteed with crispy smokey Chorizo.

Chorizo is a Spanish Pork Sausage with lots of smoked Paprika in it. There are various types of Chorizo. The large whole Chorizo that is sliced and eaten as is, or the smaller variety that needs to be cooked. For this dish I have used the precooked type, that is sold sliced or cubed. The fresh Chorizo would crumble in to bits and I like to see the bits of chorizo in the dish in this case.

You could even eat this as a main dish with plenty of Oven Potato Chips.

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Ingredients:

1 lb. green beans, washed and tips removed

4 oz. cubed Chorizo

5 sprigs of Thyme

1 tsp. smoked paprika powder

1 tsp olive oil

1 C. Chicken Stock

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Method:

In a large frying pan over medium heat add the olive oil and cook the Chorizo until it’s slightly crispy, add the green beans and the paprika powder.

Sauteé a few times.

Meanwhile remove the Thyme leafs from the twigs, you should end up with about 1 tablespoon of fresh leafs. Add to the frying pan along with the stock. Simmer half covered with a lid for 5 minutes, remove the lid and cook for another 5 minutes until most of the stock has evaporated and the beans are tender but still with bite.

Enjoy

Myra Xo

Serve straight away. I serve this with Pollo al Ajillo, Chicken in Garlic Sauce .

Black Bean Burger

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I had mentioned in another post that my favorite food is actually Hamburgers. Well one of my favorite Hamburgers is this one, the Black Bean Burger. It is so good and if you serve it on a home made bun even better, goes without saying.

You won’t miss the meat at all with this one. They’re crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside but with enough bite to give you the burger sensation.  The bite is because you’re not supposed to squash all the beans to a puree, but leave some whole. You also need to add enough seasoning. Then bake them nicely in a pan until they get a dark golden crust on the outside. I serve mine with grilled Eggplant & grilled red Peppers.

Ingredients:

2 C. Black Beans, cooked

1 tbsp. Olive oil + 2 tsp. for cooking

1 Onion, peeled and chopped fine

1 clove of Garlic, peeled and grated

1 tbsp. Nutritional Yeast (optional, but it does add a hearty flavour)

1 tsp. Taco seasoning

1/4 C. Breadcrumbs  or use GF oats instead.

1/4 C. of mixed nuts

1 Flax egg (1 tbsp. flax + 3 tbsp. water) Let sit for 15 min.

1 tbsp. Chia seeds

Salt and Pepper to taste.

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Method:

Put the beans on a plate and squash them with a fork until roughly mashed. There should still be enough chunks for texture.

Meanwhile cook the onion and garlic in 1 tbsp. of olive oil over gentle heat until golden. Let cool slightly.

Put the squashed beans in a bowl and add the remaining ingredients.

Form into patties and place them on a slightly oiled plate. Cover with cling film and put them in the refrigerator for a couple of hours to firm up.

When ready to cook. Place a frying pan over medium high heat, put in the 2 tsp. of olive oil and cook for about 5 minutes on each side. Serve with toppings and additions of your liking. I do recommend you put them on the Hamburger Buns ,that makes them even better! Enjoy.

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