Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Beans, fabulous beans...(and their relationship with freelancing)

Ah! Beans! They are either misused, eaten in vast quantities and thereby misused by the body or - worst of all - not used enough. They're a brilliant protein source and best of all, they're incredibly cheap.

So, when I went freelance I told H "I'm going to make every bean recipe in the world. You guys are gonna eat beans in every single meal!"

To which D (aged six) replied: "Bean muffins!"

To which I replied: "Actually, corn muffins." But that's another story.

So here I am on the eve of my first bean-in-crock-pot extravaganza, thanks in part to my mother who bought us the crock pot. There are various ways to soak beans. I am going to try the traditional, overnight soak first, followed at some point by the quick "bring to a boil and then leave for a few hours with saucepan off heat" method. And you know, I'm so excited! I'm taking something dried and hard and inedible and making it into something awesome (I hope).

So, as I embark on my freelancing adventure, I am also embarking on my bean utilizing adventure. Ironically I've had four freelance jobs so far - all of them progressively more interesting - but no bean recipes until now. I'm slacking with the beans. I should be ashamed of myself!

The only bean that has been soaking the last few weeks is the one in my belly. My dad now affectionately calls me the "bean hotel". I love my daddy!

I will post beautiful bean updates with pictures as they come in...


ratrodgrl said...

ok bean lady, might I share a family recipe for Pasta Fagioli? supah yum, all toddlers I know have loved it (noted at a potluck) and oh wowza, it is a comfort delish food for me!

Pasta Fagioli, ala Grandma Brizzi

1 lb Great Northern beans
1-8 oz. can tomato sauce
3 cloves garlic, whole
1/4 cup olive oil
1 rounded teaspoon each of Basil and Oregano (or to taste)
1/2-1 tablespoon salt (to taste)
Elbow macaroni *cooked* or any other kind of small pasta (like shells)
parmesan cheese

soak beans in 2 quarts of water with 2 teaspoons salt 4-8 hours. Throw off water and add fresh water.

Add the rest of the ingredients and bring to a boil, and either transfer to crockpot for 4 hours or leave to simmer in pot for 2 hours or until beans are soft.

Place a handful of pasta in a bowl, then serve beans & liquid over pasta. Serve with a splash of olive oil and parmesan cheese for toppings. YUM!

p.s. fagioli simply means "bean", so if you order this at a restaurant it will most likely be a different dish

p.p.s. I have been known to be a non-Italian and use regular oil instead of olive oil

ratrodgrl said...

p.s. to clarify, because I am a spaz, don't add the pasta to the pot, just put in bowls when serving (the noodles will soak up too much liquid and get all nasty)

Shannon Ryan said...

There's a crock pot blog somewhere that tells you how to do beans.. I've used it and it works great! I got really excited about beans about 5 months back... there are still some in the freezer! haha