As I explained a while ago, I recently had the very pleasant task of using up corned beef in a week of enjoyable leftover meals.
It was glorious.
While I’ve had this recipe for a while, it called for slices of pastrami and not roast beef. Thick with beans, tomatoes and a rich roast capsicum paste, it seemed to me an ideal vessel for shreds of corned beef. So I tried it and it was good. Continue reading Day 1 – Turkish White Bean and Beef Stew (Kuru Fasulye)
From 2011, this meal may not be the prettiest, but it has been consistently popular since it was first published. I have updated the recipe to include the vital step of rapid pre-cooking of dried beans but if you don’t want the fuss or bother, tinned beans are perfectly fine.
Is it authentic chilli if it doesn’t have meat in it?
I used up some pantry items, added some spices, stirred through the remains of some pumpkin and onions that needed using up and then, with a nod to my mate Iain, stirred through some chocolate at the end.
Continue reading Day 13 – Chilli Beans and Lentils
Yes this looks like a lot of ingredients, but I will say it until you are sick of hearing me – these are spices that should be a part of your pantry supplies. Summer-fresh curry leaves are available now at about $2 a packet and you can pop them in a small airtight container and freeze them for reliable results throughout the year.
This is a wonderful vegetarian meal, and using tinned beans will help you get it on the table in under half an hour and is sensational the following day for a work lunch. Continue reading Day 4 – White Bean and Coconut Curry
The day I made this risotto, three loads of washing dried in record time, the air was heavily scented with jasmine and I had an urge to spring clean. This meal at the end of such a productive day only confirmed my instinct to turn my face to the sun and embrace the promise of bounty ahead.
There is something imperceptibly heart warming about food choices at this time of year. Just one or two weeks into September and early spring produce is already on the shelves. It’s impossible not to think of lighter food that takes advantage of these fresh green beauties, no matter if the weather hasn’t really sorted itself out.
Rather than weigh the whole affair down with lots of parmesan and cooking the rice to a gelatinous mass, I’ve erred on the side of fresh green produce – lots of it. There is almost double what I would normally put in a risotto, reducing the need for extra rice. It is satisfying without the clogging effect on our stomachs. It’s ideal if you want to walk it off in the lengthening spring evenings. Jasmine scented air is optional.
Continue reading Day 12 – Spring Vegetable Risotto
In my dreams, it goes like this: Me. Him (presently a Person Unknown). A very large bed. Alarm switched off. Phone/laptop/mobile switched off. Appointments cancelled.
My goodness I do love a lazy start to the day. Even better is a lazy start to the day that then takes over the entire weekend. It’s indulgent and completely selfish, which is why it’s such a fantasy of mine. Regrettably, the instances of such a lost weekend has, since I became a mama, been scarcer than a blue moon. Or a Transit of Venus.
Ever the optimist, I still occasionally dream of such an occasion, beginning with food of course. (I know, I know. I have my priorities completely skewed, which goes to explain the parlous state of my love life, I’m sure.)
Continue reading Breakfast – Baked Eggs with Chilli Beans
A friend of mine who now lives in Sydney returned to her native US for Christmas and reported back her findings via delicious meal updates every day. It was Shannon who, in her peregrinations around Florida, embarked on a culinary tour of Miami and reported back a meal of Cuban Black Bean soup. It immediately caught my eye.
Like all simple meals brought by migrants into the first world, there’s a tendency to trick things up with add ons and variations. A quick search found varieties of this popular soup with anything from 6 to 20 ingredients in it. Now, I’ve never been to Cuba but I’m reasonably confident that this meal, which is such a staple throughout the country, with its high protein, cheaply sourced ingredients, would not have sour cream in it. Or chorizo. Or sherry.
Continue reading Day 9 – Cuban Black Bean Soup
This Greek bean stew is ideal for the mid-seasonal weather we are experiencing around the country. It’s light enough for a stand alone meal with an accompanying salad, or it can be added to a heartier meal as a side to a roast lamb or some barbecued chicken.
This stew makes the most of dried lima beans. If you can’t find them, cannellini beans work well, as do butter beans.
Continue reading Day 1 – Fasolada
Perfect fare for watching the footy finals over the next few weeks, a ribollita is a chunky, throw-it-all-in-to-one-pot style of soup. At its heartiest best, it doesn’t take much to convince everyone to eat it up. The smell should be enough to bring everyone to the kitchen.
You can use dried cannellini beans, in which case you should soak them overnight in cold water, then rinse, add to more cold water in a saucepan and simmer for 45 minutes before adding them to the recipe.
Continue reading Day 8 – Zuppa Ribollita
One of the oldest cultivated vegetables anywhere in the world, kale is a member of the Brassica family that includes cabbage, brussels sprouts and cauliflower. It grows best in icy and frosty conditions, often at times of the year when very little else grows. For this reason alone it was one of the staple foods of medieval europe and to this day is found in european cuisines ranging from Ireland to Scandinavia to Italy to Portugal.
Kale is very similar to cabbage leaves but does not form a flowering head. It’s the leaves that provide interest. Rich in beta-carotenes, Vitamin K, Vitamin C and calcium, it works best in braises, soups and stews. Continue reading In Season – Kale and Bean Soup
I first posted this recipe in September and it deserves to be revisited when green beans are at the height of the season and likely to be one of the cheapest vegetables through the Christmas shopping period.
Originally the recipe contained chat potatoes – if sweet potatoes are not your thing, and you want to use ordinary potatoes instead, you can easily add 1 kg of chat potatoes to the recipe and reduce the amount of beans by half. Otherwise, make it as described below. With the range of food on offer in this spread, it’s bound to get more hits than misses. It can also be made earlier in the day and either served just warm or at room temperature
Continue reading Christmas Menu #1 – Green and Butter Beans in Mustard Sauce