Human Beans, a joyous repast
Part of the secret of success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside.” Mark Twain
Beans, human beans, are good for (choose one) …
- your heart?
- the ozone layer?
- a pleasant meal?
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Vive la différence
What’s the difference between a vegetarian and a carnivore? Nothing at all—unless you’re cooking for one (or two). Another fantastic thing about this dish is the fact it’s easy on the pocket. And, people like Human Beans.
I don’t know about you, but for me, creating a pleasant meal for friends is one way of showing I love them. Sometimes there isn’t much time.
The pressure’s on. What to do? It wasn’t only Star Trek who discovered pulse power. Anyone who makes bean stews knows what I mean.
Our store cupboard always carries a stock of pre-prepared pulses. They work in both meat and vegetable cooking too. What’s more, the leftovers whizz up in a blender to create an excellent soup. If you can’t find any of the ingredients on the list, improvise.
2 x medium onions
1 x tablespoon of oil
4 x cloves garlic
1 x half teaspoon of herbs de Provence
1 x teaspoon of garam masala
1 x half teaspoon of oregano
1 x tin red kidney beans (drained weight 230–250 gm)
1 x tin pinto beans
1 x tin chick peas
1 x tin mixed beans (just because I had one)
2 x tins chopped tomatoes
2 x tablespoons drained Peppadew peppers (South African product)
2 x tablespoons Madras curry paste (Pataks is great)
2 x tablespoons Sweet Mango Chutney (Pataks is great too)
1 x vegetable stock cube
1 x sizeable grind of pepper
1 x can of sweetcorn
- Peel and rough chop the onions.
- Drain and chop up the Peppadews.
- Add around 1 tablespoon of oil (olive, rapeseed, sunflower, whatever) in a large pan and put on medium heat. Give it time to warm up.
- Add the Madras paste and herbs to the hot oil. Let them show signs of frying.
- Add the chopped onions, add minced (or finely chopped garlic), add Peppadews, add Sweet Mango Chutney and stir for a wee while. Savour the spicy aroma.
- Don’t let the onions burn. Don’t boil the mixture.
- Add the chopped tomatoes, a stock cube and the pepper, mix well and turn the heat down low to let the ingredients get to know each other, without boiling, while you get the pulses ready.
- Open and drain your beans into a large colander. Wash them thoroughly under a cold tap to get rid of the gloopy fluid in the tin with them.
- Take the pan off the heat and put the tomato and onion mixture into your slow cooker. [If you don’t have a slow cooker, use a casserole in an oven heated at 90 C or so for 2 or 3 hours. No slow cooker or casserole? Use a big pan, heat to a slow simmer and be ready to give a gentle folding stir every 15 minutes or so.]
- Tip your clean beans in to the mixture and mix well, but gently. The aim is to keep the contents looking separate, not mashed.
- Put the slow cooker pot into the slow cooker. Switch on to the high setting about 3.5 hours before you’re going to eat.
- Add the sweet corn 5 minutes before you serve up.
Dish into hearty bowls. A robust red or feisty white wine will go with HUman Beans as will hearty beers like McEwans Champion, Theakstons Old Peculier, Pike Kilt Lifter (Seattle, WA) and/or any number of micro-brews. Have a lager if you must.
I made a ciabatta loaf to allow bread dipping. Sea salt in a small dish allows guests to salt their food to taste.