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Cook's Challenge #5


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#1 Corgi Man

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Posted 11 January 2009 - 07:54 PM

Today I did Matthew's Challenge of Baked Beans. I will admit I was not excited about this challenge - but I was not going to not participate after the dismal way I felt with the lack of response to my own challenge a year ago or so.

Anyway, I did Baked Black Beans. They were a HUGE hit with my company tonight. They all wanted the recipe - I'm still shocked. I did my best to get away from Boston Baked Beans. I used black beans, sun dried tomatoes, chopped onion, minced garlic, minced jalapeño, corn kernels, honey, cilantro, oregano, bay leaf, Mexican queso, Monterrey Jack with jalapeño.

Here it is without the cheese.

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And here it is just out of the oven with the cheese.

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Here it is served with Keller's pork belly and some haricots verts.

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Food, glorious food! / Hot sausage and mustard!
While we're in the mood -- / Cold jelly and custard!
Pease pudding and saveloy! / What next is the question?
Rich gentlemen have it, boys -- / In-di-gestion!


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#2 Matthew Kayahara

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Posted 11 January 2009 - 08:39 PM

What a great way to kick off the challenge, Skip! Looks like a great side for the pork, and you're right - it couldn't be further from Boston baked beans. Were you able to sell them to your partner?
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#3 Marlene

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Posted 11 January 2009 - 08:48 PM

I love those baked beans Skip! I'm still casting around for something that isn't the traditional baked new england type beans or cassoulet.
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#4 Corgi Man

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Posted 11 January 2009 - 09:07 PM

What a great way to kick off the challenge, Skip! Looks like a great side for the pork, and you're right - it couldn't be further from Boston baked beans. Were you able to sell them to your partner?


Thanks, Matthew and Marlene. Another shock to me was that my partner really liked them when they were in this combination. Totally sold! But isolated beans, no sale still.

Edited by Corgi Man, 11 January 2009 - 09:09 PM.

Food, glorious food! / Hot sausage and mustard!
While we're in the mood -- / Cold jelly and custard!
Pease pudding and saveloy! / What next is the question?
Rich gentlemen have it, boys -- / In-di-gestion!


Lionel Bart - OLIVER!

#5 Madge

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Posted 12 January 2009 - 08:48 AM

Those beans look terrific Skip. That would really fly in this house. I am also looking for a not the usual recipe.

#6 Jake

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Posted 12 January 2009 - 02:24 PM

I did one of my favourite "go-to" bean recipes on the weekend as well.

Dried cannellini or navy beans, bruniose of carrot, onion and garlic. Cooked iwth water, rosemary, bay leaf, thyme and peppercorns. When done stir in a couple tablespoons of heavy cream and a knob of herbed butter (garlic, thyme, rosemary and sea salt).

Simple, warm and comforting. My brother was by the house when they were ready and took most of them home for his dinner.
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#7 suzilightning

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Posted 14 January 2009 - 03:24 PM

the pictures really do suck... though they do taste good. had a scoop with a last piece of meatloaf for a late lunch today.

did this that i had written about earlier:

ok,

i have black beans about to be soaked overnight. bacon and homemade tomato sauce, onions and red pepper and hot peppers, cumin and garlic for a south of the border twist. i'm thinking about adding some grilled andouille sausages for the protein.


also took some greek style yoghurt and microwaved it with some tabasco jelly. it really helped make the food though i wished for some nice cornbread to go with those beans - or a tortilla and some queso fresco
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#8 Matthew Kayahara

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Posted 18 January 2009 - 10:47 AM

When I first suggested baked beans for the challenge, I'd really been thinking of a traditional style, with navy beans, molasses, tomato and onions. But then we got to talking about how we could make things a little more interesting, and I always start craving Japanese food in January and, well, this is what we end up with.

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Japanese baked beans.

These are azuki beans (the same kind of bean you find in "red bean" desserts like ice cream or mochi) soaked overnight and then baked in a mix of 1.5 cups dashi, 2 tablespoons soy sauce and a tablespoon each of mirin and sake, along with some dried shiitake mushrooms and diced carrots. I'd up the seasonings by a tablespoon each next time. I baked them at 250F for about two and a half hours, adding the carrots for the last hour of cooking. Also, after I took the photo, I returned these beans to the pot with the rest, sprinkled some panko on top and broiled it, but I won't make that mistake again. Most of the panko dissolved in the remaining cooking liquid, making the whole thing a bit soggy.

I served the beans with salt-broiled sardines (about which more in another thread) and rice. We could have used some Japanese pickles to round out the meal; pickled ginger would have been lovely.

Edited by Matthew Kayahara, 18 January 2009 - 10:58 AM.

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"A pot saver is a self-hampering cook. Use all the pans, bowls, and equipment you need, but soak them in water as soon as you are through with them. Clean up after yourself frequently to avoid confusion."
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#9 Dana

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Posted 18 January 2009 - 12:09 PM

Those are really unique, Matthew. I never think of Japanese when I think of beans.


I see Suzi is an overnight soaker, as am I. I have not had very good luck with the quick soak method or no soaking at all, although I know others do. Are you a soaker?
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#10 Matthew Kayahara

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Posted 18 January 2009 - 12:24 PM

Well, obviously the most common type of bean in Japanese cuisine is the soy bean! :P But yeah, there are others used as well, such as these azuki, black beans (kuromame; they're distinct from the black turtle beans you see around here) and mung beans.

As for soaking, I did soak these ones, but I don't have strong feelings for or against. I don't actually cook a lot of dried beans; either I use canned beans, or I cook lentils, which never require pre-soaking. My understanding is that pre-soaking isn't strictly necessary, but if you don't, you end up having to cook the beans longer. Also, I've heard that you can end up with some textural differences, though like I said, I don't cook enough dried beans to know.
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"A pot saver is a self-hampering cook. Use all the pans, bowls, and equipment you need, but soak them in water as soon as you are through with them. Clean up after yourself frequently to avoid confusion."
-Julia Child, Mastering the Art of French Cooking

#11 Marlene

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Posted 18 January 2009 - 12:52 PM

I forgot to soak my navy beans once, for baked beans and they never did cook properly. I always soak now.
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#12 Matthew Kayahara

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Posted 19 January 2009 - 08:44 AM

I realized I forgot to mention one other thing that may also affect the discussion on soaking and softening beans: baking soda! I've read that a pinch of baking soda helps soften beans, so I tried adding it to this dish. Again, I can't say for sure that it had an effect, but my beans were certainly soft.
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"A pot saver is a self-hampering cook. Use all the pans, bowls, and equipment you need, but soak them in water as soon as you are through with them. Clean up after yourself frequently to avoid confusion."
-Julia Child, Mastering the Art of French Cooking

#13 Corgi Man

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Posted 19 January 2009 - 09:42 AM

Matthew,

In the bean mythology I know, adding baking soda helps diminish the more gaseous aspects of consuming beans. I've not heard about the potential softening the beans possibility.

ETA: Did you like the beans? Is it a recipe you would do again? If so, is it a recipe you would post. We are definitely having the bean casserole I did again!

FETA: Googling baking soda and beans, I see the instructions for baking soda for softening the beans and flatulence relief abound. Though many don't like the soapy taste it adds to the beans.

Edited by Corgi Man, 19 January 2009 - 10:41 AM.

Food, glorious food! / Hot sausage and mustard!
While we're in the mood -- / Cold jelly and custard!
Pease pudding and saveloy! / What next is the question?
Rich gentlemen have it, boys -- / In-di-gestion!


Lionel Bart - OLIVER!

#14 Jake

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Posted 19 January 2009 - 10:03 AM

I rarely if ever soak beans anymore and have never had any problem with softening. It is my understanding that one of the most important things in making sure they soften is the age of the beans. Old, stale beans can be problematic.
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#15 Matthew Kayahara

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Posted 19 January 2009 - 10:48 AM

That's what I've heard too, that age is the biggest factor. I learned about the softening effects of baking soda in Hervé This' book Molecular Gastronomy, and he gives a whole explanation that I don't fully understand about carboxylate groups and electrostatic repulsion. He also suggests that hard water can be problematic, and since we have hard water here, I thought it was worth adding the baking soda.

And Skip, I liked the beans quite a lot, and would make them again, but I think the recipe needs to be adjusted before I post it anywhere. I didn't think the flavour of the soy, mirin and sake came through strongly enough. The amounts I listed above were for 1/2 cup dried azuki beans, and I used one small carrot and two dried shiitake mushrooms. If you're really aching to try it out, though, I could probably put those notes together into a slightly more coherent format!
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"A pot saver is a self-hampering cook. Use all the pans, bowls, and equipment you need, but soak them in water as soon as you are through with them. Clean up after yourself frequently to avoid confusion."
-Julia Child, Mastering the Art of French Cooking

#16 Corgi Man

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Posted 19 January 2009 - 11:26 AM

I will wait for your definitive recipe, Matthew. :D
Food, glorious food! / Hot sausage and mustard!
While we're in the mood -- / Cold jelly and custard!
Pease pudding and saveloy! / What next is the question?
Rich gentlemen have it, boys -- / In-di-gestion!


Lionel Bart - OLIVER!

#17 Dianne

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Posted 22 January 2009 - 02:31 PM

Here are some pictures of our recent Flageolet au Gratin.

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#18 Matthew Kayahara

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Posted 22 January 2009 - 03:02 PM

Those look good, Dianne! How did they taste? And what kind of sausage did you serve with them?
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"A pot saver is a self-hampering cook. Use all the pans, bowls, and equipment you need, but soak them in water as soon as you are through with them. Clean up after yourself frequently to avoid confusion."
-Julia Child, Mastering the Art of French Cooking

#19 Corgi Man

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Posted 22 January 2009 - 03:17 PM

How 'bout a recipe, Dianne? Those look terrific! I think I can sell that dish in my household!
Food, glorious food! / Hot sausage and mustard!
While we're in the mood -- / Cold jelly and custard!
Pease pudding and saveloy! / What next is the question?
Rich gentlemen have it, boys -- / In-di-gestion!


Lionel Bart - OLIVER!

#20 Marlene

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Posted 22 January 2009 - 03:25 PM

Yay Dianne!

I think I could sell that one here as well.
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Practice. Do it over. Get it right.
Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.




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