Recipes — Main Dishes

Arroz al Horno/Baked Rice with Sausages

clay pot cooking Main Dishes

Arroz al Horno/Baked Rice with Sausages

It was a Sunday and guests were coming over and I got inspired. Two books, The New Spanish Table by Anya von Bremzen and Spanish Made Simple by Omar Allibhoy, inspired me. Allibhoy’s recipe was very simple but von Bremzen’s description added context and helped me to improvise, just a little. I had adventuresome guests so I decided to use a mix of local sausages, in the this case, Toulouse and budin noir from The Fatted Calf. I was a wee bit concerned about blood sausages but when the final dish came out, they were the first things gone. They...

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Wild Mushrooms with Alubia Blanca

Main Dishes Vegetarian

Wild Mushrooms with Alubia Blanca

It’s a good thing when your neighbor is Connie Green and she offers you a nice big bag of chantrelle mushrooms. It’s even better when you have a pot of Alubia Blancas on the stove, ready to eat. Here's what I did with my bounty: Wipe the mushrooms with a damp paper towel and cut into bite-sized pieces if they’re big. Sauté mushrooms over medium-low heat in both butter and olive oil (2:1 ratio) and lots of minced garlic. A thyme sprig would also be welcome. Cook, stirring, until the mushrooms begin to soften and release their juices, 8 to 10...

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Classic Smoked Ham Hock and Beans

Main Dishes

Classic Smoked Ham Hock and Beans

A friend’s daughter is involved with 4H and I offered to buy half of one of her pigs. I was not happy when I was told the head, ears and tail weren’t available but otherwise it’s been an interesting project. I always prefer my beans with just aromatics and vegetables but we know from a lot of customers that they love to cook beans with a ham hock. Maybe I’m nuts but I never do this. I was talking about it with Georgeanne Brennan one day and she told me she boils the ham hock with just a bay leaf...

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Christmas Limas with Marinated Artichoke Hearts

Main Dishes Vegetarian

Christmas Limas with Marinated Artichoke Hearts

I don’t want to pretend that this is a clever recipe that I slaved over. I had some cooked Christmas Lima beans and I had a jar of artichoke hearts. Ta da. I love artichoke hearts and the ones you find in a jar are perfectly delicious. They have a strong flavor so cooking with them isn’t always easy. I just heated the limas and the artichokes until they were warm and tossed them with chopped fresh parsley. There’s plenty of oil on the artichokes. No need for more, but I won’t judge if you do. I would think this...

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Baked Fish with Tomatoes and Olives on a Bed of Pureed Cassoulet Beans

clay pot cooking Main Dishes

Baked Fish with Tomatoes and Olives on a Bed of Pureed Cassoulet Beans

Anissa Helou’s Feast: Foood of the Islamic World (Ecco Press, 2018) is a great book and you should have it in your personal library. It’s big, beautiful and full of recipes that are complicated and exotic along with much simpler fare. The common thread is celebrations. I’ve had the book for a while now and it remains a constant inspiration. The recipes work. I’ve taken a lot of liberties with her Baked Sea Bass with Tomatoes and Olives recipe from Morocco. She calls for a whole sea bass but my market had fillets of halibut. The all green olives were...

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Yellow Indian Woman Beans with Pickled Shallots and Goat Cheese

Main Dishes Vegetarian

Yellow Indian Woman Beans with Pickled Shallots and Goat Cheese

I hadn’t cooked Yellow Indian Woman beans for quite awhile. They’re small and dense but somehow creamy at the same time. I think they’d be great in a chili but as usual, a simplebowl with little garnish is my preferred way to enjoy them. Macerated shallots are my current obsession: a sweet little bite that adds acid, texture and flavor. It’s not as harsh as a plain onion would be. For this meal, the Yellow Indian Woman beans met with the shallots and a few crumbles of goat cheese. As the whole mess settles and melts you get what is...

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Cauliflower with Cassoulet Beans and Capers

Main Dishes Sides Vegetarian

Cauliflower with Cassoulet Beans and Capers

I somehow landed a copy of Omar Allibhoy’s Spanish Made Simple and while I wasn’t expecting much, several of the recipes have become favorites. It’s good! It isn’t a definitive guide to the Spanish kitchen by any means, but there’s fine inspiration for home cooks and dishes you don’t see all the time. The Coliflor con Ajos Vinagre y Alcaparras recipe has been served at my place several times and of course I feel compelled to improvise. I roasted the cauliflower instead of boiling it and what’s a good dish without beans? The addition of cooked white beans makes this...

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Pasta e Fagioli with Escarole

Main Dishes Vegetarian

Pasta e Fagioli with Escarole

Escarole is a rare and exotic vegetable for me. I'd been scared off with stories about its bitterness and frankly, there were plenty of other things to eat that struck me as more appealing. My greengrocer had it, I bought and now I had to use it. It looks like a head of butter lettuce and it is, as promised, somewhat bitter. On its own, it's unappealing but wilted by tossing in warm pasta, it's just great. You can go heavier on the beans if you like. For me, this is a pasta dish with beans and escarole. Ingredients 2...

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Slow-Baked Garbanzos

clay pot cooking Main Dishes Sides Vegetarian

Slow-Baked Garbanzos

One of my favorite books from the last years has been The Blue Zones (National Geographic, 2008) by Dan Buettner. Statistics for longevity are examined and there are some not so surprising conclusions reached, my favorite being that those of us lucky enough to make it to the old folks stage tend to eat beans. The Greek Island of Ikaria is mentioned a lot and it’s referred to as the place where people forget to die. Citizens work, garden, eat whole foods, little meat and of course eat beans (and drink wine.) Works for me. Diane Kochilas’ book on the...

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Requeson with Epazote

Main Dishes Sides Videos

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Beans and Greens

Main Dishes Sides Vegetarian Videos

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Two Old Dogs Red Beans and Rice

Main Dishes

Two Old Dogs Red Beans and Rice

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