Red Beans and Chorizo Stew

Serves 6.

Note: This bean stew tastes great topped with a scoop of the red rice recipe that follows, or add a fried egg and serve with slices of toasted, crusty bread. The okra gives the stew a great texture; cooked green beans, shelled edamame or sautéed zucchini work, too. From JeanMarie Brownson.

• 1 lb. dried red beans

• 2 smoked ham hocks (or 4 oz. chopped smoked bacon)

• 1 3/4 tsp. salt

• 12 oz. uncooked Mexican chorizo or spicy Italian sausage, removed from casing

• 1 medium red onion, trimmed, chopped

 

• 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped

• 2 c. diced fresh mushrooms

• 1 poblano pepper, or red or yellow bell pepper, cored, diced

• 1 tbsp. chili powder

• 1 (12 oz.) bag frozen cut okra

• Chopped fresh cilantro

• Red Jasmine Rice, optional

Directions

Rinse beans well and pick through them for stones. Put beans into a large (4- to 6-quart) Dutch oven or deep saucepan. Add cold water to cover by 2 inches. Heat to a boil, then remove from heat and let stand 1 hour.

Add water if needed so beans are covered by 2 inches. Add ham hocks. Heat to a boil, then reduce heat to very low. Partly cover the pan and let simmer, stirring often and adding water as needed to always keep beans covered by at least 1 inch. Cook until the beans are tender to the bite (you’ll need to taste them), usually 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Add 1 teaspoon of the salt and simmer 10 more minutes. At this point you can refrigerate the beans for several days in their liquid. Remove the hocks and pull the meat off the bones and chop it finely and reserve.

Meanwhile, put chorizo and onion into a large, deep saucepan or deep skillet. Set over medium heat. Cook and stir to break up the chorizo until golden, about 10 minutes. Stir in garlic; cook 1 minute. Stir in mushrooms, pepper and chili power.

Strain beans over a bowl to catch the liquid, saving liquid (see Red Jasmine Rice recipe). Stir 3 cups drained beans, 1 cup bean cooking liquid, chopped ham hock meat and okra into the chorizo. (Save remaining beans for another use.) Simmer, partly covered, over medium heat about 10 minutes. Season to taste with the remaining ¾ teaspoon salt. Serve topped with rice and cilantro.

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories 444 Fat 24 g Sodium 906 mg

Carbohydrates 51 g Saturated fat 9 g Total sugars 5 g

Protein 35 g Cholesterol 60 mg Dietary fiber 16 g

 

Red Jasmine Rice

Serves 6.

Note: This is also terrific made with the cooking water from black beans. If you like, stir 1/2 to 1 cup cooked beans into the finished rice. Pair this with the Red Beans and Chorizo Stew. From JeanMarie Brownson.

• 2 c. uncooked white jasmine rice

• 2 2/3 c. cooking water from preparing red beans

• 1 tsp. salt

• 2 garlic cloves, crushed

• Chopped fresh herbs for garnish

Directions

Put rice, bean water, salt and garlic into a rice cooker; cook according to manufacturer’s directions until rice is tender. Or cook in your preferred way.

Let stand 10 minutes. Fluff with fork. Serve garnished with fresh herbs.

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories 215 Fat 0 g Sodium 329 mg

Carbohydrates 47 g Saturated fat 0 g Total sugars 0 g

Protein 4 g Cholesterol 0 mg Dietary fiber 0 g

 

Pinto Beans and Greens

Serves 8.

Note: This is particularly good when served with a tangy, vinegary red pepper hot sauce — not Sriracha, which has a sweetness that doesn’t seem right in this dish. Crumble cornbread or tortilla chips on top if desired. Crumbled or shredded cheese is delicious, too. From JeanMarie Brownson.

• 1 lb. dried pinto beans or yellow eye beans

• 2 to 4 tbsp. bacon fat or olive oil

• 2 large garlic cloves, crushed

• 1 large sprig fresh sage or thyme (or 1/4 tsp. dried)

• Salt

• 3 to 4 c. loosely packed, chopped or thinly sliced kale

• Red pepper hot sauce

Directions

Rinse beans well and pick through them for stones. Put beans into a large (4- to 6-quart) Dutch oven or deep saucepan. Add cold water to cover by 2 inches. Heat to a boil, then remove from heat and let stand 1 hour.

Add water if needed so beans are covered by 2 inches. Add bacon fat, garlic and herb sprig. Heat to a boil, then reduce heat to very low. Partly cover the pan and let simmer, stirring often and add water as needed to always keep beans covered by at least an inch. Cook until the beans are tender to the bite (you’ll need to taste them), usually 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Add 1 teaspoon salt and simmer 10 more minutes. At this point you can refrigerate the beans for several days in their liquid.

Reheat beans if necessary. Use a potato masher to lightly crush a few of the beans; usually 3 or 4 mashes does it. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt. Stir in the kale and simmer until it is tender, about 10 minutes. Serve hot in bowls with plenty of hot sauce.

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories 228 Fat 4 g Sodium 303 mg

Carbohydrates 37 g Saturated fat 1 g Total sugars 1 g

Protein 13 g Cholesterol 3 mg Dietary fiber 13 g

 

Garbanzos With Pesto and Noodles

Serves 6.

Note: From JeanMarie Brownson.

• 1 lb. dried garbanzo beans (also called chickpeas)

• 7 tbsp. olive oil

• 6 large garlic cloves, finely chopped

• Salt

• 2 ribs celery, diced

• 1 large (12 oz.) sweet onion, diced

• 2 to 3 tbsp. tomato paste

• Half of a 12-oz. bag wide egg noodles

• 1/2 c. prepared pesto sauce

• Shaved or shredded Parmesan cheese

• Chopped fresh basil

Directions

Rinse beans well and pick through them for stones. Put garbanzos into a large Dutch oven or deep saucepan. Add cold water to cover by 2 inches. Heat to a boil, then remove from heat and let stand 1 hour.

Drain beans and add fresh water to cover by 2 inches. Add 4 tablespoons of the oil and half of the garlic. Heat to a boil, then reduce heat to very low. Partly cover the pan and let simmer, stirring often and adding water as needed to always keep beans covered by at least 1 inch. Cook until the beans are tender to the bite (you’ll need to taste them), usually about 2 hours. Add 1 teaspoon of salt and simmer 10 more minutes. At this point you can refrigerate the beans for several days in their liquid.

Heat the remaining 3 tablespoons oil in large, deep nonstick skillet. Add celery and onion; sauté until tender, about 4 minutes. Stir in tomato paste and remaining garlic; cook 1 minute. Strain beans over a bowl to catch their liquid. Stir drained beans and 1 cup of their cooking liquid into the skillet. Simmer about 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt.

Meanwhile, heat a large pot of salted water to boil. Add egg noodles and cook until al dente tender, about 6 minutes. Drain.

Just before serving, stir noodles into warm bean mixture. Serve right away in wide bowls dolloped generously with pesto sauce. Garnish with cheese and basil.

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories 617 Fat 30 g Sodium 671 mg

Carbohydrates 70 g Saturated fat 5 g Total sugars 13 g

Protein 20 g Cholesterol 35 mg Dietary fiber 14 g