Tag Archives: beans

Cheesy Casserole Love

In my pantry today:

  • 3 c broccoli florets
  • 1 c mezze penne (dry)
  • 3/4 c white beans (cooked)
  • 1 whole head roasted garlic
  • 1/3 c colby jack cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 c mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1 10.5 oz can cream of [celery] soup
  • 1 tbsp reserved bacon grease [butter for vegetarian option]
  • 1/3 c plain soy milk
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • salt/pepper
  • dash asafoetida
  • 1/4 c Panko bread crumbs

casseroleWhen my better half walked out the door for work this morning, I promised to have some manner of cheesy casserole in the oven to greet her upon return. On the heels of that promise, I released broccoli from its crisper drawer prison. Then, well… I just kinda winged it.

Nope, not quite clear enough...

Nope, not clear enough…

Mince onions and let cook in bacon grease on ML until onions become translucent. Salt and pepper them for the heck of it (oh, and add in the asafoetida now). While that’s going on, boil pasta until al dente (so that it won’t get too mushy cooking in the ‘role). When done, drain and rinse under cold water; set aside.

In hindsight, I probably should have used a bigger pan. Please learn from my mistake.

In hindsight, I probably should have used a bigger pan. Please learn from my mistake.

When the onions have reached desired glassiness, dump your florets in that pan and mix until everything’s hog-tied in pig drippings [again, butter can be used here for a vegetarian option… I just happened to have some bacon, and, well, you know what happened]. Crank the heat up to M and let them cook, tossing occasionally, until the pan in its entirety blushes a bright green.

And while that’s going on, mix together those mashed up cloves of garlic, “cream of” soup, soy milk and cheeses. Grease the bottom of a casserole dish, then mix all once-individual tasks together — pasta, broccoli/onions, beans, cheese sauce. Bake covered in a 350° oven for about 25-30m, then remove from oven and dust with panko. Let it sit for five minutes, then dig on in to your night’s official flavor destination. 5 spoons!

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Enchilasagna

IMAG0155Don’t be fooled by the title: the only thing Italian about this is a can of tomato sauce and an arrangement in layers. Even the layering thing could be called into cultural question. The eyes stop seeing once the fork goes into the mouth, however — this ended up being more delicious than expected. I’m using camera phone shots so please bear with it.

Enchilasagna

  • 3 small corn tortillas
  • 1/2 can refried beans
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  •  2 tbsp onion, minced
  • 1 orange sweet pepper, minced
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 c shredded mozzerella
  • 1/2 c shredded colby
  • 2-3 c enchilada sauce (below)

beansCook your minced items over ML heat until a delicious odor begins to rise.  Mix in beans and let cook over ML heat while you make that enchilada sauce.

Easy enchilada sauce:

  • 1/4 c vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp whole wheat flour
  • 1 6oz can tomato sauce
  • 1 c broth
  • 2 tsp garlic paste 
  • 1/4 c chili powder
  • 1 tbsp cumin

IMAG0164Heat oil to MH and add flour, garlic paste and seasonings. Mix everything and add tomato sauce as soon as they are; continue mixing over M-ML heat, adding water while doing so. Lightly oil the bottom of a glass casserole dish and layer tortilla-beans-cheese-sauce three times and cover it all in sauce. Cover lightly with foil and bake at 350 for 15 minutes, then remove foil and bake for another 10. This is the most visually unappealing item to photograph, but ended up being one of my most delicious. 5 spoons!

 

 

Leftover Roast Beef Travels South of the Border

In my pantry today:

  • 1.5 c sliced roast beef, cut into chunks
  • 1 14 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1-1.5 c vegetable broth
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 c minced yellow onion
  • 1/2 lime, wedged
  • 4 tsp Taco Seasoning ganked from a boxed taco kit in the cupboard
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp hot red chili powder
  • pinch asafoetida

leftoverroastbeefSo I wasn’t even really planning at its onset to write about what I assumed would be a boring, last-minute meal. I was under the MS weather yesterday and have no idea from whence this amazing creation came. Thanks have to go to my dad’s amazing 14lb roast beef — nothing would have ended up this tasty without it. I cut up about 1/2 of the leftovers he sent us home with, stuck the other half in the freezer then took a step back and regarded the pile of meat on the counter before me. We love Indian food, but obviously there really aren’t a lot of recipes there including cow. I had no way to make gravy and not enough of the ingredients needed to throw together a Thai salad. The options here were limited — but there was cooked rice in the fridge and beans in the cupboard!

Start out the same way I always do — garlic and onion in oil warming to M. Just before it gets to full on M, reduce the heat to ML and let cook for about ten minutes while you cut up the roast beef, drain/rinse the beans and then, say, empty the dishwasher. When you return to the pan dust in your seasonings and mix everything into a paste; scrape the bottom clean as you do this, adding in little drips of broth to help the process. Add in beans; when coated completely, add in broth little by little until beans are halfway covered. Turn heat to M as you do this until near-boiling. Top with diced roast beef and lime. Turn heat back to ML and cover pot; walk away for 5-10m while the limes cook onto things. Come back, remove limes and mix meat into broth, adding enough more to nearly cover things now. Bring to a low boil on M then reduce to MreallyL for a few hours, checking in once or twice to make sure all the meat remains covered in liquid. The meat ended up getting much more tender and flavoring the vegetable broth with the black beans and lime to come out in its own gravy. This was a lick-the-bowl good meal over rice and earned every one of its 5 spoons!

 

 

From the Land of Produce Sales and Pantry (Or, “Vegan Chili”)

In my pantry today:

  • 4 c diced Roma tomatoes
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, largely diced
  • 1 large yellow onion, small chunks
  • 1 small red pepper, diced/seeds removed
  • 1 pitiful, small bell pepper from the plant outside
  • 2/3 c corn
  • 1 c cooked white beans
  • 1 12oz can red beans
  • 1 c vegetable broth
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp black mustard seeds
  • 4 tbsp chili powder (or to taste)
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp asafoetida
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (we use 90,000 BTU powder, so use your own noggin on this too. Yeah. That’s not a typo. 90,000.)

This was an entirely vegan dish until I put the cheese on it. Apologies.

So I got really excited about a big sale on Roma tomatoes at the store. Some might venture to use the word “overzealous.” And seeing as how it’s now a little too chilly for tomato salads to be fully enjoyed and one can only have so many salad caprese dinners, the answer choices to the sudden conundrum of a kitchen full-o-maters boil down to (ha!): 1. blanch or 2. just cut them all up and make chili.

Put your onion, garlic, chili pepper and mustard seeds in olive oil warming to M on the stove. When the seeds begin to crackle and pop, stir and reduce heat to L while you finish dicing all those now-godforsaken tomatoes. Dump them all into a crock pot and use a spatula to clean all the oiled up pan contents in with them. Add corn, beans and seasonings with broth and set the timer for 4 hours (I now now that essentially translates to “high”). Four spoon alarm!

Photo Recap of the Weekish

In my pantry today:

  • Photographs of food I’ve been making but not writing about and I’m not going to make having taken them a complete moot point in this often otherwise cruel world.

These wontons began beautifully but ended badly. And that’s a damn shame, because fun ingredients like fresh garlic and sushi ginger began their filling. And then something happened which would then ruin the subsequently beautiful soup I’d made for them.  An unwittingly pureed bean paste teaches me to fold in a whisked egg rather than use the food processor for this step. I was heartily saddened upon the dinning time; these wontons can go to… well, I’ll just positively chalk them up to a learning experience. The soup itself was a delight. And an excellent appetizer for the take out Chinese I immediately offered to purchase in apology.

Because I felt a failure at rocking a delicious vegetarian concept, I thawed a roll of ground sausage. Because you can’t fail with ground sausage. Except this time. To be fair, it was less of an abject failure and more of a “this would be great if it wasn’t missing something” issue.It was still great, and beget the beans for additional recipes.

And then I looked at the tiny container garden on my back porch and did a spit take at the jalapeno plant. I picked a dozen peppers, left plenty behind and then stared at the pile for a few minutes.

I do not like pickled jalapenos. In fact, I really have never cared for most peppers. Cooking them before wasting away inside on the counter was a must. Several ideas arose, but for the moment I boldly went a little TGI Fridays with some leftover sausage-n-corn dip and made poppers. The remaining ten or so peppers were halved, the seeds removed and roasted with a little olive oil, garam masala, turmeric and Greek seasoning. After that they were diced and used in a very spicylicious curry (not pictured, but which utilized those above mentioned white beans and became two days worth of meals).

I’m almost caught up now. Next post is being written — and this forthcoming one’ll get it’s very own at 5 spoons!

Hifalutin Frito Pie (or, “You Put What in There?”)

In my pantry today:

  • 1 c leftover meatless meaty chili
  • 2 c broken Fritos®
  • 1 c cheddar cheese
  • 1 c cooked rice
  • 12-20 stems of asparagus
  • 1/4 c chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 tsp Taco Bell® seasoning envelope
  • sour cream as garnish

In an 8×8 casserole dish, layer rice with a few finely-crumbled Fritos® mixed in for entertainment value. Cut the fluffy tips from your asparagus about 1/4″ below their hairline and mince the three next inches down (I tossed the rest of these stems after this step as I am still investigating how to best use them). Set the asparagus tops aside and sprinkle the rice with 1/4 c cheese and minced asparagus stems. Layer on your leftover chili. At this point you might see that there is no “right” way to be layering all this noise, so be creative! I tossed the asparagus tops in the chili pan dregs with a little Taco Bell® seasoning and mixed them with more well-crushed Fritos®. On top of that I layered 3/4 c cheddar cheese and topped with more Fritos® and some fresh cilantro. Cook the covered dish for 15-20m in an oven preheated to 400° and serve with a dollop of sour cream.

This might’ve gotten more spoons were the Fritos® not chewy upon reveal, as that is not a texture I anticipated or enjoy as garbled surprise in my end result. Whatever led me to believe in the magical crunch-retaining power of anything roasted under a foil cover? 3 spoons anyway.

Interstate Soup

In my pantry today:

  • 2 c leftover subgum wonton soup
  • 1 c leftover cooked white beans
  • 1 10 oz can coconut milk
  • 5 cloves garlic, clumsily minced
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp asafoetida
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp coriander

So start the garlic and olive oil off in a soup pot on M and let them mingle for a few minutes until sizzling is steady; erstwhile, turn your attention to that leftover subgum wonton soup you bought in Virginia on Thursday (yes, it was kept refrigerated; it was really good so lay off). In my case, there were four large wontons preserved as well as an array of shrimp, pork and vegetables. I started this endeavor by pouring the leftover soup through a colander to fish out all the big slabs of chicken that look too much like tripe for me to consensually chew and ingest; I set the broth aside (1.5 c) and let the vegetables sit in their colander (.5c).

Back at the sizzling pot, I added the cooked white beans and began smashing them with the back of the mixing spoon until they were about to become burning mounds of beanflesh, then added 1/4 c broth and continued smashing. Once said smashingtime is completed to your satisfaction, add asafoetida, turmeric and coriander, mix then add in the rest of your broth. Stir and bring to a slow boil, then add in the coconut milk and subgum wonton non-liquid elements. This can be eaten right away, but mine is sitting until a proper dinnertime. This meal includes six vegetables, up to four animals and beans for good measure — it was made on four hours of sleep after an eight hour trip home from DC and still gets 3 spoons.

My pantry’s Dream Team

In the interest of full disclosure here, lemme go ahead and let y’all know what the whatall I usually always have around the kitchen. These aren’t necessarily recommendations, but let’s be honest: if it works for me, there might very well be a good chance you’ll want to stock up on something here. These are your fallback guys to victory in the game of healthy deliciousness. Conversely, I am open to interviewing additions to this list if’n you got a say.

  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Vegetable ghee (new as a “staple,” but am I ohsoglad it came into my life. we will discuss the merits of this over butter another day.)
  • Canned tomatoes (diced, crushed and/or paste)
  • Rice (giant bags of Basmati come cheap at your local Indian supermarket)
  • Dried pasta
  • All kindsa dried beans*
  • Canned broth (chicken. beef and/or vegetable)
  • Garlic paste, powder and/or whole fresh
  • Spices. Lots of spices. I would say I was indiscriminate about it but it’s public record that I believe cumin smells like third-world poverty.
  • *Asafoetida, also known colloquially (by me) as “FART POWDER.” You would eat more beans if it weren’t for the symphony provided by that musical fruit? That much fiber makes you crampy? Tell your excuses to suck it.