Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Ode to the musical fruit

I love beans, you guys.  Holy smacks but do I love me some beans!  Garbanzo, cannellini, kidney, pinto, fava, black, green*.  Refried? Hell yes, please**!  I’m a bean enthusiast.  I’ll try to throw them and they’re creamy delicious bite in to anything.  I love them in salads and I love a beany soup or a pasta fagiole.  (PS: And lentils!  Lentils are like beans even though they’re technically legumes.  But they’re still bean-ish.  And I love them, too.)  Maybe it’s a problem.  Maybe it isn’t.  But they’re good for you, right?  Yes!  They’ve got some mad protein and fiber and yum.  Glory, glory hallelujah!
Anyway, I’m yip-yammering about beans today because I’m trying to detox*** a smidge this week and change things up.   You know how I do.  And with this recommitment, I have reunited with and turned to my beautiful little friend, the health-FULL bean.  Unfortunately, as with most everything I take a liking to****, I’ve gone overboard. I'm in a bean frenzy, y'all.  Bonkers. Kookoopants. Barreling headfirst in to a bean-related 12-step program.  It’s only noon on Wednesday and I’ve had some version of that bowl of bean delight no less than 5 times.  I’ve already gone through 4 cans of beans.  For just little old me.  Um…yikes?  Here’s the deal, though: SO TASTY*****, you guys!  I can’t stop!  In fact, I couldn’t help myself and ate a whole bowl of this right before I went to spin class the other night, then spent the first 20 minutes supremely annoyed at whoever was audacious enough to show up to a crowded class getting ready to work it on out all smelly like onion.  I mean, the nerve, right?****** 

I'm here to say, though, that you should try it.  Well, if you’re a bean lover, as I’m sure you are.  And I’d like to suggest you get some crusty bread for a-soppin’or toast up some little baguette slices to make you a fancy bean bruschetta.  I cannot do such a thing because I’m being virtuous here, you guys…pay attention!  But you totally should.  The grassier and greener the olive oil, the better.  And it’s also super good with red wine or champagne vinegar, I’ll tell you what.
Bean Bowl Surprise
Serves 1…if your 1 is me.
(adapted from Orangette)

1 15oz. can of cannellini beans, rinsed
¼ cup chopped red onion
Zest and juice from half of a lemon
1-2 glugs of extra virgin olive oil
A good, healthy grating of Reggiano (or goat! or feta!)
Salt and pepper to taste
Toss it all in to a bowl and jumble it around.  I’d chill it for a bit in the fridge and let all of the flavors get to know each other, but it’s good right away, too.  Mangia!

*Both the regular and French.  Especially straight out of the can.  I love the teeth squeak.  Don’t even try to judge me.
**Lard shmard!  Put some extra cheese on those bad boys and pass the damn tortilla chips!
***People, I have been living on cheese and cured pork.  And olives.  And wine.  And bread, even thought I GAVE IT UP FOR LENT.  Dang!  What am I?  Vacationing in Capri?  Did I move to France and start wearing a beret-a-day? Sadly, no.
****Hedonist!  Party of one!
*****Though I was trying to regale my pal Chris the other night about how delicious this concoction is and she was all, “Ew. No.” Whatever.
******And then I realized it was me.  Dang!  Sorry suckaaaaahhhhhhhs!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Perfect little vittles

You know how I feel about sausage*, Internet.  Some would even say that I’m a bad, bad Italian—a downright embarrassment to my countrypeople!—but….ew.  I am not a fan of the links.  Blech!  I do love me a sausage and pepper on a roll, hold the sausage.   And I have been known to partake in a dog now and then at the ballpark, but that’s just because I need a vehicle for the condiments** I adore piling on.  I’m not totally insane***…I love salami, so it isn’t the flavor of sausage as much as the texture of a link, but I generally stay away from sausage all together.  I’m not sure when it started, but I know for a fact that while some people live for it all, “Ohhhh!  Let’s eat sausage!”, just the mere idea of those creepy summer sausages that come in those gift baskets at the holidays scivose the beejesus out of me.  (Why don’t they have to be refrigerated?!  Why?!)  And those miniature weird Vienna sausages in a can?  Sick!  What is that? Gag-a-roo.  No thanks.
So it would stand to reason that I would be tasked to recipe test something with sausage in it, right?  Of course!  It was chorizo****, which I don’t really have an issue with.  And you all know how much I love a nibble and snack, so I was super excited to test the Cornbread, Chorizo & Peperonata bites when they sent them my way.  And seriously?  Y-U-M, y’all!
The cornbread was out of this world super easy.  The carmelized peppers and onions were sweet and tangy and were perfect with the spicy chorizo and creamy dollop of crème fraiche.  In fact, I loved those dang peppers so much I made another batch and threw it on anything I could get my grubby mitts on last week: pasta, chicken, a turkey sandwich.  I had a suggestion to top eggs with it, which I’d totally do if it lasted that long, but it didn’t.  SO GOOD.      

So I rallied some folks to be my sweet little guinea pigs.  There was a super-fun family-style brunch where they were the starters with some prosecco, and then later that night they joined other nibbles and nosh for a sunset snackfest, where we just had to sample them with Sauv Blanc, Zin and Cab.
Verdict?  SO YAY!

*I do not like it!
**Mustard, ketchup, onion and relish.  Is there chili, too?  Yes, please!  I’m gross.
*** Shut up.
****And, after all was said and done, I realized I had actually bought  Soyrizo.  Ha!  I pulled that sucker out of the fridge after all of the other components were ready to be assembled, saw my mistake, and still used it anyway!  AND NOBODY COULD TELL.  True story, you guys.  I basically turned all of my willing taste testers in to unknowing hippie vegetarians!  Sorry suckas!