Wednesday, January 20, 2010

A Can of Beans, A Swig of Tabasco, and You...

My kids hate beans. Therefore, I'm always trying to get them to eat them. I puree them into soup, I hide them in spaghetti sauce, I make a great mild but flavorful chili. They always know the beans are in there, and either flat out refuse, or simply and quietly pick the beans out and feed them to the dog. On occasion, I leave trickery behind and go straight for the bribe: extra computer time if you just taste the beans...

The answer is always, "no."

However, I never ever learn, plus sometimes, as my mother used to say, "tastes change." I remember when my daughter hated cucumbers for a while, and then suddenly started eating them again. Kids do that -- they like to mess with your head. So, beans. Pinto beans, to be exact, which were knocking about the cabinet. I sauteed them with carrots, celery, some leeks. Cooked them for a minute with a cube of chicken broth (I like to freeze chicken broth in ice cube trays so you have just a tablespoon or so when you need it, without having to open a 15oz box or defrost a whole container) I threw in a bay leaf and some cilantro and let it all simmer a bit.

I cooked up a pot of rice and served the beans and the wee bit of broth over it.

I loved them. They were fresh, and very satisfying. My husband loved them -- although he added several dashes of tabasco at the table, because he likes things HOT.

The girls ate chicken nuggets.

Oh well.

Rice and Beans (sorry, no picture for this one, camera battery's dead)

1 TBLSP olive or grapeseed oil
1 leek or onion -- whatever you have
2 stalks of celery, chopped
1 carrot peeled and chopped
1 can of pinto beans (or, again, whatever you have, black beans, navy beans...) rinsed and drained
1 TBSLP dry white wine
2 TBLSP chicken broth
1 bay leaf
1/4 cup of cilantro

Cooked Rice (I used white, but brown is better, just didn't have any)

Heat the oil in a skillet, when it's shimmery toss in the onion, celery and carrotts. When those are soft, add the beans, wine, broth and bay leaf. Let this simmer until the liquid is reduced - about 5 minutes. Add the cilantro, and cook for one minute more. Serve over rice.

If you like more heat than a few dashes of Tabasco can give you, cut up a fresh jalapeno or serrano chili and add when you are cooking the vegetables.

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