Saturday, January 28, 2006

Black Beans Habanero


4 leeks, white part only, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 cups cubed acorn or butternut squash
1 habanero, seeded, stem removed, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup dry sherry (do not use cooking sherry)
1/2 cup chicken broth
3 cups cooked black beans, drained
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 teaspoon red wine vinegar
1 cup pine nuts
Go to the drugstore and get some surgical gloves to use when you're
handling habañeros. You can get a big box of disposable gloves cheaply.
I'm serious, now. Do it.

Sauté leeks, garlic, squash and habanero in oil for 5 minutes. Add
sherry and chicken broth, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer,
uncovered, about 30 minutes or until squash is tender.

Add beans, thyme, cumin, black pepper and vinegar. Continue to simmer
until beans are heated through. Stir in pine nuts and cook 1 minute
longer. Makes 6 to 8 servings, depending upon appetites.
Note: Dried beans cook faster if they are soaked. Cover beans with 2
inches of water, soak them overnight, drain, and then cook according to
your recipe. A shortcut to overnight soaking is to cover the beans with
plenty of water, bring them to a boil and boil for 2 minutes. Then,
turn off the heat, cover tightly, and let them sit for 1 hour. Then,
drain and cook as usual.
People in areas with hard water can cook their beans till the cows come
home, and the beans will still be tough or not thoroughly done. If you
have that problem, add a scant 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda to the
cooking water, and you will have one less problem.


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