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SpaghettiWestern

Question about dried bean varieties

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29 minutes ago, MelissaH said:

Do you have bean lover friends who live near you, and would be willing to split a membership with you?

 Unfortunaely no. I'm about the only one who actually cooks. The others "assemble" or eat out

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Bean Club is nice and it's one way to get beans. 
You can also just order exactly what you want and get it exactly when you want it. 
It's fun but it's not essential unless you are a very hard core bean freak, like me.  

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I want to nudge myself into more bean cooking so I'm posting about the recipes I make with my bean club shipment and this seems like a good place. 

I used the Marcella beans to make one of Marcella Hazan's soups - White Bean Soup with Garlic and Parsley from Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking

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The header notes for this recipe say, "If one really loves beans, all one really wants in a bean soup is beans. Why bother with anything else?" So true and so delicious! You could take this in any direction by adding sausage, red peppers, tomatoes, a spoonful of pesto....all good, but not necessary.
I used homemade chicken broth instead of the meat broth called for and I did add a bit of extra broth after taking this photo to make it more soup-like.

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Just about my favorite soup in the world is white bean and sausage soup. You brown Italian sausage, and while it drains on paper towels, saute some onion and garlic in the fat. Dice up a couple of carrots and saute them as well. Add a pound of white beans (I love the Alubia Blanco in this, but the Marcella and Tarbais also work well). Add beans and cover with water or broth by two inches; add a can of diced tomatoes and a shake or two of Italian seasoning for good measure. Cook until beans are tender and creamy. Stir in a bag of baby spinach, or a pound of frozen chopped spinach, just until the fresh is good and wilted, or the frozen is warm and dispersed through the soup. 

 

Wonderful with fresh foccacia and a glass or three of Sangiovese.

 

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That sounds outstanding.  Beans and sausages were put together by God.  Not just lentils, either!

 

Over thisaway, I made Ottolenghi's lentil and eggplant stew, which appears in his latest book, "Ottolenghi Simple". 

 

We're at the VERY TAIL end of eggplants here, which is an end I typically seize with joy -- I like eggplant, but it's the ONLY thing in peak season for its particular peak season here in NYC, and for me captures perfectly and totally the problem with strict in-season eating -- so it worked out well.  

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I have a Nigel Slater recipe that calls for dried haricot beans.  Google tells me that translates to navy beans.  I have no navy beans but I have pounds and pounds of Rancho Gordo products.  Could I use Marcella beans?

 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

I have a Nigel Slater recipe that calls for dried haricot beans.  Google tells me that translates to navy beans.  I have no navy beans but I have pounds and pounds of Rancho Gordo products.  Could I use Marcella beans?

 

 

My understanding is that cannellini beans are in the same family as haricot and Marcellas are thin skinned cannellinis so they should work, assuming you keep in mind that the thin skins make the Marcellas rather delicate.  

If the recipe calls for a long cooking time and much mixing and it's important to you that the beans remain intact, you might want to pick something more sturdy. 


Edited by blue_dolphin (log)
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13 minutes ago, blue_dolphin said:

 

My understanding is that cannellini beans are in the same family as haricot and Marcellas are thin skinned cannellinis so they should work, assuming you keep in mind that the thin skins make the Marcellas rather delicate.  

If the recipe calls for a long cooking time and much mixing and it's important to you that the beans remain intact, you might want to pick something more sturdy. 

 

 

One way to find out!

 

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Something of interest, maybe?  I've been finding that some of the varieties of @rancho_gordo's beans are so fresh, I have to be very careful about how long I cook them. I like to give a soak of an hour or two, in salted warm water, just to give the beans a head start - but when I did that with a pound of a bean (of course, I've forgotten which variety), they cooked so damn fast on the stove top, I ended up using my stick blender to make a soup, instead of using them the way I originally planned.

 

This is not, by any means, a bad thing. Just something to be aware of.  I also have moved away from using the Instant Pot for beans; once again, timing is important if you want whole beans, and I'm pretty bad at that!

 

 

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I have a bag of 'gaucho' beans I picked up at my local farmers market, probably last summer, because hey!  Local beans!  They are very small (like quarter-inch average), reddish-brown beans, and there is no indication on the bag what sort of cooked beans they make (e.g. do they hold their shape, what sort of texture do they have, what applications are they suitable for). 

 

A google search gives me a couple entries from seed sites that say they are from Argentina, ripen early, and give good yields--nice to know, but not really helpful in a culinary sense. 

 

Obviously I can just cook them up simply and see what I end up with, but I figured I'd see if anybody has experience of this variety before I start experimenting. 

 

Thanks in advance for any insights!

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On ‎1‎/‎3‎/‎2019 at 6:56 PM, JoNorvelleWalker said:

 

One way to find out!

 

 

To reply to myself, Marcella beans worked wonderfully.

 

Now, can anyone describe the differences between RG Flageolet and Mogette de Vendee?

 

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16 hours ago, Miriravan said:

I have a bag of 'gaucho' beans I picked up at my local farmers market, probably last summer, because hey!  Local beans!  They are very small (like quarter-inch average), reddish-brown beans, and there is no indication on the bag what sort of cooked beans they make (e.g. do they hold their shape, what sort of texture do they have, what applications are they suitable for). 

 

A google search gives me a couple entries from seed sites that say they are from Argentina, ripen early, and give good yields--nice to know, but not really helpful in a culinary sense. 

 

Obviously I can just cook them up simply and see what I end up with, but I figured I'd see if anybody has experience of this variety before I start experimenting. 

 

Thanks in advance for any insights!

 

No idea where you are at but they sound very similar to the little pinquito beans that are traditional with tri-tip BBQ in our central coast area..  http://www.westcoastprimemeats.com/santa-maria-tri-tip-recipe   and   https://santamariavalley.com/news/the-scoop-on-santa-maria-pinquito-beans/


Edited by heidih (log)

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Oh, thanks for the response, heidhi!  I am in Corvallis, OR.  And these beans do look like a lot like the Pinquitos, though darker.  I cooked them up with an onion and a bay leaf, and they are a nice, firm bean, nothing extraordinary (though in fairness, they’re pretty old) but good, with a decent bean-liquor.  I shall use them in a soup or a chili-ish something, I think.  

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A new shipment from the bean club should on its way soon so I need to eat up some beans.  

I made Bright Green Falafel made with Rancho Gordo garbanzo beans using a recipe from Shaya. Edited to add this link to an online version of the recipe. These got tucked into homemade pita and drizzled with a lemony, garlicky tahini sauce.
This recipe calls for about 1/2 a pound of garbanzos and a quart of lightly packed parsley leaves which accounts for the green:

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I used some of the midnight black beans to make Black Bean-Smoked Chile Dip from a recipe in Deborah Madison's Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone. 

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The bean dip was used to make the Individual Nachos and the Quesadilla with Smoky Black Bean Spread and Salsa, both from the same cookbook.

 

 


Edited by blue_dolphin to add link (log)
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I need to be following your lead, @blue_dolphin. It isn't that I have a new shipment of beans coming, but I have a great variety and quantity of beans idling, waiting to be used. That felafel looks especially good, since I've a bunch of parsley that also needs to be used.

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43 minutes ago, Smithy said:

I need to be following your lead, @blue_dolphin. It isn't that I have a new shipment of beans coming, but I have a great variety and quantity of beans idling, waiting to be used. That felafel looks especially good, since I've a bunch of parsley that also needs to be used.

 

Thanks! This was my first time making falafel and I was quite pleased with how they came out.  I thought the use of whipped egg white to bind them while keeping them light was a good trick.  They freeze and re-heat quite nicely.  

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7 minutes ago, blue_dolphin said:

 

Thanks! This was my first time making falafel and I was quite pleased with how they came out.  I thought the use of whipped egg white to bind them while keeping them light was a good trick.  They freeze and re-heat quite nicely.  

 

How much of a frying mess do they make? Could you do them in, say. a wok (for minimum oil) or an open Instant Pot (for the high walls)?

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2 minutes ago, Smithy said:

How much of a frying mess do they make? Could you do them in, say. a wok (for minimum oil) or an open Instant Pot (for the high walls)?

 

I'd say the mess was about average for deep frying stuff.  Something I avoid due to the mess.  I use a little Le Cruset that has a 6-inch internal diameter at the base (somewhat wider at the top) and is ~ 4 inches high.  I was able to fry ~ 5 or 6 falafels at a time. I made half a batch which, in my hands, worked out to 15 balls. I did get some spatter around on the stovetop which would probably have been less if I'd used a deeper pot like the Instant Pot that you suggested.   I picked that small pan to avoid wasting too much oil but it might have been worth it to avoid the clean up. 

 

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I have had some success frying falafel in about 1/3 inch of oil in a skillet, and flipping them when done on one side.

 

Wonder how they'd air-fry?

 

 


Edited by kayb (log)
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32 minutes ago, kayb said:

I have had some success frying falafel in about 1/3 inch of oil in a skillet, and flipping them when done on one side.

 

Wonder how they'd air-fry?

 

I think shallow frying and flipping would be a good alternative, especially if they were flattened a bit more. 

I was going to try spritzing some with olive oil and baking them in the CSO but I was standing there at the stove, frying, and it was easier to just keep going!

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1 hour ago, blue_dolphin said:

 

I think shallow frying and flipping would be a good alternative, especially if they were flattened a bit more. 

I was going to try spritzing some with olive oil and baking them in the CSO but I was standing there at the stove, frying, and it was easier to just keep going!

 

Yes, I like mine flattened. They fit inside a pita better that way!

 

My kids used to live just up the street from a Middle Eastern/Greek restaurant. I became a falafel aficionado by picking up takeout there when I'd visit. And there's a great place i Memphis that I stop in when I'm over there and have time; you're right, they do heat back up right well (the CSO works nicely for that).

 

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I got hooked on falafel in my native Halifax, which had a great influx of refugees during the Lebanese civil war of the 70s. I worked in a mall with a surprisingly good Lebanese place in the food court...it got to the point where the local indie paper retired the Best Falafel category of its annual "Best of Halifax" reader's poll, because it just went to this place every year without fail.

 

I've made them occasionally, but not nearly often enough. On the upside, a pair of recently-arrived Syrian women have opened a cafe right in side the YMCA where my GF and I go 3-5 days/week, so I can get my "fix" there.

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Since this thread attracts quite a few bean afficionados, I thought I wouldn't be wrong in sharing a recipe for what is considered a Macedonian staple dish- gravče na tavče (literally translated 'beans in a pan')- a very spicy baked beans that go well from side dish with BBQ or simple sunny side up eggs to stand-alone dish... I haven't seen anything of the sort on this site, so I thought you might enjoy trying something from 'lesser known' cuisines (which is IMHO quite delicious... I always eat it as a stand-alone dish).

 

Gravče na tavče
 

400 grams white beans (original variety is called 'tetovac'*, probably best substituted with cassoulet beans)
1.5 deciliter oil
250 grams onions
1-2 heaping tsp paprika
1 heaping Tsp tomato puree
2-3 cloves garlic
1 Tsp flour
2 hot peppers (chilles or pepperons), dried or preserved
2-3 fresh tomatoes
1 green pepper
1 bay leaf
parsley

1 Tsp Vegeta (Croatian all-purpose condiment, containing a number of root veggies, salt & MSG**)
salt, pepper to taste, mint to taste

 

Soak the beans overnight, discarding the water and cook in salted water until almost done (shouldn't in no circumstances be overcooked). Drain and reserve some of the cooking liquid. Lightly brown/sautee thinly sliced onions, add paprika, tomato paste, finely diced garlic and flour. Stir well and sautee a bit (keeping in mind that burning paprika will impart an unwanted bitter taste to the dish). Add beans with reserved liquid, Vegeta, bay leaf and diced hot chilles. Add salt and pepper to taste and boil shortly. Transfer to an earthenware, or similar ovenproof dish, cover with tomato slices and (deseeded and de-membraned) squares of fresh pepper, sprinkle with parsley (and mint should you choose to use it) and oil. Bake in preheated 220°C oven for 20-30 minutes.


This dish should be very hot and is excellent BBQ side-dish, but can be served with eggs or as stand-alone dish.

(E. Buljina)

* the name means 'from Tetovo' (a Macedonian city)

** in my family we use a homemade condiment made with one bunch of parsley (roots and leaves), one bunch carrot, one bunch parsley and celery leaves each. All ingreadients (with stems removed) are run through meat grinder, drained of water, 20% of dried weight of salt is added, drained again and jarred. We usually substitute 1Tbsp of our condiment for 1tsp Vegeta. Added- a 'bunch' is a unit used in our marketsČ the way I understand/guesstimate it is that bunch of e.g. parsley is 1kg, whereas 1 bunch of parsley or celeriac leaves is the amount of leaves with stems one would get when buying a bunch of said vegetable and cutting off the roots.

 

I should conclude this post as chef John from FoodWishes with "I hope you try this soon and, as always- eeenjoy". :D


Edited by Wolf Fixing units of measurement. (log)
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That looks quite interesting. A quick question about measurements: to what does "dag" and dac" equate? I would guess decagrams and decaliters, but thought I would ask to be sure. Also, any suggestions for a sub for Vegeta in the event I can't find it?

 

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I think you have it right. I usually see it without the 'a:".  Vegeta is generally in Hispanic or Euro import markets in the US. 

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