Archive for June, 2009

Pass The Butter…Please

June 27, 2009

I received this from my friend, a retired executive chef, Lonny Ritter, now living in Thailand.

This is interesting . . . 

Margarine  was originally manufactured to fatten  turkeys.  When it killed the turkeys, the people who had put  all the money into the research wanted a payback so they put their  heads together to figure out what to do with this product to get  their money back.  It was a white substance with no food appeal  so they added the yellow coloring and sold it to people to use in place of butter.  How do you like it?   They have come out  with some clever new flavorings.. 

DO  YOU KNOW… 
the   difference between margarine and butter?  
Read on to the end…gets very interesting!    

Both  have the same amount of calories. 
Butter  is slightly higher in saturated fats at
8 grams  compared   to 5 grams. 
Eating 
margarine can increase  heart disease in women by 53%  over  eating the same amount of butter, according to a recent  Harvard  Medical Study.   
Eating 
butter increases the absorption of many other nutrients in  other foods. 
Butter
  has many nutritional benefits where margarine has a few    
only  because  they are added! 

Butter
  tastes much better than margarine and it can enhance the flavors of  other foods.. 
Butter
  has been around for centuries wheremargarine has been around for less than 100 years 

And  now, for Margarine.. 

Very  high in Trans fatty acids
Triple  risk of coronary 
heart disease 
Increases  total cholesterol
 and LDL (this is the bad cholesterol) and  lowers HDL cholesterol, (the good cholesterol) 
Increases  the risk of cancers up to five fold…

Lowers  quality of 
breast milk. 
Decreases immune response. 
Decreases 
insulin response.

And  here’s the most disturbing fact…. HERE IS THE PART THAT  IS  VERY INTERESTING! 

Margarine  is but ONE MOLECULE away  from being PLASTIC…    

This  fact alone was enough to have me avoiding margarine for life  and anything else that is hydrogenated (this means hydrogen is  added,  changing the molecular structure of the  substance).    

You  can try this yourself: 

Purchase  a tub of margarine and leave it in your garage or shaded  area.  Within a couple of days you will note a couple of   things:

*  no flies, not even those pesky fruit flies will go near it  (that  should tell you something) 
*  it does not rot or smell differently because it has 
no nutritional  value ; nothing will grow on it. Even those teeny   weeny  microorganisms  will not a find a home to grow.  Why?   Because it is nearly plastic .  Would you melt your Tupperware and  spread that  on your toast?   

Share  This With Your Friends…..(If you want to ‘butter them   up’)! 

Chinese Proverb: 
‘When someone shares something of value with you and you benefit from it,  you have a  moral obligation to share it with  others.   

Pass the BUTTER PLEASE..

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Callaloo Soup – Caribbean Polynesian Fusion

June 27, 2009

callaloo1Callaloo is synonymous with Caribbean cuisine as lu supo (loo soo-poe) is fundamental to Polynesian cuisine. Both soups are made with taro leaves and while Caribbean cookery uses other varieties of leaves, all of which are referred to as callaloo, Polynesians from the Hawaiians to the Tongans use only taro leaves. In the South Pacific, each island nation has their own taro varieties cultivated for their particular soil, popularity, exportability, and weather patterns.

In Tonga, lu (taro leaves) is cooked in soups, side dishes, and main dishes with meat or fish. Coconut milk is added to nearly all traditional island cooking, especially lu. The stems and veins of the lu leaf have needle-point raphides (calcium oxalate) which, if not well cooked, will cause your throat to constrict and your tongue to itch. This malady is cause to claim “the cook is lazy” since removing the stems and large central vein, as well as thoroughly cooking the leaf, requires a bit of time and effort.

Since taro is difficult to find in areas outside of the tropics, the best substitute is a mix of large leaf spinach and Swiss chard. Kale or collard greens can also be used successfully. Collard greens are a gift from our African ancestors just like callaloo was a gift from African slaves brought to the Caribbean in the 1700’s.

The fungi dumplings, another Caribbean dish, frequently served in the callaloo soup, was originally made of cassava (manioke) meal but has been replaced with yellow cornmeal in the last 50 years or so. Cassava meal is still used in some Polynesian cooking as corn is relatively expensive and not indigenous to Polynesia. Cassava is a subject for another post.

This soup is teaming with flavors from the chili spiked kale, okra, meat, crab and fungi dumplings. It can be made vegan simply by eliminating the meat and adding pumpkin, yam or sweet potato. If you like greens, you’ll enjoy this nutritious and filling soup.

Ingredients:

  • 4 oz salt pork, 1/2-inch cubes (or 6 strips of bacon)
  • 1 onion, chopped finely
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bunch Kale, about 1-1/2 lbs, washed, stems removed, chopped
  • 6 cups chicken stock (fish stock or vegetable stock may be used)
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 1 fresh thyme sprig (or 1/4 tsp dried thyme)
  • 1 Scotch Bonnet chili, deveined, seeded and minced (habanero chili)
  • 4 oz corned beef brisket (or1 small can corned beef)
  • 1/2 lb crab meat – fresh, frozen or canned, pick clean of shell debrise
  • 1/2 lb okra, sliced rounds
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • sea salt and fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 recipe fungi dumplings (recipe below)
  • 4 scallions sliced for garnish

Method:

  1. In a Dutch oven over medium high heat, fry salt pork to render fat. Reserve browned pork cubes for garnish. Reserve 2 Tbsp of fat.
  2. Saute onion and garlic in the reserved fat until translucent and fragrant.
  3. Add kale, chicken stock, cloves, thyme, chili and okra. Bring to a boil.
  4. Rinse corned beef brisket in fresh water, cut into 1-inch cubes. Add to Dutch oven,
  5. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes or until corned beef is fork tender.
  6. Process soup in batches in food processor just enough to retain some chunky texture. Return soup to pot.
  7. Add crab and coconut milk. Heat through. Taste for salt and add salt and black pepper to taste.
  8. To serve, place 1 scoop of fungi in a serving bowl, ladle soup on top, garnish with sliced scallions and reserved pork cubes.

Fungi Dumplings – Ingredients:

  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 okra, sliced or chopped fine
  • 3 cups cornmeal
  • 1 Tbsp butter

Method:

  1. In a 2-quart sauce pan over medium high heat, bring chicken stock, salt and okra to a roiling boil.
  2. Slowly whisk in cornmeal in a steady stream until thick and creamy.
  3. Add butter and beat with a wooden spoon until cornmeal leaves the side of the pan. Remove from heat immediately.
  4. Keep warm in a bain marie or double boiler.
  5. To serve, use an ice-cream scoop to form balls, place ball of fungi on serving dish and ladle sauce or soup on top. Garnish as desired.

Note: Fungi is also a great served with coconut chicken, coconut fish, chicken fried gravy or turkey gravy. Use in place of toast for creamed tuna, or creamed eggs. Cooled fungi maybe sliced and fried in olive oil and butter like polenta, or toasted and topped with tapenade or chili jam and cream cheese for appetizers.

Mussel Saffron Soup

June 26, 2009

Mussel Soup

Saffron gives this dish a Spanish flare reminescent of paella.  If you haven’t any saffron, use annatto oil, turmeric or a smoky paprika.  Any mussel will work here;  blue-black mussels from the Alaskan Kenai Peninsula or North Atlantic seaboard, green-tip mussels from New Zealand, or petite mussels from the Northwest.  Make sure all mussels are tightly closed or will close when prodded.  If the mussels have not been cleaned, rinse them in cold water and remove the beards.  The easiest way to tackle the beards is to take hold of the beard with a cloth and pull it toward the hinged-end of the shell.  Remove any barnacles from the shell with a clam knife or the back of a knife blade and rinse in cold water.

Serve this soup with lots of crusty bread to dip in the broth.   

Start by making a good fish stock from fish heads and fish carcasses (bones).   Use cod, sole, flounder, haddock, halibut, or other white fish.  Oily fish such as mackerel, skate, mullet, or salmon are not appropriate for this recipe.  You’ll need 1 quart of stock for the Mussel Saffron Soup.

Fish Stock Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp oil
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 4 celery stalks with leaves, chopped
  • 2 quarts hot water 
  • 10 black peppercorns
  • 1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 bay leaf
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 3 strips lemon rind
  • 4-5 lb.  fish carcasses with heads, rinsed and chopped into large pieces
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine

Method:

  1. In a stockpot over medium high heat, saute onions, carrots, and celery in the oil until wilted and fragrant. 
  2. Add fish carcasses and wine.  Reduce heat, cover and let sweat for 10 minutes.   The carcasses will turn white.
  3. Add water and remaining ingredients, stir.  Heat to a lively simmer over medium high heat.  Simmer, uncovered,  for 15 minutes.
  4.  Skim off the scum from the surface of the soup, remove from heat and let steep until cooled. 
  5. Strain the stock through a fine mesh sieve, chinoise, or cheese cloth.  Discard solids.  Stock may be frozen.  Makes about 2-1/2 quarts.

Mussel Saffron Soup Ingredients:

  • 4 Tbsp butter
  • 1 cup onion, minced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup carrots, finely shredded
  • 1 red chili, seeded, deveined and minced (or 1 tsp Tabasco sauce)
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/4 tsp saffron
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 1/2 lb. tomatoes (2 14oz. cans diced tomatoes, drained)
  • 4 cups fish stock (recipe above)
  • 2 lb cleaned mussels
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream (optional)
  • Sea salt and fresh ground white pepper to taste

Method:

  1. Saute onions, garlic, carrots, and chili in butter, over medium high heat, until wilted and fragrant.
  2. Deglaze pan with wine.  Add saffron, thyme, bay leaf, and tomatoes and cook for 3-4 minutes.  Add salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Add fish stock and bring to a lively simmer, add mussels, cover and cook for 4-5 minutes until all the mussel shells have opened.  Discard any shells that do not open.  Remove mussels from the broth before adding the cream if desired.
  4. Taste and adjust salt and pepper if necessary.  (Mussels are salty so the broth may not need additional salt.)
  5. Ladle broth over mussels in serving bowls.  Garnish with fresh parsley.

NO-Knead Ciabatta Bread – NY Times Video

June 23, 2009

This is simply the ultimate in Italian ciabatta bread. For all you who love to bake bread, try this. Mix the ingredients the night before and get out your heavy cast iron Dutch Oven with its lid to use the next day.

Fresh Banana Cake Filled with Banana Pudding

June 22, 2009

cakebananacakeLight and fluffy yet moist and intensely banana flavored, this cake will steal the show at your next dinner party.  The banana pudding filling and whipped cream icing add to the moistness and  balance the sweetness.  Personally, I can’t think of anything more abhorrent than a powdered sugar icing over a beautiful cake.  Give me ganache, whipped cream, creme fraiche, coulis of fruit with liqueur…anything but sickening sweet powdered sugar with fat.

Banana Cake was the second best selling dessert at Coco’s, my restaurant in Tonga, surpassed only by my Perfect Chocolate Cake.  I made this cake in huge sheets for putu’s (funerals)and pola’s (feasts).  Large round layered cakes decorated with fresh flowers and whipped cream were made for birthdays and other celebrations. 

Polynesians celebrate the 1st birthday and 21st birthday with much fan fare, going to enormous expense to put on a feast for hundreds of people and there is always a representative of the royal family in attendance as well.  Young girls dance the Tala’lunga (a traditional dance with hands and facial expressions) at these affairs.  Their costumes are elaborate wrap-around sheets of hammered mulberry bark, called tapa cloth, decorated with seeds, leaves and feathers.  Guests show their appreciation by slapping paper money onto the dancers’ arms which have been slathered with coconut oil.  The money is then given to the royal family as tribute for them coming to the festivities.  Odd, in our estimation, that the money is not given to the guest of honor or the hosts.  At any rate, there is much ceremony and speeches during the eating of the meal, cutting the cake and distributing the largess.

Everyone will enjoy this cake, even without the fan fare.

Ingredients for 2 layers, 9-inch round:

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 2 medium bananas mashed
  • 1 tsp vanilla, or 1/2 tsp vanilla and 1/2 tsp banana essence
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 plain yogurt or sour milk
  • 1 recipe banana pudding filling (recipe given below)
  • 2 cups whipped cream with 1 tsp vanilla and 2 Tbsp powdered sugar

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.   Line 2 baking pans with parchment paper, butter and dust evenly with flour.
  2. Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
  3. Add egg yolks, bananas, and vanilla.  Mix until well combined.
  4. Beat egg whites until soft peaks form.  Set aside. 
  5. Sift flour, soda and salt together.  Add to creamed mixture alternately with the yogurt. Note:  if weather is very dry, additional yogurt may be needed.
  6. Immediately fold egg whites into batter.  Pour batter into prepared pans.
  7. Bake for 45 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.  Transfer cakes to cooling rack for 5 minutes.  Remove cakes from pans and cool completely.
  8. Fill with banana pudding between layers. (recipe given below)
  9. Cover top and sides with whipped cream.  Use a star tip and piping bag to decorate top and bottom edges if desired.
  10. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Ingredients for Banana Pudding:

  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 2 egg yolks, beaten slightly
  • 1 tsp vanilla, or banana essence or banana liqueur
  • 1 large ripe banana, mashed smooth
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice

Method:

  1. In a heavy bottom sauce pan over medium high heat, place sugar, cornstarch and salt.
  2. Slowly add milk whisking constantly until smooth.
  3. Temper the eggs with 1/2 cup of hot milk mixture and return to sauce pan.  Cook a few minutes more until custard thickens and coats the back of a wooden spoon.
  4. Remove from heat.  Cool to room temperature.  Add banana and lemon juice. 
  5. Cover top of pudding with plastic wrap and chill in refrigerator.
  6. Use to fill between layers of cake.

Extreme Veggie Sandwich

June 20, 2009

Ivegan sandwich

It was 92° F. in Las Vegas today.  Way to hot to cook and definitely time to clean out the refrigerator.  So here’s my version of a veggie sandwich that turned out so big I ate half for lunch and half for dinner.  Watched cooking videos all afternoon, took a nap and twittered.  Never thought a veggie thing would fill me up like that.   This would make a great sandwich for a picnic.

I baked an Italian rustic bread on Friday and it was perfect for this sandwich. The hummus was a snap to make in food processor with just a can of garbonzo beans, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, hot sauce and salt.  The tapenade was made with leftover Greek olives, leftover capers, leftover chopped onion, a can of anchovies, leftover dried raspberries, a dab of mayo and some parsley.  Slice the goats cheese with dental floss rather than a knife.  Salt and pepper the tomato, cucumber and avocado once layered on the hummus.

Ingredients:

  • 2 slices of rustic Italian bread
  • 2 Tbsp of homemade hummus with garlic and lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp of homemade black olive tapenade with anchovies and capers and dried raspberries with 1 tsp mayonnaise
  • 1/2 avocado sliced
  • 2 plum tomatoes sliced
  • 2 large red radishes sliced
  • 1/2 cucumber sliced
  • 2 oz of goats cheese sliced
  • handful of baby greens

Crab Salad with Mandarin Vinaigrette

June 16, 2009

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You don’t need a lengthy shopping list to create a healthy crunchy salad for supper.  This really isn’t a recipe so much as it is a list of options based on what you have on hand.  That’s usually the way great dishes are developed.  The idea is to balance textures and flavors while packing in lots of nutrition.  And the addition of protein will satisfy the hunger pangs and stay with you longer than carbohydrates alone.

It couldn’t be simpler or quicker on a warm summer evening to throw a main dish salad together.  Fresh ginger and pureed Mandarin oranges in a vinaigrette gives this salad an Asian tweak.  The balance of nutrition from protein rich lump crab and vitamin rich mango and avocado makes this a dieter’s delight.  Some crunchy radishes and cucumbers  are added to round out the textures and flavors.  Serve it with a tomato zucchini gazpacho and a crusty baguette.  Carry the Asian theme further with a mango lime sorbet for dessert. 

For more crunch add mung bean sprouts and fresh snow peas.  Substitute asparagus for the avocado.   Use julienned daikon radish instead of red radishes.  Julienned carrots and cabbage may be added and chopped romaine lettuce may be used instead of mixed baby greens.  Substitute tuna packed in water, poached salmon, or leftover baked tilapia for the lump crab or use a can of baby shrimp.   For a vegan version use a can of black beans or cannelini beans in place of the fish and add sweet corn or corn tortilla strips to make a perfect protein.  Canned or fresh peaches will also work in place of the ripe mango and a few slices of pureed peach will definitely add a new flavor dimension to the vinaigrette.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups baby spring greens (or lettuce of your choice)
  • 1 ripe mango, cubed or sliced (or fruit of your choice)
  • 1 ripe avocado, sliced (or vegetable of your choice)
  • 1 cup lump crab (or other protein of your choice)
  • 1 cup mixed vegetables such as radishes and cucumber
  • 1 6 oz can Mandarin oranges
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1-2 dashes of Tabasco or chili sauce of choice
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • 1 Tbsp minced parsley or cilantro
  • Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

Method:

  1. Wash and spin dry greens.
  2. Arrange fruit and vegetables on top of greens.  Cover and chill.
  3. Place mandarin oranges, oil, lemon juice, chili sauce, ginger, parsley, salt and pepper in a blender and puree until smooth.
  4. Spoon dressing over salad and toss just before serving.

Tuna Pasta Shell Salad

June 12, 2009

pasta tuna salad 001

When its just too hot to eat heavy hot meals this pasta salad with tuna is the perfect alternative.  Its light with lots of fresh veggies, olives, eggs and a citrus vinaigrette.  Easy on calories, definitely filling, and all you need is crusty rolls or a baguette, a glass of wine and a slice of watermelon for dessert

This recipe is from the late 1960’s when I was a newly wed and living in Spokane, Washington.   It started out as a potato salad with pasta instead of potatoes, a mayonnaise dressing with mustard and dill pickles, a can of tuna, onions and radishes.  Even in those days no one complained and there was never any leftovers.  That was quite a compliment considering some of my cooking disasters.  I loved to bake and can fruit but hadn’t had a lot of experience cooking dinners way back then.

Over the years, this dish has taken on new dimensions as I’ve added more veggies, olives, roasted red peppers, even artichoke hearts and switched to a vinaigrette instead of the calorie laden mayonnaise.  This main dish salad can be made with shrimp, lump crab, poached salmon, roasted chicken or even ham. 

Any size pasta shells will do or try it with your favorite type of pasta.  Just a cup and a half of pasta will make 4 ample servings, very economical, and quick to prepare.  Prep all the veggies and whip up the vinaigrette while the pasta and eggs cook.   The pasta will absorb less oil if rinsed in cold water before assembling salad. 

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups small pasta shells
  • 2 hard boiled eggs, sliced or chopped
  • 4 scallions, sliced
  • 1/2 cucumber, peeled and diced
  • 1 stalk celery with leaves, diced
  • 1 small red bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 5 or 6 red radishes, sliced
  • 1/2 carrot, julienned
  • handful of black ripe olives
  • handful of pimento stuffed green olives
  • 1/4 cup lemon or lime juice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 1/2 tsp tarragon
  • 1/2 tsp garlic salt
  • fresh ground black pepper to taste
  • 2-3 dashes of Tabasco sauce

Method:

  1. Bring 6 cups of water to a boil, add 1 tsp salt, pasta shells and eggs.
  2. Cook for 7 minutes until pasta is al dente.
  3. Drain pasta and rinse in cold water.  Run cold water over eggs and shell while holding eggs under water.
  4. Place pasta, eggs, diced veggies and olives in a large bowl.
  5. In a small bowl, pour lemon juice, olive oil, herbs, garlic salt, pepper and Tabasco sauce.  Whisk until well incorporated.  You may use a jar with a screw lid and shake vinaigrette vigorously.
  6. Pour over salad and toss.  Check seasoning and adjust if necessary.

Crock Pot Brisket with Rhubarb

June 11, 2009

beef-brisket-ck-1571418-lMost Americans think of beef brisket as corned beef. The rest of us know that fresh brisket is an essential part of Texas barbeque’s and Jewish holidays. The brisket comes from the breast of the cow, between the forelegs. There are two different cuts, the flat cut which is more tender, and the point cut which is less tender but more flavorful due to more layers of fat. Both cuts require long slow cooking and are especially tasty cooked with sweet and sour sauces.

Rhubarb and onion marmalade adds the right amount of sweet and sour to this dish and its a unique way to use the rhubarb in season now.

Onion marmalade alone is great on hamburgers, a tasty condiment for roasted lamb or chicken, potted meats, and spinach-Gorgonzola tarts.

The recipe given is easy to prepare and sure to impress the carnivores of the household.

Ingredients:

  • 3 to 4 lb beef brisket, flat cut (NOT Corned Beef)
  • 1/2 tsp each Kosher salt, fresh ground black pepper, thyme, garlic powder, chili powder, and smoky paprika
  • oil for searing brisket (about 2 Tbsp)
  • 3 onions, sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 2 stalks rhubarb, sliced
  • 1 Tbsp yellow mustard seeds
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 cup red wine (divided)
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch (for gravy) in 1/2 cup cold water

Method:

  1. Trim fat from brisket leaving a thin layer and taking care not to puncture meat, score the fat side.
  2. Mix Kosher salt, black pepper, thyme, garlic powder, chili powder and paprika in a small bowl.  Spread herb mixture on both sides of brisket, and rub in. 
  3. Heat a skillet over medium high, add oil to glaze bottom of pan.  Sear brisket on both sides until browned.  Transfer to a crock pot, fat side up.  Deglaze pan with 1/2 cup red wine, scraping up the bits from the bottom of the pan, pour over brisket in the crock pot.
  4. Toss onions with olive oil in a large sauce pan.  Sweat over medium heat until onions are caramelized, stirring occasionally.
  5. Add rhubarb, mustard seeds, sugar and vinegar.  Cook until syrup thickens and rhubarb is very tender.
  6. Pour over brisket in crock pot.  Set temperature to high and cook for 5 hours.  Or, set temperature to low and cook for 10 hours.
  7. Remove meat to a platter.  Pour juices from crock pot into a sauce pan.  Add 1/2 cup red wine, bring to a boil.
  8. Stir 1 Tbsp (heaping) of cornstarch into 1/2 cup water, stir into boiling juices.  Whisk until thickened for gravy. 
  9. Slice brisket, ladle gravy over slices.  Serve remaining gravy on the side with potatoes.

Mediterranean Black Bean Salad

June 10, 2009

black bean saladYou can never have too many salad/salsa dishes in your culinary repertoire.  This recipe is from my Jordanian friends in Seattle.  It is a marinated bean salad that just gets better and better the longer it marinates.  It has all the essential flavors of the Mediterranean with lemon, olive oil, cumin, cilantro and mint.  The addition of chipotle chilies, capers, olives, artichokes or sun-dried tomatoes would give this dish a whole new dimension.  Whatever you add to make this your own, it will be well received.

Serve it as part of your party  hors d’oeuvres in baby hearts of romaine or endive.  Or, serve it with tortilla chips like salsa, add it to tacos or enchiladas.  Stuff it in hollowed out crusty rolls with deli meats and cheeses like a muffalatta.  Its a great side dish for a dinner with roasted lamb, chicken or fish.  Its also a light accompaniment to a vegetarian sandwich.

Ingredients:

  • 3 1/2 cups cooked black turtle beans (or 2 cans 15oz each)
  • 1/2 cup sliced scallions
  • 1 large tomato, seeded and diced
  • 1 stalk celery, diced
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp fresh chopped mint (1 tsp dried mint)
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 or 2 dashes of Tabasco sauce
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • Salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

Method:

  1. Rince black beans in a collander.  Place in a bowl.
  2. Add remaining ingredients and fold to combine.
  3. Marinate, covered,  in the refrigerator overnight or at least 1 hour before serving in order to develop flavors.