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Easy White Bean Tuna Salad

We blog about this recipe here.

Easy White Bean Tuna Salad

  • 7 oz of good quality tuna in olive oil, drained – with the oil saved
  • 2 c cooked small white beans or 1 can, drained and rinsed; cannellini beans work well here
  •  1/2 red onion, thinly sliced crosswise or finely chopped
  • 2 T capers
  • 6 T oil from the tuna (add olive oil, if you don’t have that much left from the tuna jar or can)
  • 3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • arugula or spinach
  • cherry tomatoes (if they’re in season), halved and lightly salted
  • torn basil (optional) for garnishing
Put the tuna into a bowl and break it up slightly with a fork.  Fold in the beans. onion and capers.
Whisk together the olive oil and vinegar and gently mix that into the tuna mixture.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.Serve the tuna on top of the arugula  – with the tomatoes and basil sprinkled on top of the tuna.Refrigerate any leftovers, keeping the tuna mixture separate from the tomatoes and arugula.  Bring it to room temperature before serving.  It will keep nicely for several days.
Recipe brought to you by and Andy and Ann.

Quick White Bean Soup

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Quick White Bean Soup

  • 2 T olive oil
  • 3 oz pancetta or bacon or ham or Spanish chorizo, diced (optional)
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large carrot, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 c cooked small white beans (canned, rinsed beans are fine; beans cooked in a slow cooker are delicioso; Rancho Gordo beans are to die for)
  • 3 – 4 c chicken broth (or vegetable broth), depending upon how soupy you want it)
  • 3 c chopped Swiss chard – or spinach or arugula or kale
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • crusty bread to accompany it

In a medium pan, heat the oil over medium heat, add the pancetta, onion, carrot, and garlic and fry until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes.  Add the beans and broth and chard, turn the heat down to a simmer, and cook until the chard is tender, just a few minutes.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with a crusty bread.

Recipe brought to you by and Andy and Ann.

Lamb and White Bean Chili

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Lamb and White Bean Chili

adapted from a NYTimes/Melissa Clark recipe

  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 lb ground lamb
  • Kosher salt and pepper
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1-2 poblano peppers, seeded and diced (my poblano was huge – about 7″ long and hot, which is not typical, so I only used one); green bell peppers work here too
  • 1 small jalapeño, minced (optional – and taste it before adding the whole thing)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 T chili powder (note: you don’t want ground chiles here; you want a mix with cumin – such as Spice Islands Chili Powder or Simply Organic Chili Powder, both recommended)
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp oregano (I like to use Mexican oregano, but regular works too)
  • 1 1/2 T tomato paste
  • 1 small bunch cilantro, chopped – about 1 c
  • 1 12 oz bottle of beer (such as Fat Tire!) plus 2 1/2c water – or 4 c water, if you don’t want to use beer
  • 2 15 oz cans navy beans or Great Northern beans, rinsed and drained
  • lime wedges (optional)

In a dutch oven or large saucepan, heat the oil over medium-high heat.  Add the lamb and 1/2 tsp salt and saute until the lamb is slightly browned.  Using a slotted spoon, transfer the meat to a bowl and drain all but about 1T of fat from the pan.

Add the onions and peppers and cook until the onions are translucent.  Stir in the garlic, chili powder, coriander, cumin, oregano, and tomato paste and saute another few minutes.

Return the lamb to the pot and stir in the cilantro, beer and/or water, and beans.  Add salt to taste.  Simmer – uncovered – over medium low heat for about 45 minutes, adding more water, if the chili gets too thick.  Serve, adding lime wedges, if desired.

Chili will freeze well and also keep well for several days in the fridge.  Recipe brought to you by and Andy and Ann]


Tostada de Frijoles con Huevos (tostadas with beans and eggs)

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Tostadas de Frijoles con Huevos (tostadas with beans and eggs)

We really like homemade tostada shells, and baking them is so much easier than frying them…and almost as satisfactory. As for refried beans, we recommend Goya Traditional Refried Pinto Beans – either vegan or not – or Bush’s Best Cocina Latina refried black beans.

2 corn tortillas – about 6″ in diameter (or 2 packaged tostada shells – we like the Guerrero brand)
olive oil or vegetable oil
Diamond kosher salt
2 eggs
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 c refried beans (figure about 2 T of beans per tostada)
salsa of your choice
1/4 c crumbled cotija cheese (optional)
cilantro, for garnish (optional)

Preheat oven to 425˚F.

If you are making your own tostada shells, brush or spray each side of the tortillas with olive oil and season with a bit of salt. Bake for about 10 minutes, turning the tortillas over after 5 minutes.  They should be golden brown and crispy when you take them out of the oven.  If not, leave them in the oven a few minutes longer.  Watch them closely; they will easily get too brown!  And note: tortillas vary in thickness and width, so you have to adjust the baking time accordingly.

Meanwhile, heat a small skillet over medium heat and add about 1 T olive oil. Add beans and heat until warm (or stick the beans in the microwave for about 1 minute).

Heat another small skillet (8″ works) – which has a lid – over medium high heat.  Add 1 T oil and when the oil is hot, crack each egg (carefully) into the pan.  Salt and pepper to taste.  When the whites have begun to crisp up on the very edges – about 30 seconds, add about 1 T water to the pan, cover, turn the heat down to low, and cook until the layer of white over the yolks is barely opaque.  We estimate about 1 1/2 minutes – and more if you like the yolk to set up.  When checking the eggs for doneness, lift the lid just a crack to prevent loss of steam should they need further cooking.

To assemble, spread the tostada shell with a thin layer of beans; add salsa to taste, a fried egg, a sprinkle of cotija cheese, if you’re using it, and cilantro.

Serve with a fork – but you’ll find it easier to eat if you just use your hands.  Have a napkin nearby.

Recipe brought to you by and Andy and Ann.

Colonel Fonts’s Black Beans

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We blog about this recipe here.

Colonel Fonts’s Black Beans

Note from Ann: I tend to start with 8 c of water for 1 pound of beans, and gradually add more water if necessary during the cooking process. Thanks to Colonel Fonts’ great-grandson, Lisandro Pérez, for this heirloom Cuban recipe

  • 1 lb. organic black beans
  • 2 large sweet onions, peeled
  • 2 large green bell peppers, stems and seeds removed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup sherry cooking wine
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 8 oz. can of tomato sauce, preferably unsalted
  • 1 12 oz. can of whole red pimientos (or 3 4-oz jars, if you can’t find the canned)
  • 1/3 cup white refined sugar
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • Salt to taste, and very little, if any, pepper

The beans are to be served on day three, with preparations starting on day one (e.g., for
Christmas eve dinner, on the 24th of December, day one is December 22nd ).
Afternoon of day 1: soak the beans
Place the beans in small batches in a colander, rinse them, and pick through them to make sure there are no small stones, soil clumps, or other earthen matter. Place all the beans in a heavy stock pot and pour enough cold water into the pot so that the beans are covered by about four inches of water. The pot should be large enough so that the water and the beans do not exceed two-thirds of the capacity of the pot (I use the 8 qt. All-Clad Stainless-Steel Stock Pot). Slice one of the onions into rings one-quarter inch thick and one of the green peppers into half-inch wide strips and mix in with the beans and water.

Place the covered pot on the kitchen counter (or in the refrigerator) to soak overnight. (I usually check in on the pot before I go to sleep to make sure the beans have not expanded to the point that they need more water to stay covered).

Morning of day 2: cook the beans

Making sure that there are at least two inches of water left covering the beans, place the pot on the stove and bring to a near boil before quickly turning down the heat to a healthy simmer. Add the bay leaves and an initial pinch or two of salt and cover the pot. Simmer for at least three hours. Stir periodically to make sure there is enough water so that the beans are not at risk of sticking to the bottom. If so, add more water.

After the three hours, sample a few of the beans to make sure they have no firmness; they should pretty much dissolve in your mouth. If still firm, continue cooking. There is little danger of overcooking the beans if they have enough water.

While the beans are cooking, prepare the sofrito by peeling the remaining onion, and cut it and the remaining green pepper into large chunks. Place the onion and pepper, the cloves of garlic, and the cup of olive oil into a blender. Blend until the ingredients liquefy into a smooth mixture. Pour the sofrito mixture into a 12-inch wide skillet at medium-low heat. When the sofrito starts to heat, stir it frequently, uncovered. The purpose is to cook the sofrito while reducing its liquid. If the mixture is splattering too vigorously, reduce the heat a bit. After about 45 minutes most of the natural liquid from the onion and pepper will have evaporated and the result will be a thicker sofrito that will want to stick to the pan in a burnt brownish film. This is when the stirring needs to be constant and aggressive to prevent that (a stiff rubber spatula works best), continuing until
the sofrito is close to having a thick puree consistency.

Once the beans are cooked, pour the sofrito slowly into the beans, stirring the beans as you do so to ensure an even mix. The beans will now have a thicker texture, so the heat needs to be reduced to a low simmer, and attention needs to be paid to prevent any sticking to the pot, stirring occasionally. The beans are always cooked covered. After about 20 minutes, to allow the sofrito and the beans to coalesce, add the vinegar, tomato sauce, ½ cup of the sherry cooking wine, the oregano, and the pimientos, diced coarsely, along with the water with which they were packed. Adjust the salt and add ground black pepper, if desired. After allowing enough time for the beans to return to a simmer, add the sugar, stirring it in slowly. Simmer slowly for another 30 minutes and then turn off the heat. Wait until the pot cools down a bit before putting the beans to sleep,
covered, in the refrigerator for the night.

Day 3: heat and serve
About a couple of hours before they are to be served, take the beans out of the refrigerator and wake them up by stirring them a couple of times and splashing on the other ½ cup of the sherry. They are cold, of course, and considerably thicker than they were the day before, so place them on the stove over low heat, stirring them every few minutes to prevent sticking. The beans must be reheated slowly: burnt beans on the bottom will give the entire batch an unpleasant taste.
Serve on individual plates by laying a bed of white non-sticky long-grain rice and ladling a generous serving of the beans on top.

Recipe brought to you by Lisandro Pérez and


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