Thursday, July 31, 2008

Been very busy

Sorry guys for the lack of posting. I've been really busy doing stuff... summer and all. But I have been cooking and will post recipes soon.

Meanwhile I got an advance copy of The Complete Book of Garlic, by Ted Jordan Meredith. It is, according to their tagline, "a guide for gardeners, growers and serious cooks". I've taken a look and it looks great. It is indeed more a guide for gardeners and growers. And it has no recipes, but some tips on how to use it when cooking. I'll have a more complete review in a few days. All you need to know now is that it is coming out in August and will be available at Amazon and other retailers. And yes, sadly, we Canadians will end up paying more for the same product, it retails for $39.95 in the US and for $45.95 in Canada. That's 15% more in Canada, when at today's rate it should retail at $40.83 in Canada. Shame on publishers, shame!
OK, rant over. Happy garlicking!

Friday, July 11, 2008

White bean salad (ensalada de alubias)

OK, so this recipe has no garlic, but is delicious anyway, and has lots of onion. It is also vegan.
I wanted to make an "ensalda de alubias" like the one I had a long time ago in an Argentinian restaurant called La Taba in Mexico City.

I was looking for alubias, the white beans that is used in Spain to make fabada, apparently they are called fabes in English, but I couldn't find them anywhere. Even at St. Lawrence Market, where there is a guy who has every bean and rice imaginable, when I asked for fabes they wanted to give me fava beans, which are not the same. And when I looked up fabes on the internet it always took me to a generic beans page, so I tried to look for substitutes. I ended up buying baby lima beans. They were good enough.

I soaked 1.5 cups of dry baby lima beans overnight in the fridge.
Then I cooked them in the pressure cooker for 10 minutes with the heart of one celery, 2 teaspoons of vegetable oil, half an onion, 2 cloves of garlic slightly crushed and 3 bay leaves. I let the pressure cooker cool naturally and then I opened it.

Meanwhile I chopped about 3/4 red onion and covered it with the juice of 2 lemons and about 1 teaspoon of sea salt. I did this to marinade the onion and make it less strong for eating.

When the beans were cooked, I removed the celery, the garlic, the bay leaves and the onion and drained the beans keeping about 1/4 cup of the cooking water. I let the beans totally cool (or you can rinse them in cold water as well, but they are delicate and may peel if you do that, I recommend just letting them cool down). I then added the cooking water and beans to the lemon+onion concoction. I then used 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil and (here's the secret ingredient) 1 teaspoon powdered dry oregano. Mix everything and add salt and pepper to taste.

The salad was delicious!