Monday, January 24, 2005
IMBB 11 Round-up - Parts I & II
It is finally here! The emails started even earlier than I thought they would, with the first two waiting for me Friday evening when I got home from work. With a big snow storm forecast for Saturday, I was scurrying around that evening and early Saturday to get my errands done and lay in provisions for a cozy weekend at home. But by mid-day on Saturday, with snow falling outside, I settled in to read the early entries for IMBB 11. Wasn’t this the perfect weekend for beans?
The first trickle of email on Friday and Saturday was merely a hint of the onslaught to come! By Sunday afternoon, the deluge was in full swing and I felt like Lucy in the candy factory, reading and summarizing one for every two or three that came in. So here they all are in order of arrival…
The first email was from Lynn of To Short Term Memories, who was headed off for a ski weekend. Lynn made Mame Daifuku, a Japanese sweet dumpling made with sticky rice dough, studded with peas (or beans) and filled with red bean paste. They’re gorgeous and sound delicious – I’ve got to find a source for sticky rice flour!
From Laura at Cucina Testa Rosa we have a warm and hearty soup for these cold days - her grandmother’s Pasta “Fazool”. Loaded with Parmesan cheese, pasta, and Great Northern beans, it sounds like true comfort food. Can’t wait to try it!
When I announced IMBB 11, I said there were no restrictions on the form of beans used – they could be dried, canned, in the pod, sprouted, etc. At that time I never dreamed there was a dish that used bean leaves – but there is and Karen of The Pilgrim’s Pots and Pans has brought it to us. It is a Philippine dish made in her town called Tipé Câmangyáng. In addition to the beans themselves and the bean leaves, it also has pork, shrimp, onions and garlic. It sounds and looks delicious! Karen also has a very interesting post that tries to sort out some of the confusion arising from the various names we give beans in different parts of the world.
I tend to forget that when it is at its coldest here, it may be a blazing summer day in another part of the world. Niki from Esurientes – The Comfort Zone reminds us that beans aren’t just for cold days! She has prepared Summer Clams ‘n’ Beans with baby clams, cannellini beans and mint and enjoyed it with her mom and a beautiful Melbourne summer sunset. It is a beautiful dish and tempts me to give clams a try…
Nupur prepared Pan-Fried Sprouted Lentils, an Indian dish traditionally served with rice and dal. In addition to the sprouted lentils, it has onion, ginger, garlic, lemon juice, cilantro, and an assortment of spices. In addition, Nupur has provided some tips on an easy way to sprout lentils. It looks incredible and I’m going to have to add it to the line-up of things to try!
I have not had pea soup since I was a kid, and at that time it was something I very much disliked (so much so that when cleaning up after dinner, I would try to get the ham bone into the trash before my mom remembered to tell me to save it). I am certain now that I would really enjoy it, but just haven’t gotten around to trying it again. Christine from I like to do stuff has made Split Pea Soup with Ham and has convinced me that I must try it again…and soon! Not only does her soup sound delicious, her method of making it in a crockpot sounds incredibly easy. Unfortunately, there was a little incident…but Christine will have to tell you about that!
Elsa at macbebekin decided to recreate the Spicy Thai Peanut and Black Bean Chili that she recently enjoyed at a nearby sandwich joint. Her efforts paid off and her Thai Peanut and Black Bean Soup sounds spicy, rich and just plain wonderful. She reminds me too that peanuts are also legumes – I hadn’t considered that someone could have submitted a peanut butter sandwich as an IMBB 11 entry!
Gillian of The Queen of Tarts whipped up a Black Bean Soup for this IMBB, her first. She enjoyed her soup (which sounds delicious and evidently was) with some corn muffins.
Maureen from Hungry Mouth is also participating in IMBB for the first time and chose to recreate a dish she encountered during her travels in Greece. It is Gigantes Plaki – a mixture of gigantes, onion, garlic and tomatoes and various herbs and spices that is usually served as an appetizer. Check out Maureen’s post for what looks to be a delicious recipe – also follow the link to see some wonderful pictures and stories of her travels in Greece.
Beans aren’t normally thought of as the makings of dessert, but Santos’ strong suit is definitely her beautiful and elegant sweets (not to mention her beautiful and elegant photos of said sweets!). For this IMBB she has brought us two varieties of daifuku – Strawberry and Persimmon Daifuku. For each the fruit is filled or surrounded with a chunky and sweet azuki bean paste and then wrapped in sticky rice dough. They look amazing and it is worth a trip to the scent of green bananas just to gaze at them!
Dagmar of A Cat In The Kitchen is still recuperating financially from a recent trip to the Maldives and so managed to put together a delicious meal that is filling and comforting from ingredients she already had on hand. She made Red Lentil Soup and Sesame Crescent Rolls. Dagmar may have tired of this soup for the time being, but I suspect many of us will be enjoying it in the very near future!
Over in Germany, Petra of Chili und Ciabatta has prepared Green Lentil Salad with Balsamico and Pumpkin Seed Oil. It is a warm salad of green Puy lentils, onion, garlic and herbs, and little bits of carrot, leek, celery, and scallion. It is dressed with balsamic vinegar and pumpkin seed oil. It sounds (and looks) so good! It is garnished with sprigs of chervil from Petra’s own garden that were picked from under the snow!
Rachel at brown bread ice cream in her first IMBB has given us not just a fantastic little cake, but a wonderful ode to the virtues of soy – no, not its healthy qualities, its YUMMY qualities! She was browsing in a book store and saw a tasty recipe for Soufflé Cheese Cake. Once home, she used the memorized recipe as a starting point, but then completely overhauled it. The result is her exquisite little Fuwa Fuwa Soy Milk Cakey. Another must try!
Anne at Anne’s Food doesn’t like most beans (though I’ll bet she’ll soften her stance after she reads all these IMBB entries!), but did find one bean in Spain that she thought was lovely. The beans she used in her Gorgonzola Risotto with peas, mushrooms and broad beans traveled all the way from Spain, courtesy of her dad, and have been waiting in her freezer for a special occasion like IMBB. She put them to good use in her delicious risotto, which I’m sure was well received by her lucky guests!
Mia at Nosh made not one, but two bean soups. Actually, the word “soup” almost seems too pedestrian to describe her first submission – Potage St. Cloud, a puree of fresh peas, onion, potatoes, parsnip, and carrots seasoned with curry and richened with half and half. Mia’s second offering is Coconut Bean Soup, another beautiful soup with navy beans, red bell pepper, tomatoes, curry, and coconut milk. Both look delicious and either would be the perfect antidote to a cold winter day!
In Paris, Clotilde of Chocolate & Zucchini found a very special bean on which to base her creation. It is the Tarbais bean, grown only in Tarbes and the only bean to be protected by a Label Rouge and regional appellation. Clotilde’s Salade Tiède de Haricots Tarbais à l’Huile de Noix is a simple warm salad that allows the star ingredient to shine. The delicate Tarbais beans are complemented by peppery arugula and dressed with a vinaigrette of balsamic vinegar, walnut oil and mustard. It sounds amazing!
From snowy Wisconsin, Irene of Cuisine Capers brings us a warm and hearty Weisse Bohnen Eintopfen or White Bean One Pot Casserole. This is comfort food of the best kind with white beans, smoked Polish sausage, carrots, onions, tomatoes, and celery and served with rye bread and cheese on the side. It looks and sounds delicious!
Annalyn of Ajay’s writings on the wall brings us her very own Beanie Burgers. Her recipe got its start in a Filipino cookbook, but she improvised a bit and came up with a tasty burger of white kidney beans, potatoes, tuna, celery, carrot, onion, and more. They sound delicious and are, no doubt, good for you too!
Charlotte of Love and Cooking, is in northern California where the first hint of spring is apparently a good price on asparagus! Inspired by a dish served in her favorite vegetarian restaurant, Charlotte put together her own take on Asparagus with Black Bean Sauce. Served over rice, Charlotte’s creation sounds like something to be enjoyed any time of year!
Barrett at Too Many Chefs has come up with a stunning Mexican Black Bean Tart with Cornmeal Crust. I must make this, but I’d rather have it waiting for me downstairs. Right now. Barrett has very helpfully provided some tips on substitutions should you have trouble getting a hold of Chihuahua cheese or Anaheim peppers. He has also suggested a rather brilliant accompaniment…Margaritas!
I’ve always heard that cassoulet was a lot of work, but after reading Tom’s excellent (illustrated) step by step discussion of the two day process, I know it’s a lot of work! I’m sure the lucky souls that were able to share his masterpiece with him would say it was worth the effort! If you haven’t already done so, stop by Butter Pig and judge for yourself.
Babe of Babe in the City – KL has brought us another bean dessert – Red and Kidney Bean Sweet Soup. It is a beautiful mixture of red beans, kidney beans, and sago pearls in a sweet broth that can be served hot or cold. According to Babe, this is easy to make and a favorite in her house!
Derrick of An Obsession with Food, like his friend Tom, also decided to tackle a cassoulet. With his tongue planted firmly in his cheek, Derrick also delves into the origin of the dish and pokes a little fun at the labor intensive process. Despite all the funning, though, Derrick produced a delicious cassoulet, which he served on a bed of braised chard. Not content with a single Herculean culinary feat, Derrick also made an eye-dazzling dessert – with beans! His Black Bean Tuiles are ever-so-thin wafers made with “black bean essence” that are sandwiched with a sweetened cream cheese mixture and topped off with several tasty garnishes. Altogether, a couple of amazing accomplishments!
Like Charlotte, Ronald over at loveSicily also has spring on his mind. He has made a warm Butter and Green Bean Tuna Salad that is dressed with a vinaigrette and served cradled in a frittatina bowl. Both the salad and frittatina are seasoned with lemon thyme and the whole ensemble is garnished with sliced red onion and sprigs of lemon thyme. It’s a beautiful presentation and looks really delicious!
Next up is another cassoulet, but this one is different. Stephanie of Half Baked brings us her Quick Cassoulet made with great northern beans, chicken thighs, and Italian sausage. This may not be the traditional cassoulet, but it sounds delicious nonetheless!
You know, as I write this it is way past my dinner time and you guys are really killing me! Here’s another bean burger that sounds oh so good. Lenn from LENNDEVOURS presents his very aptly named Southwest Blog Burnin’ Burgers. Made with small red beans, corn, onion and breadcrumbs and spiced with jalapeno pepper, chipotle chili powder and Spanish smoked paprika, they look like they would really hit the spot!
Shawn from Everything And/But Nothing prepared an All-American Crockpot Chili for this IMBB and sent along a few lagniappes as well! Her chili sounds delicious with spicy sausage, ground sirloin, onions, peppers, tomatoes and herbs and spices galore. Best of all you throw it all in the pot early in the day and it cooks long and slow so you can savor the aroma all day. Shawn prepared some Stewed Black-Eyed Peas for New Year’s, which also sound yummy, and has links to several other recipes in her post.
You’d think that falafel would be terribly healthy, but the truth is they’re usually fried and have quite a different reputation. In fact, someone I know once referred to them as a vegetarian’s cheeseburger. Nicole from baking sheet recognized this and decided to remedy the situation by baking her falafel. Her Oven Baked Falafel look scrumptious and browned beautifully in the oven despite the fact that they have practically no fat. With “handfuls” of parsley and cilantro, they have a lovely green hue and, I expect, great flavor!
Linda from At Our Table prepared a lovely White Bean Risotto with great northern beans, Arborio rice, Asiago cheese, tomatoes, onions, garlic, and herbs. Linda’s no fuss approach appears to yield fantastic results – the risotto looks rich, creamy and absolutely delicious!
Requia of Chez Requia made a New Year’s resolution to participate in the next IMBB! So even though she has been terribly busy lately, she managed to find time to make a beautiful dish of Rice and Brown Lentils with Sesame and Parsley. It looks like a snap to make and with its mixture of colors and textures should be quite yummy!
Stay tuned – lots more to come! If you don’t see your entry here, please don’t worry – I have 23 more entries, not including the ones posted on my blog. Oh my gosh – my GMail notify is dinging at me again – make that 24!
P.S. - Mondays with Maida has been postponed - I hope to get it posted later in the week (if I ever finish this round-up!)
I’m well rested and ready to dig into some more beany delights. Are you ready? OK then, off we go…
First stop is Moira’s brand new food blog, Who Wants Seconds? For her first IMBB Moira has prepared a delightful salad with not one, but two beans! Her Puy Lentil Salad with Feta Cheese also includes green beans, carrots, red onion, celery, and cilantro and is dressed with toasted sesame oil and rice vinegar. A light but completely satisfying meal for those of us who may have over-indulged a bit during the holiday season!
Amy of Cooking with Amy asks, “Do you ever make impulse purchases?” I’m willing to bet that not only would most of us have to answer yes, but that many of us would have fallen for those gorgeous, jewel-like black Beluga lentils just as Amy did. IMBB gave Amy the perfect excuse to break open the package and create a new soup, her own Beluga Beauty Soup. This medley of lentils, sweet bell pepper, onion and garlic spiced with garam masala, ginger and a little cayenne is the only excuse you need to find some black Beluga lentils and make a little impulse purchase of your own!
Jennifer at The Domestic Goddess has made a soup to bring a little sunshine to even the coldest day. It is Creamy Chickpea Soup, or as her husband refers to it, “Liquid Falafel”. With chickpeas, tahini, chicken stock, carrots, onion, cumin, a touch of this, and a touch of that, this delicious soup will warm you from the inside out and probably leave you humming too!
For this IMBB, Debbie of words to eat by decided to try something new – farro, an Italian wheat-like grain. She gathered ideas from a number of recipes and then produced her own scrumptious Farro and White Bean Soup with Escarole. This is a hearty and comforting soup with a silken broth, soft beans, sweet chunks of vegetables, and chewy nuggets of farro. Sounds like the perfect thing to see you through a cold winter day…or even a blizzard!
Donna over at There’s a Chef in My Kitchen has come up with a new twist on hummus, Hummus Spiked with Blue Cheese and Caramelized Onions. This was the perfect thing for her afternoon football party with a garnish of sun dried tomatoes and some kettle potato chips alongside for dipping. Donna says that its combination of earthiness, saltiness and sweetness are irresistible…even to those (like me) that are not so fond of blue cheese. With all those other great ingredients, I think I just might believe her!
Ella at The Devon Dumpling is another IMBB first-timer. Having just seen Supersize Me, Ella was inspired to create a healthy Big Mac…a Big Mac Falafel! With chickpeas, onion, garlic, parsley, coriander, and even a special sauce, these “burgers” are bound to please! If you’re not convinced, just take a look at the photo…McDonalds can’t possibly compete!
Kate at Accidental Hedonist has brought us beans for breakfast! Her Huevos Motuleños combine black beans, ham, eggs, and peas on a corn tortilla and the whole thing is topped with a yummy sounding tomato habanero sauce. What a way to start the day!
If you’ve made a resolution to watch what you eat in the new year, then you should head over to Alice’s blog, Tea Time, and give her Chicken Chowder a try. Alice’s chowder, which is based on a Weight Watchers recipe, is loaded with chicken, cannellini beans, potatoes, carrots, celery, green onions, tomatoes and chiles, and won’t leave you feeling the least bit deprived!
Carolyn at 18C Cuisine has brought us another taste of living history with her recipe for Cassoulet – French Baked Beans. Under the fragile crust formed by a long slow cook in an earthen pot you’ll find the tasty beans together with confit, lamb, sausage, carrots, and onions. Mmmm….
Winnie, one of the bloggers at Hodge Podge Kitchen, decided to give some new ingredients a try for this IMBB. She recreated a favorite dessert from Hong Kong called “Red-White” which is a mixture of sweet red bean soup and sweet tofu. Winnie managed to find all the necessary ingredients at a nearby Asian grocery, and includes a helpful photo of them in her post. Her soup is composed of adzuki beans, fresh lotus seeds, fresh lily bulbs, dried tangerine peel and rock sugar and is served overtop the sweet tofu. It is a warm and comforting sweet to end the day with!
Meriko, one of the bloggers at gastronome, has prepared a Nacho Soup that sounds amazing! It is a black bean soup with shredded chicken topped with a shallot relish, but that description only begins to tell the story… The soup has caramelized onions and Grand Marnier and is seasoned with coriander, cumin and chipotle. The relish is a mixture of shallots, ginger, lime, and cilantro. Served with tortilla chips (which Meriko has also provided instructions for), how could this soup not bring utter happiness to anyone lucky enough to partake of it?
From far away in the UK, Jeanne, of Cook Sister!, shares with us some fond memories of home (South Africa) and her family. One dish that she turns to for comfort when feeling especially homesick is Boereboontjies, a savory mix of green beans, potatoes and onions that her brother years ago dubbed “hot coleslaw”. For this IMBB Jeanne has paired her old friend with a new one – Sausage and Bean Casserole with Herb Dumplings, or as Jeanne refers to it, pauper’s cassoulet. The casserole, with its “goopy” sauce and buttery dumplings, sounds delicious…but first I think I’d like some hot coleslaw!
llizard of blog from OUR kitchen had a little trouble getting his/her dinner plans coordinated with IMBB but did offer two recipes for bean dishes that they might have had with dinner. The first is a refried bean casserole that apparently can double as an appetizer if served with chips. The second is a simple and elegant preparation of white beans. Both sound delicious!
Audrey at Stirring the Pot prepared a lovely pinto bean dip with sun dried tomatoes and served it on polenta squares. It sounds really yummy and her plans for the leftovers – bean dip on toasted polenta – sound equally tantalizing!
Celia of English Patis prepared Ginataang Totong, or Glutinous Rice Coconut Soup with Toasted Mung Beans from her native Phillipines. This is what Celia calls a “between meal meal”! It looks to be a deliciously sweet treat with a tempting mix of textures – crunchy toasted mung beans, soft rice, and creamy coconut milk. Yum!
I think it’s time to call it a night. I’m so sorry for dragging this out… I’ve sent an email to everyone that I haven’t yet included in the round-up (I think). If you don’t see your entry here and haven’t heard from me, send me another note – I don’t want to leave anyone out! I think there are a total of 72 entries – can you believe it? There are so many IMBB first-timers too – it’s really wonderful. Stay tuned for part III!
All the links to twelve more delicious IMBB 11 entries are here!
Links to all the rest are here!