An on-line friend Tweeted today that she has a problem -- she and her husband have invited friends (presumably new friends, since they just moved) over for dinner. Which is a pleasure, not a problem, except that their normal diet consists, as she puts it, of "beans and kale", and she's a little tentative serving that to others.
BUT -- there are lots of recipes that are plenty good enough to serve to company that feature beans. Monterey Beans and Cheese, which I posted here (scroll down) are different and delicious. So is the recipe below.
Sòs Pwa (Haitian Bean Sauce)
In a large saucepan, soak overnight or by quick method*
1 1/2 cups any dried beans, with water to cover.
When beans have soaked, add:
3 cloves garlic, diced or mashed
8 whole cloves or 1/2 t. ground cloves
1/2 t. pepper
1/2 c. onion, diced
Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and simmer until beans are tender. Drain off liquid and reserve. Remove 1/2 c. of the cooked beans and reserve.
Puree in a blender:
cooked bean mixture
2 c. reserved bean broth
Return pureed sauce and reserved whole beans to saucepan. Add:
1 hot chili pepper, chopped or 1/4 t. ground red pepper
salt to taste
1 T. margarine
Bring to a boil and simmer, uncovered, until thickened to the consistency of gravy. Serve over rice, or Nshima (below). Garnish with slices of avocado or lemon (optional).
* To quick-soak beans, cover with water, bring to a boil, and boil for five minutes. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for one hour. Proceed with recipe as usual.
Rich Haitians eat this in restaurants over white rice. Poor ones eat it over cornmeal porridge. For those of us who've never had cornmeal porridge, here's a recipe.
Nshima (Cornmeal Porridge)
Boil in a large soup pot:
6 cups water.
Mix in a bowl:
1 cup cornmeal*
1 cup water
Stir until smooth, then add to boiling water. Simmer 15-29 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add, 1/2 c. at a time,
2-2 1/2 cups additional cornmeal
(Salt if desired)
After each addition of cornmeal, stir well with a wooden spoon until all dry particles disappear and mixture is smooth. After last addition, keep stirring until Nshima is stiff enough to handle without dripping off fingers. Remove from heat, cover, and let stand 10 minutes. Stir again before serving. this can be served in one serving dish or on a platter in scoops or patties.
Soaking in cold water helps clean the pot!
* Africans use white cornmeal, Haitians use yellow.
These recipes are adapted from Extending the Table... A World Community Cookbook. And as I was looking them up, I found a bonus recipe for my friend --
Cook until soft in about 1/4 cup water:
3 cups fresh greens -- chard, kale ;-D, spinach, collards -- chopped
1-2 red chili peppers, chopped
1 T oil or margarine
1 onion, chopped
1 potato, chopped
1-2 tomatoes, chopped
Serve with rice or Nshima.