Black Bean casserole

Some beans really contribute to the taste of a dish while others are more subtle and tend to just round out the flavours of everything else in the meal. Black Beans don’t like to stand on the sidelines – they’re definitely an “Individual Contributor”.

In

  • However many Black Beans you get from pressure cooking one cup of dry beans (maybe two standard tins worth?)
  • 1 large onion, halved
  • 3 or 4 cloves of garlic
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 medium potatoes, halved
  • Handful of fresh parsley, chopped
  • Handful of fresh dill, chopped
  • 2 TBSP ground pepper
  • 2 TBSP miso
  • 1 cup of white wine
  • Generous splash of olive oil
  • Water

Cook

  • In a large, lidded baking dish…
  • Add the herbs, garlic, pepper, oil and miso
  • Next add the spuds and the onion (try not to separate the onion halves into rings)
  • Tip the beans over
  • Add the wine, and enough water to cover everything
  • Bake at a medium heat until the liquid is well reduced.

 

Bloody Bonza Bucketty Bean and Beetroot Burgers

All those B’s – it just has to be good for you! After all, it is a well known fact that alliteration is an essential ingredient in a balanced diet.

These burgers are currently being taste tested by Shrek, and depending on whether they pass the muster of his MasterChef taste buds they may even be the veggie burger of choice come the next Mangrove Mountain Country Fair.

Buy (or grow) these things:

  • 3 large red beetroots (just under half a kilo)
  • 1/2 cup brown rice (uncooked)
  • 1 medium onion, diced small
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup rolled oats – not quick cook oats (see also below for note on making this recipe gluten-free)
  • 2 (450g) cans black beans – or preferably cook the beans yourself (alternatively use kidney beans)
  • 1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes, chopped into small pieces.
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons seed mustard
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Salt to taste

Bashing it all together:

Heat the oven to 220c. Wrap the beetroots loosely in aluminium foil and roast until easily pierced with a fork, 50 to 60 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, cook the rice until it’s a little beyond al dente. You want it a little over-cooked, but still firm (not completely mushy). Drain any remaining liquid from the rice and set it aside to cool.

Heat a splash of olive oil in a cast iron pan over medium-high heat. Add the onions and a pinch of salt. Stir the onions every minute or two, and cook until they are golden and getting charred around the edges, if the onions are burning lower the heat.

Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the garlic and cook only until it is fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the paprika, cumin, coriander and ground pepper and pour in the cider vinegar and scrape up the dark sticky crust. Continue to simmer until the cider has evaporated and the pan is nearly dry again. Remove from heat and remove from the pan so they can cool, and not overcook from the residual heat of the pan.

Process the oats in a bamix dry food processor attachment thingy (or food processor) until they have reduced to a fine flour. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside.

Drain and rinse the cans of beans. Transfer half of the beans to the food processor along with the mustard and the sun dried tomatoes. Pulse in 1-second bursts just until the beans are roughly chopped — not so long that they become mush — 8 to 10 pulses. Transfer this mixture to a large mixing bowl. Add the remaining half of the beans to the mixing bowl as well.

Scrape the skins off the cooled roasted beets; the skins should slip off easily. If still too hot to handle do this step under running cold water. Once cool enough to handle grate the peeled beetroots on the largest holes of a box grater.

Transfer the squeezed beetroot, cooked rice, and sautéed onion/garlic/spices to the bowl with the beans. Add the oatmeal flour and the thyme. Hand mix all the ingredients until thoroughly combined. Add salt, extra pepper or more of the spices to taste.

Cover the bowl and refrigerate the burger mixture for at least 2 hours or (ideally) overnight. The mix can also be kept refrigerated for up to three days before cooking, and once formed into burger patties can be frozen uncooked, separated by squares of waxed paper.

(Don’t) Burn them:

Shape into burgers.

Heat a cast-iron pan over high heat. Add a few tablespoons of olive oil to completely coat the bottom of the pan. Cook as many as will fit without crowding. Cooking time will depend on size of formed patties. Cook to a crust either side.

Adapting to gluten free:

Replace the oats with lightly toasted cashews, same weight and same processing

Add a binding agent. Recommended method is: two teaspoons of linseeds ground in the way as the cashews, then soaked in 2 tablespoons of water until gooey. Add this mix to the processor when doing the beans/mustard/sundried tomatoes.

Potato and bean balls

There is very little oil in this dish – in fact non other than however much you use to saute the onion and garlic in, and that used to grease the oven tray. The second time SheWhoMustBeFed made up a batch of these, she happened to neglect that preparatory step – they still turned out fine so if you’re looking for a very low-oil meal try that too.

Me? Olive oil is a beverage my friends….

These were initially birthed as a Loinfruit meal. They would also be ideal as a party finger food snacky thingamee.

Going in the balls…

  • 1 medium to large potato. Peel, boil and dry mash
  • 1/2 cup of cooked black beans (or substitute pinto or haricot)
  • 1/4 cup of finely chopped roasted cashews
  • 1 slice of wholemeal bread – finely breadcrumbled
  • pinch of finely ground black pepper
  • pinch of ground cumin
  • 1 thin slice of red onion – finely chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic – finely chopped

Making the balls…

  • lightly saute the onion, garlic and pepper in a little olive oil
  • combine all ingredients into a mixing bowl
  • lightly mash to combine and slightly break apart the beans
  • lightly knead the mixture until it all binds
  • form into balls, each about a little smaller than a golf ball. For anyone fortunate enough to never have played a game of golf, the balls should be about as round as the circle formed by your thumb and index finger. If you do not have a thumb, then firstly may I say that that is a great excuse to use to avoid golf, and secondly I am at a slight loss as to how to further describe the size of the balls. Just do your best…
  • bake on a lightly oiled tray in a pre-warmed, medium oven for about 15 minutes

Makes approx. 12 balls

Black bean and sweet potato tagine

Black beans and sweet potato seem to like each other. The orange of the potato seems brightened against the black backdrop of the beans, while their flavours and consistencies are complementary. This is a very simple dish to make – say 15 minutes preparation time, and then between 45 and 60 minutes to bake. Put the oven on to preheat while you prepare everything else, and it will speed cooking time significantly if you place the empty tagine in the oven as it preheats. While the tagine heats up The VegHead meanwhile lumps all the ingredients into a bowl, which I then just empty into the tagine when ready.


Ingredients:
  • 2 cups of cooked black beans
  • 1 medium orange sweet potato – cut a few strips and then dice the rest
  • 1 small onion, sliced
  • 1 small preserved lemon, chopped
  • 1/2 cup of your favourite olives
  • 1 courgette; quarter lengthways and then halve those lengths giving eight slices
  • 1/2 tomato, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon of Ras-El-Hanout
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • generous amount of olive oil
  • (Optional) 1 small tomato, sliced
Making:
  • Aside from the courgette and the strips of sweet potato, mix all other ingredients and slop into the tagine
  • Arrange the courgette and sweet potato slices spoke-like around the top of the tagine, with the skin facing upward. Arrange the tomato slices between the spokes.
  • Add enough water to almost fill the base of the tagine
  • Bake in a hot oven for 60 minutes

Boddington Casserole

Boddington is an English beer with a creamy head and smooth body that can purchased in a widget enabled can. According to beer historians, Boddingtons has been around for over 200 years, and is now sold in over 30 countries worldwide.

To quote one online review: “Boddingtons is not the most complex or interesting English bitter, but a great session beer nonetheless. This is a pleasant, easy drinking, nicely satisfying, everyday beer. With an alcohol content of 3.8%ABV, it’s a beer that can be drunk in quantity on a night at the local without re-arranging your brain cells drastically. It’s also a good thirst quencher, a refreshing pint that calls for another and another and maybe just one more after that and then….”

Well there you have it, which must explain why there was a single can of it that has been sitting in the fridge for months. Must have been waiting for a “session” to occur on the calendar. Instead, it went into this simple and hearty casserole.

What you need..

  • 1 can of Boddingtons
  • 10 brussel sprouts
  • 4 medium potatoes; halved
  • 1 small onion; roughly chopped
  • 1 large clove of garlic, crushed and chopped
  • 1 cup of cooked black beans
  • 1 tablespoon of sweet, light miso
  • 1 tablespoon of black peppercorns. Crush with a mortar and pestle.
  • 1 teaspoon of chopped, fresh rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon of tomato paste
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • Corn flour (for thickening the sauce)

What to do..

  • Combine all ingredients except the corn flour into a lidded casserole dish. Try to keep the sprouts submerged or they may dry out during cooking
  • Bake in a moderate oven for about an hour
  • Remove from oven. Spoon out a small amount of the liquid and dissolve about 1 teaspoon of corn flour in it. Using a fork, mix until an even, light paste forms. Spoon out as much of the remaining liquid from the casserole as possible and add to this mix, stirring thoroughly to ensure an even consistency.
  • Return the (now thickened) sauce back to the casserole, and stir until evenly distributed
  • Return to the oven and bake for an additional five minutes on low

Serve with steamed vegetables of your choice.

Ffffsssssst

Ffffsssssst….That’s the sound I can hear from downstairs.

SheWhoMustBeFed is doing her weekly task of pressure-cooking up a weeks worth of dried beans. This is a once a week task that provides all the beans in whatever we then cook. Almost every week we pressure-cook up a batch each of chick peas, butter beans, and one other.

The first two are staples in a number of other recipes that we cook every week (not that I’ve posted anything with butter beans in it yet but by the end of this week I will have). The latter we change depending on what we’ll be cooking later; haricot, kidney, black, adzuki, black-eyed….

This process is much cheaper than buying precooked tinned beans, and comes with a lower “footprint” than using the more heavily pre-processed and packaged tins.

Moral: pressure cookers are your best friend (OK…a Bamix is your best friend who you see every day and a pressure cooker is like your other best friend who you only see once a week but who is a uniquely wonderful and useful person to know)