Sunday, June 21, 2009

Greek Beans with a Chipotle Twist

Andy and I have been experimenting with dishes that meld diverse cultures together. Last weekend, he created an amazing cauliflower in a red sauce that was spiced with Indian flavors. Kind of an India meets Italy thing. He has named this new sauce Maharaja-nara sauce. Isn't he a clever-clogs? I hope to blog about maharajanara sauce soon. I hope he can remember how he made it!

Yesterday I was in my favorite little Greek food store--Nick's Produce on West Broad--and bought a pound of gigantes. Gigantes are huge white beans with a creamy, beautiful texture. After they have soaked overnight, they're even more freakishly huge.

I was going to make the beans the traditional greek way (delicious!) but this recipe from 101 Cookbooks caught my eye. I love the smoky hot flavor of chipotle, and this just sang to me. Giant white beans, baked with greens in a chipotle tomato sauce with queso fresco crumbled on top, served with a scattering of toasted whole wheat bread crumbs and drizzled with a cilantro pesto. Oh yes. Come to Janine.

It was a pretty easy recipe to knock together. While the beans are cooking, you make sauce and pesto. The chipotles in adobo sauce and the queso fresco are really easy to find if your grocery store has a hispanic section. The chipotles come in a little can, and the queso fresco usually is with the Mexican cheeses and is shaped like a little wheel. It is firm and crumbly with a light, slightly salty taste. Feta could be used as a substitute.

The bread crumbs are nice and crunchy because they're toasted in a skillet with olive oil. The pesto is a very liquid consistency and could be made in a blender. I used a hand blender in a coffee cup! Instead of chopping up fresh greens, I used frozen collards. They worked great!

I sat outside with Maggie and a Negra Modelo, watching birds while the beans baked.

This is what it looked like right out of the oven.

And here it is, served with a side of brown rice. I think it's a really pretty dish!


debra said...

Good god those really are the biggest effing beans I've ever seen. I just wanted to say that. The more food pix you post, the closer I get to showing up at your house with a plate and fork, begging to be fed. :-)

Jacquie O. said...

Those beans remind me of the movie invasion of the body snatchers. The pods start out like the size of those beans and then they grow and suck up the real person and the pod person is born. I am highly suspicious of your beans and will be watching you and Andy closely in the coming days for signs of meat eating and such.

JB said...

That looks so good - and those beans - they look like two would fill you up!

Janine Serresseque said...

I know, aren't those beans hilarious? They're like Stage Beans.

pnlkotula said...

That looks yummy, but a lot of work.

Janine Serresseque said...

Jake, I think I will use your story as the main reason why I have expanded in size these last few years. I am a pod person. Yep, works for me.

Janine Serresseque said...

Lisa, I suppose it is definitely "slow food" but I did lots of other things while I was cooking, like 2 loads of laundry, visiting with Andy, feeding my kitties and such. It's not like I sat and watched the beans soak for 20 hours, know what I mean? It's all about multi-tasking.