Sunday, 6 April 2008

05.04.08: Brunch for dinner

She rolled up her sleeves, tied on the pinny, and set to work assembling this cheerful plate o' brunchish vittles: new and improved black beans adorned with avo, pan-fried polenta, balsamic cherry tomatoes, fried eggs (sunny-side for him, over hard for her), and your basic pear-n-mixed-leaves salad.

SHE SAYS: The polenta took rather a long time to brown, but it was such a treat. When you put a bit of fried egg, a touch of tangy tomato, a scoop of herby beans and a nice chunk of polenta all on one fork, you are on the verge of tastebud heaven! (If I do say so myself.) The beans were a revelation: no tomatoes, no store-bought sauces, just lots of herbs and the ever-present primo chicken broth. I'm not sure what possessed me to rethink the whole thing, but I do I think I've finally arrived at the best-ever black bnz recipe, so it's worth sharing. See below, and if you like it, please click the little Bite This fork and vote for it!

HE SAYS: The new black bean variation was supremo, m-m-mmm, just like ya mamma's, could've-eaten-them-by-themselves good. Polenta was very nice with a little hint of parmesan cheese in the mix and grilled to a golden brown. Oh, and it also aided the mopping up duty for my eggs, which is always a plus. The tomatoes in balsamic were sweetly, tartly bliss and since the new beans forgo any hint of that veg, it delightfully offset the herby saltiness of the rest of the plate. Salad was raised to another level by probably the best pear I've EVER tasted EVER! Praise the Lord.

Herby Black Bnz

  • I bunch green onions
  • Tbl olive oil
  • 2.5 Tbl cumin (yes, that much!)
  • 1 Tbl chipotle paste (edit)
  • 3 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 3/4 pint (400 ml) chicken stock
  • 1 heaped tsp dried sage
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano (edit)
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme (edit)
  • good handful fresh coriander (cilantro), roughly chopped, stems incl
  • few pinches kosher salt
  • avocado
  1. Chop the green onions, white and green bits.
  2. Heat oil over med heat in a heavy-based saucepan or pot and saute the onions for a couple of minutes.
  3. Add the cumin and stir in to toast the spice, then add the chipotle paste (edit).
  4. Stir in the beans, then add the broth and all of the herbs.
  5. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer until most of the liquid is gone.
  6. Add salt to taste, then puree about half of the beans with a hand blender (easiest!) or food processor. This is essential to release the flavours, so don't give in to the temptation to skip this step. ;o)
  7. Serve with slice sof avocado on top.
  8. I paired this with pan-fried polenta, fried eggs, and balsamic tomatoes, and it was positively dreamy. I've been tweaking my black bean recipe for at least four years and this is the best combination yet!

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