Saturday, June 5, 2010

Photogenically Challenged Food


Tonight's dinner was made during the hour and a half that I was entertaining the neighborhood kids, straightening up the house, nursing a 6 month old, writing a song sheet, getting dressed for work, helping a 3 year old get to the potty in time, setting up for shabbat and apologizing to my neighbor for believing her 6 year old neighborhood kid when she told me her mother knew she was at my house. Despite all of this, I still feel that I was not sufficiently multitasking and I should have somehow managed to get us all fed sooner and the food put away before we headed out for services/work.

Apparently, despite my avid reading of Martha Stewart Living and Real Simple, I have yet to reach full domestic goddess status. If I had, I would have managed all of the above while wearing pearls, baking a cake and saving the whales.

In the meantime, I shall settle for managing a family/vegetarian friendly meal, using five (count 'em, five) CSA ingredients. Tonight's dinner: Cilantro and Garlic Scape Refried Black Beans, served in a burrito tortilla with radishes, scallions, mesculin mix and mozzarella. There must be a shorter way to say that, and there must be a way to cook it that doesn't involve running after small children, but I really don't think there is a way to make refried beans look pretty on film:


Seriously. They're hideous. But, I swear, they tasted so good. Moreover, even with all the nonsense going on in my house this afternoon/evening, they were terribly easy to make. The actual cooking time, from prep to finish, takes about 20 minutes. Rachel Ray would be proud. So, here goes:

Refried Black Beans with Garlic Scapes and Cilantro
3 15 oz cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup water
1 red onion, roughly chopped
4 garlic scapes, roughly chopped
1 jalapeño, seeded and roughly chopped
2 T olive oil
1 tsp cumin
salt
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

1. In a food processor, mince the onion, garlic scapes and jalapeño (if using). Heat a frying pan over medium heat. Add the oil and allow to heat until it shimmers. Add the onion and garlic scape mixture and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes.

2. Meanwhile puree 3/4 of the beans with 1 cup of water. Leave remaining beans whole.

3. Once veggies are softened, add cumin to the pan. Stir until fragrant, about 15 seconds. Then, add all of the beans (mixed and whole) to the pan. Stir to combine. Lower heat, partially cover, and allow to cook until thickened/table is set/family is assembled, about 10-15 minutes. Serve.

Serving suggestions: I imagine these would make an excellent side dish with grilled chicken and rice. I want to try adding a little bit of lemon juice to them next time immediately before serving to see what that does. Tonight, I served them as part of bean burritos.


Under all of that gorgeous veg is the refried beans. On our table, I placed a bowl of the refried beans next to thinly sliced radishes and scallions, cheese, salsa and tortillas. Diners over the age of three assembled their own burritos at the table. The sharp crunch of the radishes and the pungent greens complemented the smooth, garlicky beans perfectly. Once again, the garlic scapes gave the food a green flavor combined with a mellowness similar to that of roasted garlic. I am loving finding new ways to use them. Share and enjoy!

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