Monday, June 8, 2009

Borlotti Bean Mole and some reflections on Starbucks

This last weekend I did nothing for the first time in a long. I’m not the kind of person who likes losing her time, but sometimes it feels good. I know that I should take it easy and relax more, but I am too perfectionist, and my conscience is too insistent. It’s like having someone muttering in your head all the day: what with that project, with the economics homework, with the letter I should have sent two weeks ago…. Does it happen to someone more or I am the one who is going crazy? (Don’t take it seriously: I didn’t arrive yet at the point of hearing voices in my head)

On Saturday I went with my family to Barcelona to celebrate that we finished the classes. A part from going shopping (which is something I do maybe once every two or three month), we went to a Starbucks (another thing I do even less often). Don’t misunderstand me: I love Starbucks! But is quite expensive (read scandalously expensive), and let’s say the economy is not in its best moment. In fact, each of us ordered just one thing (we are four) and we paid more than 14€ for it. I don’t know the prices in other countries, but here 14€ is a lot, especially considering that we ordered an American café, a latte, a Dark Berry Moka frappuccino and a mango, passion fruit and tea frapucciono. It was good, but I expected more for the four euros it cost.
Nevertheless, we had a good time, and I absolutely love it’s atmosphere and cozy armchairs and sofas. Do you like Starbucks? Do you think it’s expensive and how often do you go there?

The mango Frapucciono I ordered and my brother with his Dark Berry Moka Frapucciono

On the top, a "human statue" from la Rambla. Actually, the Rabla is full of statues like that. Some of them are really original. Down, the enter to the "Boqueria" market: although I like it because you can find almost everything there, is too expensive because it is tourist orientated.

And we go on with the 101 cookbooks recipes! I can’t help myself: I like Heidi’s recipe too much. I suppose that most of you are familiar with its recipe, and already know her cooking style: simple, healthy and filling dishes.  Some of them take a little bit more of time, of course, but they are as easy to cook as the ten minute salads. I am talking about the Borlotti Bean mole with Winter Squash  I cooked one week ago (by the way, I think I told Giant Chipotle White Beans in the last post. Sorry for the mistake), along with my previous post recipe, Ultimate Veggie Burgers.  I expected a good result (Heidi’s recipe has never let me down yet), but I was pleasantly surprised….it turned out even better than I expected! I know that I told something similar about the Veggie Burgers, but if I had to choose one of recipes, I would choose that one. After the two hours in the oven, the beans become tender and soft, as well as the pumpkin and the kale, and it all melts together in your mouth with the right level of spiciness.  I could not find Borlotti beans, but I used white bens instead and it turned good anyway.  I also used “bitxo” instead of chilies (a hot red pepper that grow here).

Borlotti Bean Mole with Roast Winter Squash
From 101 cookbooks
-~1 1/2 cups (7 ounces) fresh borlotti beans
-~1 1/2 cups (7 ounces) winter squash
-olive oil
-4 - 5 big leaves of kale (3 1/2 ounces)
-2 tablespoons butter *olive oil in my case
-1 medium onion, chopped
-2 - 4 red jalapeno chiles, halved, seeded, and chopped
-2 garlic cloves, chopped
-1 pound of fresh plum tomatoes, chopped or 14-ounce can
-2 teaspoons paprika
-1 ounce of almonds, dark roasted and finely ground
-2 ounces dark 70% dark chocolate, broken into pieces

Preheat oven to 180C / 350F / Gas mark 4. Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil, add the borlotti beans and cook for about 10-15 minute until they are just cooked or even slightly undercooked. Drain and cool under cold running water, and set aside.
***If you use white beans, cook them as normally, for 1 hour more or less.

Cut the squash flesh into good-sized chunks, about 2 cm or 3/4-inch squares, place them in a roasting pan and toss with olive oil. Roast them in the oven for about 20 minutes until caramelized on the outside but still firm. Reduce the oven temperature to 130C/ 250F / Gas mark 1/2. (hs note: alternately, you can brown the squash in a skillet.)

Without removing the central stem, cut the kale across the leaf into 2cm / 3/4-inch slices. Melt the butter (or olive oil) into an oven-proof casserole dish (pot) and fry the onion and chilies gently over a low to medium heat for 20-30 minutes, until caramelized. Add the garlic and fry for three minutes more. Add the tomatoes and paprika, bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer gently for 15 minutes. Add the ground almonds, chocolate, squash, borlotti beans, kale, and a teaspoon of salt. Stir until the chocolate has melted. Cover the casserole and put it in the oven to cook gently for 2 hours.
Serves 4.

Spanish version:

Mole de judias borlotti con calabaza asada
-~1 1/2 tazas de judías borlotti (se pueden substituir por alubias blancas)
-~1 1/2 tazas calabaza
-Aceite oliva
-4-5 hojas grandes de col rizada
-2 cucharadas de mantequilla *aceite de oliva en mi caso
-1 cebolla mediana
-2-4 jalapeños, cortados por la mitad, sin las semillas y picados
-2 ajos, picados
-1 libra de tomates frescos, picados o una lata de 14 onzas
-2 cucharadas de pimentón dulce
-1 onza de almendras, tostadas y finamente molidas
-2 onzas de chocolate negro 70%, en trocitos

Precalienta el horno a 180ºC/350ªF/gas 4. Lleva una gran cazuela de agua a ebullición, añade las judías borlotti y cocina durante unos 10-15 minutos, hasta que estén cocidos o incluso ligeramente crudos. Escurre y enfría debajo de un chorro de agua, y reserva.
***Si utilizas alubias blancas, cocínalas como siempre, aproximadamente durante una hora.

Corta la pulpa de la calabaza en trozos de un buen tamaño, de cuadrados de 2 cm, ponlos en una bandeja y rocíalos con aceite de oliva. Ásalos en el horno durante 20 minutes hasta que se caramelicen por fuera pero sigan firmes. Reduce la temperatura del horno a 130ºC/250ºF/Gas 1 o 2 (notas de la autora: alternativamente, puedes dorar la calabaza en una sartén)

Sin quitar el tallo central, corta la col rizada a lo largo de la hoja en tiras de 2cm/3-4 pulgadas. Funde la mantequilla (o aceite de oliva) en una cazuela resistente al horno y sofríe la cebolla y los chilis con cuidado a fuego medio bajo durante 20-30 minutos, hasta que se caramelicen. Añade el ajo y fríe otros tres minutos más. Añade los tomates y el pimentón dulce, lleva a ebullición, reduce el fuego y hierve durante 15 minutos. Añade las almendras molidas, el chocolate, la calabaza, las judías, la col rizada y la cucharadita de sal. Remueve hasta que el chocolate se haya fundido. Cubre la cazuela y introdúcelo en el horno para cocerlo a fuego lento durante 2 horas.
4 porciones

No comments: