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Saturday, July 03, 2010

Weekly Recipes: July 3

Cowboy Beans
This is the variation I came up with from Elise's recipe.

2 cups dried bolitas (or pinto beans), soaked for at least 4 hours and drained
2 tablespoons bacon fat
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 smoked ham hock (about 1-2 pounds)
3 cups water
3 cups black coffee
2 1/2 cups tomato-based barbecue sauce (homemade or bottled)
1/4 cup chopped pickled jalapeƱos
salt to taste
Grated Cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese for garnish (optional)
1/4 cup chopped red onion for garnish (optional)

Heat bacon fat in a Dutch oven or other heavy-bottomed lidded pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and saute, stirring often, until translucent and just beginning to brown. Add the garlic and saute another minute or two.

Add beans to the pot with the onions. Add the ham hock, the water and the coffee. Stir and bring to a simmer. Cook this way for 45 minutes, or until the beans are edible but still a little firm.

Add barbecue sauce and stir to combine. Cover and simmer on low heat until the meat from the ham hock begins to separate from the bone, and beans are cooked, up to 2 hours. When ham hock is tender, pull the ham hock and strip the meat from the bone to mix with the beans. Remove bones from pot. Add pickled jalapenos and salt to taste.

Serve with a little grated cheese and chopped red onion on top.


Falafel
Here is my revised recipe. I made a few small changes to it. This recipe makes about 64-70 falafel patties, but can be halved. They are much, much better than the mix, don't take much more time to make and don't have the fillers in them. The only difference is that you have to remember to soak your beans the night before.

2 pounds garbanzo beans, soaked 24 hours, drained and rinsed (about 7-8 cups after soaking)
20 cloves garlic, peeled
1 large bunch parsley
1 large bunch cilantro
1 large onion, peeled and quartered
1 cup olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons salt
1 1/2 tablespoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground coriander
2 teaspoons baking powder

Oil for frying

Grind up the garbanzo beans, garlic, parsley, cilantro (stems and all), onion, in a food processor along with the olive oil, lemon juice, salt, cumin, coriander and baking powder (you will need to do this in two batches). Grind until you have a coarse paste that still has little bits of garbanzo beans in it. You do not want mush.

Refrigerate mixture at least 30 minutes to firm up so it's easier to form into patties and fry.

Heat about 2 inches of oil over medium high heat until a piece of bread sizzles when held in the oil. Form patties out of the mixture using about 1 tablespoon for each one. Fry until golden brown on one side, then turn and finish frying. Remove to a rack over a plate or a towel lined plate to drain while you fry the rest.

Serve warm or hot with laban bi chiyar, taratoor (a tahina, lemon juice and garlic sauce), pita bread, olives, vegetables and harissa if you wish.

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