Posts tagged ‘black’

June 7, 2011

Last Night’s Dinner: Cajun Black Bean Soup with Smoked Tomato Nachos

Friday 20 May

Ella treated me to this Paul Gayler recipe a couple of weeks ago. We’d been eyeing it for some time but for one reason or another (maybe just habit) we use Gayler’s Pure Vegetarian recipe book less than some of our others. Somehow it gives the impression of being dinner-party food – worked-up recipes, with hard-to-find ingredients and tricky instructions. I suppose it could be because Gayler was known as a pioneer of vegetarian haute cuisine. In fact, many of the dishes are rustic and straighforward, just like this one.

It hardly requires a recipe – but if you want it, you can buy the book from here.

Basically, it’s a blended vegetable soup with black beans, eaten with nachos made by chopping corn tortillas into triangles and shallow frying them, then topping them with a rough tomato sauce made with garlic and smoked paprika, then topped with cheese and placed under the grill. The soup was very good. The nachos were amazing.

May 2, 2011

Last Night’s Dinner: Quesadillas

Saturday 30 April

I won’t include a recipe for these – there are so many variations. Basically, we filled a tortilla with spicy black bean paste (mashed black beans with spices, coriander leaf and lime), a salsa made with avocado, tomato, red onion and lime – and, in a break from authentic tradition, feta cheese. I had feta in a burrito years ago at a little place in Southwark and my it works. It replaces the sour cream and Cheddar/Monterey Jack combo you often see in Britain and it adds a really good tang to the meal. Pile up the tortilla, fold over and warm in a dry frying pan. Perfect.

March 20, 2011

Last Night’s Dinner: Friday and Saturday 18/19 March

A busy weekend but it didn’t stop us from cooking. We had family round on Friday and Ella suggested our Tofu with Black Bean Sauce.

I find the Cauldron tofu firmer than the Blue Dragon variety in our local supermarket – it doesn’t fall apart as soon as you touch it and stays together in the pan. To fry it I literally coat the pieces in a dusting of cornflour – then straight to the pan. When golden I set it aside while I’m making the black bean sauce. Tins of black/turtle beans are fine for this and I add a splash of rice wine vinegar, some tamarind paste, a teaspoon tomato puree, sichuan peppercorns, garlic and, of course, chilli. Add a little water to the pan and then simmer for ten minutes. Add the tofu and mix in just before serving.

On Saturday I was inspired by a recipe and quick as a flash made a variation on Jamie Oliver’s 30-minute cauliflower macaroni and chicory salad. (The variation? We didn’t use macaroni or breadcrumbs with the cauliflower as we’re reducing our wheat/gluten intake). I was worried the cheese sauce might not work out but, you know, it was okay. As a quick cheat on making a proper cheese sauce it wasn’t half bad. Oh and the sharp dressing (‘insane’ as chef Oliver has it) was darn good.