Thursday, June 7, 2007

oh man, oh man, oh man

I become a nervous wreck before trips. I don't know why. I think it's because I'm a freak for a plan and there are just so many unknowns or something. But, that said, I'm always willing to try new things, but still. I don't know. But, I do know that I haven't even packed yet! So, I just announced that I'm leaving work at noon today so I can do that because I have this meeting/training thing this evening, and then I'm getting up at the cracka the ungodly hour 3:00-ish a.m. to hit the road to York, PA to meet up with my lady Schwatts, then we head on to Philly to scoop up our lady Dra, then to the beach!! We should be there by 3:00 p.m., and I'll already have some good lady-time under my belt by then.

But, all my big plans of making a buncha food in advance did not happen. The only prepared thing I'm taking is the raspberry vinaigrette, I think. Maybe I'll whip something up this afternoon if I can pull myself together. Phew!

Last night Mags came over for dinner and dish-doggin' (my god, this is the best arrangement of my life!). I made a big salad with lettuce and the most tender baby greens ever (thank you, CSA!), broccoli, orange bell pepper, radishes, strawberries, red onion, basil (fresh from Ani's garden and delivered in the most beautiful packaging ever--all basil should get this kind of a treatment!), cucumber, avocado and the lovely raspberry vinaigrette. We had that with a beans-n-greens dish that I based around a Heidi recipe.

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Giant Crusty and Creamy White Beans with Greens
(from Heidi Swanson's Super Natural Cooking, p. 152)
serves 6 to 8 as a side dish

1/2 lb. medium or large dried white beans, cooked
3 T. clarified butter
fine-grain sea salt
1 onion, coarsely chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
6-7 big leaves chard, preferably rainbow chard, leaves cut into wide ribbons and 1/2 stems cut into 1/2" pieces
freshly ground black pepper
extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
fresh grated Parmesan cheese, for topping

Drain the beans, then heat the butter over medium-high heat in the widest skillet you've got. Add the beans to the hot pan in a single layer. If you don't have big-enough skillet, just do the saute step in tow batches or save the extra beans for another use. Stir to coat the beans with butter, then let them sit long enough to brown on one side, about 3 or 4 minutes, before turning to brown on the other side, also about 3 or 4 minutes. The beans should be golden and a bit crunchy on the outside and soft and creamy on the inside. Salt to taste, then add the onion and garlic and cook for 1 or 2 minutes, until the onion softens. Stir in the chard and cook until just beginning to wilt. Remove from the heat and season to taste with a generous dose of salt and pepper. Drizzle with a bit of top-quality extra-virgin olive oil, and sprinkle with freshly grated Parmesan.

Heidi's note: I've tried this recipe with canned beans of different varieties, but I always ended up with a mushy pot of bean mash--tasty, but not what we're after. Ther freshly cooked dried beans manintain their structure much better during saute-ing. Giant corona beans, cellini beans or white cannellini beans are the best choice here.

Okay. So, I changed this a bit. For one, I didn't have any big white beans, so I used some great northern beans. I soaked them overnight, then cooked them for about 45 minutes with a piece of kombu and some onion (also Heidi tips!). I didn't take the time to make the clarified butter, so I just used 1/2 butter, 1/2 evoo. I also didn't have any chard, so I used spinach. And, I left off the parmesan and evoo drizzle. They were still amazingly delicious!

For dessert I had some of yesterday's vanilla frozen yogurt. I set it out to thaw on the counter for about an hour before I could scoop it, and in the meantime I squished some strawberries with a tiny bit of sugar (like 1/2 t.?) and some minced fresh mint and let it sit while the fro-yo was softening up. It was some seriously tasty stuff. That fro-yo is amazing. It's hard to believe it was so simple to make! It's just got this incredibly creamy texture and the taste is really tangy and just slightly sweet. Man, oh man!

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Okay, I'm sorry, but I don't have time to do the recipe calculations today, but here's today's breakfast and lunch!
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Okay, I won't have internet again until...the 18th? Maybe before that, but probably not. But, when I get back I'll have lots of good eatin' to report. Two of the beach babies are chefs, and the others are all great cooks!


1 comment:

Ashley said...

Have a terrific time!!! Let's get together when you come back. Maybe for a good book? You call it.