Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Beans, Beans, the magical fruit...

Yes a whole class on beans...beans in their usual sense in chili to a twist on a chinese black bean dish to an unusual sense in a cake. Well, I take it back. If you're a dedicated asian food eater then bean cake isn't too weird. But to the majority of the class, bean cake was a bit strange. For me I grew up eating beans in many forms - my favorite is in a filipino dish called hopia. Right now, I have a rendition of bean cake with vanilla and lemon in the oven...mmm...smells good...

No pics...I've been eating before I remember to take some...

The highlight of class - well highlight for me, sad day for my classmate - was the ultimate kabashing of free form cooking. At the beginning of each class, we go around the room to discuss what we've cooked in the previous week. Apparently, cooking novices should stick to recipes as the instructor wouldn't even begin to tell my classmate what she had done wrong with her no-recipe-chicken-bake-disaster (I'm only going to say that the heavy cream curdled). After her long story of her process, she asks, "what did I do wrong?". Our instructor pauses and says, "Everything...it's ALL wrong. Stick to recipes." Looking back, it wasn't as painful as it felt (ok, it was a bit embarassing for her) as using recipes really teaches you good proportions, flavor profiles, and basic technique.

TIP: Use red kidney beans in your tuna salad instead of mayo. It's AMAZING how they make you think there is mayo due to the creamy texture of the beans - but they're so much healthier. I'll include our recipe from class...

Red Bean & Tuna Salad (serves 4)
  • 2 c. red kidney beans, rinsed & drained
  • 1/4 c. pure olive oil
  • 2 TB fresh lemon juice
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 c. finely chopped green onions
  • 2 TB Italian parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 7-oz. can tuna, drained & flaked using a fork
  1. Combine lemon juice, pepper and oil and pour over beans.
  2. Add green onions & parsley and gently toss together.
  3. Add tuna & serve.
Bada-bean-g! (Yesss...I did it).


  1. I love this blog!! Great tips!

  2. Keep the posts coming! What crazy concoctions have you tried lately?