27 October 2012

Perfect Scrambled Eggs

The Goofy Family felt quite unwell one morning last week, so I offered to make eggs. For eggs to work effective magic, they have to taste, look, and feel like sunshine with a side of toast. So I looked up  Science Food Man Harold McGee's recommendation for how to make "perfect" scrambled eggs, by which he means tender and moist eggs, safely cooked-through, and with even, fluffy curds. This culmination of eggdom was a lofty goal I had yet to attain. So I followed McGee's instructions. The result? Perfect scrambled eggs, just as McGee had described. George was delighted. I, on the other hand, had to keep reminding myself that eggs could be moist without being underdone. Soon, I am sure, I will become accustomed to the taste of greatness.

Perfect Scrambled Eggs

Mix the raw egg innards with cream or milk or somesuch. Add some salt and pepper.
Heat up a fry pan on medium low heat. Add butter. When the butter has just started bubbling, pour in the eggs. Cook the eggs on medium low heat, constantly stirring the eggs and scraping the bottom. When the eggs are about ten seconds away from being completely set, scoop them onto the plate (they will continue to set on their own). Serve immediately with nice toast.

26 October 2012

Tangy Herbed Beans

I've been seeking a quick way to freshen up cans o' beans. My pantry overflows each week with cans o' beans, and I find myself occasionally—okay, often—bored at the thought of MORE BEANS. And worse, I don't really like beans cooked in pressure cookers or slow cookers because they don't allow me enough control over the tenderness. So I'm stuck with home-boiled beans or salty canned beans (or those Eden-brand canned beans preserved with seaweed, which taste odd in loads of recipes!).

I am still sad that Western cooks haven't jumped onto the idea of sweet bean treats, which in Japan was my absolute favorite way to eat both beans and desserts.

Luckily, I read a Vegetarian Times recipe for Southern California tacos invented by the winner of some show called The Cupcake Wars of all things (!), and then I read the amazon.com reviews of her recent cookbook, which commented that the chef asked for unnecessary amounts of oil. Keeping this plus the chef's obvious love for sweet desserts in mind, I pared down the recipe to about a fourth of its size and removed the oil, halved the sweetness, laughed at the request for cactus juice, and ignored the call for mushrooms once I realized that my box of mushrooms was hosting a fuzzy white fungus too. The result? A super quick, easy, fat-free, gluten-free (deep breath) delicious, tangy take on canned beans that I can't wait to make again.

If you are one of those people with the gene that makes cilantro taste like soap, this recipe is not for you. Although…would you enjoy cilantro bubble bath? Just curious!

Tangy Herbed Beans

1 15 ounce can of either black beans or pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 Cup of cilantro, washed
1/2 Cup Italian (flat-leaf) parsley, washed
1/4 Cup lime juice
1 Tablespoon honey
4 cloves garlic, peeled
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
a few good grinds of black pepper

  1. Add all ingredients except for the beans to a blender or food processor until the herbs are in tiny tiny bits. 
  2. Heat a fry pan. Add the beans and half of the blender sauce. Sauté 3 to 5 minutes until heated through, less wet, and the flavors have slightly muted.
  3. Serve beans warm with extra sauce (all of it, if you dare!) spooned on top. Yum diddle dee dum!

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