fava beans

Every week at the (Kirkland) farmer’s market, I’ve been scouring the place for fava beans. I finally was rewarded last week. I love making dips and pesto with fava beans, but my very favorite way to make them (and eat them) is sauteed in a little olive oil. I did a quick search for fava beans recipes before making them this time, but found surprisingly little. So, here’s what I do (the amounts depend on how many fava beans you have, so it’s best to just use whatever amount you think is best):

  1. Buy A LOT of fava beans.
  2. More than that. (Fava beans are similar to spinach in that 8 cups turns into about 3 tablespoons once you’re done.)
  3. Shell beans, much like you might do with peas.
  4. Blanch for about 2 minutes in boiling water.
  5. Drain and let cool a little. Then, slip them out of their skins. You normally can just squeeze them a little to do this, although you might need to tear a little hole in the skin first.
  6. In a pan, put a bit of olive oil, minced garlic, and red pepper flakes. After about 30 seconds on the heat, add the fava beans and a bit of salt and pepper. Saute for maybe 5 minutes until the beans soften a little.
  7. Toast up some pine nuts; or if you’re lazy, just add them in with the beans and hope they toast a little as things cook.
  8. Take the beans off the heat and add the pine nuts, then grate a bit of parmesan cheese over everything. Add a bit of sea salt if you want.
  9. Enjoy.

This seems like a bit of work, but I find the shelling sort of relaxing, oddly. For 8 cups of beans, I probably use 3 cloves of garlic, 1 tsp of red pepper flakes, and 4 tablespoons of pine nuts. That probably serves 2-3 people as a side dish, although I could eat the entire thing myself.

a lot of updating to do

The last few months have been full of traveling, with a little elbow surgery mixed in. That hasn’t left a lot of time for cooking. (It’s more difficult than you might think to chop and stir one handed). But I have done a lot of eating great food and drinking wine (some great, some not so great). I just need to sort out my notes and type it all up.

domaine lafond lirac roc-epine blanc 2004

Not all French wine is good. This wine smells like bad asparagus. Also, it tastes like bad asparagus. I don’t even like asparagus to begin with, so this likely isn’t the wine for me.

This is a Rhone white blend, so I assumed I would like it. But actually, not so much. It’s a blend of Grenache Blanc (60%), Viognier (20%), and Roussanne (10%). I don’t know that I’ve ever had Grenache Blanc before, and Viognier is hit or miss with me. From some quick Googling, it seems like the red was a bit more well-received than the white.

It looks like this wine runs from around $13 – $17, and for that price, lots of other better possibilities exist. I snagged this bottle from work, and I’m not really sure I can even drink one glass.

clos du bois chardonnay

I had this wine at two completely unrelated events this week, so it’s not as though I didn’t give it a chance. At the first event, I was suspicious. Typical California Chardonnay is not my favorite. But I figured I should at least taste it. As it turns out the typicalness was not its problem. It smelled terrible. It tasted terrible. It’s not that it was overwhelmingly buttery and oaky– it just had a bit of butter in the finish and a touch of oak in the middle. I just didn’t like it at all. I switched to the red (that was very good, although I can’t seem to remember at the moment was it was — possibly because I had four glasses). When I was at a different event later in the week and came across the same way, I thought I’d give it another try. This time, P. wouldn’t even taste it after he smelled my glass.

But I don’t know. Apparently Wine Enthusiast called the 2002 “crowd-pleasing”, so maybe I just have odd taste in wine. I am drinking an Austrian white right now that Kieca might call “awesome”, so I’ll try to write that up soon so it doesn’t seem like I hate everything.

avocado taquitos and cheese enchiladas

I had some avocadoes left over from my latest trip to California and what can you do with four really ripe avocadoes when your boyfriend is too lazy to make his tasty guacamole? I thought I might try to make something like avocado eggrolls from the Cheesecake Factory, only I was thinking taquitos rather than eggrolls, and I wondered how I could make it a bit healthier. They came out very tasty, although I don’t know that they were strictly speaking low-fat.

4 small avocadoes
1/2 small red onion, diced
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
1 tbl fresh oregano, chopped
1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes (soaked in hot water for 10 minutes, then chopped)
salt and pepper to taste
dash red pepper flakes
dash cumin

I filled 6 corn tortillas and put them in an oiled baking dish. I sprayed some oil over the top so they’d get crispy as they baked. I baked them at 350 for about 20 minutes.

1/4 cup cashews
2 garlic cloves
1/4 cup parsley
salt and pepper to taste
dash red pepper flakes
dash cumin
2 green onions, chopped
3 tbl honey
dash worcestershire sauce
1 tbl white wine vinegar
1 tbl balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil

I mixed everything up in the food processor and served it on the side.

Cheese enchiladas
I really wanted cheese and onion enchiladas, but I didn’t have any of the ingredients. So, I made it up as I went along.

28 oz. tomato sauce
1 tbl minced onion
2 tsp garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tbl cumin
1 tbl chili powder
2 chipotle peppers, chopped
1 tbl adobo sauce
1 tsp oregano
2 tsp white wine vinegar
1 tbl sugar
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp paprika
1 dried habanero pepper

I adjusted these spices to taste, so I’m not sure exactly what I ended up with. It was spicy though. I simmered it for about 20 minutes.

1 sweet onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbl olive oil
2 cups fat-free sour cream
4 oz chopped green chiles
2 cups shredded monterey jack
2 tbl fresh oregano, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
dash red pepper flakes

I sauteed the onions and garlic in olive oil and added salt, pepper, and a few spices. Then I added them to the rest of the ingredients and mixed it all together. I covered the bottom of a baking dish with some of the sauce, heated up 1o flour tortillas so soften them, then filled them up and rolled them and put them in the baking dish, seam down. Then, I poured more sauce over everything to cover (I only used about half), and sprinkled shredded cheese over the top. I baked it for around 25 minutes, then sprinkled some chopped tomatoes and chopped green onions over the top.

So cheesy and good.