Mexican Refried Beans

Source: More-with-Less Cookbook
Date tried:July 4, 2017
Yield: 5-6 servings
Time needed: 3 hours

Prior preparation needed
Soak dried beans overnight

This requires time not work. This recipe is quite plain, suitable for an everyday side dish. Easy to add flavour by adding spices and additional sautéed vegetables such as mushrooms, garlic or chopped bell or chili pepper.

Mexican Refried Beans

Mexican Refried Beans
1 lb. dried pinto, pink, or kidney beans
6 cups water
2 onions, chopped (optional)
1/2 cup hot bacon drippings, margarine or lard
salt to taste

Place soaked beans and onions in 6 cups water and bring to a boil.
Turn heat down, cover and simmer slowly until beans are tender (about 3 hours).
Drain, and mash beans with a potato masher.
Add bacon drippings and mix well while continuing to cook.
Cook until beans are thickened and fat is absorbed.

Use soy or garbanzo beans instead of pinto or kidney beans.

Keep half of onion out of simmering stage.
When beans are cooked, use bacon drippings to sauté uncooked onions.
Mash 1/4 cup of beans at a time into pan, letting it fry a short time before pushing to the side and adding more.
Simmer 10 minutes to finish.

Refried bean casserole:
Add chili powder, cumin and tomato paste to mashed beans.
Place in a greased casserole, sprinkle with cheese, and keep hot in oven until ready to serve.


Chicken Pot Pie

Source: More-with-Less Cookbook
Date tried: June 20, 2012
Yield: 6 servings
Time needed: 10 minutes

For some, making pot pie crackers as in the recipe below may be simpler than making dumplings. Either adds substance to a chicken stew.

Chicken Pot Pie

Chicken Potpie
1 large chicken, cut in pieces
2-3 quarts water
Salt and pepper
2-3 potatoes, cubed
1 onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
¼ cup parsley, chopped

2 cups flour
¼ tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. lard or shortening
¼ cup water
1 large egg, slightly beaten

Cook chicken in 2-3 quarts of water with salt and pepper.
Remove chicken from broth and set aside to cool.
Add potatoes, onion, celery and parsley to broth and cook until tender.
Remove chicken meat from bones and add to broth along with the vegetables.

Combine flour and salt in a bowl.
Cut in lard/shortening.
Mix egg with water and add to flour.
Form a ball from the dough and let it stand 15 minutes.
On a floured surface, roll out the dough very thin.
Cut into 1½ inch squares.  Drop into broth and let cook 5-10 minutes.

Sweet and Sour Couscous for Arabian Nights

Source: Diet for a Small Planet
Made: September 27, 2013
Yield: 6 servings
Time to make: 25 to 35 minutes

Prior preparation needed
Cook garbanzo beans

This is a wonderful and elegant dish!  The ingredient list is very long and it takes some fancy footwork to put it together, but it is definitely worth the effort.  As is often the case with a skillet dish, most of the work takes place before you start heating the pan.  I soon found the simplest thing to do was to prepare several sub-sections of the recipe, put each in a container, then use each container as needed.  So by the time I began heating the oil this is what I had on my counter:

Beans: whether you cook your own or open a can, drain and set aside
Vegetables: put chopped and sliced onions, carrots, celery and mushrooms all in a bowl
Seasoning: a small bowl held the dillweed, bay leaf, thyme, parsley, mustard, salt, pepper, mashed garlic and horseradish
Stock and white wine: mixed together in a large mug
Milk & egg beaten together
Tomato sauce: with dry milk, brown sugar, dry mustard and vinegar
Finally, in separate containers, measured amounts of water and couscous

Sweet & Sour Couscous for Arabian Nights

Sweet and Sour Couscous for Arabian Nights
Oil for sautéing
1 large onion, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
½ lb. mushrooms, sliced
4 medium carrots, sliced
1-2 tsp. dillweed
1 bay leaf
1-2 tsp. parsley
1-2 tsp. horseradish
1 tsp. dry mustard
1 clove garlic, mashed
2 cups seasoned stock
½ to 1 cup white wine
2-3 cups cooked garbanzo beans
1 egg
1 cup milk
¼ cup dry milk
¼ cup brown sugar
1 8-oz. can tomato sauce
¼ cup vinegar
5 cups cooked couscous

Heat oil in a large skillet, wok or Dutch oven.
Add onion, celery, mushrooms and carrots.  Sauté until onion is translucent.
Add dillweed, bay leaf, parsley, horseradish, garlic, salt and pepper and ½ of the dry mustard.
Cook for ten minutes, stirring occasionally.

This is a good time to begin heating water in bottom of a double boiler.

After the vegetables and seasonings have been cooking for 10 minutes, add the seasoned stock and white wine. Cover and simmer another 10 minutes.

Heat the milk egg mixture in the top of the double boiler.  As it cooks, add the dry milk, brown sugar, tomato sauce, vinegar and the remaining half of the dry mustard, whisking in each addition. Continue stirring frequently as sauce thickens.

Bring measured water to a boil.
When hot, add couscous, cover and let sit 5 minutes.

Finally, add garbanzo beans to the simmering vegetables.
This bean-vegetable mix should have the consistency of a thick soup. If necessary, thicken with cornstarch.

To serve: place some couscous on each plate.
Top with bean-vegetable mixture.
Pour sauce over all.
Enjoy the compliments.

White Chili

Source: Simply in Season
Date tried:May 24, 2017
Yield: 4 servings
Time needed: 30 minutes max.

Prior preparation
Both beans and chicken need to be cooked in advance.
Great way to use leftovers of these ingredients. Plan previous weeks menus with this in mind.

The name comes from substitutions made to a standard chili recipe:
-white navy beans replace red kidney beans
-chicken replaces ground beef
-white sauce replaces tomato sauce

I enjoyed this dish very much.

White Chili

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Sweet & Pungent Vegetable Curry

Source: Diet for a Small Planet
Date tried: April 2, 2013
Yield: 6 servings
Time needed: 30 minutes

Prior preparation needed
Soak and cook beans

This is a thick, sweet curry sauce to serve over rice, bulgur or whatever you please.  I chose to use adzuki beans today.

Soybeans or lima beans would have made a better picture and also allowed the curry flavour to stand out more.  But it is a very good dish whatever the colour of the beans.

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Joan’s Brazilian Rice

Source: Diet for a Small Planet
Date tried: May 26, 2014
Yield: 6-servings
Time needed: 50 minutes

A delightful easy-to-make rice pilaf suitable for a family supper. I had only red pepper so the colour contrast green chilies would make with the tomato does not show up in this picture, but I will certainly make this dish again soon and remedy that.  Toasting the rice and sesame seeds before adding the liquid contributes to a nutty taste.  The recipe is attributed to Joan Francis of Wisconsin.

Joan's Brazilian rice

Joan’s Brazilian rice

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Hot Chicken Stew

Source: The Recipe of Love
Made: December 18, 2013
Yield: 6-8 servings
Time to make: 2½ to 3 hours.

A note to myself from the first occasion on which I made this recipe says “3 hours to make but worth it!”  Now that I have tried it again, I am still of the same opinion.  If you are a fan of hot, spicy dishes, this is one of the best.  If you are not try Mild Chicken Stew instead.

The basic procedure is:
Marinate the chicken (45 minutes)
Make the sauce (30 minutes)
Add chicken and braise (25 minutes)
Add first round of spices and continue to braise (20 minutes)
Add second round of spices and continue to braise (15 minutes)
Turn off heat, add eggs and let sit for 20 minutes before serving.

Best accompaniment for this dish is lots of injera and a green salad on the side.

Before beginning, check that you have some of the special Ethiopian condiments on hand such as spiced onion, spiced butter, berbere mix and garlic and ginger mix.

Hot Chicken Stew

Hot Chicken Stew

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