"This is a journey of my life since I was all of 12 yrs when I started my hand in cooking to now with displays of my learning and creations of recipes from around the world. My inspiration and role model has always been my Mum who has always created dishes from around the world and excellently well. I do not believe I would ever match to her culinary skills. I remember the times she could cook and bake almost 4-5 dishes in one go without ever letting one go under cooked or burnt! I was born and raised in Dubai, UAE and recently moved to India for family reasons. Kitchenette just means that over the decades, my kitchen has changed from that of my mum's to my uncle and aunt's, to my home in UAE and now in India. Pala't'te, describes both global cuisines ('Palatte'-diverse flavours) and pleasing diverse 'Palates'."

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Jamie's Oozy Beans with Spinach

This recipe is long overdue and as I had mentioned my last blog post on Chicken Masala Roast with Soya Sauce, I will be sharing roasts as we get into the holiday season of Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year to help you prepare your celebratory meal. This is a perfect side to your Roast. I had served this with Jamie Oliver's Perfect Pork Loin with Crackling. Of course Jamie's Oozy Beans were Borlotti Beans (aka Cranberry beans) served with Agretti. Since Agretti was unavailable, I substituted with Spinach and Parsley. Also since I had no idea of where to get Borlotti Beans from or if they were even available in the local market, I substituted it with black-eyed beans or black-eyed peas which in some cultures are served within a New Year meal as it is supposed to ward of evil eyes. As noticed above, I have also substituted a couple of ingredients owing to the fact that it was no available in the local market.

This has to be the most simple side dish you can prepare to go with your elaborate main course and it is incredibly healthy. 

You need:
  • 1 small potato, cut in half
  • 1 large tomato
  • Water as required
  • 3 cups of black-eyed peas/ black-eyed beans
  • Bouquet of garni (as Jamie calls it - thyme, bay and sage leaves tied together. I used dried sage instead)
  • Pinch of Soda Bicarbonate
  • 6 tbsp + 1 drizzle of EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp white vinegar
  • 1 bunch of parsley, few basil leaves, chives, thyme leaves (as available), finely chopped
  • 1 bunch of spinach, cleaned and chopped

The Make
Preparation time: 10 minutes | Soaking Time: 4 hours min | Cooking Time: up to 1 hour | Serves 4-5 adults

1. If you were using dry Borlotti Beans then you could soak it overnight in  a large pot with the beans covering only 1/4 of the pot and the rest covered with water and a pinch of soda bicarb. Then discard the water. In my case, since I was using the smaller black eyed peas, I soaked mine for 4-5 hours only.
2. In a large pot add the beans, herb bouquet, potato and tomato in full. Fill the pot up with water (twice as much as the beans).
3. Bring the beans to a gentle simmer for 50-60 minutes. When it is about to boil, turn down the flame. Resist the urge to cook these beans in a pressure cooker as the turn out would be different and so would the taste.
4. Next take out the potatoes, the herb bouquet, squish some of the tomato pulp with the back of a ladle into the pot and take the tomato out.
5. Next pour out 80% of the residual liquid from the pot into a bowl. Mash up the cooked potato halves and put some of it back to the pot to add a creamy texture.
6. Add the olive oil in the pot with the salt and vinegar and toss it over in the pot taking care not to mash the beans. Add one more drizzle of EVOO on top.
7. Add the chopped herbs and toss once more.
8. Cook the chopped spinach in salted, boiling water in another pot for 2 minutes and then drain it out and toss it in the roasting pan of your cooked choice of roast as if cleaning the roasting pan with it.
9. Add a bit of the reserved residual liquid from the pot which was set aside earlier to the beans pot and toss. Taste and add more EVOO and vinegar if required.
10. Serve the beans on a flat serving tray and top with the spinach tossed in the roasting juices. Then pour any residual juice from the roasting pan on top. Top with a slice of the pork loin or your roast and pour some of the roast's prepared gravy on top.

Jamie added a very important tip for those who hate beans for the obvious breaking wind ;) add Summer Savoury herbs. I checked it is available as an online buy on Ebay here. You can also add a few cloves of chopped garlic when cooking the beans.

Serve these Oozy beans with your favourite roast or Jamie's Perfect Pork Loin with Crackling.

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