Cooking From Cans!

I didn’t ever foresee myself writing something with this title. I’m obsessed with fresh and local, however, I did want to experiment with beans. Beans are SO good for you! But they take so long to make. People just don’t have that kind of time on their hands…so I, being an evolving woman, compromised.

I set out to make a bean ragout. The actual prep time was minimal. Cleaning the herbs* took the lion’s share of the time…but if you have kids, they can pick the herbs! And when you pick cilantro, you need only omit the thick stems.

Bean Ragout- serves about 8 – 10

1 large onion, chopped

3-8 cloves garlic, minced

1 – 2 jalapeños, seeded & minced

1 red pepper, chopped

1 teaspoon cumin seeds, toasted then ground

1 can crushed tomato

1 can hominy, drained

1 can black beans, drained

1 can white beans, drained

1 can kidney beans, drained

1 Tbsp vinegar

3 oz Spanish (cured) chorizo, diced- totally optional

Lots of cilantro and parsley, chopped

Sautee the onion in a large pot (6 – 10 quart) using medium heat for about 5 minutes- til the onion is translucent. Add garlic and peppers, stir and let cook about 2 minutes. Sprinkle on the cumin and stir. Cook for another minute. Add the hominy and the crushed tomatoes. Let simmer for 5 – 10 minutes. Add all of the beans. Let simmer for about 10 minutes.

Top with lots of herbs. I stirred in chorizo. The next day I served them with poached eggs. You can mix tofu into the beans. Serve with brown rice…the options are endless!

*Extra! Extra! Here’s how to clean herbs

I put the herbs to soak in a huge bowl, so they are floating, like a spider doing the backstroke. This way, the dirt can sink to the bottom. Stir that bunch up a couple of times to really shake the dirt off. And here is the make or break moment: scoop the greens out of the bowl. Do not, please, do not pour the water over the greens, this just sprinkles that grit right back over what you’ve just worked to clean.

This works for lettuce, broccoli Rabe, kale…any green that needs to be cleaned. For larger leafy things, I soak the greens up to three times to ensure no grit in the finished product.

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