Healthy Mediterranean Cooking at Home

Category Archives: Beans

Try to buy authentic Mexican flour tortillas, for example, El Milagro. There is a big difference in flavor over supermarket brands.

Tacos with Chipotle Crema

Serves 4

ingredients

Chicken filling
1 medium red onion, chopped
1/2 bell pepper, cored, seeded, and chopped
2 teaspoons smoked sweet paprika
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium tomato, chopped shredded d
2 cups shredded cooked chicken
8 (6-inch) flour tortillas

Crema
2 tablespoons minced canned chipotle peppers in adobo
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon heavy cream
1 tablespoon lime juice
½ teaspoon salt

Topping
Shredded lettuce
Shredded cheddar cheese
Pickles jalapeno slices

Directions
In a sauté pan over medium heat, warm the oil and cook the onion, bell pepper, paprika, chili powder, oregano, cumin, and salt until the veggies are soft, 7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, 1 minute. Stir in the tomato and
chicken, and cook until the filling is heated through, stirring about 3 minutes.

Warm the tortillas in moistened paper towels in the microwave for 30 seconds, or in a taco holder in a 350-degree oven until warm, about 2 minutes.

Stir the chipotle into the sour cream.

Pile the filling into the tortillas, topping with cheddar cheese, chipotle sour cream, and lettuce

Black Beans

Ingredients

Serves 4

1 lime, juiced
1 scallion, diced
1 garlic clove. Minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 jalapeno chile, sliced
2 cups cooked {see recipe below} or canned {drained} lack beans

Directions

Heat the oil in a medium saucepan. Add all the ingredients, except the black beans. Saute over low heat until the onion is soft and the corn is cooked for about 5 minutes. Gently stir in the cooked beans and heat until hot, about 6 minutes.
Serve with the tacos.

Cooking the beans:
I use black soybeans because they are delicate and have fewer carbs than regular brands. However, they do take longer to cook than regular black beans.

Black Beans with Chiles
8 oz dried black beans or black soybeans
1 tablespoon oil
1 small red onion, cut in half
1 small carrot, cut in half
2 dried Mexican chilies, any type
1 teaspoon ground cumin
3 cups chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Directions

Place oil, onion, and carrot in a Dutch oven. Cook until the onion is tender. Drain beans and add to the pan. Add whole chiles, cumin, and chicken broth.. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, covered, 2houses. Uncover, add salt and pepper and simmer until beans are very tender, vegetables, and about 1 1 to2 more hours depending on the type of bean you are using. Drain the beans. Remove dried chilies.

Homemade Coleslaw

Ingredients

2 scallions, minced
16 oz package of coleslaw mix

Dressing
1 teaspoon honey or another sweetener
1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper
1/4 teaspoon celery seed
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons sour cream
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon lemon juice

Directions

In a medium serving bowl with a cover, combine the dressing ingredients using a whisk.
Add the shredded cabbage and scallions and stir gently to mix.
Refrigerate for several hours before serving.


Salmon Saltimbocca

2 servings

Ingredients

Olive oil
2 salmon fillets about 6 oz each, skin removed
Salt & pepper to taste
2 slices prosciutto
4 sage leaves

Directions

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Pat the fish dry with paper towels and place in an oiled baking dish. Sprinkle the salmon with salt & pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Lay two sage leaves on the non-skin side of the fillets and place a slice of prosciutto on top of each fillet. Tuck the edges of the prosciutto underneath the sides of the salmon. Place the baking dish in the preheated oven and bake the salmon for 10 -12 minutes..

Greek Braised Chickpeas

This lemony chickpea dish can be served at room temperature or as an accompaniment to the main dish.

4 servings

Ingredients

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onions
3 cups cooked chickpeas (two 15-ounce cans), drained
1 cup of water
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Freshly squeezed juice from 1 lemon
1 tablespoon all-purpose unbleached flour

Directions

Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet over high heat and cook the onion until some pieces are turning brown, 4 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the drained chickpeas and water, season with salt and pepper, and cook for 5 minutes.

In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice and flour until well blended and smooth. Whisk several tablespoons of the hot liquid from the chickpeas into the lemon-flour mixture until well blended. Pour this mixture back into the chickpeas, reduce the heat to low, and simmer until the water is nearly evaporated and the sauce has thickened, 1 to 1-1/4 hours. Turn the heat off and let the chickpeas cool in the skillet. Serve at room temperature or warm.

Sautéed Swiss Chard

Ingredients

2 tablespoons olive oil
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 large bunches Swiss chard, ribs and stems removed, leaves torn into 2”
pieces (about 12 cups)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Directions

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook garlic, stirring occasionally, until golden
brown, about 2 minutes. Add red pepper flakes and half of Swiss chard, season with salt and
pepper, and cook, tossing often, until wilted, about 4 minutes. Add lemon juice and remaining
chard and cook, tossing, just until all chard is wilted, about 1 minute; season with salt and pepper.r

 


America is a melting pot that was formed by the hard-working people who migrated here from lands as far east as China and Japan, as far north as Russia and Europe. They utilized American supplies and prepared them in ways that they had prepared them in their homeland.
True American food is a collection of these culinary traditions passed down from generation to generation”.Each culture brought its cooking methods, food, and spices to America. They farmed the soil, hunted game, and incorporated their ways into the food of America.

Hoppin’ John: A New Year’s Tradition

Forget champagne—in the Southern United States, Hoppin’ John is standard New Year’s fare. This simple dish of peas, pork, and rice has been a tradition since the 1800s. It’s believed to bring luck and peace in the coming year to anyone who eats it.
The first recipes for Hoppin’ John appear in cookbooks that date back to the 1840s, although the mixture of dried peas, rice, and pork was made by Southern slaves long before then. It seems to have originated in the Low Country of South Carolina, an area where plantation owners searched long and hard for a crop that would flourish in the hot, muggy weather. Rice grew well in the river deltas, so it was a natural choice, but the white farmers had no real experience with cultivating rice on a large scale until enslaved West Africans who had grown rice for generations arrived in America.

Although any type of dried peas can be used for Hoppin’ John, the black-eyed pea is the most traditional. This pea happens to have been domesticated in West Africa, which led to the belief that African slaves took the peas with them, planted them in their new surroundings, and created a dish that would remind them of their lost homes. This is probably only partly true. Newly abducted Africans were lucky to have clothes on their backs, and they certainly weren’t encouraged or even allowed to bring sacks of planting grain along with them. What is more likely is that slave traders saw black-eyed peas as an economical and easy way to feed their cargo.

The origins of the name “Hoppin’ John” are slightly less clear. Some say an old, hobbled man called Hoppin’ John became known for selling bowls of peas and rice on the streets of Charleston. Others say slave children hopped around the table in eager anticipation of the dish. Most food historians think the name derives from a French term for dried peas, “pois pigeons.”

It’s also uncertain why the dish became associated with New Year’s and good luck. The most likely story is that slaves would often have the period between Christmas and New Year’s off since no crops were growing at that time. Hoppin’ John was, and still is, often eaten with collard greens, which can resemble paper money and “golden” cornbread. The peas themselves represent coins. Some families boost the potential of their Hoppin’ John by placing a penny underneath the dishes—or adding extra pork, which is thought to bring more luck.

One tradition common in the United States is that each person at the meal should leave three peas on their plate to ensure that the New Year will be filled with luck, fortune, and romance. Another tradition holds that counting the number of peas in a serving predicts the amount of luck (or wealth) that the diner will have in the coming year.

This dish is traditionally a high point of New Year’s Day when a shiny dime is often buried among the black-eyed peas before serving.Whoever gets the coin in his or her portion is assured good luck throughout the year. For maximum good luck in the new year, the first thing that should be eaten on New Year’s Day is Hoppin’ John. If you eat leftover Hoppin’ John the day after New Year’s Day, then the name changes to Skippin’ Jenny since one is demonstrating their determination of frugality. Eating a bowl of Skippin’ Jenny is believed to even better your chances for a prosperous New Year!

Source: Beyond Black-Eyed Pease: New Year’s good-luck foods, by Mick Bann, Dec. 26,2008, Austin Chronicle.

Recipe for Hoppin’ John

Ingredients

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small ham hock or bone
4 celery stalks, sliced (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 medium-size yellow onion, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 small green bell pepper, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
3 garlic cloves, chopped (about 1 Tablespoon)
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
8 cups lower-sodium chicken or ham broth
4 cups fresh or frozen black-eyed peas

For the rice
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 cups uncooked Carolina Gold rice
½ teaspoon salt
Fresh scallions, sliced
Chopped parsley

Directions
Heat oil in a large pot. Add celery, onion, bell pepper, garlic, thyme, black pepper, cayenne, and 1 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is tender, about 8 minutes. Add broth and black-eyed peas and bring to a boil over medium-high. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until peas are tender about 40 minutes. Drain pea mixture, reserving cooking liquid. Return pea mixture and 1 cup of the cooking liquid to the pot. Cover to keep warm; set aside.
To cook the rice
Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high. Add rice and cook, stirring often, until fragrant and lightly toasted, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in 3 cups of the reserved cooking liquid and 1⁄2 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil, and reduce heat to medium-low; cover and cook until rice is tender, 15 to 18 minutes. Fluff rice with a fork, and gently stir into pea mixture in the Dutch oven. Stir in the remaining cooking liquid, 1⁄4 cup at a time, until desired consistency is reached. Sprinkle servings with parsley and sliced fresh scallions.

 


America is a melting pot that was formed by the hard-working people who migrated here from lands as far east as China and Japan and as far north as Russia and Europe. They utilized American supplies and prepared them in ways that they had prepared them in their homeland.
True American food is a collection of these culinary traditions passed down from generation to generation”.Each culture brought their cooking methods, food, and spices to America. They farmed the soil, hunted game, and incorporated their ways into the food of America.

Black-Eyed Peas

Cultivated since prehistoric times in China and India, black-eyed peas are related to the mung bean. The ancient Greeks and Romans preferred them to chickpeas. Black-eyed peas are believed to have been first domesticated near Africa’s Lake Chad in what is now northeastern Nigeria and northern Cameroon. They were brought to the West Indies by enslaved West Africans, as early as 1674.

Most black-eyed pea cultivation occurred in the Southern United States. The crop would eventually prove popular in Texas. Throughout the South, the black-eyed pea is still a widely used ingredient in soul food and southern cuisine. The planting of black-eyed peas was promoted by George Washington Carver because it provided exceptional nutrition. As a legume, it adds nitrogen to the soil and contains calcium (41 mg), folate (356 μg), protein (13.22 g), fiber (11.1 g) and vitamin A (26 IU), along with other nutrients per serving.

Black-eyed peas are in season in the South during July and August but they are popular dried for use in Hopping John, a New Year’s dish believed to bring luck for the year to come. Though black-eyed peas (also known as cowpeas) have no folkloric connection in West Africa to money (some people believe the peas symbolize coins), they have long been associated with good luck for several reasons. One belief was that the “black eyes” of the pea would protect one from the dreaded “evil eye”—a negative spell cast by one’s enemies. Others ate black-eyed peas on auspicious occasions. For example, on Good Friday, a cowpea-and-coconut-custard combination called frejon is a traditional meal in parts of West Africa. Additionally, a dish called ewa-Ibeji (which translates as “Beans for Twins”) was originally cooked with oil and only for ailing twin children, but now it is ceremonially prepared for healthy twins. In some traditional West African religions, black-eyed peas were prepared to worship a deity — if it was believed to be their favorite food — on ceremonial days.

My CSA share of black-eyed peas was generous this year and I decided to cook them in an untraditional way. They did make for delicious BBQ beans. Here is my recipe.

BBQ Black-Eyed Peas

Ingredients

2 slices bacon, diced
1 large sweet onion diced
1 medium jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 ½ cups ketchup
1 cup of water
1/4 cup cider vinegar
¼ cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon dry yellow mustard powder
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon liquid smoke
½ teaspoon salt
4 cups fresh black-eyed peas, washed

Directions

Place the peas in a large saucepan, cover with water and bring to a boil for 2-3 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and let stand for 60-90 minutes. Drain the peas in a colander.

In the same pot, brown the bacon, onion, jalapeno, and garlic. Add all the remaining ingredients except the black-eyed peas and bring the sauce to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and stir in the peas. Partially cover the pan and cook until the peas are very soft and the liquid thickens about 2-3 hours.


America is a melting pot that was formed by the hard-working people who migrated here from lands as far east as China and Japan, as far north as Russia and Europe. They utilized American supplies and prepared them in ways that they had prepared them in their homeland.
True American food is a collection of these culinary traditions passed down from generation to generation”.Each culture brought their cooking methods, food, and spices to America. They farmed the soil, hunted game, and incorporated their ways into the food of America.

Boston Baked Beans

Native Americans made cornbread and baked beans. The Pilgrims at Plymouth Colony learned these recipes in the early 1620s and likely added barley to the cornmeal to invent New England brown bread. The triangular trade of slaves in the 18th century helped to make Boston an exporter of rum, which is produced by the distillation of fermented molasses. At that time, molasses was added to local baked bean recipes, creating Boston Baked Beans. In colonial New England, baked beans were traditionally cooked on Saturdays and left in the brick ovens overnight. On Sundays, the beans were still hot, allowing people to indulge in a hot meal and still comply with Sabbath restrictions. Today, brown bread and baked beans along with frankfurters continue to be a popular staple throughout the region.

Ingredients

3 slices of bacon
1 lb navy beans or great northern beans, soaked overnight in cold water
1 large onion, finely diced
4 cloves garlic, grated
2 cups ketchup
2 tablespoons dry mustard
1 teaspoon freshly cracked pepper
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup dark molasses
2 bay leaves
1/4 cup real maple syrup
1/4 cup dijon mustard
4 cups of water

Directions

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.
In a Dutch Over, cook the bacon until crisp. Place the cooked bacon on a paper towel and leave the bacon fat in the pan.when cool enough to touch, crumble the bacon.
Add onions and garlic to the pot with the bacon fat and cook until the onion is soft.
Add the remaining ingredients and stir well. Add enough water to just cover the beans.

Sprinkle the bacon on top. Cover the pot and bake for 3 hours, Stir several times during the baking period. Reduce the oven temperature to 250 degrees F
Remove the cover and continue baking – to allow some of the liquid to evaporate leaving you with a thick sauce. Cook one hour and begin tasting the beans to see if they are tender – not mushy- and the sauce has thickened. Fresh dried beans cook more quickly than old beans. Continue to bake for another hour if needed. Add 1 teaspoon salt or to taste and stir well.
The beans are ready to be served or they can be refrigerated and reheated the next day.


Swiss Chard and Ham Quiche

Ingredients

Easy Oil Pastry
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour or whole wheat pastry flour(for low carb/gluten-free crust use 1 1/2 cups almond flour)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 cup olive or vegetable oil
4 tablespoons cold water
Quiche
1 tablespoon butter
1 bunch Swiss chard, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
2 cups leftover baked ham, chopped
4 large eggs
3/4 cup half-and-half
Kosher salt and black pepper
4 ounces Swiss cheese, grated (1 cup)

Directions

For the pastry:
Whisk together the flour, salt, and baking powder. This can be done right in the pie pan. Whisk together the oil and water, then pour over the dry ingredients. Stir with a fork until the dough is evenly moistened. Pat the dough across the bottom of the pie pan and up the sides. A flat-bottomed measuring cup can help you make the bottom even. Press the dough up the sides of the pan with your fingers, and flute the top. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

For the quiche:
Rinse the Swiss chard and chop.
Melt the butter in a large skillet, add the onion and saute until just turning golden. Add the Swiss chard and continue to saute about 10 minutes, until the Swiss chard has wilted. Stir in the ham and season with pepper and salt.
Sprinkle half of the shredded cheese in the bottom of the pastry in the pie pan
Spread the chard mixture on top of the cheese.
Beat the eggs and mix with the half & half. Pour over the chard mixture in the pie pan. Sprinkle the top with the remaining cheese.
Bake about 45-50 minutes, until puffed and browned. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Ham and Bean Soup

Ingredients

1 lb pound dry great Northern beans, soaked overnight in cold water
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 small-medium potato, peeled and chopped
2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
A handful of parsley sprigs
Several sprigs of fresh thyme
1 ham bone and the meat surrounding it
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
8 cups of water
Leftover chopped ham, optional

Directions

Drain the beans and set aside.
In a large pot on high heat add in the olive oil and then add in the onions, carrots, and celery until soft, about 6 to 8 minutes.
Add the drained beans, the ham bone, and water. Stir, cover and simmer on low heat for 20 minutes.


Add in the potatoes, garlic, and herbs, stir, cover and simmer for 20 more minutes. Taste one of the beans to see if they are tender. If not cook for 5-10 minutes and adjust the seasonings. Add additional chopped ham if desired and heat for a few minutes.


 

Do inventory. This is the perfect time when you are stuck at home. You will be amazed at what you forgot is in the freezer. Maybe some chicken parts and a few steak bones for soup, or a package of stew meat. You get the picture. I found a ham bone from the holidays and a half package of split peas. (I keep my dried beans in the freezer as well as flour and nuts because I live in a hot climate)

Time to make soup.

 

Split-Pea and Ham Soup

This is my easy and uncomplicated version. It makes a delicious soup. Serve with some rye bread.

Ingredients

1 lb dried split peas
2 quarts cold water
1 meaty ham bone
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried marjoram or thyme
2 onions, chopped
3 stalks celery with tops, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
3 medium parsnips, peeled and diced
1 potato, peeled and diced

Directions

In a large stockpot, combine all the ingredients. Cover, bring to boil and then simmer for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.


Remove the bone to a plate and let cool. Cut off any meat still clinging to the bone. Dice the meat. Retrieve any pieces of meat that are floating in the soup and dice. Using an immersion blender, puree the soup. Return the diced meat to the stockpot and reheat the soup for serving.

 


Tuna Coating
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon ground fennel
2 teaspoons coarsely ground black pepper
1 tablespoon flour

Tuna
2 tuna fillets about 1 lb total
1 tablespoon olive oil

Peppers and Onions
1 cup sliced Italian Frying Peppers
1/2 cup sliced onion
1 garlic glove, smashed
1/4 cup torn fresh mint leaves
Coarse sea salt and black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil

Beans
One 15 ounce can cannellini or navy beans, drained, rinsed or ½ cup dried beans soaked overnight and cooked. (See recipe below)
1/2 cup jarred baby artichoke hearts, cut in half
1/2 cup sliced sun-dried tomatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil

Directions

For the peppers and onions
Heat oil in a large deep skillet and add the garlic clove. Add the peppers and onions. Saute until tender about 5-6 minutes. Add the mint and season with coarse salt and pepper. Remove from the skillet and place on a serving platter.

For the tuna
Combine the coating mixture in a shallow dish.
Rinse the fillets in cold water, letting the water drip off but don’t dry the fish.
Coat the tuna fillets in the coating mixture.

Add the 1 tablespoon oil and heat. Carefully place the tuna fillets into the skillet. A spice crust should form within 1 minute. Using a wide spatula, turn the tuna fillets over, lower the heat to medium, and cook for 2-5 minutes to the desired doneness. Place the cooked tuna on the bed of onions and peppers.

For the beans
Heat the oil in a small saucepan and add the remaining ingredients. Heat over low just until hot. Serve with the tuna fillets.

How To Cook Dried Beans

Ingredients

8 ounces (1 cup) dried beans
1 small onion
2 garlic cloves, unpeeled, lightly smashed
Half a serrano or jalapeño pepper seeded, or 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
3 to 4 fresh thyme sprigs or ½ teaspoon dried
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Directions

Place the beans in a large saucepan, add enough cool water to cover by 1½ inches, and soak overnight at room temperature. Drain.
Place the soaked beans in a large saucepan with water to cover by 1½ inches. Add the onion, garlic, chili, thyme, and bay leaf. Bring to a low boil over moderate heat, then reduce the heat to low. Cook the beans at a bare simmer until they are just tender but not mushy, about 30-45 minutes. If necessary, replenish the water, so that it stays 1 inch above the top of the beans. Halfway through the cooking time, stir in the salt.

Remove from the heat. If you are using them right away, drain the beans. Remove and discard the onion, garlic, chili, thyme sprigs, and bay leaf. If you are not using the beans immediately, allow the beans to cool in their cooking liquid before draining. (Keep the cooking liquid to reheat the beans or to use in many of the recipes that follow.) You can keep beans, covered and refrigerated, for up to 3 days.


Tuna Steak

2 servings

Rub
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
2 teaspoons black pepper
1/2 teaspoon rosemary sea salt

Tuna
16-ounce tuna steak (1 inch thick)
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt

Directions

To prepare the spice blend, grind all spices in a mini-food processor or spice grinder until they are powdery. Spread the spice mixture evenly on a large plate. I used half the rub for one tuna steak. save the remainder for another time.

Rinse the tuna fillets and pat dry. Place one side of the tuna on the spice mixture.
In a 10 inch non-stick skillet, heat olive oil over high heat until almost smoking. Carefully place the tuna steak, spiced side down, into the skillet. A spice crust should form within 1 minute. Cook 3 minutes more. Using kitchen tongs, turn the tuna over, lower the heat to medium, and cook for 4 minutes or to your desired doneness.


To plate
Cu the tuna steak into two equal portions and place on individual serving plates. Place a handful of arugula on each plate and top with bean salad. Serve the Tzatziki sauce on the side.

Cannellini Bean Salad

Ingredients

1 (15.5 ounces) can cannellini beans, drained, rinsed ( or 2 cups cooked dried beans; directions below)
1 cup frozen and cooked or jarred in water artichoke hearts
1 cup sliced fresh grape tomatoes, cut in half
1/4 cup chopped red onion
2 cups arugula

Dressing
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 small garlic clove, minced
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon salt
Fresh ground black pepper to taste

Directions

In a serving bowl, mix together the dressing ingredients. Add the cooked or canned beans, sliced artichokes, sliced tomatoes, and red onion. Stir into the dressing. Refrigerate. Remove from the refrigerator 1 hour before serving and let stand at room temperature until serving time.

How to cook dried beans

1 Pound Dried White Beans (Cannellini)
Pinch Baking Soda
Carrot, Cut In Half
1 Celery Stick, Cut In Half
1/2 Onion, Peeled And Quartered
1 Sprig Rosemary

Directions

The night before serving, rinse the beans picking out any bad ones and place in a large bowl. Cover with water, add a pinch of baking soda and let soak at least 12 hours.

The next day, drain well. Place the beans in a heavy stockpot with the vegetables and rosemary and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until the beans are tender about 45 minutes. Drain, remove the vegetables and rosemary sprig.

Tzatziki with Feta

Ingredients

Half of an English cucumber, unpeeled
1 1/2 cups plain whole-milk Greek yogurt
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup crumbled Greek feta cheese
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon Greek seasoning

Directions

Seed and finely chop the cucumber. In a medium bowl, stir together the cucumber and yogurt. Stir in the remaining ingredients and mix well. Refrigerate for several hours before serving.


African immigrants in the United States come from almost all regions in Africa and do not constitute a homogeneous group. They include peoples from different national, linguistic, ethnic, racial, cultural and social backgrounds. As such, African immigrants are distinct from African Americans, many of whose ancestors were involuntarily brought from West Africa and Central Africa to British North America by means of the Atlantic slave trade. African Americans whose ancestors were forced into slavery and Africans who emigrated to the US have all contributed numerous qualities in the development of the US as a nation and have greatly influenced our culinary world.

Since the 17th century, enslaved Africans and their descendants have had a profound impact on what Americans grow and eat. Watermelon, okra, yams, black-eyed peas, and some peppers are all indigenous to Africa. Fruits and vegetables brought from Africa flourished in America in large part because enslaved Africans planted their own gardens to supplement the meager rations provided by their captors. These plants eventually made their way from gardens of the enslaved to those of some of the wealthiest and most prominent people in the country, including George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, whose gardens were planted with heirloom seeds from Africa. Enslaved African chefs left their mark on certain cooking methods, while also developing recipes that are now staples in the American diet, particularly in the American South. Dishes like gumbo, jambalaya, pepper pot and the method of cooking greens called Hoppin’ John (a dish made with greens and pork) are all examples. “The method of deep frying of fish or barbecuing meats were all documented in West Africa before the transatlantic slave trade,” says Kelley Deetz, director of programming at Stratford Hall and who is also the author of Bound to the Fire, which explores how Virginia’s enslaved cooks helped invent American cuisine. “These dishes and ingredients were essential to the formation of Southern, and eventually American, food.”

The continent of Africa has seen many changes in migration patterns over the course of history. The influx of African immigrants began in the latter part of the 20th century and is often referred to as the “fourth great migration.” About three-fourths of all immigrants from Africa went to the United States after 1990. This trend began after decolonization, as many Africans moved to the U.S. seeking education and an escape from poverty, and this trend has been steadily rising over time. Originally, these immigrants came with the sole purpose of advancing themselves before returning to their respective countries. In recent years there has been an increase in the number of African immigrants interested in gaining permanent residence in the U.S. One major factor that contributes to migration from Africa to the United States is for job opportunities. It has been relatively easier for Africans with advanced education to leave and enter the international labor markets. In addition, many Africans move to the United States for advanced training. For example, doctors from different African nations move to the U.S. in order to increase their skills and gain more economic opportunities.

African immigrants tend to retain their culture once in the United States. Cultural bonds are developed through shared ethnic or national affiliations. Some organizations like the Ghanaian group Fantse-Kuo and the Sudanese Association are organized by country, region, or ethnic group. Other nonprofits like the Malawi Washington Association is organize by national identity and are inclusive of all Malawians. Other groups present traditional culture from a pan-African perspective. Using traditional skills and knowledge, African-born entrepreneurs develop services for immigrants and the community at large. In the Washington area, events such as the annual Ethiopian soccer tournament, institutions such as the AME Church African Liberation Ministry, and “friends” and “sister cities” organizations bring together different communities. According to estimates in 2000, there were 8.7 million African American families in the United States. The ten states with the largest populations of African Americans are New York, California, Texas, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, North Carolina, Louisiana, Michigan, and Maryland.

The migration of Africans to Europe and the US has introduced a range of African culinary dishes to the world. Ethiopian and Moroccan foods have made their mark with popular restaurants in urban hubs like London, New York, Paris, and Washington DC. Traditionally, African cuisines use a combination of locally grown fruits, vegetables, cereal grains, and meats. African cuisine can be broken down largely into styles from Central Africa, East Africa, the Horn of Africa, North Africa, South Africa, and West Africa. Heavily influenced by spices, African recipes are known for their intense flavor and often include combining sweet flavors such as dried fruit, ginger, and cinnamon with garlic and onions.

The historical record indicates chickens were known in ancient Egypt by 1,400 BC, and later in the Greek and Roman empires. When they first arrived in sub-Saharan Africa is unknown, but they are now common throughout Africa as in the rest of the world. A similar bird, the guinea fowl, is native to Africa and is widely raised there. Both are often called kuku in many African languages. Nsusu or soso are words for chicken in the Congo region. Every culture has its own way of cooking chicken. One classic method of preparing chicken in Africa is to stew it in a peanut and tomato sauce (this basic recipe goes by many names in different parts of Africa). Another delicious African chicken dish is Poulet Yassa, which is chicken marinated in an onion-mustard mixture. The African kitchen is traditionally outside or in a separate building apart from the sleeping and living quarters. By far the most traditional and to-this-day the most common sight in an African kitchen is a stewpot filled with meat and vegetables (often greens) simmering over a fire. The pot usually sits on three stones arranged in a triangle, and the fire slowly consumes three pieces of wood that meet at a point under the pot.

Here is another traditional recipe for chicken.

Piri-Piri Chicken with Piri-Piri Sauce

Piri-Piri (sometimes spelled peri-peri) is Swahili for ‘pepper pepper’, or ‘strong pepper’ and refers to an African-style chili sauce. Piri-Piri Chicken is marinated in a hot chile pepper marinade, then grilled. This dish evolved in Angola and Mozambique (once Portuguese colonies) after Portuguese explorers and settlers brought American chili peppers to Africa.

The most basic piri-piri marinade recipe calls for just oil, cayenne pepper or minced fresh hot chile peppers, and salt. Many piri-piri recipes add an acidic liquid (usually lemon or lime juice, or vinegar, or possibly wine or liquor) which adds a tang and tenderizes the chicken. More elaborate versions also include additional flavorings and spices.

This recipe makes quite a bit and since I cook for two most days, I cut the recipe in half. This dish is delicious and the chicken turns out quite tender and juicy. The sauce has a bit of a kick but not overly spicy.

6-8 servings

Ingredients

4 lb chicken cut into parts or 4 lbs of your favorite chicken parts, about 8 pieces.

Peri Peri Marinade
3 red chilies (reduce for less heat or remove seeds), finely chopped or use 2 tablespoons red chili paste
1 green chili, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
1 small red onion, finely chopped
1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon of sea salt
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro or parsley
3 tablespoons vegetable oil

Peri Peri Sauce
3 tablespoons reserved marinade
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons sugar

Directions

Combine all marinade ingredients in a bowl large enough to hold all the chicken parts and blend well.

Reserve 3 tablespoons of the marinade in a small storage container and the coat the chicken with the remaining marinade. Cover and refrigerate 4 hours to overnight.

Hear an outdoor grill or stovetop grill pan.

For the Piri-Piri Sauce
Add reserved marinade, water, and sugar to a small saucepan and bring to boil. Cook for 2 minutes, remove from the heat and keep warm.

To cook the chicken
Place chicken bone side down on the grill. Cook for 10 minutes. Turn chicken over and cook for 25-30 minutes. Turn chicken over once more and grill for another 5 minutes. Remove the chicken to a serving platter and drizzle the sauce over the grilled chicken.

African Cucumber Sambal

Ingredients

2 medium garlic cloves, minced
1 shallot, minced
1/2 green chili (jalapeno pepper), minced
1 teaspoon sugar or natural sweetener (honey, agave nectar, etc.)
1 (2-inch) piece of ginger, peeled and grated
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
2 mint leaves, minced
1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded, quartered and thinly sliced

Directions

Combine all of the ingredients in a mixing bowl. Stir and toss well to cover.


Cover and let sit at room temperature for at least 1 hour before serving.
The Sambal will store up to 4 days refrigerated in a tightly covered container.

West African Style Rice With Black-eyed Peas

Every culture seems to have its own version of rice and beans. Peanut oil and hot red pepper give this dish a West African flavor.

Carolina Gold Rice, long grain rice, was the basis of the colonial and antebellum economy of Carolina and Georgia. Considered the grandfather of long grain rice in the Americas, Carolina Gold (which came from Africa and Indonesia) became a commercial staple grain in the coastal lands of Charles Towne in the Carolina Territory in 1685. The rice has a superior flavor, nutty aroma, a tiny texture and a beautiful golden hue in the field. Cooking directions differ from traditional rice, in that, Carolina gold is boiled in salted water rather than simmered.

4 servings

Ingredients

1 cup (200 grams) dried black-eyed peas, soaked overnight in water to cover or one 15.8 oz can of black-eyed peas
2 tablespoons peanut oil
1/2 small onion, chopped
1 large vine ripe tomato, chopped
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 ⁄ 4 teaspoon ground hot red pepper (cayenne)
1 ⁄ 8 teaspoon salt
Cooked Carolina (Charleston) gold rice (recipe below)

Directions

To cook the beans if using dried beans:

Cover black-eyed peas with water in a medium saucepan, bring to a boil and simmer over medium heat until soft, about 1 hour. Drain and set aside.

Or drain and rinse the canned beans. Set aside.

To finish the dish

Heat oil in a heavy pot. Add onion, tomato, tomato paste, red pepper, and salt. Simmer 10 minutes, uncovered, over medium heat until vegetables are soft. Add rice and beans to the pan. Cover and let the dish sit for 5 minutes before serving. Adjust seasoning if needed.

 Rice

If you use regular long grain white rice, follow the package directions for cooking 1/2 cup rice.

4 Servings

Ingredients

1/2 cup Carolina gold rice
2 teaspoons salt
4 cups of water

Directions

Bring the water to a boil in a medium heavy saucepan. Rinse the rice three times with tap water in a mixing bowl. Add the rice and salt to the boiling water. Stir gently to separate the grains and cook in boiling water 12-15 minutes until rice is tender and doubled in size. Drain the rice in a colander and rinse with cold water. Set aside to add to the beans.

Sources:  Jessica B. Harris’ The Africa Cookbook; Marcus Samuelsson’s The Soul of a New Cuisine and The Congo Cookbook.



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