Monday, February 1, 2010
Dark Days Challenge week 11 - tired of potatoes!
This is the time of year when I get really tired of mashed potatoes. I've tried hard to avoid the meat-starch-veggie pattern of meals this winter, but sometimes it's just the easiest thing to fall back on. A recent episode of a cooking show by Nigella Lawson got me thinking about mashed beans instead of potatoes, and that brought me to this week's meal.
Dinner was a pan-fried pork chop, green beans with garlic and shallots, and mashed beans (stueben yellow variety) and cauliflower with garlic and shallots.
I used about twice as much beans as cauliflower, and I cooked the beans low and slow during the day. (Out of all the methods I've tried, low and slow seems to give the best results. I think these cooked for almost 4 hours on low.) When the beans were almost done I added the cauliflower (which had been blanched, frozen, and defrosted) and continued cooking until the cauliflower was soft. In another pan I sauteed the garlic and shallots in olive oil, then tossed the well-drained beans (reserving some of the cooking liquid) and cauliflower in the pan. I had this idea that I could just use a potato masher, but the cauliflower was a little too fibrous for that. So I ended up using the immersion blender, which resulted in a slightly chunky mash. I added a small amount of the cooking liquid to get the right texture (in the same way that you'd add milk or cream to mashed potatoes, but I didn't want to add dairy to this side dish.)
Everything but the seasonings and olive oil were local in this meal.