Needs must when the devil drives...
A couple weeks ago we got home really late from several exhausting days of a conference, and I was way too tired the next day to leave the lovely place I am staying to drive to the grocery - no fresh food in the house - what to do?
Dried beans to the rescue!
I took 2 cups of dried black beans*, rinsed them and put them in a pot covered in water - brought it to a boil and reduced heat immediately to a simmer.
Squeezed my one lonely juice orange scrounged from the fridge into the beans and dropped the whole thing, skin and all, into the pot. No garlic available, but half an antique red onion - chopped it up and in it went!
OK, now away and unpack.
Came back in a bit and made sure the beans were still covered with liquid and started tasting.
Maybe some red pepper flakes - yep, maybe a few more. Go away again – do something productive.
Make sure beans are not drying out periodically.
Add more pepper flakes. (your mileage may vary...)
When the beans are done, now what?
Adjust salt and pepper, for starters - easier to salt correctly when cooked.
I had about an inch and 1/2 of just-still-this-side-of-edible fresh goat cheese lurking in the fridge and the garden yielded a good handful of hardy curly kale and a leek.
OK - slice the leek in thin rounds and sauté in olive oil - just this side of charred - remove from pan. Add rinsed and thinly sliced kale to the pan - DON'T remove the stems, they will be lovely and crunchy when the leafy parts have wilted.
Add kale and goat cheese to the beans and stir.
I served this bean mix for dinner with the toasted heel of an antique seeded sourdough loaf and topped it with some of the charred leek and was in heaven! Next morning I served it with a poached egg for breakfast and later in the day - having made it to the store - turned it into soup by adding bouillon made from Better Than Bouillon Vegetarian broth, lots of sliced baby bok choy - added just as I reheated the beans - and topped each serving with chopped cherry tomatoes and red onion and a generous dollop of plain yogurt, and had enough to feed three people!
That is a devilish amount of good eating from two cups of dried beans!
Obviously you can take this concoction many ways depending on what you have available in your fridge, so go play with it and have fun.
I'm thinking some really juicy lemons and a few Kaffir lime leaves...maybe some miso...?
*Black beans do not improve by pre-soaking, so feel free to skip it. Actually, most dried beans don't improve by soaking - heretical though that may sound! Skipping that step makes cooking them less time consuming, and if all y'all are eating your fiber regularly like yer Momma told you to, you will probably not have much trouble with the proverbial musical effect!