Tag black beans

A Yotam Ottolenghi-inspired Sweet Cole Slaw

You couldn’t call it seasonal cooking, but one of the first recipes that I plucked from Yotam Ottolenghi‘s Plenty was Sweet Winter Slaw. In characteristic Ottolenghi style, its flavors surprise — from the slightly sweet, slightly spicy dressing to the buttery crunch of caramelized macadamias, this is unlike any cole slaw you’ve ever tasted.

winter cole slaw

Or almonds, as the case may be. Since blogs are allowed to be confessional, I’ll confess that I took more than a few liberties with this recipe — using almonds rather than macadamias, nixing the mango and papaya altogether, and forgoing the fresh red chili because I’d bought a dried one by mistake. (Even Julia Child wasn’t perfect.) Next time I’ll also leave out the mint, an herb The Professor dislikes and that I found cloying in this dish — perhaps the missing fruit left the mint flavor hanging?

But to the rest of the recipe I was true, and it delivered a bright, flavorful slaw that would delight in winter, when the colorful, sweet vegetables of summer are many months away. Citrus flavors (from the lemongrass and lime juice) brighten the dressing, maple syrup adds a touch of sweetness, and chili flakes raise the heat. The combination nicely balances the ribbons of slightly peppery red and mild Napa cabbage.

I know what you’re thinking. Did The Professor like it? Well he didn’t grade the slaw per se, because he doesn’t grade side dishes — just entire vegetarian or pescatarian dinners. But he found the slaw interesting and full of flavor.

Ottolenghi suggested serving the slaw with Chard Cakes (a recipe in Plenty that I haven’t tried) or roast chicken (not for me). I served it with black bean tacos, a recipe I want to work on before posting. The Professor deemed it “good” and felt nicely satisfied, but it could use some improvement. So you’ll be reading about it again soon.

BBQ’d Ribs and Black Bean Burgers

What is a mixed couple to do on July 4th — the biggest grilling holiday of the year? BBQ’d ribs and shrimp, grilled salmon burgers, spicy black bean burgers and chipotle corn salad. In other words, something for everyone.

While The Professor was tending to the grill for hours on end, I mixed up a lemon-herb marinade for the shrimp, made a spicy corn salad, and tested my Aunt Karen’s recipe for black bean burgers.

The corn salad suffered from bad corn, alas. (The Cook won’t be suckered by “Six ears for $2” signs any more.) But the black bean burgers were a success! They had a nice flavor and weren’t too dry or mushy. Of course, you can’t take my word for it. So I’ll cook them up for The Professor soon. Just not on a night when they’d be going head to head with ribs!

Karen’s Black Bean Burgers

2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1 cup shredded cheese (I used mozzarella)
About 1/4 cup panko or whole wheat bread crumbs
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 medium jalapeƱo pepper finely chopped (I used 2 tsp adobo sauce)
2 large egg whites or 1 large egg

half onion, finely diced

3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
Saute onions and garlic for a few minutes
Place beans in a bowl and mash with a fork. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Adjust the amount of panko so you can make a patty that isn’t too sticky.

Shape into 6 patties and place on baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Coat the tops with cooking spray and bake in 375 degree oven for about 20 minutes, carefully turning once.

My Aunt Karen serves them with or without a bun with either mango salsa or for more of a hamburger taste with ketchup, mayo, tomato and pickle. But her favorite is on a good bun with blue cheese, cole slaw and a good tomato.