Wednesday, January 12, 2011

50 in 50, Day 1: Fresh Bean Stew with Corn and Acorn Squash

Last night marked the beginning of my quest to cook 50 new recipes in 50 days, and I made Fresh Bean Stew with Corn and Acorn Squash. I had to substitute a few items (canned black-eyed peas for dry, and flat leaf parsley for the cilantro) but I don't think it hurt the dish too much. The stew was tasty, and had a nice smoky base from the chili powder, and a bit of a kick from the cayenne. My only complaint (and a very picky one at that) was the dish wasn't very...pretty. The corn and flecks of parsley added a bit of contrast to the brown stew, but I was hoping for a bit of color from the acorn squash. I know you're thinking what is she talking about? The stew looks fine. Which is what Paul said so I'll let the matter go, and not bring up that I used a flash which lightened things up, etc. Speaking of Paul, I will definitely try this again since he really liked it.

Fresh Bean Stew with Corn and Acorn Squash
The Complete Vegan Cookbook
Yield: 4 main-dish servings

2 cups shelled fresh cranberry beans or black-eyed beans
2 cups peeled and diced acorn squash
4 cups vegetable stock
1 tbsp chili powder
1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 tbsp olive oil
1 large which onion, diced
1/2 cup dry red wine
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen kernels (see note)
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

   In a stockpot combine the beans with the acorn squash, stock, chili powder, oregano, and thyme. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 20 minutes.
   Meanwhile heat the oil in a small skillet and saute the onion over medium heat until nicely browned, about 10 minutes, then stir into the beans. At the end of the 20 minutes simmering time, add the wine, garlic, salt, cayenne, and 3/4 cup of the corn kernels. Return to a simmer and cook 20 minutes.
   Place the remaining 3/4 cup corn kernels in the blender with the cilantro and 1/3 cup of water. Puree the mixture, then add to the beans and cook an additional 15 minutes, until the beans are tender and the liquid has reduced to a thick consistency. Serve hot.

Note: If using frozen corn kernels, place them in a colander and rinse briefly under warm water to melt off any ice crystals before adding them to the dish. If using fresh corn you will need about three medium ears to yield the 1 1/2 cups of kernels.

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