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big, easy bites

5 easy pieces, part 3: butter bean hummus

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By foodorleans · November 29, 2012 · 0 Comments ·

I started making hummus from scratch last year, when I discovered the organic dried chickpeas in bulk at the neighborhood Rouse's.  I love to make it, but let's be honest: chickpeas take forever to cook, especially when you want them really soft, for hummus.  But you can make a serviceable hummus out of just about any dried bean or pea: black-eyed peas, lima beans, black beans...and butter beans! While all of these might be tasty, the prettiest ones are going to be made from white or very light-colored beans.  I've made black bean hummus before, and it turns out kind of blue-gray. Not untasty, but not winning any beauty contests.

Butter beans, a.k.a. large limas, are perfect for making a from-scratch hummus because they cook very quickly--just about 45 minutes in gently boiling water.  You can also use canned, of course, just as you would use canned chickpeas for hummus.  I like the fact that butter beans are a Southern cooking staple, too.  Try some! 

Use your own favorite hummus recipe, or if you don't have one, here are some amounts to get you started.

butter bean hummus

  • 4 cups cooked butter beans, drained & liquid reserved (or 2 15-ounce cans)
  • 1 to 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • juice of 1 to 2 lemons
  • 1/4 cup tahini (sesame seed paste)
  • salt to taste
  • sumac, paprika, or cayenne pepper, for garnish
  1. Drop the garlic cloves in a food processor fitted with the steel blade and process until finely minced. Add the butterbeans, lemon juice, a few tablespoons of bean liquid or water, and tahini, and process until pasty.
  2.  With the motor running, slowly drizzle in olive oil until a creamy mixture is formed.  Season with salt and additional lemon juice, if necessary.
  3.  Sprinkle the top with sumac, paprika, or cayenne, and drizzle with a little more olive oil.

makes 2 cups

MORE EASY PIECES! Part 1: smoked salmon breakfast pizza & Part 2: roasted potatoes and turnips

a fish tale: shrimp and artichoke-stuffed trout

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By foodorleans · March 13, 2012 · 0 Comments ·

Once upon a time, I was served a whole trout in a fancy restaurant.  I whimpered loudly enough for the waiter to notice I wasn't about to eat anything that stared back at me. He took it back to the kitchen, decapitated it, and I was fine. In fact, I ate all the creme brulee nobody else could finish. I was 15. The end? Not quite.

Now, I love getting a whole fish. First of all, they're beautiful. Second, fish and shellfish and their kin are just about the only creatures we can eat in a "whole" state, skin and bones and all, as a reminder of what it is that we're eating. It's much more natural and psychically helpful than eating a McRib, I think.  So I love eating them, but I've never before known how to clean them fresh out of the water...until Sunday.

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Tagged with: baked, artichokes, trout, lemon, shrimp, Fish

blueberry lemon cake of great happiness

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By foodorleans · August 21, 2011 · 0 Comments ·

Meet my favorite blueberry cake.  It's got a great texture thanks to chopped almonds scattered throughout, it's not overly sweet, and it's really easy to make--you don't even need a mixer.  If you like blueberry muffins in the morning, this cake makes a great substitution, but it can also be tonight's dessert thanks to its pretty sugar-sprinkled top.  And I'll go ahead and tell you that it works beautifully with vanilla ice cream, although you probably already guessed that.

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serious sweets: sucre

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By foodorleans · June 3, 2010 · 0 Comments ·

Remember when I drifted off into a sugar trance a few weeks ago, all gaga over macarons?  I've been thinking about them ever since--looking up YouTube videos on how to make them (it's a little more complicated than I was wanting it to be), scouring the Web for recipes (like David Lebovitz's chocolate macarons or this extremely intriguing flavor from Tartelette), and just spending all my regularly allotted daydream minutes on them.  So when I just happened to find myself on Magazine Street last Monday, driving through a light summer shower with Paul, I couldn't think of a better place to stretch our legs and spend some money than at Sucre. continue reading...

for love of shrimp

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By foodorleans · May 10, 2010 · 0 Comments ·

The oil spill outlook has got us all worried these days.  How will our fishing families adapt?  How will the restaurant industry fare?  It's still too soon to tell.  But plenty of fresh, local seafood is still available right now, at the west bank wharf, in supermarkets, and at farmer's markets.  Paul went last Saturday to the Crescent City Farmer's Market downtown and bought several pounds of gorgeous, perfect shrimp from Clara Gerica of Gerica Seafood.  Her husband, Pete, shrimps in Lake Pontchartrain and sends his evening catch to market with Clara, who says their lake shrimping is unaffected at this point.  So to celebrate that fact, and to celebrate shrimp in general, I concocted a tapas-style menu of two iconic recipes (barbecued shrimp; shrimp and grits (pictured at left)) and one newcomer (the shrimp taco).

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