Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Tepary Beans and a Hungry Chef

When hubby and I were visiting Arizona we stumbled upon an evening Farmers Market. The heat is so intense early morning and throughout the day, they have it in the evenings. There I found some beans I had not tried before- Tepary Beans. Deciding what to do with them the past few months has been daunting with the trip and a time crunch. I love to get creative, and did not want to just throw them in a bowl as a side dish. I wanted them to shine.

Howeverrrrr...an old memory of my parents eating them simply dressed as a main dish with corn bread. Or possibly make some unique baked bean recipe is floating around in my head, I have to find it. My parents would cut up fresh onion and jalapeno's, top them off, and they were great! However, I do love sweet and spicy baked beans, but with my diet concerns, I had to watch additives and risk my sugar levels going too high.

Reading Tepary beans still hold their shape after cooking, and have this wonderful nutty flavor, I decided to match them with something smoky. What luck, we bought pecans at the Arizona market (soak the pecan shells for a few hours, so they do not burn fast). I could not find pecan wood for smoking brisket and had heard you could use the fruit to accomplish the same results. So I used my stove top smoker to cook and smoke two ribeye steaks.

Like most beans you soak the Teparies over night. (Reading) You cook them in water from 1 1/2 hours to 3 hours, so I was not sure. Using the pressure cooker works as well. I tried the 1 1/2 hour technique, medium high heat and cover with lots of water, and it worked just fine- adding eight cloves of garlic, celery, red onion, and a pinch of salt to the water to flavor them up. I wanted the garlic and saved the water for moistening the dish. I might use it as a vegetable stock, so I froze the leftover water for later.

The final result of our dinner- fantastic! Not to mention hubby getting to use his fancy steak knives from Toledo, Spain-

What did I put in my Tepary bean salad? I added small chopped red onion, pecan pieces (reminded me of cracking pecans for my mom's pecan pies and candy as a young girl, ugh!), chopped jalapeno, cilantro and cumin pesto I had made, 1/2 squeezed lime, the crushed garlic cloves, and a pinch of salt.  What really worked with the beans, is mashing the cooked garlic along with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, a few tablespoons of the bean water, and a squeeze of 1/2 lime.

Yum! On the pecan smoked steaks (which I smoked twenty minutes, and then pan grilled in the top part of my cast iron smoker) with the beans on the spinach and mache salad.

I will find out what the dietitian thinks of this dish, because I was a little worried I had put a fatty meat (4 oz) with a meat substitute (beans and lentils are still carbs). Then I read that Tepary are among those beans with the lowest glycemic index, about 30. So along with dal channa, they are one of the better meat substitutes.

This bean salad will be on the menu again and soon! Check out this 'hummus' recipe using these beans...

Want to know what one of the nicest dietitian's we all know and love has to say about 'Loosing weight and keeping it off'? Chow and Chatter over at 'Eating Weeds' with this Hungry Chef!