Sunday, 4 August 2013

Pa’s Delicious Home Made Butter Bean Tropicale Recipe

040820131054    Here we are back again and today I am making a recipe using what in Great Britain is the most bland and boring of legumes … the Butter Bean. It was a bane of my life in kidhood when it was always served boiled within an inch of it’s life in a sad pile on the edge of the plate.
    Well none of that today, this recipe is a triumph of the butter bean and raises it to take it’s rightful place in the glorious pantheon of pulses.
    In My Humble Opinion and I hope yours too.

Butter Bean Tropicale

   So here we go with this delicious little twist on the humble butter bean. I was inspired to develop this recipe because of the sheer paucity of interesting recipes for this pulse although I understand that across Europe and the Americas there are different species and varieties with a number of culinary uses.
040820131048    These types may be naturally more interesting to the palette than the British variety and other original cooks have doubtless thought of more imaginative uses than our traditional cuisine.
    Boiled or boiled then mashed seems to cover 95% of it’s serving suggestions in this country.
    So I am adding an exciting new dish to that. I am starting with a tin of beans which was left in my cupboard during my recent hospital sojourn by el meu fill gran daugter, el Opi aviat a casar. It was either bin it or transform it and I hate to waste food.
    Read on my friends.
    Starting with tinned beans I will be using fresh ingredients for the rest of the recipe, apart from herbs and spices.
    To go with the Tropicale I have a simple fresco accompaniment using two ingredients that may seem a surprising combination but go together beautifully.
    As a final shock to my regular readers I will be covering their modesty and dressing them for dinner, in sharp and spicy style.

                 Butter Bean Tropicale
    230g    butter beans, drained and rinsed
    200g    sweet peppers
    200g    pineapple flesh, chopped
    2           tangerines
    200g    mixed nuts and dried fruit
    4 tbsp  sunflower oil
    2 tbsp  honey
    2 tbsp  fennel seeds
    8 cloves garlic

                  fresco salad    quantities as needed
             cooked beetroot

         dressing           increase quantities as needed
100 ml  freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tsp     crushed chillies
2 tsp     dried mint

    First step is to juice the lemons, add the chilli and mint then put aside to steep.
    Next up get a big pot on a low heat, add the oil, honey fennel seeds and pressed garlic, allow to warm mixing well. Leave on that low heat, keeping one eye on it and stirring regularly.
    Open the can of butter beans, tip into a sieve, rinse and drain. Wash the sweet peppers and cut into thin strips. Peel the tangerines and break into segments. Prepare the pineapple removing skin and core, cut the flesh into chunks. Check the pot and stir.
040820131059    Cut as many slices out of the watermelon as people you are feeding, then on the plate cut flesh from skin then cut into chunks retaining the shape. Cut as much beetroot as you need into small cubes then align portions on the plate with the watermelon.
    Add the beans to the pot and stir well to ensure they are coated in the honey mixture. Turn the heat up to medium high and cook for 3 minutes, stirring continuously, Add the tangerines, pineapple and pepper. Mix well and ensure everything is well coated in the honey mixture. Cook for another 3 minutes keeping the mixture moving. Turn out into a serving dish. Serve portion to each plate.
    Strain the lemon juice, pressing to get the last drop of flavour through. Drizzle over the watermelon and beetroot. Roughly tear watercress to garnish.
Broad Bean Tropical serves 4 to 6 depending on appetite.
    There you have it. Sharp eyed readers will have noticed the lack of my usual ingredients photo for the Broad Bean Tropicale. This was due to my trusty food ninja Ninjala bella Modeleine actually preparing most ingredients a few days ago, including some very ripe strawberries. Events conspired to prevent me actually cooking then and I popped the strawberries into the freezer. Well they were still thawing when I took the ingredient photos but by the time I started cooking they had thawed into a mush. Hence not used. Hence photos not used either.

    Well it turned out really delicious. Everyone really enjoyed it and you can tell from the melon that there was plenty of that left to come back to later. None of the tropicale was left to try it cold but I think it would work well that way too. Which would of course allow preparing in advance for a buffet or barbeque. The actual cooking is really fast and the preparation not much longer. Writing this post about it has taken me much more time than cooking and eating it did.
    And so I have finally overcome my childhood fear of the humble butter bean, treated right it can even be a tasty friend.
    Wishing you Beans, Beetroot and a Beautiful day

          love from Pa