A working kitchen | Main | Curried Applesauce

Main

About me

Cooking for Kids

Cookbooks

Recipe Search

2009
  January
2008
  November
  September
  June
  January
2007
  December
  November
  October
  September
  August
  June
  May
  April
  March
  February
  January
2006
  December
  November
  October
  September
  August
  July
  June
  May
  April
  March
  January
2005
  December
  November
  October
  July
  June
  May
  April
  March
  February
  January
2004
  December
  November
  October
  September
  August
  July
  June
  May

 Subscribe with Bloglines

Food Blogs
Food Related
Not Food
Subscribe in NewsGator Online



Add to Google
Mystery Beans
Sep 19th, 2006



The mystery beans from yesterday's post are these beautiful Anasazi Beans I got on my visit to Bob's Red Mill. Anasazi beans have not been in commercial cultivation for that long. They were apparently discovered by a scientist in the '80s who while looking for something else entirely stumbled across a clay pot of beans in an old cliff cave in New Mexico. The beans were carbon dated to 1500 years old but some still germinated and were eventually put into production. I don't know if I fully buy the story but it is a good one. You can see more here.

Whatever their origin, Anasazi beans are beautiful to look at and have a mild, creamy taste. I wanted a recipe that was fairly simple so that the taste of the beans would shine through, and this one from Deborah Madison did the trick. I soaked the beans overnight, first boiling them for about five minutes in a quart of water for each cup of beans. They cooked up nice and soft and we wolfed them down with a pan of cornbread on the side. I did remove about 3 or 4 cups of the cooking water right before adding the cooked tomatoes to the pot, as I wanted a less soupy end product, but you could go either way.

The beans resembled pinto beans in taste, but with a creamier texture. And, as an added bonus, they're apparently very high on the digestible scale for beans. If you come across a supply of anasazi's I'd definitely recommend giving them a try - different yet comforting at the same time.



Anasazi Beans with Tomatoes and Serrano Chiles

2 cups anasazi or pinto beans, soaked
1 small onion, halved and peeled
2 garlic cloves, 1 whole, 1 minced
2 tsp fresh or dried epazote (optional)
Salt
3 tbsp vegetable oil
4 tomatoes, peeled and diced
1 to 3 serrano chiles to taste, finely diced
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
2 garlic cloves, minced


Put the beans in a pot with 2 quarts water and boil hard for 10 minutes. Skim off any foam, then add the onion, whole garlic, and epazote. Lower the heat and simmer for 45 minutes. Add 1 1/2 tsp salt and continue cooking until the beans are soft, about 30 minutes more. Remove the onion and garlic.

Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the tomatoes and their juice, chiles, cilantro, and minced garlic. Cook briskly, pressing on the tomatoes until they break up and thicken into a sauce, about 10 minutes. Add the sauce to the beans and simmer for 15 minutes more.

Serve garnished with crumbled queso fresco or shredded cheddar, cilantro, avocado, and cornbread or corn tortillas.

-Deborah Madison, Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone
Print Recipe

Comments

I am so happy you have your kitchen back. Mostly because coming here is my favorite indulgence when I am supposed to be working. Plus, your kitchen sounds wonderful. Maybe sometime I can make it up there to see everything you've done to your home.

I am supposed to be setting up an ellipsometry experiment that I need to comlete, write up and present to a class of undergraduates my next week. In theory it should be easy enough, but I don't seem to have all the parts required to do it the easy way. And, I don't really know how to do it the long complicated way. I do know that few people can get decent results doing it the long way...so Anasazi Beans with Tomatoes and Serranos is my hideaway.

Oh yeah, did you know that epazote, besides adding really nice flavor to beans, is supposed to help eliminate unwanted after effects of beans?



-posted by stephanie on Sep 20th, 2006
I finally got the lab working properly and it wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it was going to be. Here's the gist of it.

Light waves are oscillating electric and magnetic fields. The direction in which the electric field oscillates is called it's polarization. Polarizaiton comes in two basic types: linear and circular. Imagine a light wave's electric field oscillating up and down coming towards you. You would see a straight, vertical line. Now imagine an wave oscillating in phase with equal amplitudes in both the horizontal and vertical directions. You would see a straight, diagonal line. Both of these are examples of linear polarization. Elliptical polarization is when the horizontal and vertical electric fields are oscillating out of phase. A special case of this is circular polarization when the components are out of phase by 90 degrees.

The experiment is to measure the refractive index of a surface by bouncing polarized light off of it and measuring the polarization of the reflection. Electromagnetic theory allows us to get the refractive index from these measurements.

Here's how it works. We make linearly polarized light by passing a laser beam through a crystal that only allows a certain linear polarization through. This crystal is called a polarizer and is in a mount that can be rotated so we can make the polarization be vertical or at a diagonal. We want it to be at 45 dgrees and to have equal amplitude in the x and y directions. The light ( we are using a He-Ne laser which means it's red light) reflects off the surface at an angle. We have another polarizer that we will use to check how much light gets through in the verticle and horizontal directions with a photo-diode read by an oscilloscope. We do this for many different angles of reflection by rotating the sample. For each angle we take the ratio of the square root of the amplitudes and put it in a formula that is very nasty to derive and voila(sp?) we find n.

What is n? n tells us how much light bends when it goes through a surface. Basically, n is why it looks like a pole half in and half out of a swimming pool looks bent. If the pool were filled with something other than water, it would bend more or less than it does in water.

hmmmm... I think I need a cookie!


-posted by Stephanie on Sep 25th, 2006
© 2006, Kimberly Cooperrider | kymmco@excite.com