Monday, 26 January 2015

Uno, Dos, Trays

Do any of you like making hors d'oeuvre? Honestly? Really? Seriously? Come on. No you don't. Maybe you enjoy presenting a tray full of bite sized gems at parties, but making them is such a pain. However I bet you love eating them. Yes, I am sure you do. So, keep your hors d'oeuvre selection simple, light, hopefully inexpensive and definitely full of flavour.

This recipe is the first of three from tonight. The theme was Central American which is often simple, inexpensive and full of flavour. This a super simple recipe that takes moments to assemble and will cost you pennies (if you still have some). 

You can purchase canned beans if you want. I wouldn't. It will taste metallic and mushy. Do yourself the party favour and cook the beans from dry: Soak the beans overnight, drain, cover with fresh water, and boil  for 70 - 80 minutes. Add a pinch salt for last 5 minutes of cooking and drain. That's it. Then, allow to cool and do whatever you want with them (including the next recipe I will post on the blog). You all know the health benefits of beans so I won't even go into it. 

One more note: soaking beans. There are two sides to the coin. Heads: soaking removes flavour and does little to the cooking time and is actually inadvisable. Tails: soaking them removes phytic and enzyme inhibitors which helps with digestion. I still soak them myself. But go ahead and do your own research and decide for yourself which argument is more full of beans.

Tortilla Chip with Black Bean Salsa

150 g Black Turtle Beans, cooked
1/2 Avocado
1 Roma Tomato, diced
1 Garlic Clove, crushed
1 Tbs. Tamarind Paste (if unavailable, use the juice of half a lime)
A Few Spinach Leaves, chiffonade
Corn Tortilla Chips (Que Pasa makes a great Organic Unsalted Tortilla Chip)
A Few Splashes of Tabasco

In a metal bowl, smash avocado to a paste. Add garlic and tamarind and mash for a few minutes. Add tomatoes, beans, Tabasco, salt and stir until blended. Let sit for at least 15 minutes. Check for seasonings.

Dollop a spoonful onto a chip and garnish with spinach chiffonade.

Makes a few dozen appetizers.

A Humble Chef's tip: this is completely vegetarian,dairy free and gluten free. Great for parties where you aren't sure of any allergies. 

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