Archive: Beans and Legumes

Ball Game-Worthy Oven-Braised Beans

It’s come to my attention that this is a big weekend in pro football world. Mister MA tells me there’s a slew of playoff games taking place both Saturday and Sunday. (Oh goodie, she replies, wondering about that overdue date with her sock drawer.) (Kim O'Donnel) He delivered this exciting sports news update as we sat down over a pot of beans earlier in the week. I had tried out a new beanery method (oven braising) from a new book (“Ten” by Sheila Lukins) and was eager for his thoughts on the variation, which includes a mélange of spices reminiscent of Jamaican jerk seasoning. If nothing else, I loved the aromatherapeutic results of the oven method; for a few hours, the whole house was filled with spicy oven perfume and cocooned me from the rain pounding outside the kitchen window. It felt easier than a stove top pot of beans,...


By Kim ODonnel | January 9, 2009; 07:00 AM ET | Comments (12)

Baking Beans: What's Your Secret?

"Bring a side" is what our friend J told me when I insisted on bringing an edible contribution for his bon voyage cookout this weekend. After last week's slow-cooked smoked ribs, I've still got the barbecue theme on the brain and decided on a batch of baked beans. For years, I couldn't stand them because they were either too sweet, too mushy or too salt-porky. When I finally got my lips around beans that were smoky, tangy and kind of spicy (like a good ole campfire), that's when I knew I hit the flavor jackpot. Baked beans just out of the oven. (Kim O'Donnel) Baked beans is everyday, everyman's (and woman's) food, and somewhere along the line, we've all encountered them in one incarnation or another depending on where we grew up. If you're from upper New England or Canada, you might know them as maple syrupy sweet. Bostonians may...


By Kim ODonnel | May 27, 2008; 11:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

The Mighty and Versatile Chickpea

Garbanzo. Bengal gram. Ceci. Shimbra. Hommes. Lahlabi. Chana. This is a mere sampling of the names used around the world for the little bean known in this country as the chickpea. Chickpeas ready for seasoning. (Kim O'Donnel) The chickpea is not as old as the ancient lentil, but it's not far behind, clocking in around 8000 BCE. Like the lentil, it was first domesticated in the Fertile Crescent, according to food historian Ken Albala, author of "Beans: A History," which he describes as modern-day eastern Turkey, northern Iraq and Syria. The chickpea that most Americans are familiar with is called the kabuli, a larger, beige-colored variety common in the Mediterranean, but there's another called the desi, a smaller, darker variety that is more common in India, available in shades of red, green and black. I've yet to try these multi-colored gems and am eager to learn more about their flavor,...


By Kim ODonnel | April 18, 2008; 10:52 AM ET | Comments (43)


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