Friday, June 19, 2009

I'm baaack!

Ahhh summer's bounty! I got back from Mexico about a week ago but I am just now getting around to posting. I guess it has been harder than I thought to get back into the swing of things. When we got back to Texas I was a little bit disappointed that it was about 12° cooler in Mexico than at home! But, with the heat comes all the great food that summer brings. Don't get me wrong. I love fresh broccoli and kale in the winter as much as the next guy, but nothing can compare to a homegrown tomato that is still warm from the sun. I tend to not do a whole lot of cooking in the summer, but I will certainly share the "recipes" that I do have.

Central Market had some fresh pinto beans the other day and I had to try them. I am not really sure where I thought beans came from, but it never occurred that they might come in the fresh form. I guess maybe I thought they were some over-processed product from a big factory. Who knew?! They were delicious! They tasted a little bit like fresh black-eyed peas, definitely different than the dried variety. The "recipe" for pinto beans would also be good for any variety of fresh peas/beans that are in season.

Pinto Beans

1 package fresh pinto beans (about 1/2 lb.)
1/2 onion chopped
1 T. extra virgin olive oil
3 c. water
1 t. kosher salt
freshly ground pepper
1/4 t. onion powder
1/4 t. garlic powder
a dash of Lawry's Seasoned Salt

Saute the onion in olive oil in a medium saucepan and cook until translucent. Rinse beans and place them in saucepan. Add water and bring to a boil. Season the beans with salt and pepper. When water begins to boil, reduce heat to a simmer. Let the beans simmer about 30 minutes or until tender. If beans start to look dry, add more water. When the beans are mostly done, add the onion powder, garlic powder and seasoned salt. I served mine over brown rice, but they would be delicious alone.

Tomato and Bleu Cheese Salad

3 ripe tomaotes
extra virgin olive oil
sea salt
freshly ground pepper
bleu cheese crumbles
balsamic vinegar

Roughly chop tomatoes and add them to a small bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside in the fridge until needed. Just before serving add bleu cheese to the bowl and toss. On the plate, drizzle the salad with a bit of balsamic vinegar and serve.

Bon Appetit!

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