Friday, June 11, 2010

I'm all for changing the status quo, and here in our house, that means involving my husband in making food occasionally.  He does a couple things really well in the kitchen:  chop veggies, season dishes, and make Annie's mac and cheese.  He's also quite good at loading the dishwasher (but rarely unloads it), adding too much garlic to a concoction (just did that last night), and now, as I've come to find out, putting beans on the stove to cook while I'm gone (and I've asked him to).

Unfortunately, with this last "gift", the only part he's good at is the actual physical action of putting the beans on the stove and turning the gas on. :)

I had been gone for part of an afternoon when I asked him to do these things for me when he got home from work.  Upon my return, I smelled something burning.  Now, I've burned a pan of beans before, and so I was more or less (ha!) instantly clued into what was happening.  I run to the stove, find the pan dry, and the beans looking up at me, helplessly.  I performed as much emergency aid as I could, and then let the beans cool down before I would try one to see if the burny smell had turned into burny taste.  (This also gave me time to yell at said husband.  In a kind, thoughtful, and forgiving way, of course.)

Soon enough, we discovered the beans were somewhat salvagable, so all had not been lost in the quest for the night's dinner.

89.  Crusty Mexican Bean Bake, pg. 101 featuring the crust from Soybean Pie, pg. 111

Starting off with the crust:  since I didn't have yogurt or sour cream, and didn't feel like going out specifically for it, I decided to go with the crust for the Soybean Pie, which is a corn-based crust versus the flour-based crust of Bean Bake.  The final crust product reminded me of cornbread, which was nice, as we oft pair cornbread and chili...which takes us to the Bean Bake.

To make it vegetarian, I subbed about 1 c. of cooked soy beans for the ground beef and sauteed them with the onion.  The remainder of the filling is straight-forward, but I used (nearly burnt) pinto beans instead of kidney beans.  Since I didn't have any juice left from the beans, I simply rinsed out the tomato paste can with water and used all of that liquid instead.  As I didn't have chili powder, I subbed 1 1/2 t. cumin, 1/2 t. cayenne, and 1/2 t coriander.

After baking, I sprinkled a little bit of cheese on top as well as a few garlic scapes (for color.)  At the table, I had extra cheese and lettuce available, and had salsa available instead of tomatoes. 

As a whole, it was a good dish, and solid.  I would air on the side of saying it serves 4-5 adults, at least if that's all your serving for dinner.

And I guess we can say that all's well that ends well.  :)

Overall:  4 out of 5, Husband rated.  I would have gone slightly more conservatively in the mid-3s.

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