February 5th, 2007

beans question

i've never cooked using dried beans before.
i'm trying to make beans and rice.
i have kidney beans soaking in a pot right now. the bag they came from lead me to believe i would only have to soak them for 8 hours, but it's been 15 hours and they are still hard-feeling. do i continue to let them soak? if i cook with them now will they get soft as they cook?

Croatian Style Bean Casserole + Adapted Fried Flat Breads

Croatian Style Bean Casserole:


This is taken from my great aunt's Croatian side dishes but adapted by me to be vegan - it still tastes very authentic and doesn't need stock or meat to help it along. This meal can feed 6 people for under NZD15 or GBP10. The casserole is also great reheated.

:EDIT: please note that you can use about a cup and a half of either dried (but well soaked) or frozen beans for any or all of the tinned beans and you can add some fresh or frozen chopped long green beans too if you want. :EDIT:

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Adapted Fried Breads:


This is adapted from an Indian fried bread using olive oil instead of ghee to make it vegan and to give a more Mediterranean flavor. You can also use peanut or soy so it is still vegan but goes better with Indian flavors. You can make extra dough and refrigerate (but not freeze) it for cooking later too.

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Vegan "Whitebait" Fritters

It is summer here in NZ and a traditional and very common dish is whitebait fritters. One of the few meat/fish things I really miss from my childhood. But I've found that because the poor wee fishies don't actually have much flavor the right seasonings and a simple fritter can look and taste pretty much the same. I found the Mock Whitebait Fritters in an old cook book of my mum's once (may have been the Edmond's Cookbook) but have long lost that recipe and had to adjust it to make a vegan version anyway.

Vegan "Whitebait" Fritters


Ingredients:
4 large white potatoes - grated
1 large white onion - grated
1-2 cups flour
1-2 tbls oil (ricebran/olive/soy so long as it is light it doesn't really matter)
1 tsp corn starch
1 tsp lime juice
Salt
Fine ground black pepper
soy/rice milk or even water to mix
Oil to deep fry (soy/peanut etc)


Mix potatoes and onions in a big bowl. Mix cornstarch and oil to make egg substitute and add to potato and onion mix. Mix in some flour and stir until thick. Add a splash of "milk" or water. Add more flour and so on until you have mixed in at least one cup of flour and have a thick batter type mixture. Add a pinch of salt, the lime juice and at least a whole teaspoon of pepper, I use three, and stir through. The pepper should look like little "eyes". Deep fry fritters in a heavy based pan or deep fryer then serve hot with a splash of lemon or lime juice and lots of tomato sauce, with a simple table salad on the side. You may need to dip each spoon of mixture in some more flour before frying depending on how sticky your batter is.

I'm considering adding some yeast flakes for a cheese flavor but I've not done so yet and don't have any in the cupboard to try it when I make them for lunch today!