White bean bargain basement ~ Ham Pie Sandwiches

21 November 2007

White bean bargain basement

My brain doesn't even want to remember the weekend at this point. I spent a lot of time lying on the floor taking naps. There was a little part of sunday afternoon, though, that I spent in the kitchen trying to convince my blood sugar that everything was ok, it would get food in just a little while!

It was time for a soporific protein infusion. I already had a pan of boiled white beans. Clearly, I should roast a head of garlic, mix it into the smashed beans, and eat it on toast.

White bean business

white beans
salt, pepper

Soak white beans overnight; boil until ok. Or use a pot of beans you boiled yesterday and stuck in the fridge. Or use a can. We are feeling sick here.

While beans are boiling (if you're doing everything at once, or "to oncet" as we say while being pretentious language nerds), get a head of garlic. I used one, but would probably use two in future for total garlic immersion. Anyway, chop the top off the garlic to expose the tips of its cloves. Then douse it in olive oil and roast it around 375F until golden and squishy and perfect. This will take an hour or so for ultimate garlic happiness.

I've always roasted garlic well wrapped in foil, but this time we didn't have any. We don't have any fancy terracotta garlic equipment either. So I improvised a garlic cooker from two little stainless steel bowls: I oiled the bigger bowl, stuck in the heavily anointed garlic, and covered it with the smaller one. Then I just stuck them in the oven.

Eventually I started hearing pinging noises, as if someone were continually and rhythmically hitting a pipe with a wrench. This bothered me a lot, since I felt sick and it was the weekend and why couldn't maintenance come during the week? Then I realized that my garlic was actually sputtering so hard inside the bowls that IT was the thing continually pinging. After that the noise didn't bother me at all. Moral: I can certainly put up with constant banging if I get roasted garlic at the end of it.

When beans are done, drain. Mash by the method of your choice. I expect a lot of people would use a blender (with liquid added) or a potato masher for this. I did not want anything to do with the blender, so I went a different route: I tipped batches of beans onto the cutting board and chopped them up with my knife. Then I mashed them with the flat of the knife. Then I added a handful or two of parsley leaves and chopped and mashed again. I did it over and over again until all the beans were at least roughly smashed. Clearly, this is not the easiest method, but at that point avoiding washing the blender was more important to me.

You could also add some fresh chopped garlic to bean mix at this point. I added the tips I'd cut off the cloves. Garlic!

When the main garlic is done roasting, squeeze it out of its skin and into the bean mixture. I advise either waiting a few minutes for the garlic to cool, or wearing an oven mitt while squeezing. My oven mitt certainly got some squishy garlic and skin stuck to it during this process, but that was ok with me.

Get a spoon and beat the garlic into the beans. Beat in some salt and pepper, too, and any other spices you want. If I had lemon, I would certainly have squeezed half of one in.


This stuff would clearly be excellent on some good serious hot rye toast. We had it with pita dudes, carrot and red pepper sticks, and (storebought) hummus.

Pita dudes are easy: cut pita into triangles, coat with olive oil, salt, pepper, and whatever other spice you want; put in oven to toast until browned and crispy. I made mine with cayenne so they were good and spicy.

I was so hungry at this point that I was having serious jitters, shaking the cookie sheet while spreading oil. I also became super-anal about fitting every single bit of pita on the sheet Just So. Then I had to tell myself to calm down and eat a spoonful of honey out of the jar to get myself enough blood sugar to function. You know how when you're really hungry and weak, and you open a jar of honey, you want to just eat the whole jar facefirst? Yeah. It was like that.

We had a lot of beans left over. For lunch on monday, I split open some pita, spread it with bean business, and added feta and spinach. That was also a good idea.


bethany said...

(apparently one should proofread *before* hitting submit) Anyway. Maybe poohbear has low bloodsugar and that is why he is always diving face first into honey pots.

eileen said...