Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Painted Boletes and What I Did With the Rubiya

These bodacious boletes are from Honey Hollow Farm. I used them in a stew of black and white beans for the New Year. I had a feeling when I saw these mushrooms that they would be an auspicious addition to a Rosheshone table. While mushrooms are not specifically mentioned in the Talmud along with the five vegetables to be eaten at the New Year, they share with these vegetables the attribute of legendary rapid growth. They are also delicious.

On salting beans
Almost every recipe that calls for cooked beans will tell you not to salt the beans until they are done. The putative reason for this practice is that salt will “toughen” the beans. Intimidated as I am by near-unanimity, I have never found salted beans to be tough, and they seem in my considerable bean-cooking experience always to be better than beans cooked without salt.

Rubiya with Guinness-Marinated Tofu and Boletes

1 one-pound block of fresh tofu brand tofu, or other fresh handmade tofu (I like silken tofu too, but it is too refined for this recipe)

1 bottle of Guinness Extra Stout, with two tablespoons of shoyu or another kind of soy sauce, 1 rounded teaspoon Dijon mustard and 1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds crushed but not ground.

Olive oil

One medium or large onion, sliced into thin half-moons

2 tablespoons flour

12 ounces (2 cups) rubiya or yin-yang beans (or calypso beans or black-eyed peas)

1 pound painted boletes or other mushrooms (for about 12 ounces caps), sliced

1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves

1 28-ounce can whole peeled plum tomatoes (I used muir glen)

2 or 3 chiles

1 branch mild rosemary

1 tablespoon paprika

1 bunch parsley (1 cup minced leaves)

salt, pepper, honey and more paprika to taste

Cut the tofu into cubes or oblate paralellopipeds and place the pieces in a shallow non-reactive container. Ideally the tofu pieces should just cover the bottom. Pour over the tofu one bottle (twelve ounces) Guinness extra stout or other stout or dark beer. Add two tablespoons shoyu or other soy sauce, one teaspoon of Dijon mustard, and one teaspoon brown mustard seeds which you have crushed but not ground. Cover the container and marinate the tofu overnight (You can skip this step in an emergency).

Soak the beans for several hours or overnight (or skip this step). Discard the soaking water; put the beans in your bean-cooking pot, and add two bay leaves, two teaspoons salt, fives whole, peeled garlic cloves, one dried chile pod (or a fresh chile pod), and twelve black peppercorns. Cover the beans with fresh water, and set over heat to cook until done. Cooking time will vary.

Heat oil in an iron skillet and cook the sliced onion until tender and translucent. Sprinkle flour over the onions and stir well until it loses its raw flour smell. Pour in about 2/3 of the Guinness-marinade while stirring. You can probably go ahead and add all the Guinness. In another skillet, cook the bolete caps in oil over high heat. Crumble about one teaspoon dried thyme (six fat pinches) into the mushrooms. When the mushrooms are well-cooked, add them to the onion-Guinness roux. Raise the heat and add the tomatoes, crushing them with the spoon as you stir.

In the skillet recently vacated by the mushrooms, heat some more oil and fry the tofu pieces until they are nicely brown on two or three sides. Now combine the fried tofu, the vegetables with roux, and the cooked and drained rubiya in a large heavy pot. If they look too dry add a bit of bean-liquid or some reserved Guinness marinade. Add the chiles, a tablespoon of sweet paprika, some salt and pepper, a branch of rosemary (less if it is not quite mild), and parsley. You may also want to add a little honey or sugar at this point. Simmer over low heat for about an hour, and taste for seasonings.

Any kind of flatbread is especially nice with this. Rice too.

I will probably make soup with the reserved mushroom stems and bean-liquid. See Sweetnicks for other soul-warming creations. Darker beers have more antioxidants. Really.

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3 Comments:

Blogger Ben said...

I trust your "considerable bean-cooking experience" way more than any near-unanimity. In fact, the moment you mentioned beans and near-unanimity, I checked to see where you hold by when it comes to soaking, and was pleased to see "(or skip this step)." In fact, it was someone telling me that soaking beans wasn't essential that first made me think critically about food preparation. A valuable lesson!

8:55 PM  
Blogger Kaji's Mom said...

That looks really great! I'm not a fan of Guinness though, so I might have to try it with a different beer.

Brandie
http://kajismom.blogspot.com/

7:28 AM  
Blogger the chocolate lady said...

ben,
many thanks! I am planning to discuss bean-soaking in more detail as soon as , you know, get to all the other things I am planning to discuss. While you're here, I heard Bob Woodward on the radio today. What kind of dialect is that? I hadn't realized I never heard him speak before--I guess I always thought he must sound just like Robert Redford.

kaji's mom,
A different beer should be just fine. After cooking with all the other ingredients the flavor of the Guinness was quite mild.

12:53 AM  

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