Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Pimentón, “Noises Off”

As promised yesterday, here is one of Michel’s recipes incorporating pimentón—the smoky, exotic relative of the generic red paprika dutifully sprinkled over deviled eggs by countless church ladies in a pinch for a pot-luck dish.  No disrespect.  Michel loves deviled eggs.  And if you’re interested in reading up on pimentón, here is a New York Times article (with a definite carnivorous slant) that will most likely answer all your questions—even the ones you don’t know you have:
Pimentón: It’s Spanish for ‘Better Than Paprika’

If you're a pescetarian, take note.  Michel has discovered that pimentón works beautifully with grilled fish.  He makes romesco sauce with pimentón (recipe linked in a previous post), then spoons it over grilled monkfish or scallops.  Actually, he likes pimentón with almost any fish—even lowly sardines, which deserve our respect based on their nutritional merits alone.   Open a can of sardines (don’t be cheap—buy the good ones), grab your favorite crackers, your new can of pimentón, and have at it.  Cracker, sardine, pimentón. Repeat. 

And that’s how we get to “Noises Off”—a very funny British play wherein the housekeeper, Mrs. Clackett, is forever losing track of the sahhdeeens she has prepared to serve. 

Don’t worry, vegans.  Here’s your pimentón recipe.

Cannellini Beans with Garlic and Pimentón
  • 1 ½ cups dried cannellini beans, soaked overnight (or two cans from the supermarket if you prefer)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ an onion, finely chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • ½ red pepper, finely chopped
  • 7 or 8 salted capers (depending on their size), also finely chopped
  • 1 carton vegetable broth
  • 1 heaping teaspoon of pimentón
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil or oregano
 In your soup pot:
  • Heat the olive oil then add onion, garlic, capers, and pepper.
  • Sweat the onion mixture over low to medium heat until onions are translucent.
  • Add cannellini beans and enough vegetable broth just to cover them.  You can add more broth as needed to keep beans covered as they cook.
  • Add pimentón and basil/oregano.
  • Stir and bring to a boil.
  • Cover and simmer until the beans are done—about 1 to 1½ hours
You can serve the cannellini beans over quinoa, with fish or chicken, or enjoy them on their own.   

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