Boulangerie Beans and Potatoes

(Photo © 2009 by Robin.)

For Christmas I received a copy of Mark Bittman’s  How to Cook Everything Vegetarian: Simple Meatless Recipes for Great Food.  It was high up on my wish list and I was thrilled to find it under the tree.  (Thank you, C & B!)

Yesterday a friend, who also has a copy of the book, excitedly suggested I turn to page 620 and make the Boulangerie Beans and Potatoes.  Because I happened to have everything I needed to make it (including fresh thyme), I decided to cook up some beans and see what all the excitement was about.

The recipe is very simple and very basic:

  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 3 cups cooked white beans, drained but still moist
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 medium russet or other high-starch (baking) potatoes or all-purpose potatoes, peeled
  • 1 cup vegetable stock or water
  • 3 tablespoons butter

Preheat the oven to 325°F.  Stir a tablespoon of the thyme into the beans, taste, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Spread the beans in a baking dish and set aside.

Halve the potatoes lengthwise and thinly slice into half circles.  Lay the potatoes in overlapping rows to cover the beans.  Pour the stock over the top, dot with pieces of butter, and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and the remaining thyme.

Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes.  Remove the foil and continue baking until the top is browned and glazed, another 45 minutes or so.  Serve immediately or let rest for up to an hour and serve at room temperature.

I used great northern beans (because I had them in the pantry).  In the book Bittman points out that you can use canned beans, but he doesn’t recommend it.  I started with dried beans, and used the quick soak and cook method.  The beans were ready in about three hours.  You can also use red or pink beans.

Obviously you will need to do a little planning ahead for this dish.  It’s well worth the time and effort.  The beans make it a hearty dish that works well as a main course.  Just serve with a salad and you have a full meal.

This is the first recipe I’ve used from the book.  I’m looking forward to many more happy meals from this “ultimate one-stop vegetarian cookbook.”


Human-Age

I’ve been spending a little of my computer time lately playing Human-Age.  That might account for the lack of blog entries lately (and in the future).

The game is described as a virtual simulation.  Here is the description of the game from the Human-Age FAQ:

The aim of the game is to make your character evolve throughout the ages of mankind. To do so, you must take care of him or her, and earn money so he or she can gain capabilities, and build a nice house. To get you started, you get 200 kneecaps, which is the currency for the first level. With the cash in your pocket, you can hunt, work or bet with other players to earn more money, and buy luxury items.

So far it doesn’t take up much time.  I just started playing this past weekend so I can’t say whether or not it will get more involved.  It should be noted that I have an interest in posting about the game.  I’ll earn 40 kneecaps (and boy, could I use them).

I have my friend the English Nutter to thank for this newest internet addiction.  Addiction may be too strong a word, at least for now.

Hop on over and join if you have a few spare moments of time.  You’ll find me with The Frozen Feet clan.  Pretty appropriate given the weather we’re experiencing here in the Bogs.  Bitterly cold (and about to get colder) with more snow in the forecast today.