05 October 2008

Beer Beer Good for Your Heart...

They* say that beer was the impetus for civilization. Nomadic people along the Nile found that puddles of water that had fermented grains in them to be safer to drink than "pure" water because the mild alcoholic content of the fermented water killed potentially disease-causing microbes. Finding this non-lethal liquid source to be a good thing, they settled around areas where they could cultivate the grain and produce what is essentially a primitive beer. Whether or not this is true, beer is the impetus for my latest avoidance behavior: beans. Well, maybe beans aren't an avoidance behavior, but playing with them certainly is.

Every Friday the astro grad students take advantage of happy hour at the Crown and Anchor, one of several dirty bars located around the campus of UT. The big plus is that they have Live Oak Hefeweizen, which consistently ranks well on Beer Advocate. They also have these incredible nachos that have black beans, jalepen$^~$os, and cheese. Finding this to be a simple recipe, I started buying cans of black beans in hopes of recreating the nummy snacks of my favorite dive bar.

So several cans of black beans later, Colby and I found ourselves in Costco because he was convinced that we would save money there. In order to justify the fifty dollar membership fee, we started buying random items including beef kielbasa, bagels, aluminium foil (yes, ALUMINIUM, not TIN!), and (dun dun dun) a case of black beans. I used half of a can for nachos, but realized that I needed to find uses for 11.5 other cans.

Much to my delight, thedeliciouslife updated, not once, but twice. The former inspired me to make a go at my own hummus.

1 clove garlic
1 can garbanzo beans, drained
juice of 1/2 lemon
<1/2 tsp salt, kosher

So basically I put the clove of garlic in the blender, grind grind, and then added the beans+lemon juice and some spices and then drizzled in the olive oil as it ran. It sort of worked, but I had to stop a few times to push everything down which kind of sucked. I really need a food processor, but I'm going to hold out until the wedding to get one. My real hope, though, is to get a KitchenAid stand mixer. ANYWHO... It turned out alright. I used too much salt and paprika, but it was still okay. Part of the problem with the blender is that some of it gets really super smooth and then sometimes you just have whole beans left over, but in trying the super smooth parts, it reminded me a lot of mayonnnaise... It makes me want to use chickpea+olive oil puree as a mayonnaise substitute. It seems to me that it's the same concept: unsaturated fat+protein emulsion. It would also be a vegan approximation of mayonnaise. Have other people tried this, or am I just terribly sleep-deprived?

Anywho, I needed something else to do with the black beans (and something else to do. I have important masters thesis things due on Tuesday morning at 8:00 AM, so I need something to procrastinate with, right?)... so I cleaned out the blender and added the following:

1/8 onion, chopped
1 large clove garlic
1.5 cans black beans, drained
5 "shots" of hot sauce
1/2 tsp cumin
s+p to taste
juice of the other half of a lemon

grind grind. then I added in fresh (uncooked) corn kernels. The dip worked surprisingly well even though it's not particularly pretty to look at (think little pieces of corn floating in a grey mushy sea), but it tasted alright. It seemed to lack something, which Colby pointed out was cilantro and I think that's exactly on point. The corn + onion + garlic combination is screaming for cilantro, but we all know that cilantro is gross and don't put it in our food. :) I think next time I'll try flat leaf parsley.

*By "they" I mean Crosby Washburne, my 12th grade European history teacher, which means that this is more of a "story" than fact.


Anonymous said...

Chris Groppi (?) : "Costco has the best beef you will ever find. For fillet mignon, go to Costo."

Me: "..."

Me: "whaaaaaaaat?"

BTW, drunk.

Anonymous said...

I've always found that paprika adds color, but not so much flavor. Maybe you just get better paprika than I do. It's like "spicy," but no where near as much as "chili powder" or "cayenne" or "pepper."

And yeah, blogger and google like to pretend they don't know who I am, and I don't feel like tracking down my UID. You know me.

Steven LaRue said...

If Crosby says it, chances are it's true.