If your pulses aren’t racing yet, they soon will be. Gather round, one and all, for the roundup of the 14th edition of the Waiter, There’s Something in My… event! I was your charming host this month and I have battled through my nursing duties (see previous post) as well as mad weather that included 17C on Thursday/Friday and… 2 or 3 inches of snow on Sunday (!!) to bring you this, the definitive collection of recipes featuring pulses. Just because I like order, I have divided the recipes according to their principal ingredient into bean, chickpea and lentil categories. Nothing scientific, just my love of categorisation ;-) So, without further ado, let the roundup begin!
First out of the starting blocks was Wilbur of The Red Whisk who goes with a slightly off-beat Easter theme and presents us with smoked bunny sausages gratin with cannellini beans. As a child, I’d probably be weeping for the poor bunny… but as a carnivorous adult I’m drooling at the prospect of this unusual sausage and bean combo!
In a slightly more Summery (or Springy) vein, Sarah of Homemade in Yuma, Arizona takes her first steps into the wonderful world of food blogging events and treats us to a tuna and white bean salad. I love this combination – now if only the weather would warm up a little…!
Another newbie follows hot on her heels! Please welcome Mrs B of fledgling blog Round the Mulberry Bush in Suffolk right here in the UK. She sticks with the tried & tested classics and gives us the glorious Spring dish of braised lamb with flageolets. Somehow, lamb and pulses is one of those combinations that just works - deliciously!
My fellow-WTSIM founder Johanna of The Passionate Cook takes fusion food to a whole new level as she makes black bean soup reminiscent of Mexican cuisine, adapting a recipe from an Austrian chef, and adding a surprising touch of crab. It’s an edible work of art!
From black beans to white as we pop into Mrs W’s Kitchen in New York state, where Amanda is cooking up a storm. Ever thought that beans were OK, but a bit bland? Then prepare to have all your assumptions challenged as you feast your eyes on her garlicky white beans with pecorino. Irresistible.
And it seems black is the new… erm, black. More black beans from Namratha of Finger Licking Food in Atlanta, Georgia, but this time in a different form. Namratha puts together some black bean and corn cutlets which sound delicious and look even better – check out the design possibilities that ketchup offers. Who woulda guessed?!
Staying with the same basic ingredients but mixing them up in a whole new way is Ashley of Introducing Ashley in San Francisco. Instead of making fritters, she chooses instead to toss in some peppers and avocado and voila – black bean and corn salad materialises! Not only delicious but oh so colourful too :)
From summery salads, it’s back to wintry soups – unsurprising, given the amount of snow we had over the weekend here in the UK! Fellow-South African Michelle of The Greedy Gourmet here in Canewdon, UK goes grocery shopping and finds she is being flirted with – by a knobbly gourd! She hears the siren song of kabocha squash and immediately starts dreaming of the fun they could have together – such as butter bean and baked kabocha squash soup. Mmmm, velvety and delicious.
Have I ever mentioned how much I love pulled pork? For this reason alone, Gretchen of Canela & Comino in Lima, Peru, is my hero because hers looks amazing. But we are far more concerned today with what she serves with her pulled pork: spicy black beans! Just look at the three types of chile involved – chipotle, ancho and amarillo. Phew!
Staying with the theme of beans with chile we wander into Johanna of Green Gourmet Giraffe’s kitchen in Melbourne, Australia, attracted by the delicious smells. Not only is she baking cornbread, but she’s also making a vegetarian chile non carne with the traditional Australian addition of… a can of lager! I can’t wait to try this one
Back in good old Blighty, WTSIM co-founder Andrew of SpittoonExtra, just west of London, is usually a dessert man. But man cannot live by sugar rushes alone and so we find him giving a gourmet makeover to a simple store cupboard staple – a tin of mixed beans. His delectable beans with black pudding and pancetta lifts these humble ingredients into the realms of the extraordinarily tasty. Now all I want to know is where’s my lunch invitation?!
And last but not least in the bean section I present… myself, the CookSister! Seeing as I have had both an extremely extended winter and one times very sick husband, I have felt somewhat in need of comforting lately. And when I need comfort, I know to turn to my hero Nigel. This smoked haddock and flageolet beans in a creamy mustard sauce is, without a doubt, one of the most gently comforting dishes I have ever made. Do yourself a favour and try it – because you’re worth it.
Divya of Easycooking in Chennai, India, kicked off the chickpea section (and her participation in WTSIM – welcome!) with a cousin to one of my all-time favourite dishes – channa masala. Divya made channa upkari-sundal – a chickpea dish flavoured with coconut, chillies, mustard seed and curry. Spicy heaven!
Funny how the same ingredient can completely change character in the next dish. Chris of Melecotte in Atlanta, Georgia comes up with a wonderful Garbanzo soup (aka chickpea soup) which she served over Easter. With chickpeas, sausage and mushrooms all featuring in the ingredients, this could be renamed the "my favourite things" soup
The third appearance of chickpeas as chickpea curry is thanks to Zlamushka of Zlamushka’s Spicy Kitchen in Malmo, Sweden, and it’s a totally different beast again. No sweet coconut this time, and no meat or mushrooms – just a list of spices as long as your aram, from sweet cinnamon to spicey chillies. But all the effort is worth it in the end as Zlamushka pronounces the curry to be delicious.
Lisa from Lisa’s Kitchen in London, Ontario has a rather different take on chickpeas. You know felafel, the middle-Eastern chickpea balls sold at fast food outlets around the world? Well imagine if felafel were given a spicier makeover and served alongside a deliciously fresh red onion and coriander salad – then you’ll be close to imagining Lisa’s spiced chickpea cakes.
Back to the classics now as we visit Ranji of Ranji’s Kitchen Corner in North Attleboro, MA. She makes one of my all-time chickpea favourites – chana masala! Can there be anthing more comforting that a steaming bowl of spicy, saucy chickpeas? Possible, I guess… but unlikely!
Ever need to make dinner, but just could not bring yourself to go to the grocery store? Well, now you don’t have to! Jessica of Fearless Kitchen in Braintree, Massachusetts proves this by rustling up her pantry chickpeas from what she found on the shelves of her pantry. And I love the addition of harissa…
Over on the other coast, we visit Divya at Dil Se in Los Angeles to see what’s cooking. If you’re feeling peckish and want a high-protein snack, you can do a lot worse than Divya’s aama vadai or split chickpea fritters. They look so tasty and so easy to prepare
It seems that chickpea fritters in some sort are a popular option because Jayashree of My Experiments with Food in India just joined the WTSIM party and guess what she brought? Chickpea vada! She remembers washing down many of these nutritious little snacks with weak tea in her hostel days, but I imagine they would make great snacks to accompany drinks as well.
Aha! And now for something completely different. Katie of Other People’s Food in Herndon, Virginia, had had chickpeas in hummus and loved them, so it should be a logical conclusion that she’d love them in a soup? Correct! And just look at the amazing flavours in this spicy chickpea soup recipe – coconut milk, cilantro, garam masala and apple juice. Intriguing.
Whan Kazari of I Think I Have a Recipe for That… in Canberra, Australia heard the theme for this month’s event, there was an agony of indecision. Was it to be chickpea burgers, dhal… or maybe these little chickpea fritters, tantalizingly laced with paprika and served with a yoghurt sauce. I’m thinking little spicy canapes…!
OK, OK I know that split peas are a very different thing to chickpeas… but I didn’t want to create a whole new category for just one recipe, so I thought they would enjoy each other’s company for a while. Over in Melbourne, Australia, the lovely Haalo from Cook (Almost) Everything At Least Once has me drooling with her green split pea and chorizo soup. Pulses and cured meat are always a match made in heaven, but this seems particularly tempting
Ronell of My French Kitchen, a fellow South-African in France, tells a story distressingly similar to what’s happening here: the daffodils are out, the clocks are on daylight saving time… and yet the weather seems incapable of warming up! At least Ronell will have a few more weeks to enjoy soups like her roasted red pepper and lentil soup – comfort in a bowl!
Y of Lemonpi in Sydney hasn’t had time to participate in WTSIM for a while but has this month managed to rustle something up – hurrah! Ever thought of baking lentils into bread? Nope, me neither. Now go and check out Lemonpi’s lentil rolls – genius! Not only will they appeal to all lentil-lovers, but they are also the perfect disguise to get lentilphones to eat the little pulses with a smile on their face
Jessica of RD-2B in Montreal, Canada, ia another WTSIM newbie. She usually likes her lentils in some sort of curry, but today she goes for a classic combination of Puy lentils and sausages. A woman after my own heart – and a perfect comfort meal for London where it’s been snowing most of the day!
It seems like this particular classic combo is a big hit in Canada because Elizabeth from Blog From OUR Kitchen in Toronto, Canada also offers us Puy lentils and sausages! Elizabeth also ponders whether I have a secret spy camera in her kitchen, after she made this dish on exactly the same day as I announced the theme. Better not tell her, then, that this recipe is almost exactly the same as the one I make! :o)
From the classics, we move on to something different entirely from Lili of Pikelet and Pie in Sydney. She turns green lentils into spicy lentil and anchovy dip which works as an accompaniment to fresh fish, but would be just as good on chunks of her potato flatbread. Inspired!
Staying with creamy-textured lentils for a moment, we pop in to visit Allen at Eating Out Loud in California. He wows us with khicheri (creamy lentils and rice) – and I still can’t believe that something that looks so indulgent and creamy can actually be good for you. Bonus!
You’d think by Autumn the weather would be about ready for a hearty soup, right? Actually not, as Kit from Food & Family near Cape Town, South Africa discovers as she finds herself cooking soup and closing the kitchen doors to keep the hotter outside air out! Check out her truly scrumptious lentil soup with its Super Secret Ingredient: stock from the Christmas gammon. Genius!
In a far more summery vein, we cross over to California where Scrumptious at In My Box is looking at the produce box and thinking salads rather than soups. But first there is a visit to a local cheesemonger where the feta cheese is anything but local and the bad attitude is on the house… BUt the day improves markedly with a lentil salad with feta, mint and orange. Can I come to lunch please??
You can tell by the nature of the recipe that we’re back in England for the next one – Niamh of Eat Like A Girl in London, UK, is clearly as much in need of comfort as I am following the dready weather. She makes a dish that is beguiling not only in it simplicity but also in its sheer, downright, mouth-watering deliciousness. I challenge you to go and look at her picture of braised sausages with potatoes and puy lentils and disagree!
Staying in the UK, we have Kittie of Kittens in the Kitchen in Brighton. She took a decision to eat more pulses and vegetable this year but was still craving risotto… what to do, what to do? But she comes up with a brilliant solution of making a pulse-otto instead. Think creamy green and red lentils spiked with red pepper and broad beans – a perfect bed on which to serve her stuffed pork tenderloin.
Staying with lentils, but moving from a supporting to a starring role, we visit James’ kitchen at Biggest Jim’s Food Blogs right here in London. Ever thought about going vegetarian but coudl not stand the thought of giving up your beloved burgers? Well with Jim’s delicious lentil and spinach burgers… you don’t have to! In fact, these sound a lot more interesting that beef burgers, and a lot better for you too
The lovely Pille of Nami-Nami in Tallin, Estonia, recently had some friends round for dinner. If the weather in Estonia has been anything like the weather here, I’m guessing everyone needed a little warming up – and what better way to do that than to indulge in a little Egyptian spicy red lentil soup? And I love the idea of serving it with coriander cream – clever Pille!
So there you have it – a smorgasbord of pulses to please the pickiest palate – from salads to soups to fritters to dips to delicious main courses, they’re all there. If I have managed to leave anybody out, a thousand apologies and please do give me a shout and I’ll add you ASAP. Thanks to everyone who participated and a special thanks to all those of you who said nice things about my choice of theme
Next month’s host is Johanna and I can’t wait to see what she has in store for us!