Hopefully I did not lose you at beans for dessert. Stick with me on this.Bean desserts are common in Vietnamese cuisine (che đậu). Lots of variety and add-ins (pandan, coconut, tapioca pearls). They likely started with digestive benefit in mind, which for this recipe is hypothetically applied given the ginger (gừng). You should just eat them because you like them or maybe your mother in law made them and it gets you brownie points (mmm, brownies).
chè đậu gừng / gingery sweet beans dessert recipe
Ingredients for generous 4-6 servings in a bowl or lots of spoon-sized bites (~ 40)
1 cup dried beans
4 cups of water plus a lot more for overnight soaking
Crushed ginger in a jar or smashed whole ginger, about 2 tablespoons
at least 1 cup of sugar
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of salt to balance out sweet at the end
Crystallized ginger for topping
re-useable tea bag or holder if using crushed ginger
Soak the dry beans at least overnight, 12 -16 hours. Rinse beans and discard the soaking/rinsing water.
In a saucepan, add 4 cups fresh water and beans. Bring to a boil and then let them simmer for about an hour. Stir occasionally and check to see how they are softening up. You could also do this in your pressure cooker and dramatically reduce the time but I like to taste and adjust as I go with this recipe.
Add in the sugar and ginger. I put the crushed ginger from the jar in a loose tea bag (the paper kind) but you could use a tea ball etc. Basically you want to be able to remove the ginger before serving. Stir and keep simmering for another 30 minutes. Add in some additional water 1/2 cup or so if it has evaporated.
Taste and see if the balance of sweet and ginger is how YOU like it. Add a little salt. Mix last again. If you want sweeter, add more sugar, a little at a time, maybe a teaspoon or so. More ginger, add more or let it steep longer.
If you have the time, make the day before and after simmering leave the ginger bag in to steep.
When ready to serve, remove ginger, stir well and either heat back up and serve hot or serve cold.
Optional but nice touch, add some sliced crystallized ginger either on top or mixed in.
For this recipe I used mixed dried beans from my CSA box. Suggested beans to try include: black-eyed peas, kidney, broad (hyacinth) or red beans. Do not limit yourself. You can also use canned beans but need to watch the cooking time to avoid mush.
Recipe is adapted from Diana My Tran’s book The Vietnamese Cookbook.
I am really loving my All American Pressure cooker (thank you hubs for the awesome Christmas gift!). Quite a few people have asked for recipes that I enjoy in the pressure cooker and I am falling behind in posting about them and don’t want the blog to be too overrun with food. Here is a collection of links or snapshots of dishes I make, maybe a quick synopsis and photos. Please comment and share your recipes as well.
Beer Braised Pork Belly from dadcooksdinner.com [amaze-balls good! #sorrynotsorry that the photo isn’t awesome]
Thai Green Chicken Curry With Eggplant and Kabocha Squash from seriouseats.com [with this one I found the Thai Kitchen green curry in a jar boring and not very curry-isa or spicy and will not use that brand again]
Recipes adapted from Great Big Book Pressure Cooker book by Weinstein & Scarbrough
** This is a book that you will want a hard copy version of to jot your own notes and try all the recipes. This is my affiliate link for Amazon. Visit bruceandmark.com for more information about them.**
Lamb, White Bean and Dried Cranberry Soup: amazing flavor, don’t skip the cranberries-12 hours was perfect for the beans, I used 1/3 cup to empty the bag, thyme instead of sage. Either add more beans or more lamb than stated. I will get a photo next time.
Short Ribs Braised in Saffron and Olives: used tomato instead of peppers, fresh herbs vs. dry and bone in ribs. One of our favorites, yet no photo. hmmm.. 🙂
Pork Carnitas: so many recipes for this out there but this one was tasty and not dry. Followed as written, mostly.
Pork Ribs with Mediterranean Spices: used country style ribs, about 2 pounds. Serve with sriracha
Sausage or Chicken Kale and Pasta Casserole: i added a pound of kale (weight before destemming) and the recipe could handle more if you need or want to use a lot up; I used can crushed san marzano tomatoes not diced, added a cup of sliced mushrooms about 1.25 pounds chicken breast that I salted and peppered (instead of sausage); and added fresh basil at the end with some parmesan cheese. Definitely use whole wheat pasta. It was just the right texture. I couldn’t find a cubanelle so added green bell pepper during cooking and chili pepper flakes at the end to individual bowls.
Ground Lamb Stew with Sweet Potatoes, Leeks and Dried Apricots: this is tasty and hearty, could use less meat potentially and still be amazing. I also added 3 sliced carrots and will omit almonds the next time or sprinkle them on top before serving vs. during cooking.
Buttery Curried Red Kidney Beans: this makes a lot of beans and they didn’t turn as creamy per se but still tasty. I think i might need to soak even longer or cook longer to get curried. I actually used these beans first as a side, then drained on top of salad and to use them up in some quick enchiladas that clean out the fridge!
Herbed Mashed Potatoes: super easy and quick. Slice potatoes in half or quarter if really big, place in pressure cooker, cover with water so that they are about an inch submerged. Heat to high pressure for 6 minutes. Let pressure release using quick method. Drain out water and potatoes. Mine were falling apart. In the pressure cooker add some olive oil or butter, add garlic for about 1 minute and add the fresh herbs all minced up: rosemary, sage, thyme, oregano etc. Cook the garlic and herb for a quick minute until fragrant, add back in potatoes, turn heat off or down to simmer. and start mashing with a wood spoon, masher or if still pretty chunky you could do a mixer. Add in either some milk or yogurt (used goat milk yogurt) and pinch of salt and fresh cracked pepper. Mix up and serve!
To be continued – this post will be updated as new recipes are tried and approved for repeat table appearance.
Frijoles Negros! I am really enjoying making beans in the pressure cooker. The key is remembering to soak them the night before but the texture is great and you can’t beat the speed. Again, sorry to sound repetitive but seriously love the Great Big Pressure Cooker Book, my recipe is based on the Cuban Bean recipe they share, but there are lots of others out there to look at, just make sure you have enough liquid for the beans really.
A couple of notes. I had part of a smoked ham hock left from the pig we purchased. You could also use bacon or sausage/chorizo or pancetta or ham in this recipe. Also, I used some lamb broth along with chicken that I had on hand. The 2 cups of dried black beans makes a very generous portion for 8-10 people, depending how well you know one another and how much you like beans.
2 cups dried black beans. Soaked overnight. Rinse and drained when ready to cook
1-2 tablespoons olive oil, glug glug
1/2 pound of chopped pork product (smoked hock, ham, bacon, sausage etc)
2 medium yellow or white onions, chopped, at least 1- 1 1/2 cups
1 bell pepper seeded/chopped, green or other colors, medium to large in size
1 tablespoon freshly zested orange peel, eat the orange
2 teaspoons of minced garlic
3 teaspoon fresh oregano or about 2 1/2 teaspoon dried oregeno
for some heat! 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (or add more or omit)
2 bay leaves
1 whole cinnamon stick, 3-4 inches
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar or sherry vinegar or apple cider vinegar, just not white vinegar
1 tablespoon brown sugar, packed
4 cups chicken broth or stock (or lamb as noted above)
1/2 cup loosely filled with chopped cilantro (if you have it, if not, no worries)
Prep beans by soaking overnight and draining them
Heat up olive oil in pressure cooker pot. Add the chopped pork (ham hock etc) and stir and cook it until it browns and little flavor bits start to form on the bottom of the pot.
Add the onion and bell pepper. Cooking and staring until onion becomes translucent. 5minutes or so.
Add in the orange peal zest, garlic, oregano, red peppa, bay leaves and full cinnamon stick. Proclaim something like “boom” or a line from a spice girls tune.
Stir the ingredients around until the spices start to become more fragrant. This will happen pretty quick, about 60 seconds. Don’t over do this part.
Add in the vinegar, brown sugar. Stir constantly until sugar is melted. Things are probably starting to stick to the pan. This is flavor. DOn’t panic.
Add in the broth. Add first about 1 cup and start to deglaze the pan and scrape up flavor bits. Then add the rest of the broth. Stir.
Add the beans and cilantro.
Pressure cooking time! Heat up your locked and loaded cooker to 15PSI. Give it 12 minutes cooking once at goal. When done, a-ok to use quick release pressure method.
Before serving, pick out the bay leaves and cinnamon stick. and if you can wait, simmer the pot with lid off for 5-10 minutes to reduce the liquid in the beans. No one could wait for me to do that step, so I used a slotted spoon to serve.
Serve as a side dish. If you put it next to rice (check out this lamb and chickpea rice dish i made and served alongside) you have a Cuban favorite Moros y Christianos. I also like cold beans on my salads for lunch. We certainly ate our fair share of Moors and Christians on our awesome, pre-reopening-US-Embassy Cuba trip. (I have a few other posts about the trip as well here and here.)
Some other cuban black bean approaches
Vegetarian, no added sugar, special Goya seasoning with tomatoes by My Life as a Mrs.
I have been making this soup since my resident assistant days in college. The lady I babysat for gave me several of her favorite recipes and this was among them. Don’t be turned off by all the canned items in the ingredient list. This just makes it pantry friendly but I use fresh tomatoes (or mix of canned and fresh), onions, garlic and on occasion even fresh corn. Homemade chicken stock is also tasty but not essential, vegetable stock would work just fine too for a vegetarian version. Feel free to get adventurous with the toppings. I love fresh avocado and sour cream (or plain yogurt) but shredded chicken (leftovers!) or pork, salsa, pepitas, cheese (cojita, cheddar, Monterey jack) etc, are all delightful. This soup recipe is easily doubled and could also be frozen. Serve alone, or with tortilla chips or rice.
Adapted from Mills and Ross’s Desperation Dinner speedy black bean soup. This recipe truly is speedy but also simple, flexible and tasty. Give it more time and the flavors mingle even more.
Herbs and Spices!
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground chili powder
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried oregano
3 bay leaves
Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste (but only at the end)
Two 15 ounce cans of black beans, i prefer no salt, organic
One medium onion chopped, about 3/4 cup
Two teaspoons olive oil
Chicken broth/stock, between 1 1/2 and 2 cups (1 can is 14.5 oz)
One approx. 15 ounce can of sweet corn kernels
One can approx. 15 ounce stewed or dice tomatoes (if you use Mexican stewed, adjust the herbs and spices; if you use diced maybe mash a few and add some tomato paste for extra saucieness)
A clove or about 1 teaspoon minced garlic
One teaspoon or glug of balsamic vinegar
How to do it!
Using large soup pot or Dutch Oven, heat the olive oil and add the chopped onion. Stirring frequently to brown the onions. After a few minutes with medium heat, add the garlic and keep browning.
While the onions and garlic are cooking, open one can of beans, pour into a small bowl and mash the beans to make a lumpy paste. I like to use my pastry cutter but you can use a spoon or fork or immersion blender (for like two seconds!).
Drain the corn. You do not need the liquid for the recipe.
When onions and garlic are nice and cooked (browned some and a bit translucent), add in the chicken stock, stirring to get any browned bits up. Raise the heat some and bring to a boil. Open the second can of bean and pour it in, beans and liquid, add the mashed beans as well. Stir stir!
Add the corn and tomatoes. Stir.
Add the cumin, chili powder, thyme, bay leaves, vinegar and oregano. I use fresh herbs sometimes too. Stir stir!
Turn down heat and let the soup simmer down for a while, maybe 10 minutes, or more if dinner isn’t ready yet. 🙂 Stir it every now and then.
When closer to serving time, taste test it. Add more salt if it needs it (consider if your canned items had salt, your broth etc), add some fresh ground black pepper.
A burst of flavor for the eyes and taste buds! Embrace the anchovy and witness the wondrous transformation. This simple salad is actually quite hearty, great way to use up veggies (limitless additions) and definitely healthy with olive oil, beans and brightly colored greens. Serve up alone or alongside grilled chicken or shrimp skewers. I will be toting this along for sure to picnics this summer. Thank you Martha Stewart Living (June 2013) for this weeknight dinner springboard. I whipped up the salad sans cheese (I forgot) and served with tacos from our favorite taco truck for a quick dinner. Lunch leftovers rivaled the supper version, given the flavors’ time to really mingle.
Roasted Bell Pepper Salad with Anchovy White Beans
4 medium red, yellow or orange bell peppers
Salt and pepper, fresh ground
2 anchovy filets packed in oil, minced (about 1 ½ T)
1 garlic clove minced
2 teaspoons sherry vinegar or rice wine vinegar
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
¼ cup chopped fresh flat leafed parsley
1 can (15 ounces) small white beans, drained and rinsed
2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, grated (optional, I think you could sub feta or cojita in nicely too)
1 cup packed spicy baby greens, such as watercress or arugula
Slice the peppers into 6-8 pieces (wide enough they won’t fall through the grill), clean out seeds and char over the flams of a gas burner or bbq. Alternatively, you can char them in the broiler for 2-3 minutes. Move the rack closer to char quicker and not lose crunch. Let peppers cool. If in a rush, do like I and put them on a plat and stuff in freezer for a few minutes. Martha roasted them whole and then scraped off the skins – I like the char on…
Whisk together anchovies, garlic, vinegar, oil and parsley in a medium bowl. I think you could use anchovy paste in lieu of filets, but maybe a little less. Add beans and toss to coat. Season gently with salt and some pepper (anchovies are salty and potentially the cheese too).
Build the salad on each plate by layering greens on bottom, peppers and then beans. Alternatively (like I), mix the beans and peppers and if serving right away mix in some of the greens. You can always add more later. Top with cheese if you choose.
I think that you could add in grilled zucchini, corn, use mini sweet peppers, try garbanzo beans, add cucumbers or cherry tomatoes.
Ever wonder where baby peppers come from? Found one! [just kidding, peppers don’t have babies] Just a stream of consciousness. But some real bell pepper facts include:
Member of the Capsicum genus, BUT is the only one that does not produce capsaicin, the substance that makes pepper hot (and burns)
One large red bell pepper contains just over 200 mg of vitamin C. Almost THREE times that of the average orange
China is the largest producer, followed by Mexico
I have never successfully grown them. I was given some health starts for my birthday several years ago but I think the wet-sun balance in Seattle was a bit “off” that year and I don’t yet have a green house.