Full of beans

000_0507The Sunday bean-pot has been part of my repertoire since I first had a kitchen to call my own. It takes little effort, less money, and as much creativity as you care to invest. The results are tasty, nutritious, and feed you for the better part of the week. A simple garnish makes the dish appropriate for company, even after it’s been sitting in the fridge for a few days. Make that especially after it’s been sitting in the fridge for a few days.

I don’t see a lot of recipes for black-eyed peas outside the south. This is too bad, because they’re one bean you can often find frozen, rather than dried. This means you can have beans ready to eat without a lot of soaking and simmering. Even the dried ones, I find, go pantry-to-table quicker than other varieties.

For this latest batch, I covered the dried beans with water, brought it to a boil, then turned off the heat. Before I covered the pot, I threw in a couple of dried chipotles. A couple of hours later, the beans were almost to that lovely creamy stage. I chopped the rehydrated chipotles, added some salt, and brought it to bubble again.

Because I’m lazy, I will often cook the secondary starch (potato, rice or the like) in with the beans. Here, I thought chunks of sweet potato might be nice addition to the southern spicy smoky mixture. To finish, a bit of lime—juice and zest.

Toward the end of the week, I had a leftover avocado half, so I topped one evening’s serving with a few chunks. And a few cilantro leaves. That would have been a real company dish… if it weren’t too good to share.

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