🐙 🐙 Tender Charred Octopus 🐙 🐙
Royal Corona Beans, Charred Tomato, Jalapeño, and Lemon
Fried Capers, Fresh Oregano, Olive Oil
What better way to celebrate our great spring weather than with a charred smoky octopus appetizer? Truth be told, we actually cook outside on the Blaze Grill all year long here in Las Vegas, but it is especially nice in April when it’s not too hot and not too cold.
Here I begin with Cooked Octopus Tentacles (Pulpo Cocido). Among other places, this product can be found in the refrigerated seafood section at Costco. The octopus is from the Eastern Central Atlantic Ocean, a product of Spain. It has already been cleaned and tentacles have been separated from the head. Preparation is as easy as opening the package.
The tender pre-cooked octopus is marinated in olive oil and dried oregano, then grilled until it is hot, smoky, and charred. It is plated with enormous creamy royal corona beans; charred tomatoes, jalapeños, and lemons; and fried capers. It is so tasty, colorful, and impressive that your guests will definitely think “restaurant quality.” Crusty bread makes a great accompaniment, along with a local IPA or a nice Sauvignon Blanc.
Charred Octopus Appetizer Recipe
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⭐️⭐️ Hatch Chile Stew ⭐️⭐️
With Chicken and Heirloom Beans
Tortilla Strips, Sour Cream, Avocado, Radish, Cilantro
Hatch Chile Aficionados, you’re gonna love this stew! It is chock-full of a whole pound of fire-roasted chopped Hatch chiles. But don’t worry, I used the mild ones so it is not too spicy, just bursting with New Mexico green chile goodness. There is also red Hatch chile powder in the recipe for another layer of chile flavor and so you can adjust the spice-level to your liking. 🔥
Chicken and heirloom beans make it a hearty meal while all the garnishes give it pizzazz. Home-fried tortilla strips are dusted with Hatch chile powder and give the stew a spicy Southwest crunch. Sour cream, avocado, radish, and cilantro bring creamy, peppery, and herby notes. Unlike some stews where chicken and/or beans take center stage and chiles play a supporting role, here, the chiles are the star. ⭐️
Hatch Chiles are chile pepper varieties commercially cultivated in the Hatch Valley of Southern New Mexico. It is said that the soil and climate of the area contribute to the especially pleasing flavor of the chiles. (from Fresh Chile Co. here) 🌶
Hatch Chile Stew with Chicken, Heirloom Beans Recipe
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Slow-Braised Lamb Shanks
Smoky Cassoulet Beans
With Kalamata Olives and Cherry Tomatoes
This is the second of two quick, slow-braised lamb shank dinners. QUICK and SLOW? Yes, as the lamb shanks are already slow-braised, from the refrigerated section at Costco. Are they as good as home-cooked braised shanks that take 2 1/2 hours? Of course not, but for a fast impressive meal, they rock. And the beautiful beans here are cooked one day ahead so assembling the entire dish takes less than 30 minutes.
The beans from Rancho Gordo are grown in California from classic French Tarbais seed stock. This white runner bean was developed over generations by French farmers to be the foundation for a traditional cassoulet. The combination of beans, olives, and tomatoes simmered with smoked paprika and red wine paired with lamb is heavenly.
Gremolata – a mix of chopped fresh parsley/lemon zest/garlic – adds an invigorating freshness and brightness to most braised meats. It builds another interesting layer onto this outstanding dish.
Lamb Shanks and Cassoulet Beans Recipe
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Heirloom Bean and Tomato Crostone
Have you been baking a lot of bread during this pandemic time? More than you and your family can possibly eat? Maybe you have some slices in the freezer? Here is a delightful meatless meal to use the remainder of the bread that may be becoming a little hard and stale.
The flavorful bean broth rehydrates the toast…and for such a simple dish, this crostone is really extraordinary. Butter AND olive oil add rich mouthfeel while colorful cherry tomatoes add sweetness. Fresh thyme adds herbaceous earthiness while yellow eye beans bring a deep creaminess. It’s a peasant-style vegetarian dish drenched in flavor and texture, and is extremely satisfying. And extremely economical.
Heirloom Bean and Tomato Crostone Recipe
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Chicken Soup with Lima Beans
Whether one has over-indulged over the holidays or not, Chicken Soup with Lima Beans is perfect for the New Year. The soup is light and lemony, but definitely rich enough to satisfy. It’s chock-full of vegetables and protein, plus it is lower in carbs and higher in fiber than traditional chicken noodle soup.
The secret to its greatness is creamy-buttery large white lima beans from Rancho Gordo that cook up beautifully smooth and tender. They taste more like fresh vegetables than other beans.
Bean Lover’s Gift Box
I’m looking forward to sharing many more bean recipes this year on Taste With The Eyes! My gift box included Black Eyed Peas (recipe here), Christmas Limas, White Limas, Yellow Eye, Pozole, and Classic Cassoulet Beans plus a wonderful book, French Beans by Georgeanne Brennan.
Chicken Soup with Lima Beans Recipe
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