Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Cheesy Beans

Lizzy asked me if I would post this, as it is an easy fix for a meal like lunch, and I really didn't know what I did before, so I made them again today and now have a rather rough "recipe."  I originally saw something like this in my More with Less cookbook, which is a great one for life overseas or just simple and frugal living anywhere.  I actually gave my copy to someone, but I think the recipe in there was called Monterey Beans.
This is one of those foods that really was just a matter of trying to give a little variety to the amount of beans we eat!  So, here is the basic run-down of what I did and a quick photo (clearly, food photography is not my calling) of the cheesy beans over some rice with some leftover veggies and olives for an easy lunch.

Cheesy Beans
You could use canned beans or dried and really any variety of beans.  I like black beans, but kidney beans work well with it as well.  Once the beans are cooked (or if you use canned ones), put them with a little bit of liquid.  I just kept some of the cooking water with mine right in the pressure cooker, but if you like to drain that off (especially if you are a bit prone to gassiness--ha, the things you say freely from life overseas!), just add in a bit of water until you can see liquid among the beans but they are not totally covered.  Kind of a preference thing on how liquidy you want them.  I probably had about 1 1/2 cups of beans and maybe 1/2 to 3/4 cup water today.
I added 1/2 of a bouillon cube and some seasonings.  This is pretty flexible, but I put in a dash of onion powder and garlic powder (though, if you don't have them, I sometimes skip these, and I don't actually like having chunks of onions or garlic in beans this way, but you could put in fresh garlic and onions), and about 1/2 teaspoon of cumin.  If your family has a higher threshold for spiciness than mine, a dash of chili powder or sauce is nice in these.  
I then added...ugh, not loving admitting this...processed cheese!  You could try it with actual cheese, but I think it would get a bit stringy, and what I like about these is the smooth, sort of creamy texture.  So, yeah, I did it.  I tend to use whatever is available.  The slices actually work really well and melt much faster.  Despite one of the only actual advantages of processed cheese being that it melts well, some of it here really takes a long time.  Today I used 3 of the Britannia brand of cheese cubes.  Anything would work (think Velveeta or Amul or whatever you have available).  If you have something that melts faster, though, wait a bit to add it.
I brought the liquid to a boil and then simmered it all together, stirring occasionally because the cheese starts to burn before it actually melts!, for about 10 minutes.

That's it.  My super gourmet dish. :)  It's nice to have as a quick lunch to add a smidge of variety to the parade of beans and lentils that we have, though, so there you have it.

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