Saturday, September 26, 2009

Peruvian Beans with Roasted Peppers, Sheep Milk Feta, and Cilantro

I bought a large bag of Peruvian beans today at the farmers market in SLO. Also known as a Mayocoba bean, this tan, oval shaped bean is similar to a pinto bean in both flavor and texture, and is used quite a bit in Latin American cooking. It cooks up nice and plump, with a creamy texture and good flavor, and it holds it shape perfectly. The beans I bought today were picked and dried just recently, so they took no time to cook, about 40 minutes with no soaking. The older the bean, the longer the cooking time!

I have never worked with this bean before, so I decided to keep it simple. I had a few small red and yellow bell peppers to use up, as well as a bunch of cilantro. I also just bought a very good, very soft and creamy sheep milk feta, and decided to incorporate that as well. The below recipe is what came out, and I really like it! My 1 year old daughter and I ate these beans with a side of roasted sweet potatoes and some steamed and marinated collard greens, all from this mornings market. Autumn is by far the best time of year at the farmers market here on the central coast!

Peruvian Beans with Roasted Peppers, Sheep Milk Feta, and Cilantro
Serves 4 as an entree, 6 as an entree with tortillas

For the Beans
-1 cup freshly dried Peruvian Beans
-1 bay leaf
-1 dried chipotle pepper
-salt to taste

Pick over the beans and discard any pebbles and/or twigs. Rinse the beans well. Place in a large, heavy bottomed pot and cover with four times the amount of water. Add in the bay leaf and chipotle and bring to a boil. Turn down to a simmer, and cook the beans until tender but still holding their shape, about 40 minutes. Add salt to taste and simmer five minutes more. Strain the beans, saving the broth, and discard the bay leaf. If you like heat, mince up the chipotle and add back into the beans, otherwise, discard. Set the beans and broth aside.

To Finish
-1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
-1 small onion, diced small (about 4 ounces)
-1 small red bell pepper, roasted, peeled, seeded, and diced
-1 small yellow bell pepper, roasted, peeled, seeded, and diced
-1 large clove garlic, minced
-Cooked beans from above
-1 cup bean broth
-1/4 packed cup sheep milk feta
-1-2 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro
-salt and fresh ground white pepper to taste
-Lime wedges and fresh tortillas

Heat the extra virgin olive oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. When hot, add in the onion. Saute, stirring often, until the onions begin to soften, about 2-3 minutes. Add in the diced peppers and garlic, and saute for 2 minutes more. Add in the beans and the broth and bring to a simmer. Simmer until the liquid has reduced to about 2-3 tablespoons. Turn off the heat and stir in the feta and cilantro. Season to taste with salt and fresh ground white pepper. Serve with lime wedges and tortillas if desired.


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Crystal.0464 said...

Hi, i just rolled over your blog too, just picked up some peruvian beans and it lead me here. lol
Anyway i've got mine in the crockpot with diced tomatoes and onions and garlic and pepper to taste. Can wait to eat dinner now. Liked some of your other recipes as well. Bon Appetit`

Jackie said...

You make these Peruvian beans look so yummy! I bought some from Superior the other day and had no idea what to do with them, just that they were beans and incredibly inexpensive. I shared this recipe on my FB page. Thanks for the recipe!