Donna Currie my fellow blogger and food writer of Cookistry introduced me to Marx Foods which is a gourmet boutique, traditionally catering as high-end restaurant distributor and now available to home chefs via their online retail store.
Marx Foods sent me some samples for their upcoming recipe contest: Beans for Breakfast. When I saw that the contest was about Beans, my first honest reaction was “Oh! this is a piece of cake!”. Little did I know that the rules were Beans and Breakfast. Hmm, I think I might have spoken too soon.
If you aren’t already aware, I was born and raised in Delhi (Capital of India). Speaking of Indian Food, traditional Indian breakfast is savory and spicy, and hardly ever sweet. By contrast I find that breakfast dishes here in the States tend to me more sweet than savory, ranging from pancakes, pastries, fresh fruit medley, granola etc.
Beans are a staple Indian ingredient especially for the vegetarian community. My mom and immediate maternal extended family are purely vegetarian; not even eggs are consumed in their diet. You can very well imagine what an ordeal it can be trying to cook with such stringent restrictions on a daily basis, especially for a person like myself who considers herself an omnivorous eater (who will eat just about anything cooked or raw). But with perseverance and practice, I have managed to create many a vegetarian dishes to please my biggest food critics – my family.
That said, the more I brainstormed the Bean for Breakfast contest, it intrigued and attracted me even more. So, what can I bring that is unique to the contest? After all the criteria was only beans, breakfast, and an original recipe.
Quoting Marx Foods:
Use of the theme ingredient (beans) will be considered, but mostly just to the extent that we want the winning recipe to prominently feature the beans as an ingredient. You are welcome to transform them and use them however you wish.
Now that statement in itself allowed me to open my pandora’s box of cooking!!
Using these thoughts as my benchmark, I embarked on my mission to create a fusion of savory, spicy, and sweet flavors, which in essence should tantalize my mother’s taste buds. A tad sweet and a lot spicy like my own personality.
I was provided three different types of beans: Marrow Beans, Mayacoba Beans (aka Canary Beans), and Adzuki Beans. After soaking and boiling them in a pressure cooker, based on their individual tastes, the menu I came up with was:
Mayacoba Beans: Not so Sweet Bean & Apple Fruit Tart and Protein Shake
Marrow Beans: Eggs Benedict – Panko Crusted Bean & Chorizo Patty Drizzled with Poblano Hollandaise Sauce
Adzuki Beans: Huevos Rancheros with Indian Spiced Beans, Egg, Avocado, and Paprika Aioli.
Recipe and Photography by The Primlani Kitchen
Food Styling by Callie Barge
Not So Sweet Bean & Apple Fruit Tart with Protein Shake
How about starting your morning with a savory/sweet fruit pie with a healthy protein shake?
Since, I had decided to make two savory and one sweet dish (ode to breakfast pastries); I chose Mayacoba beans for this dish. I personally found them to be the sweetest.
- For the Filling
- 1 Cup Mayacoba Beans
- 1/2 Cup Golden Raisins, diced
- 1/2 Cup Almonds, chopped
- 1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp Kosher Salt
- 1/4 tsp Cardamom Powder
- 1/2 tsp Pink Peppercorn, ground
- 1/2 Cup Dark Brown Sugar
- 1 tsp Orange Extract
- 2 -4 Apples, peeled and sliced thin (soak in lemon water)
- 1 recipe Pate Brisee (I use fresh thyme or rosemary in the dough)
- Soak the beans overnight. Boil them in a pressure cooker with 2 whistles*. Cool and drain the liquid.
- Coarsely mash the cooked beans and add all ingredients for the filling. Mix Well. Adjust seasonings based on preference.
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
- Roll the dough into mini tartlet or any pans with removable bottoms. Fill the pans with beans, top with sliced apples, and bake for 12-15 minutes.
- Serve as is or with a dollop of apple or habenero-fruit jelly.
-This recipe makes 4-6 based on the size of your pan.
Fruit, Bean, and Protein Shake
Beans are an excellent, non-fat source of protein. Just one cup of beans provides as much as 16 grams of protein. Additionally, beans are loaded with complex carbohydrates, fiber,calcium, potassium, and folate. So why not add them to my protein shake? I usually douse a huge glass of protein shake right after my morning routine of ‘Insanity’.
The best part of this drink is that one can create endless permutations of flavors based on the fresh ingredients at hand.
- 1 Cup of Non Fat Milk
- 2 Tbs Bean Pie Filling
- 1/2 Avocado
- 1 Scoop Whey, Protein Powder of choice
- 1 Banana
- 1/2 Cup Cranberries
- 1/2 Cup Grapes
- 1/4 Cup Almonds
- 1 tsp Agave Syrup (feel free to substitute with choice sweetener)
- Blend all ingredients in mixer till smooth.
Panko Crusted Bean & Chorizo Patty, Poached Eggs, Drizzled with Poblano Hollandaise Sauce
If I had to choose one breakfast dish which pleased all my senses, it would be the Eggs Benedict. It was Love at first bite!! I had to sneak it in this challenge some how!
In case you are wondering what is unique about these Eggs Benedict? It’s a medley of all the flavors/textures I relish the most literally in one bite. Luscious sauce, super crunchy and spicy hash patty, light biscuit, and last but not least, my obsession – a perfectly poached egg running through the patty. Sublime!!
Since Marrow beans have characteristics similar to bacon, it was the natural choice for this dish.
- For Bean Patties:
- 1 Cup Marrow Beans
- 2 Eggs, whisked
- 3 Fresh Sausage Links (I used Chorizo. You can substitute with beef, lamb, turkey, pork)
- 1 Onion, diced
- 1 Red or Yellow Pepper, diced
- 1 Cup Panko + more to coat
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- 1 tsp Smoked Paprika
- Cilantro or Parsley, chopped
- 1 Stick Butter
- 2 Egg Yolks
- 1 Poblano Pepper, roasted and skinned
- 2 tsp Vinegar
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- Biscuits or English Muffins to serve with.
- Poached Eggs
- Soak the beans overnight and cook in pressure cooker with two whistles*. Drain liquid, cool, and puree.
- Saute onions and peppers till softened.
- Remove the sausages from skin and saute till brown.
- Gently mix beans, onions/pepper mixture, sausages, eggs, parsley, s & p, paprika, and 1 cup of panko. Ensure the beans are dry otherwise they will break while frying.
- Make small sized patties and coat with additional panko for crunch.
- Shallow fry in olive oil till brown on both sides.
- Melt the butter for the sauce.
- Blend the pepper and yolks for a few seconds.
- Gently drizzle melted butter and vinegar till the sauce emulsifies.
- Adjust salt and pepper.
- Make the poached eggs.
- Slice the biscuit or English muffin. Top with bean patty, poached egg, and drizzle with sauce.
Enjoy!! It is going to be a great day!!
Last but not least, Huevos Rancheros a dish which very few restaurants have mastered the art to perfect. Hence, I had to resort to making my own. My Indian spirit is having a field day here.
Huevos Rancheros – The Primlani Way
Not having the pleasure of tasting Adzuki Beans before this challenge; research on the web indicated that it is typically used in South Eastern confectionery. Initially, this was my first choice for the bean/apple pie. To me the taste, surprisingly resonated Rajma (see my intro). I swiftly improvised and used these for my Indian inspired Huevos Rancheros.
- 1 Cup Adzuki Beans
- 2 Garlic Cloves
- 1 Onion, pureed
- 3 Tomatoes
- 1 Indian Green Chili or Jalapeno
- Indian Spices: Red Chili Powder, Turmeric, Coriander Powder
- 1 Cinnamon Stick
- 2 Star Anise Pods
- Salt to Taste
- Flour Tortillas
- Cilantro-Jalapeno Oil
- Smoked Paprika Aioli
- Fried Eggs
- Soak the beans overnight. Cook in a pressure cooker with 1 whistle*.
- Saute onion, cinnamon stick, and star anise in clarified butter till dark brown.
- Puree tomatoes, garlic, and chili. Add to the onions.
- Add Indian Spices and saute the mixture till oil separates the tomatoes, approximately 5 minutes on medium heat.
- Gently mix beans to the sauce and simmer for 5 minutes for flavors to marry.
- Warm the tortilla.
- Spread some beans on the tortilla.
- Top with fried eggs and avocado slices.
- Drizzle jalapeno oil and aioli.
- Serve immediately.
* Traditional Indian bean/lentil cooking is done in a pressure cooker and gauged by the number of whistles. The beans literally take 10 minutes or less to cook depending on their size. My apologies as I don’t know the timing for cooking from an open pan.
I made these recipes for the very first time while in Test Mode. The seasonings might need a watchful eye (I tend to make things on the spicier side).
♥ In case you are curious regarding the results of the taste testing:
The Bean & Apple Pie won the unanimous vote, hands down. Uniqueness might have played a big part here. The spiciness of pink peppercorns coupled with sweet beans plays tricks on your palate.
Second place went to the Eggs Benedict. I guess the super crunchiness and creamy sauce married well.
Sigh! my personal favorite Huevous Rancheros lost here. Was it too simple compared to the other dishes? My gluttonous soul loved it, so I am happy. Either ways, between the three breakfast entrees, one of them will surely appeal to your palate. Do shoot me a note which one you enjoyed the best.
Food for Thought:
Food can be an extension of one’s personality too. To me, what a person eats or cooks is a clear reflection of who they are. Haven’t you formed an image of me, after browsing through a few of my posts? Is it an accurate perception? Well, for that you and I will have to break some bread together!
Until then, let’s enjoy and share each others individualism over the virtual world. Happy Eating Foodie Friends!!