A couple of days ago I spotted the most gorgeous gigantic purple-black beans at the local market and bought them on the spot (picture attached if you are curious). I googled frantically -- alas the seller did not know the name -- and identified them to be of the Large Black Speckled Kidney Beans variety. I resisted the temptation to keep them in a jar, as Maedl wisely suggested, and, being the kidney beans, envisioned my purchase in a smoky salad or stew with sundried tomatoes, pimenton de la vera and olive oil. That is, until I cooked them. Once cooked, my beans tasted like chestnuts, oh they were even yummier than chestnuts, but the new flavor required a new dish. The sundried tomatoes ended up in a fridge as a smoky pesto (more on that to come), while we ended up with a new favorite dish! Needless to say, you can always substitute my fake chestnuts with the real ones. —QueenSashy
cooked and drained Large Black Speckled Kidney beans (or equal amount of cooked and peeled chestnuts)
dried oyster mushrooms
carrots (about 4oz), coarsely shredded
sunflower oil (or any other cooking oil)
In a small saucepan, bring the broth to a boil. Remove from the heat and add the mushrooms. Let the mushrooms soften for about 10min. Drain the mushrooms and chop them into small pieces. Reserve the liquid.
In a large sauté pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook for about two minutes. Add the carrots and continue to cook for another five minutes. Reserve ½ cup of the beans and add the rest to the pan. Add the rosemary and the reserved mushroom liquid, and bring to a simmer over medium-low heat.
Using a fork, smash the reserved beans until smooth, and add to the pan. Season with salt and pepper and continue to simmer for about 15-20 minutes, until the liquid has thickened and the beans are covered with a thick sauce. Poor the heavy cream into the pan and simmer for another minute or two, and you are done.
Serve as a side to roasted meats or grilled lamb and pork chops (although I savored the dish on its own, with a slice of country bread and a glass of Chardonnay).
Aleksandra aka QueenSashy is a scientist by day, and cook, photographer and doodler by night. When she is not writing code and formulas, she blogs about food, life and everything in between on her blog, Three Little Halves. Three Little Halves was nominated for 2015 James Beard Awards and the finalist for 2014 Saveur Best Food Blog Awards. Aleksandra lives in New York City with her other two halves, Miss Pain and Dr. V.