Sometimes I just don’t want to cook. Except I also don’t want to eat outside, nor do I crave take-out or prepackaged stuff. Yes I’m spoiled, I like homemade food. It’s just unfortunate that it’s my home and the husband, while an amazing cook and spice master extraordinaire, hasn’t really made the kitchen his full-time home. More like a timeshare.
In instances like this, simple mash ups are my best friend. Like tonight: I had a nice fajita style medley of peppers sauteed the night before, along with some other goodies, but I needed something with oomph to knock it out of the park and really fill us up. So you play with what’s on hand: corn and beans.
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 1/4 cup of chopped coriander leaves
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 can organic black beans, drained and rinsed
- 4 dried red chilis (or 1/2 tsp chili powder)
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 ear of corn (I bought 5 or 6 ears of sweet white corn at the market. good stuff baby!)
- 4-5 curry leaves
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Fresh squeeze of lime
Seems like a lot of ingredients having listed them all, but it goes by quick. First off, cook the corn (boil or steam). Once that’s going, heat up 2 tbsp of olive oil in a pot and start sauteing the onions and garlic. After a few minutes add the coriander leaves and chili (or powder) and the cumin seeds. I like to sizzle and pop the cumin seeds as much as possible, get the sweet essential oils and flavors roasted out of those suckers.
Eventually the aroma will be too much to handle; that’s the right moment to add the beans so they can absorb the scintillating brilliance that’s brewing. Let them stew up for a time, your corn should be ready now. Remove it from heat and rinse in cool water. Once at a decent handling temperature, cut the kernels off. One easy way to do this is to place a small bowl upside down in a larger one. Then stand the corn on the small bowl, holding it upright. With a knife slowly cut/scrape the cooked kernels of corn off, rotating the corn when you finish a side. I learned that from Rachael Ray. Good woman.
Mix the corn into the beans, and add some salt and ground black pepper now to your liking. Drizzle a little water in and cover the pot so the beans can soften ups bit more. This will give them the perfect mashable texture I so desired and you will too. Let simmer for about 3-4 minutes.
In a small frying pan, separately fry your curry leaves to a browned crisp (but don’t burn them!), then add to the beans for a final toss. At this point you can: mash the beans with a fork, stick in a blender to make extra smooth, or mash up with your freshly washed hands if you had a tough day at work and need to pulverize something.
Whatever you choose, you now have a corny bean mash that brings humor and levity to the bedraggled soul. A touch of squeezed lime at the end will bring a bigger smile to your face too. Perfect as a dip, a burrito filling, mixed with rice and peppers, or just as a delightful nibbler.
And because I’m feeling corny… What did the baby corn say to his mom?
“Where’s pop corn?” *insert wild guffaws here* ;)