Friday, November 11, 2011

Feijões ala Erick

This recipe comes from my friend, Erick, who lives in Brazilia, the capitol of Brazil. Aside from the beans (I used pinto but I think other beans could be used with equally good results) the chief ingredient in the recipe is garlic paste, something that his family uses in many of their recipes. (I'm thinking that with so much garlic being used, there can't be many vampires in Brazil, a thought that ruins my crazy fantasies of a place I've yet to visit but have fallen in love with like a place you only imagine or read about in a book.)
If you have access to a mortar and pestle, this is the easiest way to make garlic paste. Smash two large cloves (or teeth if you're in the land of "Ordem e Progresso") and place them in the mortar with a large pinch of salt and grind them to a paste. The other method is to mash them, add salt and work them into a paste on a cutting board with the broad side of a chef's knife. Either way this is enough for the recipe that will follow.
The treatment of the beans are much different than the ways I was taught to make them which are to either soak them overnight in cold water or to boil them for two minutes and let them sit, covered, for an hour. It seems that the Brasileiro wants his beans and wants them now! He doesn't have time to wait all night or even a few hours. He will starve to death and miss his day at the beach. This is where the pressure cooker comes into play. I will give you my method. (Erick may have his own but he hasn't divulged that secret to me yet.) After going over your beans to make sure there are no stones or clumps of dirt among them, wash and place in a pressure cooker with 3 times the amount of water. Place on heat and let pressure rise to 15 psi.
(If you don't have a pressure cooker that measures psi, just wait until the weight starts rocking in a slow yet steady motion and keep it there.) Let it cook for 2 minutes and then cool in down under running water. Open and drain the water from the beans then add the same amount of water and return them to the heat cooking them at the same pressure for 15 minutes. Again, cool the pot down under running water and drain the n0w-cooked beans.

Feijões ala Erick

1 cup dry beans
Garlic paste (above)
2 tablespoons oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Make beans in the method mentioned above.
Fry garlic paste in heated oil. Add beans and a little water mashing the beans on the side of the pot with the back of a wooden spoon.
Season to taste.
Serve with rice.

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