Category Archives: The Nation Has An Appetite

Comfort food — a plate o’ beans

It's an off-day today. Which doesn't really distinguish today from most of the days of the past month, really, now does it?

As the parent of a vegetablearian daughter (nay -- a vegan daughter!!!111one111!!), I'm always on the lookout for simple, satisfying and repeatable dishes that I can make for the whole family. Today's contribution is drawn from the very essence of simple, satisfying, and repeatable: pinto beans.

Yea, I know. Gloppy refried beans on your tray on "Mexican food" days in school. Ugh. But I'm here to tell you that, properly made, pinto beans are sublime. And really easy to make.

My recipe has three steps to it: soaking, simmering, and finishing. While I add some minor bells and whistles, the approach is simplicity itself. Anyone can make a great bowl/plate of beans. And trust me, these are deliciously creamy and flavorful. You will question why anyone would ever buy canned refried beans after making these.
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Chaat room: Pav Bhaji

It has been mentioned once or twice that this site could use more food posts. Never let it be said that Management is unresponsive. And consider this an invitation to all with authoring privileges to contribute to this intermittent series, The Nation Has An Appetite. (If you don't have authoring privileges and have a burning desire to contribute posts, talk to the Milkman)

I recently purchased from my local grocer a handful of foil pouch packages of heat-and-serve Indian dishes, one of which I had for lunch last week at work -- Pav Bhaji, or Mashed Vegetable curry, by Kitchens of India. It was among the better $3 I've spent recently, because that stuff was delicious.

Still, I knew that I could probably make a whole vat of bhaji (the "pav" part refers to the bread that is the traditional accompaniment) for about the same price as this single serving. My mouth has been watering at the prospect for days.
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A Happy Easter Recipe

A sweet little side dish recipe to go with your Easter dinner today. Popular Greek Recipes. Buy at Amazon.com

One of my oldest and bestest friends from Spamtown is a first-generation American of Greek heritage (or, actually, generation 1.5; his dad immigrated around the time of the Greek civil war; his mom was native-born) . His family founded the legendary George's Pizza.

Mmmm, greasy pizza cut into little squares. Heaven on earth. And Uncle Dino's Gondola truly was the "Noblest Sandwich of Them All."

One of my treasured possessions is a wedding gift from George and Ethel T (you are both missed), Popular Greek Recipes, published by The Ladies of the Philoptochos Society, Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, Charleston SC. I've used this cookbook a lot over the years. It is my go-to recipe place for satziki, avgolemono soup, mousaka, pastichio, and today's recipe, fasoulakia yiahni, string beans in tomato sauce.

I will start with a faithful rendition of the recipe (p.186), then discuss modifications below.
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