CULINARY THRILL SEEKING — Enjoy books and more for holiday flair

Published 12:02 am Tuesday, December 12, 2023

It’s like I had a whole speech prepared about the “new” integrated way of a country’s cooking, and how author Michal Korkosz got into cherry tomato confit, grilled apricots and charred corn soup.

But, when I turned the page to the following recipe, and got permission to share it, I had to pause and reframe.

Or is it replate?

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It’s from “Polish’d: Modern Vegetarian Cooking from Global Poland.”

Just … Enjoy.

Dreamy White Beans with Smoky Mayo

Korkosz writes: “It amazes me how people treat beans differently depending on how they are served. When beans are in a soup or stew, they are often considered boring. But when beans are bathed in olive oil and various spices and served alongside a glass of natural wine, they suddenly become the coolest. These are such beans. The trick is to cook them in an aromatic broth instead of water. You’ll want to serve them as a snack at all your parties.”

SERVES 4

2 cups white beans

1 leek, halved lengthwise

½ red onion

1 garlic head, top cut off

1 bunch mixed herbs (thyme, marjoram, rosemary)

2 teaspoons fine sea salt, plus more if desired

SMOKY MAYO

2 large egg yolks

2 tablespoons lemon juice, plus more for serving

1 garlic clove, smashed

¼ teaspoon fine sea salt

½ cup (120ml) vegetable oil

3 tablespoons cold-pressed rapeseed oil or olive oil, plus more for serving

¼ teaspoon smoked paprika, plus more for serving

Place the beans in a large pot and cover with 4 cups water. Let soak overnight or for at least 12 hours. (The beans will cook faster and be more digestible the next day.)

Drain the beans and place them back in the large pot. Add the leek, red onion, garlic head, and mixed herbs. Cover with enough water to submerge the beans. Add the salt.

Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce to medium-low. Remove the leek, red onion, garlic, and mixed herbs and save them for another use. Simmer the beans, uncovered, until they are tender and creamy, 80-90 minutes.

Meanwhile make the smoky mayo. Whisk the egg yolks, lemon juice, garlic clove and salt in a deep, medium bowl. Combine the vegetable oil and rapeseed oil in a measuring cup with a spout.

In a slow, steady stream, add the oil mixture to the egg mixture, about 1 tablespoon at a time, whisking constantly. To make this process easier, place a damp kitchen towel under the bowl to stabilize it while whisking, as you’ll be using both hands.

Make sure each addition is completely incorporated before stirring in more. It will be a saucy mayo; if you prefer it thicker, add more oil. Mix in the smoke paprika.

Serve the beans on a small plate. Top with a scoop of the mayo, drizzle with lemon juice and rapeseed oil, and sprinkle with smoked paprika and a bit of salt.

Booking It – Many writers I know have never filled a fountain pen or hammered out thoughts on one of those old-timey typewriters. Yet we still identify with them. That imagery adorns clever patterns on “The Writer’s Bookmark Box.”

Who would not love one of these to hold their place in classic book with a spine and pages to turn? Just reading some of these messages makes me feel ready to fill 2024 with new thoughts. To handle these bookmarks, and plan to share them with like minds, is a joy.

Thoughts include:

  • The World Belongs to Those Who Read
  • In a word. Note to Self … Words Have Power … To Be Continued …
  • No Risk, No Story.

Darragh Doiron is a Port Arthur area foodie all about holiday hospitality. That means sharing hers and accepting someone else’s. Email darraghcastillo@icloud.com.