My good friend, Karen Syke’s daughter, Lesley Sykes started a business last year. PRIMARY BEANS sells beans exclusively; lots of varieties, many of which are organic. Starting a new business at any time can be challenging, but starting during a pandemic is daunting. Lesley has done it and has done it very well. Take a look at her website: www.primarybeans.com.
Lesley is passionate about beans and set out to provide a high quality product. Each package of beans are labeled with the location where they are grown and also dated so you know that the beans you are buying are fresh. This does make a difference, both in terms of flavor and texture. Old beans are hard. Sometimes they never completely cook.
I decided to try the Michelet bean first as I was not familiar with that variety. Lesley describes these beans as “mild, creamy, delicate”. They were all of that and delicious, too! First, I will share how I cooked the beans and, next I will share the recipe I made with the beans.
TO COOK MICHELET BEANS:
1 lb. Michelet beans
1 small shallot, diced; about 1/2 cup
2 cloves garlic, diced; about 2 fat Tbsp.
Big sprig of fresh rosemary
1 Qt. Chicken stock (more or less, as needed); preferably rich and home-made
2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
|Always rinse beans before cooking and check for any little stones.
I did not pre-soak these beans and they cooked perfectly in about 1 1/2 hours. I am guessing because the beans are fresh they cooked faster.
Put all ingredients in a saucepan. The stock should cover the beans by about 2 inches. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to low simmer and cook until beans are tender, but not mushy. Check beans as they cook to make sure the chicken stock has not reduced. Add more stock to keep beans submerged during the cooking if it has. Taste and season with more salt and pepper if needed. As they cooked, these Michelet’s developed a rich, thick and luscious sauce. I like to cook the whole pound of beans at one time as there are so many different ways to use them. I cooked the beans the day before making this meal.
WILD SALMON WITH MICHELET BEANS, WILTED SPINACH AND MANGO
TOPPED WITH POMEGRANATE DRESSING AND POMEGRANATE SEEDS
TO MAKE POMEGRANATE DRESSING:
This dressing is great on salads and chicken, too!
1 1/2 cups pomegranate juice
2 Tbsp. sherry vinegar
1 tsp. Dijon Mustard
2 Tbsp. honey
4 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1/4 tsp. salt.
Place all ingredients in a microwavable container and zap for about 30 seconds. This helps incorporate the honey with the other ingredients. Shake well. This dressing does separate so you will need to shake each time before using. It’s light, refreshing and was the perfect complement to the salmon. You can make this the day before, as well, which means the dinner comes together very easily. I also seeded the pomegranate the day before and peeled, chopped and sliced the Mango.
I like to make crispy skin salmon. Dry the salmon thoroughly with paper towels and salt both sides. Add 2 tsp. olive oil to a heavy bottomed skillet and heat to high, nearly smoking.
Cook on skin side only keeping heat high, until salmon cooks through and skin becomes very crispy. These filets are quite thin so it doesn’t take long. You can tell it’s done when the salmon becomes opaque and a little firm to the touch. Do not overcook! Once the salmon is done remove from the pan and cover loosely with foil to keep warm, skin side up. This keeps the skin crispy.
TO MAKE THE SPINACH AND MANGO MICHELET BEANS:
1 cup cooked Michelet beans (for 2 servings)
1 clove garlic, diced
1/2 cup Mango, diced
2 large handfuls of spinach
Sliced Mango for garnish
In the same skillet gently add 1 clove of chopped garlic and brown mango slices to use as garnish. Remove from skillet and keep warm.
In the same skillet, heat 1 heaping cup of the previously cooked Michelet beans. Add 2 large handfuls of spinach, and about 1/2 cup of diced Mango. Stir over medium high heat until the spinach wilts.
|First, place about one cup of the bean,
spinach and mango mixture on a plate.
|Top with salmon, skin side up, and mango garnish.
|Next, add the pomegranate seeds and
pour about 2 Tbsp. of Pomegranate dressing over
the dish being careful to avoid the crispy skin.
|Lastly, serve and enjoy!
This sounds like many steps, but if you make the various pieces and parts ahead it really is easy to put together.
THAT’S ALL FOR TODAY!
NEXT TIME I WILL SHARE ANOTHER RECIPE
I MADE WITH THESE BEAUTIFUL MICHELET BEANS!
TUNE IN AGAIN SOON…