Thursday, February 18, 2010

Potato timbales with garlicky black beans and greens

My work email has, over the last few months, apparently been subscribed to a wide variety of e-publications vaguely related to my interests (including Guitar Magazine, Keyboard Magazine, even "EQ Magazine," which is, I guess, for folks who are really, really into the proper balance between treble, mid and bass). Generally, these all get deleted, but the week before the Superbowl I glanced at something from a cooking-related site, and jotted down not the recipe but the basic mechanics of something they called "mashed potato timbales."

So, especially what with having a couple of egg whites on hand after using the yolks for Roman Style Baked Semolina Gnocchi earlier in the week, I thought I would take a crack at the recipe. They are light in texture but not in calories or fat, so I paired them with some ├╝ber-healthy beans & greens.

Potato Timbales
2 1/2 lbs. russet potatoes
1/2 tsp to 1 tsp salt
8 oz. sour cream
8 oz. ricotta cheese
sprinkle of dried oregano (or whatever seasoning you like)
2 egg whites
butter for greasing tins (maybe 1 TBSP altogether)
cornmeal or breadcrumbs for coating (optional)

1. Peel the potatoes, cut into chunks, and cook in boiling water until tender. Mash well.
2. Add the salt, sour cream, cheese and seasoning. Mash until well blended.
3. Grease standard muffin tins (one 12-muffin pan or 2 6-muffin pans) generously with butter, then sprinkle cornmeal or breadcrumbs in if desired.
4. Beat egg whites until soft peaks form, then fold into potato mixture.
5. Spoon potato mixture into muffin tins and bake in 425 degree oven for 27-30 minutes. Let cool in pans for 15 minutes.

The final result:

While timbales are baking, make your beans. I used a lot of garlic, combined from a bunch of cloves of widely varying sizes, amounting in total to about 1/3 of a head:

Garlicky black beans and greens
1/3 of a head of garlic, peeled and minced
about a TBSP of cooking fat (I used rendered bacon drippings, but any oil would probably be OK)
1/2 can or so of tomatoes, with juices
3 cups of recently home-cooked black beans, with cooking liquid, or 2 cans black beans, well-rinsed, plus some water
about 2/3 of a bunch of chard or other greens, stems removed, leaves cut into 1/2" wide ribbons

1. Heat cooking fat over medium heat, add the garlic and cook for for 1-2 minutes, until fragrant.
2. Add tomatoes and season well with salt, stirring to break up tomatoes.
3. Add beans and cooking liquid (or water).
4. Add greens, stir to combine, cover and cook for 5-10 minutes, until greens are well wilted.
5. If mixture is overly liquidly, cook uncovered to reduce. Taste and add salt if necessary.

Plate up a couple of timbales per person, surrounded by beans. And the sauce? I just opened one of these cans because, you know, it's a weeknight:

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