Friday, September 18, 2009

Cool Beans! Fresh Corn and Shelling Bean Ragout a la Ramblas

At a recent dinner at Ramblas in San Francisco, Michele and I enjoyed an incredibly simple, yet deeply flavorful shelling bean ragout. Ramblas is our favorite Spanish restaurant in the City, and the big, meaty beans were stewed with corn, citrus, and currants.

In fact, I was so impressed with this dish I swore to myself the next time I saw fresh shelling beans, I would attempt something similar. A week later I was shopping in Berkeley and saw a beautiful pile of cranberry beans (another common name for shelling beans).

I was so happy, and my mouth watered thinking back to that great crock of beans. I'm sure as I stuffed them into the bag, I had one of those deranged smiles that had on-lookers wondering, "What the hell is wrong with that guy."

As you watch this video, I can understand if the combination of ingredients seems a little strange, but trust me, this is a fantastic vegetable dish. It's my new favorite side dish, which is funny since I can't seem to wait for the main course to eat it.

At the end of the video, I garnish the dish with a spoon of something called gremolata. I've already filmed this for another recipe, which isn't live yet, so you will get to see that made, but for now here's all you need to know. Gremolata is simply fresh parsley minced with some raw garlic and lemon zest, moistened with a little olive oil.

This sharp, raw green sauce, along with a little more freshly zested lemon takes a great bean dish and turns it into something spectacular. Enjoy!

Ingredients (these amounts are complete guesses):
2 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves sliced garlic
1 cup shelling beans
1 cup fresh corn
2 tbsp dried currants
chicken broth as needed (about 1 1/2 cups total, maybe, possibly)
1/4 cup diced fresh ripe tomato
2 tbsp chopped fresh oregano
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
1 tbsp fresh lemon zest
To garnish:
gremolata (see description in post)
lemon zest


Unknown said...

Wow, that looks amazing!. I've decided this will be a great dish for a Meatless Monday entree once our upper 90's weather exits.

Ricardo said...

Hello Chef, a suggestion to make another great dish, Add oxtail and braise it in the ragĂș and you will end up with a fantastic dish, it´s a take on the soup famous in Sonora Mexico, called gallina pinta, whish is made with garbanzo beans insteads of the corn

Anonymous said...

Somebody sounded excited! I really doubt I will find those beans though.

texichan said...

This looks delicious. I don't think I could find fresh cranberry beans, though! Maybe somewhere over the rainbow.

PS: I think you should have a "tiny spoon" label for all the videos that have it.

tut said...

O beans,ur dredging up horrible memories of my mothers boiled cooking Chef,boiled everything,took one glass of water per lima bean two for bite of boiled potato,the boiled chicken only passed my lips once to my knowledge,oddly enough she only salted the morning oatmeal,i always thought she did that to purge our systems so we could learn more,took til i was 35 to find out oatmeal tastes good with syrup milk an butter,left home at 16 weighing 125 six ft tall gained 25 pds in three months,my brother showed me my first frying pan,i wondered why my dad had never bought mom one to boil the toast in seemed like such a great new toy,i'll never forget my brother showing me that the oven wasen't a storage place for boiling pots but we could buy frozen dinners an cook them :)Life is good,maybe i even try those beans to

JaAnBe said...

I have just finished shelling my latest purchase of these pretty red and white beans from the farmers' market and am thrilled to find a recipe for them that isn't based on ham or bacon! Thanks.

Sepi said...

The first time I made this I could only find dried shelling beans. I soaked the beans and cooked them in a pressure cooker and did everything else separately, adding the beans at the end. It was absolutely delicious.

By chance I came across these beans fresh in a farmer's market (Civic Center in SF). I made the recipe again and it pretty much came out the same.

Is there supposed to be a difference in quality between using fresh or dried beans?

Chef John said...

I think you just gave us that answer... apparently not! ;-)

vhamm_hill said...

I'm looking forward to this recipe, since I received shelly beans in my CSA yesterday! Only 2 cups of beans and corn... how many does this serve, maybe 3?

Chef John said...

maybe 4