Friday, April 10, 2009

Natural Oils

Tua Fuk Yao in Thai, or yard long beans as I prefer to call them, since the Thai name said in my English, at least, sounds a bit shabby, are in the farmer's markets here at present. They are attractively long and slender and have long been a favorite of mine for their meaty dense texture. They turn a very deep viridian green color after a couple minutes' blanching in a sea-salt brine which brings out their sweetness too. I snip the ends with scissors and usually halve them before preparation. Then, I sauté them in a little sesame oil and throw in some chopped garlic, diced red peppers and fermented black beans, as is the East Asian way. The whole preparation takes a handful of minutes.

I blanched the beans this time, as usual, but did not sauté them. I made a ragout of red peppers, onions and leeks cooked in white wine with tomato puree and snow peas added near the end of its cooking, taking care not to brown any of these ingredients in any extra oil.

The result was a tasty dish somewhere between a soup and a stew with only the oils that the ingredients had brought to the dish. A pleasant vegetarian meal, and one in keeping with my diet.