Off we go. Some of the names are made up by yours truly. The ones inside the parenthesis are the real Albanian names for them.
Albanian Beans (Fasule)
I just learned how to make them 2 weeks ago. They are huge in Albania. There's not one Albanian in Albania who hasn't had them. It's become a little bit of a joke with them.
- Take 2 cups of beans and leave them in a bowl full of water for at least half an hour. I've seen some Albanians leave them overnight, in which case when you wake up in the morning, you'll find some really fat beans sitting in that bowl who have sucked up most of the water. Some people like that. I'm just disturbed by the image. But that's how you clean your beans.
- Drain the water in the bowl and rinse off the beans with clean water. Place them in a pressure cooker, add enough water so that the beans are sitting at least 2 inches below the water surface. Let them boil for half an hour.
- After half an hour has passed, drain the water and rinse the beans with water in a colander. This is the second time the beans are to be rinsed with water. I didn't rinse the beans one time and all the sand from the beans was sitting at the bottom of the bowl I was eating the beans from. You could feel the sand in your teeth. Don't make that mistake.
- Place the beans in the pressure cooker again and add enough water for the surface to sit at least 3 inches above the beans at the bottom of the pot. Measure with your eyes. That will be all the juice you will have on your plate. Add salt to taste, some vegetable oil (3-4 Tbs.), a little black pepper, some oregano (don't be shy, use enough), 1-2 Tbs of tomato paste or sauce, and half a chopped onion (I use the grinder to make the onion slush which I later dump into the pot). Most people will tell you how to make the basic beans, which means you don't add anything else (other than the above mentioned ingredients) with the beans when you put them in the pressure cooker for a second time. Some will add potatoes in there, but my husband says that the potatoes take away from the beans' flavor, so I only add chopped up carrots and dillweed to taste. They're heavenly! My husband suggests to cream the carrots completely, but I like to bite into those soft little guys, so if you want to use the mixer on the carrots, you're free to do so. It's not a crazy idea if you've thought of it. I know someone who would add parsley leaves in there, but that's not my way. Common sense, though, should tell you to chop up the carrots in bite size, because come dinner time you don't want to be battling the giant spoon coming at ya. Let everything boil on high for another half an hour, or at the most 45 minutes.
Bon appetit! :lips:
Strolling through the flower bed.
If I were tiny just like you
I'd creep among the flowers too!