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Last night, I visited Star Provisions with my mother and my aunt. While I was there, my mother pointed out that they had flageolets, which are small white or light green beans that are grown in France. I have has some memorable flageolet dishes in France, but was disappointed to find that the flageolets that I purchased through Williams-Sonoma turned out hard. Perhaps it was the fault of the recipe, which included the late addition of tomatoes. But, I think that I just had old or bad beans.

Last year, in the Cooking Light issue that prompted me to buy a slow cooker, there was a recipe that included flageolets. Unable to find them at the time, I used some unusual canary beans that I had found at the farmer’s market. It turned out fine, but I am looking forward to trying it with flageolets! I also purchased some home-made fennel sausage at Star Provisions, and think I will use that in the beans, instead of smoked turkey sausage…

I was lucky enough to find someone who published that recipe on their website, so I am saved the typing myself!

Tiny French Beans with Smoked Sausage

Lora Brody
Cooking Light March 2003

2 lb smoked turkey sausage, cut into 1 1/2″ pieces
1 Tb vegetable oil
1/3 c minced shallots
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 c dried flagolets or other dried white beans (about 1 lb)
2 c water
1/4 c minced fresh (or 1 Tb dried) thyme
1 tsp celery seeds
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 14.5 oz cans fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth

Heat a large, nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add Sausage and saute 5 min or
until browned. Remove from pan and place in slow cooker. Heat oil in the same
skillet over medium heat. Add shallots and garlic, cook 1 min, stirring
constantly.

Sort and wash beans. Add beans, shallot mixture, water, and remaining
ingredients to slow cooker. Cover and cook on HIGH 8 hours or until beans are
tender.

8 – 1  1/4 c servings

Per serving: Calories 397 (30% from fat); fat 13.1g (sat 3.7g, mono 4.3g, poly
3.7g); protein 29.7g, carb 41.4g; fiber 8.6g; chol. 75 mg; iron 5.2mg; sodium
1,105mg; calc 143 mg

NOTE: Find flagolets – tiny French kidney beans – in specialty food stores or
online at http://www.indianharvest.com For a nice presentation, garnish with thyme sprigs.  I think I will make them on Sunday!

Here is another recipe that I did try from that article. I still have a lot of tamarind paste left over!

Tamarind Sweet Potato Bisque

Lora Brody
Cooking Light March 2003

3 1/4 c peeled cubed (1 inch) sweet potatoes
3 c vegetable broth
1 c water
1/2 c chopped onion
1/2 c orange juice
2 Tb plum vinegar
2 Tb low sodium soy sauce
1 1/2 tsp minced, peeled fresh ginger
1 1/2 tsp dark sesame oil
1 tsp tamarind paste
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 fresh lemongrass stalk, halved lengthwise

Place all ingredients in slow cooker. Cover and cook on HIGH 5 hours. Discard lemongrass. Place half potato mixture in a blender, and process until smooth.
Pour the pureed potato mixture into a large bowl. Repeat with remaining potato
mixture.

5 – 1 c servings

Per serving: calories 133 (14% from fat); Fat 2.1g (sat .3g, mono .6g, poly .7g); protein 3g; carb 27.2g; fiber 3.1g; chol 0mg; iron .8mg, sodium 627mg; calc 27mg)

NOTE: The pods of the tamarind tree yield a sweet-sour pulp that flavors many Dutch, Indonesian, and East Indian dishes. You can find tamarind paste in specialty stores or online at http://www.spicesgalore1.com and http://www.quickspice.com A little goes a
long way, so measure carefully.

Here is one more that I tried – it was very good!

Guiness-Braised Beef Brisket

Lora Brody
Cooking Light March 2003

2 c water
1 c chopped onion
1 c chopped carrot
1 c chopped celery
1 c Guiness stout
2/3 c packed brown sugar
1/4 c tomato paste
1/4 c chopped fresh dill or 1 Tb dried
1 14.5 oz can low salt beef broth
6 black peppercorns
2 whole cloves
1 3 lb cured corned beef brisket, trimmed

Combine everything but the brisket in a large slow cooker, stirring until well blended. Top with beef. Cover and cook on HIGH 8 hours or until beef is tender.  Remove beef, cut diagonally across the grain into 1/4 inch slices. Discard broth mixture.

6 – 3 oz servings

Per serving: calories 226 (39% from fat); fat 9.7g (sat 3.2g, mono 4.7g, poly .4g); protein 17.9g; carb 15.2g; fiber .9g; chol 87mg; iron 2.2 mg; sodium 1,105mg; calc 28mg)

NOTES: Tender from gentle cooking, this entree is a classic preparation made without the visual pot watching. Serve it with grainy, coarse grained mustard. Use the leftovers in a classic Ruben sandwich, sliced with thousand island dressing, swiss cheese and sauerkraut on sourdough, rye or pumpernickel bread.

And, last, but not least, here is a recipe that was in the article that I haven’t tried yet!

Stewed Dried Plums in Marsala

Lora Brody
Cooking Light March 2003

1 orange
1 lemon
3 c pitted dried plums (about 1 lb)
2 c orange juice
1 c sweet marsala wine
1 cinnamon stick about 3 inches long
Yoghurt cream (see recipe below)

Carefully peel rinds from orange and lemon with a vegetable peeler, making sure to avoid the white pith. Discard fruit or use for other purpose. Place rinds, plums, juice, wine, and cinnamon in slow cooker. Cover and cook on LOW 4 hours or until plums are very tender. Discard rinds and cinnamon stick. Cover and chill overnight. Serve at room temp with Yoghurt Cream (below).

8 Servings, each comprised of 1/2 c plum mixture and 2 Tb yoghurt cream Each serving (with yoghurt): calories 272 (5% from fat); Fat 1.4g (sat .6g, mono .5g, poly .1g); protein 5.2g;carb 60.8g; fiber 4.7g; chol 3.5mg; iron 1.9mg; sodium 48mg; calc 151mg)

NOTE: Marsala is a deep, robust fortified wine from Sicily. It comes in both dry and sweet varieties. For the best flavor, marinate the dried plums overnight in the refrigerator, then let them come to room temp before serving.

Yoghurt Cream

1 16 oz carton plain low-fat yoghurt
1/3 c packed brown sugar

Place colander in a 2 qt glass measure or over a medium bowl. Line colander with
4 layers cheesecloth (Kim note – I do this for tzatziki using coffee filters when I don’t have cheesecloth), allowing cheesecloth to extend over outside edges. Spoon yoghurt into colander. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate 12 hours to drain. Spoon drained, thickened yoghurt into a bowl and discard drained out liquid. Stir in brown sugar. Cover and refrigerate.

Yield: 1 c (serving size = 2 Tb)

Yoghurt cream alone per serving: calories 58 (14% from fat); fat .9g (sat .6g, mono .2g); protein 3g; carb 9.8g; fiber 0g; chol 3mg; iron .2mg; sodium 42mg; calc 109mg)

NOTE: This is called yoghurt cheese when unsweetened

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