Friday Night Food Extravaganza

(for us, anyway)

It is seventeen degrees out, making this a more mild evening after several very cold days, and we just watched an unexpected fireworks display out our back window.   Now, to celebrate the end of the week, we’re making a long, drawn-out, slightly complex meal, beginning with dry beans to be cooked and ending three hours later with our bellies full of beer-glazed black beans and sweet potato chips.

Particularly exciting for tonight: we have garlic given to us from our friends at Free Bird Farm.  When we first came to this part of New York, it was working at Free Bird Farm for a summer.   After a garlic harvest of thirty-thousand heads in six days we dreamed about garlic.  Literally, dreamed we were harvesting.  For months it haunted me, reminding me of how, that week, the nearly two-month drought finally broke and we worked in the pouring rain, so deep in the garlic we stopped smelling it at all.  The garlic harvest at Free Bird ultimately inspired Garlic Harvest Studio.  It is a treat now to eat some of Free Bird’s garlic with our beans.

Beer-Glazed Beans

We soaked dry beans for about five hours then cooked them for an hour to begin this recipe.  We soaked two cups dry but it turned out to be slightly more than the three cups we needed once it was cooked. So, the recipe, based off the one in our favorite How to Cook Everything Vegetarian.

Olive oil

1 chopped onion

1 head garlic

1 cup beer

3 cups cooked black beans

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 tablespoon honey

3 tablespoons tomato paste

salt and pepper

  1. Heat two tablespoons of olive oil and add 1 chopped onion and cook until soft.
  2. Add a small head of chopped garlic and cook for another minute.
  3. Finally all the other ingredients.
  4. Bring to bubbling and then cooked uncovered until the liquid has reduced and thickened.










Sweet Potato Chips

Neutral oil, sweet potatoes, salt and pepper

1.  Wash and peel the sweet potatoes
2.  Slice the sweet potatoes into thin even discs.









3.  Fill a deep saucepan with 3 inches of oil and heat until it begins to boil.  Don’t let it gets much hotter than that because it could combust.  Also, canola or sunflower is better than olive oil since olive oil has a lower burning temperature and will smoke at this point.

4.  To test if the oil is the right temperature, toss and small piece of bread it.  If it sinks and absorbs the oil, turn up the heat a littler and try again.  If it floats to the top right away and begins to brown on the outside, you’re ready to add the chips.
5.  Add the chips carefully and cook until lightly browned then flip with a metal spatula and repeat with the other side.  It should take about 3-5 minutes, but the longer you go the faster they will cook since the pan is likely getting hotter.










When a batch of chips is done take them out carefully with the metal spatula and lay them on rags, paper towels, or napkins to soak up the extra oil.


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