cornandbeans

Introducing a brand new instant classic in our house – Mucho Gusto Black Beans and Corn. This was easy to make, delicious to eat, and as you’ll see, the leftovers can be transformed into another delicious meal really easily. Many of my favorite things are here – delicious whole grain and beans, foods I can start the night before, and easy to use leftovers.

We had never cooked or eaten whole dried (dent) corn before, but were excited to try it since it’s part of our share. We were delighted by it, and I think you will be too. The nettles and astragalus are herbs we add to all our winter soups/stews. Nettles are great for your immune and adrenal systems, and astragalus is a very warming, immune-building herb. I learned this tip from the wonderful Tony (check out her current post on good herb books!) at the NOFA conference last summer. The astragalus also gives a very pleasant, slightly sweet flavor to the beans. The kombu is thought to help with the digestibility of dried beans and grains, as described in Feeding the Whole Family by Cythnia Lair.

Mucho Gusto Black Beans and Corn

1 cup dried black beans

2 tbsp dried nettles (optional)

1 piece astragalus root (optional)

2 bay leaves

2 thumb-sized pieces of kombu (optional)

1 cup whole dent corn

(note: for non-CSA members, this is not dried sweet corn, but dent corn, and may be tricky to find. You could substitute frozen or fresh corn kernels, and just warm them up)

salsa

yogurt or sour cream

cheddar cheese

The night before, soak the beans and corn in separate bowls, in a quart of water each. The next day, pour off any remaining water. Place in separate pots, add 3 cups water to each pot, and bring both to a simmer. Add nettles, astragalus, one piece of kombu, and one bay leaf to black beans; add one piece of kombu, and onebay leaf to the corn. Skim off any foam that rises up. Maintaining a gentle simmer, cook both uncovered until tender but not mushy. Depending on your beans and corn this can take from 30 minutes to 2 hours. (Note: you can cook both of these hours or even days in advance, and then re-warm them when you’re ready to use.)

When ready to serve, warm the beans and corn, and serve with salsa and yogurt or sour cream on the side (pictured above is home-canned salsa, Chase Hill Farm cheese, and homemade yogurt). Works very well with ground beef and onions, also.

Save your leftovers! Because tomorrow, we’re going to make . . . Tamale Pie! Bon Appetit.

And I want to add, also, that you should feel free to contact me if you ever have any questions about the recipes. See you tomorrow.

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