Monday, September 23, 2013

Honolulu Skillet Beans

This is a recipe that I haven't made for a long time. I thought of it again when I read Shaheen's post (Allotment 2 Kitchen) recipe for  black beans and pineapple stew.  She wasn't thrilled with the result of her dish and it reminded me just enough of this one to make me want to try it again.  Tonight was a night where I had nothing planned for dinner and not much to work with - the perfect night to bring this dish out.

The original recipe comes from The Moosewood Collective's Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home.

When I read the recipe over I felt that it wasn't particularly blog-worthy. This is not fancy food! It is what I would call a "garbage meal" which is my affectionate term for recipes that are great at using up loose ends in your fridge and pantry to prevent waste.  It is a great vegan option for a fast weekday meal that can be thrown together with only pantry items or embellished with some veg if you are so inclined.

I will post the unadulterated original recipe ingredients first and follow with my suggestions and the liberties I take. The procedure is the same. The ingredients will seem odd but they work.

Honolulu Skillet Beans
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 tsp cooking oil
4 Cups cooked beans such as Roman or small pink, red, or white beans (2 16oz cans)
2 Tbsp hoisin sauce*
2 tsp prepared yellow mustard
2 Tbsp catsup or tomato paste
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp dark sesame oil
1 tsp ground cumin
grated peel of 1 orange
3/4 Cup fresh or canned crushed pineapple
*In place of hoisin, you can substitute 1 Tb molasses or brown sugar, 1 Tb white vinegar, and 1 tsp of chili oil or hot pepper sauce.

My modifications:
Beans - I use cans of mixed beans, mostly labeled "bean medley" in these parts.
Hoisin - when I fist made this as a starving student years ago, I didn't have hoisin (odd since I lived in China town...) so I used the substitute version. I remembered today that I actually preferred that version. Today I decided to do both and it worked well. I just can't resist an opportunity to put molasses in things.
Sauce - I recommend doubling the sauce. That is a lot of beans and even more than doubling the sauce results in barely coated beans. I don't measure unless I'm baking, so I take many liberties in mixing this up. It's forgiving. I also add a good dose of pineapple juice. Why waste it?

Forgive the bad photos. I was hungry and just don't have the lighting to set up good food pictures. Meh, that's real life.

In a skillet, saute the onions in the oil until soft and begining to brown (if using mushrooms, I add them at the start too).

In a small bowl, stir together all sauce ingredients including cumin. 

A collection of condiments you can mash together for this sauce. 

Add beans, pineapple and sauce to the pan. Bring to a simmer and heat, stirring occasionally for 10 minutes or so.

Serve. I usually just have it straight up since it's a simple, fast meal, I usually don't have patience for more. I think it would go best with a naan-like bread or maybe brown rice.


Shaheen said...

Thank you so much for sharing this recipe and the kind mention.
I am bookmarking this for sure, but don't know now when I will be making it, as I don't often pick up fresh pineapples, unless its canned of course - then it may appearer a lot more sooner on my table. Its s a shame we don't get catsup here as I am sure it imparts a slightly different flavour.Also like you I don't always have hoisin sauce to hand, so I am grateful for the alternative suggestion.

If its ok with you, I will link up this recipe from the Black Beans and Pineapple Strew recipe, so other readers can be inspired.

No worries about the photos, we have natural lighting issues too, so a lot of pictures get taken outside that is when its not raining of course.
(psst I have the cookbook and have never cooked from it - shame on me - I will now that you have made me rediscover it.)

RuckusButt said...

Thank you for your comment Shaheen! I always use canned pineapple in this as I feel fresh is too good to do anything but enjoy unadulterated.

I think both tomato options are good but you're right, catsup gives it a tangyness that pure paste does not.

Yes, please feel free to link back, and thank you!

I love taking food photos outside but it's getting dark pretty early here and this was a rather late "emergency" meal.

You know, I don't use that book much either. It's very simple fare. There are a few gems though. I do find it a great book to flip through for inspiration, especially since so much of it is easily modified to taste and/or what you have on-hand.