Sunday, September 30, 2012

Fava Beans with Seared Mushrooms and CousCous

     Ryan and I returned to one of my all-time favorite restaurants right before we left NY: Daniel. They offer a vegetarian tasting menu, which was seven courses of sheer glory. One of the dishes that stood out to me was a fava bean and mushroom dish, which I have been craving ever since! So, tonight, I decided to take a stab at it. I have to say, it was not as refined as Monsieur Boulud's, but daaaaaaamn it was tasty and flavorful! And best of all, the combination of hearty mushrooms and the chewy fava bean meant that it felt like an entree and was very hearty and satisfying!!

I have to admit I haven't done much fava bean eating before this.  Perhaps it was the challenge of not knowing how to get the little pods out, or maybe it was a leftover childhood impression of them being grainy, chewy, and bland. But no more! Follow the easy steps below to get your beans, and then cook away!

Prepare Fava Beans as follows:

1. Along the back of the bean, there will be a string spine. Pull it down to "unzip" the pod.

2.  You will notice immediately that the pods have a thick outer shell that still needs to be removed.

3. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Put the beans in to boil for approximately 30 seconds.

 4. Remove the beans and rinse or submerge in cold water. This will stop the cooking process. Set on a cutting board, and by pinching the end , the inner pod will squeeze out. This is quite fun.


5. Et Voila, You have fava beans, ready to eat or cook!

                                        Fava beans & Seared Mushrooms with CousCous

Fava beans, prepared as above
A mix of mushrooms, such as baby bella, portobello, shitake, etc.
olive oil
white wine (I like vino verde... never cook with wine you won't drink!)
fresh herbs such as sage, parsley, and rosemary, chopped
5 medium size cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped
2 medium shallots, peeled and sliced
salt and pepper
Squeeze of lemon
1 package of couscous, prepared according to directions on box

1. Over medium heat, melt between 1/4 and 1/2 stick of butter. Let garlic and shallots sweat, turning translucent. Don't allow to brown or burn. Stir and lower heat. Add in herbs and a bit of olive oil, and crush the herbs into the oil/butter mixture.

2. Turn the heat all the way up to high and add in the mushrooms. Sear, allowing to brown and reduce. Lower heat back down to medium, and add in white wine, enough to cover the mushrooms, and allow to cook off.

3. Add in fava beans and stock and allow to cook for a few more minutes. Squeeze lemon on top, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and taste to adjust flavors. If you used less butter in the beginning, you may want to "monter au beurre"- or allow a small amount of butter to melt over the dish at the end. Serve over the couscous and enjoy.