a moosewood iftar

As it’s still the month of shawwal, inshaAllah there are muslims out there who are breaking their fasts and eating iftar.

These recipes come from my two of my three newest cookbook acquisitions (yes, I am currently obsessed with cookbooks, and yes, I will try to curb that) – Sundays at Moosewood and the Moosewood cookbook.  A standby in vegetarian (er, pescetarian) cooking circles, I’ve had a lot of fun reading through them and meat minimalist meals (yes, I read new cookbooks cover to cover.  And then after that again sometimes just for fun).  This is one I call faux southern fare.

inshaAllah I’ll add pictures later.  Didn’t get a chance to upload them last night.

“Not Fried” Catfish made with sayra’s cornbread,which is worth making all by itself.  Also very very tasty crumbled into the beans.  Because my oven is on the fritz (it randomly loses power, beeps and this weekend decided to lock itself and start cleaning while I had food inside), I initially undercooked it.  Frustrated, I shoved the bread pan back in the oven, only to forget about it and pull it out 25 minutes later and find it overly brown and dry.  Still, it was tasty, and I can only imagine it would be more so if my oven weren’t so fickle.

Re: the fish – I loooooooove onions, so of course I had to add some.  I cooked for my grandma a few months back, and while we were at the grocery store getting supplies, I bought a whole 2 lb bag of onions.  She wondered how we would use it all.  Ah grandma, trust me, I know how to use onions.   We go through a 5 lb bag a week at our house ;-)

AbuS’ only complaint was that I used oil.  I only used 1/3 of what the recipe called for, but  he’s currently on a health kick, and doesn’t want me to use oil or butter in anything.  Honey, we’re suppose to eat a little fat, it’s good for us.  That’s why Allah (swt) made fat so tasty.

And Tart and Tangy Baked Beans– AbuS usually isn’t a fan of my bean dishes, but he totally loves them.  I always thought refried beans would be a hit in our house, seeing as how he’s a huge fan of ful, but alas, most of my bean attempts have fallen flat.

Serves 6-8

3 cups dry pinto beans soaked for at least 4 hrs –  I didn’t have that many, so I substituted half navy beans.
4 cups chopped onions
Olive oil
1 ½ -2 tsp Salt
1 Tbsp Chili Powder
2 tsp Cumin
1 ½ tsp dry mustard
6-8 cloves garlic, minced
6-8 Tbsp Cider Vinegar
3-4 Tbsp Molasses
Black Pepper to taste
Pinch crushed Red Pepper
3 medium Granny Smith or other tart apples cut into medium-sized chunks
4 medium sized ripe tomatoes

Place presoaked beans in a pot and cover with plenty of water. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, partially cover, and cook 1 ¼ to 1 ½ hours, adding water if needed. Drain any excess water after cooking.

Saute onions in oil over and add garlic, sauté for a few more minutes (do not burn the garlic) then add salt, chili powder, cumin, and mustard and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add this sauté to the beans along with the remaining ingredients and combine.

Preheat oven to 350° F. Transfer bean mixture to a deep casserole or 9” by 13” baking pan and cover tightly with foil. Bake 1 hour.

The recipe originally was called “cheesey beans,” but in the revised edition, the cheese was optional.  I sprinkle some (zabiha!) sargento cheddar in the individual bowls before serving.

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