Gardening in central Texas is great – and such a change from trying to grow anything in northern California! Here it’s hot, it’s humid, Spring is at least a month of heavy rain alternating with hot sunny days – basically, a little heaven on Earth for all those fruits and veggies that are waiting to take flight.
However, I must be honest… last year’s garden didn’t go so well. There was quite a learning curve for me. This year, though, it seems either I have figured it out, or the plants have. In the last week, I have harvested 1lb of hatch chiles, 15 padron peppers, 1lb of mixed pole beans, multiple pounds of zucchini, 4 pumpkins, and a single 1.5lb eggplant.
Next weeks harvest should be about the same, maybe more.
So my big job now is to figure out how to use all this before next weeks harvests fills my fridge all over again.
Beans and Eggs
This is a simple recipe that seems a lot fancier than it is. I like it for lunch, but it can be used for brunch, dinner, whenever.
Double or triple the sauce to keep the extra on hand in the fridge; reuse it for rice, salad, marinades etc.. Keep the more unusual ingredients on hand in your pantry; they’re so versatile and great to have around when a dish is lacking that unidentifiable pizzazz.
Some of the ingredients sound elite, but most are available at your local Whole Foods or asian grocery stores and – true story – Amazon actually carries all of them. Worse comes to worst, many can be substituted with more ubiquitous products, noted at the end of this article.
Make your dressing first and set aside so you can pay attention to the eggs and beans. Recipe is for 2 people. Adjust amount of beans and eggs as necessary.
Mixed Pole Beans, Soy-Yuzu Dressing, Soft Poached Eggs
Whisk together the following; taste and adjust as necessary, set aside
Large palm full of Galangal, peeled and grated
1 tablespoon Black vinegar (Kong Yen brand recommended)
1 Lime, juice and zest
1/2 tablespoon soy sauce or tamari
1 tableslpoon yuzu ponzu (Marukan brand recommended)
1 1/2 tablespoon rice vinegar
Rinse and trim ends of beans
Blanch large handful in boiling, salted water until slightly tender
Remove from water, quickly stop the cooking process by shocking in bowl of ice, then while still warm, toss with coarse citrus salt (substitute coarse sea salt), coat heavily with dressing (saving the extra) and plate in shallow bowl
Bring pot of water with tablespoon of rice vinegar to a strong simmer.
Crack fresh, refrigerated egg into ramekin, small tea cup or measuring cup and drop slow and easy into water. Repeat process for 2-3 eggs.
Poach in water for about 4 minutes. (Here’s a great lesson on poaching if you need some guidance.)
Using a slotted spoon, top beans with poached eggs
If you absolutely cannot find the right ingredient, you can use these substituations. Remember though, Amazon has most of them, and the substitutions will do the job but are not the same. Try your hardest to get the right ingredients; you’ll be happy you did, and they are great pantry staples.
Galangal —> Ginger
Yuzu Ponzu —> Yuzu juice and soy sauce mixed 3 to 1 (or) Orange and lemon, mixed equal parts
Black Vinegar —> Balsamic vinegar w/ splash of Worsteschire
Togarashi —> red chili flakes will make up for it, or make your own here.