Sunday, September 12, 2010

Recipe: The World's Best Favas

Favas be big beans-BIG BEANS! It's a dish that seems to be an acquired taste. Which basically means that cowards or the uninitiated don't care for it. I like it however. I like it quite a lot and the recipe below is responsible for more than a few converts to the dish. Most recently, my beautiful wife who LOVED them. It's one of those meals that can be had in as many variations as the number of families that make it. This is my version of course and I am telling you that these are the World's Best Favas. THE WORLD'S BEST FAVAS!

One little Portuguese cooking trick that I use in this dish may seem like it wouldn't make a big difference, but it really does help to create THE WORLD'S BEST FAVAS. That trick is sweating the onions and garlic instead of sauteing them. You'll notice how profound that difference is when you pop the cover off the pan at the end of that 20 minutes. The aroma is HEAVEN! HEAVEN PEOPLE! Which incidentally is where they probably serve a lot of these favas because if I haven't mentioned it yet: THESE ARE THE WORLD'S BEST FAVAS!

What else can I say about this recipe?

How about this: IT'S GOT CHOURICO IN IT!

Chourico, as in EVERYTHING IS BETTER WITH CHOURICO. Including these favas which happen to be THE WORLD'S BEST FAVAS!

Pay attention to the details at the end, the bread, sweet butter and chilled Dao are MANDATORY!

'Nuff said on my part.

The World's Best Favas

1lb. of dry favas beans (soaked then simmered or pressure cooked to tenderness)
2 Tbs Portuguese olive oil
4 onions (halved and then thinly sliced)
8 cloves of garlic (minced)
3 sticks (about 20+ ozs.) of chourico (sliced in 1/4" disks)
1 28 oz. can of crushed tomatoes
3 tsp hot crushed red pepper (the wet stuff)
4 Tbs fresh parsley (chopped)
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat a large saucepan over low heat.

Add olive oil and spread it around the pan. Add the onions and garlic and sweat them covered in the pan for 20 minutes. Don't open that cover. Keep the flame on low and don't burn it!

Add the chourico and mix in well. Raise the heat a little and continue cooking for 10 to 15 minutes.

Add the crushed tomatoes and crushed red pepper and continue at a good medium simmer for about 45 minutes.

Add the fava beans and continue cooking for 30 more minutes or until the beans are tender and creamy inside.

Add all but 1 tablespoon of the parsley to the favas and mix throughout. Cook for about 5 minutes.

Check for seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste.

Garnish with the last tablespoon of fresh chopped parsley and serve with a good crusty peasant bread, sweet butter and some chilled red Dao wine (that's right I used "chilled" and "red wine" in the same sentence! DO IT!).

It's even better the second day!

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