Blog - starches

Byesar (Fava Bean Puree)

by Jack McNulty
December 15, 2013
Byesar (Fava Bean Puree)

Paula Wolfert’s wonderful book, Couscous and Other Good Food From Morocco, describes Byesar as the North African cousin to the Middle Eastern hummus made of chickpeas.  This is high praise indeed as hummus is one of the world’s greatest food contributions. So I was…well, slightly skeptical. But after tasting one spoonful of the freshly made warm fava bean puree, I was more than convinced. This recipe is one of the most exciting finds I have found this year!

I grew up eating many special foods from Morocco, but I never had the opportunity to taste this beloved dish. It is made with split fava beans (broad beans for those of you who are more familiar with this name), fruity olive oil, a hint of garlic, cumin and lemon. That’s it – just some humble ingredients put together in your food processor.

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Basic Pressure Cooker Brown Rice

by Jack McNulty
October 15, 2013
Basic Pressure Cooker Brown Rice

I really like the wholesome, slightly nutty flavor of brown rice…when cooked properly that is!

I’ve always cooked brown rice according to the basic pilaf method. I’ve experimented with cooking the rice on the stove over moderate heat until the rice absorbed all of the water. I’ve tried cooking the rice in the oven, covered with foil. I’ve even tried cooking the rice in a rice cooker. All of these methods mostly ended in disappointment because the rice became clumpy, was under cooked or scorched a bit on the bottom of the pan. But, recently I’ve experimented with my pressure cooker and every time I make the rice it turns out perfectly cooked, steamed to perfection with every grain absorbing just the amount of moisture needed.

I’ve also paid closer attention to purchasing high quality brown rice and storing the rice correctly to avoid any hint of rancidity.

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