Monday, April 20, 2009

Swiss Chard With Pinto Beans and Goat Cheese: After the Fire

(Hey folks! Today on Serious Eats, I recount my tentative step into the wide world of tofu. The good news: after whipping up a Sweet and Spicy stirfry from All Recipes, I’d do it again. The bad news: there is no bad news, making this an extraneous sentence.)

About two years ago, right before I started this blog, I attempted to make Swiss Chard With White Beans from a recipe I found online. Ignorant to the world of chard, I shoved a bunch in a big pot with a little water, turned the heat to high, and abandoned it for about 15 minutes.

You know how it smells when hair burns? Like, when you get too close to your birthday cake and singe your bangs? Or you try to ignite a lighter for a college comedy sketch, and you accidentally spark your left eyebrow, turning part of it white? This was like that, only possessing distinct undernotes of leafy greenness.

Turned out, chard is not supposed to be left unsupervised in a closed vessel over open flames. Besides creating an apartment-wide stink bomb, I also burned the sides of Rachel’s big pot to ashy black oblivion. As I recounted in this September 2008 post, chard’s been a non-entity in my kitchen ever since. Also, I still owe Rach a new pot.

Happily, that chardlessness ended this weekend, with a big ol’ batch of Swiss Chard With Pinto Beans and Goat Cheese from All Recipes. This stuff was good – even better than I expected, and I expected pretty great things.

The recipe starts simply by saut̩ing and steaming a behemoth bunch of chard over butter and olive oil, then adding beans, tomatoes, and Рget this Рlime juice. Say what? Yep.

Then, everything’s topped with a smattering of goat cheese, and thrown into a 350°F oven for about 15 minutes, or just enough time to warm the frommage. The result is savory, creamy, substantial, and bright all at the once. Needless to say, I will be making it again. Perhaps several times. Perhaps on a Tuesday.

In conclusion, welcome back, Swiss chard! I missed you, and promise never to scorch you and/or your cooking implement beyond recognition again.

Also, Rach, I swear that pot is coming.

Swiss Chard with Pinto Beans and Goat Cheese
Makes 5 good-sized side servings
Adapted from All Recipes.

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 pinch red pepper flakes
1 huge bunch Swiss chard (or 2 smaller bunches) - rinsed, stems removed, and cut into 1/2 inch slices
1 (15.5 ounce) can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 small tomato, seeded and chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
2 ounces crumbled goat cheese

1) Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat an 8x8 baking dish with cooking spray.

2) In a large skillet or pan, heat oil and butter over medium heat. Once butter is melted, add garlic and red pepper flakes. Saute 30 to 60 seconds. Add Swiss chard. Cover. Cook 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add pintos, tomato, lime juice, salt, and pepper. Stir. Cover again. Cook a few more minutes, until chard is totally wilted.  .

3) Pour mixture into baking dish. Spread out evenly and push down a little bit. Dot with goat cheese. Bake 15 minutes. Serve.

Approximate Calories, Fat, and Price Per Serving
200 calories, 9.6 g fat, $1.05

1 tablespoon vegetable oil: 124 calories, 14 g fat, $0.09
1 tablespoon butter: 102 calories, 11.5 g fat, $0.07
2 cloves garlic, minced: 4 calories, 0 g fat, $0.05
1 pinch red pepper flakes: negligible calories and fat, $0.02
1 huge bunch Swiss chard (or 2 smaller bunches) - rinsed, stems removed, and cut into 1/2 inch slices: 182 calories, 1.9 g fat, $1.99
1 (15.5 ounce) can pinto beans, rinsed and drained: 361 calories, 3.4 g fat, $0.75
1 small tomato, seeded and chopped: 16 calories, 0.2 g fat, $0.34
Salt and pepper to taste: negligible calories and fat, $0.02
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice: 5 calories, 0 g fat, $0.16
2 ounces crumbled goat cheese: 207 calories, 16.9 g fat, $1.75
TOTAL: 1001 calories, 47.9 g fat, $5.24
PER SERVING (TOTAL/5): 200 calories, 9.6 g fat, $1.05


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