Ehm, well I'm not sure if anyone else other than myself would consider them "cool," but hey, I dare to be different.
This was the height of my culinary creativity over the past few weeks.
The first picture is of my Memorial Day dinner. I made black bean burgers, and I failed EPICALLY. See, in my mind, I thought that the key to giving them a burger-esque texture was a substance that would help the bean um...batter?...stick together once it had been grilled. An egg substitute, most likely. Rumor has it that plain yogurt makes for a decent egg substitute, and I just so happened to have a bit of plain Greek yogurt in the fridge, so I decided to test this theory!
Okay. In my defense, I totally had things under control in terms of taste: every bite was packed with spicy, smokey goodness! But the texture...kind of reminded me of bean dip. In fact, I'm sure that the results would have been infinitely better if I had just left the batter and called it dip. Those things took forever to grill! Finally, after a crust had formed over each of them, I decided to throw in the towel. Next time, I'm thinking about omitting the yogurt and just using the bean mixture, or maybe replacing the yogurt with silken tofu, which is pretty much thee best egg substitute around.
The other photo is of a snack I made afterwards -- I love almonds, but not straight-up, raw almonds. I like flavor, and lots of it! They may look kind of boring in the picture, but I assure you, their flavor was nowhere near dull!
Soooo, how about some recipes, eh?
BBQ Black Bean Dip
[You can also make yourself 2-3 failburgers with this recipe, but I don't recommend it ;) ]
12 oz can of black beans, drained
1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
2 tbsp salsa
1 tsp each: garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, and cilantro
A couple drops of liquid smoke -- you can find this at most supermarkets
Mix it all together and let it sit in the fridge for an hour or two. It'd probably be absolutely splendid with tortilla chips. Yes, splendid. And I'll let you know once I have the burgers figured out.
2 cups of raw almonds
4 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 1/4 tsp seasoning salt
Oil, butter, margarine, or heck -- even cooking spray -- for toasting.
Toast your almonds on medium heat, then pour into seal-able container. Add the Worcestershire sauce and seasoning salt, place the lid over the container (holding it down with one hand), and shake. HOWEVER, IF YOU SEAL THE CONTAINER BEFORE SHAKING IT, STEAM FROM THE HOT ALMONDS WILL BUILD UP, AND IT WILL EXPLODE ALL OVER YOU. DON'T ASK ME HOW I KNOW THIS.
Ahem. Anyway. I just got back from Georgia, and I have pralines on the brain! Ohhhh goodness, are those ever good. My family bought three pounds of them at the airport in Atlanta. There HAS to be an easy way to make these, and I'm determined to figure it out! Oh, and praline pecan butter, maybe? I'm thinking yes.