Chef magazine and the Northarvest Bean Growers collaborated last summer to produce a series of articles called Building Menus with Beans.
The stories featured interviews with chefs who had participated in the Associations recipe contests. Chefs included Katy Keck, of New World Grills, New York, N.Y.; Karen Putman, of ARAMACK/Caronallut Health Care, Kansas City, Kan.; and Claire Criscuolos, of Claires Corner Copia, New Haven, Conn.
The articles focused on their use of black, pinto, navy and kidney beans in new and exciting dishes.
Here are the headlines from each article, followed by an excerpt:
The Layered Look. Karen Putman gives beans a beauty make over.
Beans are known for a lot of great things good nutrition, versatility and economic value. But being pretty isnt usually one of the recognized attributes. Until now that is. Chef Karen Putman, in her grand prize winner, bean terrie with raspberry/mint vinaigrette, demonstrates that beans have a glamorous side, too.
New World Order. Katy Kecks black beans know no boundaries.
In the past, beans were often treated as the Rodney Dangerfield of the food world: They had difficulty getting respect. But that has changed, and now this poor mans meat, as beans were once called, is emerging from the outer regions of the plate to play a more prominent role in concept development.
Vegetarian Ole. Beans speak many languages on Claire Criscuolos menu.
One dish that represents Chef Criscuolos love of healthful foods with global influences is her Mexican lasagna&this dish includes one of Crisuolos favorite foods: beans. Along with the other ingredients, homemade refried pinto beans (pinto beans cooked with onion and extra-virgin olive oil and then mashed with a potato masher until smooth) serves as a replacement for lasagnas traditional filling, meat. I have never met a bean I didnt like, Criscuolo confesses.