February 25, 2009

Black Bean "Tacos" with Smoked Paprika Shiitake Mushrooms

I'm overwhelmed by the response to pudding cakes. I'm so glad you liked them! This is food to balance out that indulgence.

I'm working on cleaning out my pantry so I have less to pack for our move. Six months ago I was going through a black bean kick and in my digging today I found a can that had gone astray. My mind wandered and I got to thinking about these beautiful beans from ChezWhat?. The author, Christo (aka doggybloggy), had a plan to cook his beans with wild mushrooms. Green beans and mushrooms is a dish that would be part of my Last Supper but I don't think I've ever eaten dried beans and mushrooms together. I had shiitakes in my fridge and decided to make Napa cabbage wrapped tacos filled with beans and mushrooms. I enhanced the natural smokiness of the shiitakes with some pimenton (smoked paprika) and adapted a Weight Watcher recipe for cumin-scented black beans. Some lime, cilantro and green onions topped it off, with cherry tomatoes grown in my Aerogarden on the side. This was a satisfying lunch and I loved the spices, especially the smoked paprika on the shiitakes. I could eat a whole bowl of those mushrooms! I'll be thinking of other dishes to add them to. These also got a glowing review from my husband, he said they were "surprisingly good."

Black Bean "Tacos" with Smoked Paprika Shiitake Mushrooms
Inspired by the Weight Watchers recipe for Shrimp Over Cumin-Scented Beans
Makes 2 servings (each serving is 4 WW points by my calculations)

8 ounces shiitake mushrooms
1 1/2 teaspoon neutral oil
1/4 teaspoon pimenton dulce (sweet smoked paprika)
1 chile pepper, seeded and minced (I used a Thai bird)
1 clove garlic, minced or grated with a microplane
1 (15 oz) can of whole black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon oregano (I used Mexican)
4-6 leaves of Napa cabbage, washed and dried
a handful of cilantro, washed, dried and torn
1 green onion, cleaned and thinly sliced
1 lime, cut into wedges
kosher salt and black pepper

-Trim off and discard the shiitakes stems (or save them to use in making stock). Brush any dirt from the mushroom caps and thinly slice them.
-Add 1 teaspoon of the oil to a hot skillet or saute pan. Add the mushrooms and cook until they are golden brown. Toss them with the smoked paprika and a good pinch of kosher salt and remove them from the pan.
-Add the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of oil to the pan with the chile and garlic. Cook over low until fragrant, just a few seconds.
-Add the beans, cumin and oregano to the pan along with a good pinch of kosher salt and a couple grinds of black pepper. Warm the beans and smash a quarter of them. Taste and add more salt and pepper as desired. Remove the pan from the heat.
-Serve each leaf of cabbage with some of the beans topped with the mushrooms, cilantro, and green onion. Squeeze a wedge of lime over the "taco" before eating.

I'm adding this to Bookmarked Recipes, an event started by Ruth of Ruth's Kitchen's Experiments. Visit the new Bookmarked Recipes site for the roundup of other bookmarked and tested recipes. The host for next week’s round up will be Marci of Pieces.

*I'm also submitting this to the current BSI, Blogger Secret Ingredient, which is black beans. This is my first time participating in this event but I was inspired after seeing the winning recipe from last week, Kale Crust Pizza. Doesn't that sound awesome?! If you'd like to join in or read some interesting facts about black beans visit Just Sweet Enough.

**I was curious about how many points a pudding cup would have and for one espresso cup without foam it comes to 3 WW points.