Thursday, Jul. 03, 2008

Rice & Beans, Green Salad and Banana Flambé

Recipe by Eric Ripert, Le Bernadin, New York City

Serves: 4

• 3 tablespoons canola oil
• 1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded and diced (1-inch)
• 2 cans (12-15 oz) pinto beans, rinsed and drained
• fine sea salt and freshly ground pepper

• 2 cups white rice
• 3 ¼ cups water

• 2 tablespoons canola oil
• 1 small onion, diced
• 1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
• 3 garlic cloves, minced
• ½ bunch cilantro, chopped
• 1 teaspoon dried oregano fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Heat canola oil in a pot over medium heat; add the diced butternut squash and sauté the squash until lightly colored, about 5 minutes.
2. Add the pinto beans and 4 cups of water to the butternut squash, bring the beans to a simmer and let cook over low heat for 20-25 minutes, adding more water as needed. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Place the rice in a bowl and rinse the rice until the water runs clear; drain. In a pot, bring the rice and the water to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until the water has been absorbed, 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat and fluff gently with a fork to separate the grains.
4. Meanwhile, prepare the sofrito. Heat oil in a pan and add the onions and peppers; sweat until limp, but with no color, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes. Add the chopped cilantro and oregano; season with salt and pepper. To serve, stir the sofrito into the beans and serve over rice.

• 1 large head green leaf lettuce
• 1 lemon, zest and juice
• 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
• ¼ cup vegetable oil
• Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Thoroughly wash and dry the green leaf lettuce and parsley. Tear the lettuce into "bite size" pieces, no larger than 2-square inches. Place the lettuce and parsley in a large bowl and set aside in the refrigerator.
2. In a small mixing bowl, combine the lemon juice, zest and red wine vinegar. Season with salt and pepper and gradually whisk in the olive oil to make the vinaigrette.
3. Season the greens with salt and pepper. Toss the greens with enough vinaigrette to lightly coat. Serve immediately.

• 1 tablespoon butter
• 4 bananas, peeled
• ¼ cup brown sugar
• ¼ cup rum

1. Peel the bananas and slice them in half lengthwise.
2. Heat the butter in a large sauté pan and add the bananas, round-side down.
3. Cook the bananas for 2 to 3 minutes on each side turning them carefully so as not to break them.
4. Sprinkle the brown sugar over the bananas and continue cooking.
5. Add the rum and light it. Serve immediately.