Category Archives: STW

Mingle Dish – Baked Garbanzos with beans

I got a lot of compliments on the mingle dish tonight and wanted to share the recipe. Really, the secret is the tomato sauce. You could probably get away with doing anything with this sauce and it would be great. By the way, this was the solution to my tomato problem of a few weeks ago. 😉 Clever, huh? So it’s another food / recipe post on my blog. You can just skip it if you want (but you’d be missing out on some tasty food!)

This is all from Mark Bittman’s book: How to Make Everything Vegetarian, which has become my favorite cookbook of all times.

The base of the recipe:

4 cups Garbanzo Beans
1 recipe Spicy Indian Tomato Sauce (warmed)
1 1/2 cups cheese (The recipe recommended fresh cheese, I used mozzarella)
3 Tablespoons butter
1/2 cup cilantro (which I forgot to put on)
Salt and pepper to taste

Grease the pan you are cooking in with a little of the butter. Layer on the sauce, then the beans. Insert chunks of cheese into the layers, and lightly salt and pepper. Pour the remaining (melted) butter over the top. Bake at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes, until the beans and the cheese are a little browned. Garnish with a little more pepper and the cilantro.

Here’s the good recipe: And seriously, you could use this to fill donuts and it would be good. 😉 Ok, maybe not donuts… But this sauce is Amazing!

See my notes afterwards. I’ll explain some how I did it, because I didn’t quite do it the same way. It’s not a difficult recipe, but it does require some chopping and paying attention to it on the stove.

Spicy Indian Tomato Sauce

Makes 2 cups.

4 T butter or 1/4 c neutral oil, like grapeseed or corn
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
one 1-inch piece ginger, peeled and minced
1 T minced fresh chile or hot red pepper flakes or cayenne to taste
2 T garam masala or curry powder
1/2 t chili powder
large pinch sugar
2 c chopped ripe tomato (about 1 lb. whole), preferably peeled and seeded, or drained canned tomatoes
1/2 cream or coconut milk
1/2 c chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1 t cumin seeds
1 t mustard seeds

1. Put 3 T of the butter or oil in a deep skillet over medium0-high heat. When the butter is melted or oil is hot, add onion, garlic, ginger and chile. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in garam masala, chili powder and sugar and sprinkle with salt and pepper; cook and stir until spices become fragrant, a minute or two more.

2. Add tomato and cook, stirring frequently, until it starts to release its liquid, about 3 minutes. Add the cream and cilantro and keep cooking and stirring until the mixture comes to a boil.

3. Turn heat down so the sauce bubbles gently and cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomato breaks up and the mixture comes together and thickens, about 30 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning. (The sauce may be made ahead to this point, cooled, covered and refrigerated for up to 3 days. Reheat gently before proceeding.)

4. Put remaining butter or oil in a small pan over medium-high heat. When the butter is melted or the oil is hot, add cumin and mustard seeds and toast them until they begin to pop. Spoon over the sauce just before serving.

My notes:
– I didn’t do the toasting of cumin and mustard seeds this time, but it’s a nice addition.

– Garam Masala is an Indian Spice which I still haven’t really found in the stores I frequent. Fortunately my recipe book (see above) has a recipe, which shows its about equal parts cumin and cinnamon, plus some other exotic spices. I just threw in equal parts cumin and cinnamon, and to be on the safe side, some curry powder I had laying around. It tasted just fine.

– The fresh ginger is great! The first time I tried it, I left the pieces a little bigger, which added special pockets of flavor. This time I minced rather finely. (I didn’t ever get a ginger chunk, as I didn’t get very much to taste.)

– I didn’t have any cream or coconut milk, so I used some of the plain yogurt I had laying around. It added a touch of tanginess.

– Through the full cooking time I thought that the sauce was too liquidy, but it came together right at the end after I turned the heat off and was the right consistency, something like a very chunky spaghetti sauce.

– I went a little overboard on the jalepenos, in my opinion, but you can vary according to your taste. Many of the people at the mingle liked the heat where it was.

Why I love the Mingle

Some of you may know that my favorite thing about my calling at church is the fact that I am nominally in charge of “The Mingle.” Most months, Leilani is actually in charge, but when she wasn’t on the STW committee, or when she is out of town, the responsibility falls to Elizabeth and me. Elizabeth is usually happy to let me have the limelight, and I’m usually more than willing to take it.

When I first came to the STW committee the Mingle was a spotty little activity called “Break the Fast,” which, you guessed it, happened on Fast Sunday after church. It was lightly attended and always held at the chapel. We decided to move it from the first Sunday to the third to prevent it from interfering with people’s fasts. And to capitalize on the fact that many ward activities fall on the third Friday or Saturday.

Now, as I said, it is my favorite activity each month. Why? I have a hard time figuring it out. I think the following reasons might have something to do with it:

1- I love to cook, and Mingle gives me a reason to try out a new recipe. Usually I have some inspiration while I’m trolling recipe websites, (One of my favorites is 101 Cookbooks) or reading my cookbooks. Something I want to try that I haven’t tried before. I’m not sure the last time I actually took a tried and true recipe to Mingle. Some turn out great… Other times, not so great. (My contribution this week, a simple bean salad, wasn’t anything spectacular.)

2- I love the chance to talk to everyone. Mingle brings people together to, well, mingle. And I love it.

3- It always works out. Every mingle, I start to freak out that we won’t have enough food about 5 minutes before we are to begin. And we always have enough to eat. Some months, we only have just barely enough, but everyone always gets at least one full plate of food. Even if it was from an industrial size can of corn… We’ve had some serious Loaves and Fishes moments at several mingles, but they have always turned out. It’s kind of faith building.

4- The themes. Coming up with a theme has always been fun. We instituted themes quite a while back to get people thinking about the mingle mid-week, rather than Sunday afternoon. My favorite to this day was “Food that begins with the first letter of your name.” We got some extremely creative food that month.

This month, I decided to not stress out about the Mingle, even when it was 5 minutes to showtime and there was an abundance of salads, but no main dishes. It was hard, but I think I was successful. And of course, I loved it. Even after I dumped my entire plate on the table right when I was sitting down.