Hannibal , step aside. Fava beans never tasted this good!

Yesterday, was time off from cooking, or so I thought. It was the 2010 Labor day holiday and I got to spend time with cousins and family, grilling, eating, and just chitchatting as if we were all auditioning for the next pulp fiction sequel.  There was a funny thing about yesterday.  While we ate, and there was definitely a decadent abundance on the tables - folks, note the plural here - , we just kept on talking about food, and recipes from the old country.  Some of the discussions were borderline heated. "No, way your town had a tradition of making liver sausages. We were the sole exclusivists!", said one of the invited guests, speaking with a lofty degree of judicial authority.  Is it that we, us Italian transplants,  are all obsessed with our culinary tales ? On my end, we certainly try to stay away from talking politics, My views would not align with those of many of my Italian relatives; I will bet they would would go beyond calling me a liberal.  So the default topic of discussion inevitably, usually falls back on to  "ars culinaria".

As expected, I was given some grilling duties. It always happens. "Mick, here's your apron", my cousin's husband said, an offer I could not refuse, if you know what I mean. Most of the meats had been already prepared or marinated. I got to practice some of the grilling techniques I had learned during my extensive steakhouse courses in NYC  The good news, it all came back, just like riding a bike and the guests were satisfied.

When all was said and done, the day turned out to be lots of fun. Hanging out with a bunch of Italian speaking folks is always something that I enjoy, especially when the weather cooperates, and certainly after pouring some good Negroamaro refills into my glass. Well, maybe my teenage fan club would have rated it bit differently.

I wound down the day by cooking some fava beans for the day after.  These would be the prime ingredient for todays dish.  Let me warn you , the fava bean peeling took over half hour. It was fun, but next time I think I will ask for a helper.

Lebanese Fava beans Danish Blue Cheese Squares 

1/2 lb of dry fava beans. (Middle Eastern or Italian) 
2 tablespoons , Danish Butter
Danish Blue cheese, cut into small squares 
1 tablespoon of dry thyme 
Salt and Pepper

Quick Steps 

1.  Soak the dry fava beans for at least 24 hours. Keep refrigerated or they will start to ferment
2.  Peel the fava beans indivually
3.  Cook  the bean over a slow heat.  Add some salt, and  a clove of garlic, skin and all
4.  Puree the fava beans , add the butter, dry thyme
5.  Plate with garnish of three squares of well-veined soft Danish blue cheese

For some extra kick , add a Calabrian hot chili pepper in EVOO. Eat hot, and make sure that the cheese is at least partially melted. Un-Imaginable, that's all I have to say.

Fava beens nevered tasted so good. Sorry doctor Letcher,  no Chianti, and definitely no liver.

Salaam my friends.


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