Friday, July 29, 2011

Dirty Black Bean Acini Di Pepe

 I will never pass up a 1.20 package of gizzards again. Aside from the trimming, this made a most fascinating, unusual, and yummy dish! And so cheap! And the possibilities!

First, the trimming of these things took the longest, unless I'm missing the trick to this (probably) trimming thing. All I know is you need to trim off all the white parts, connective tissues and green parts or your dish will be bitter.  Kitchen scissors are a blessing with this little, time consuming chore. My suggestion is get this out of the way, and freeze them until you want to use them.

I love the earthy, simple taste and slow warmth of this dish, mixed with the creamy texture of the black bean. Some may prefer more heat, if so, add a bit more cayenne to suit your tastes.

It's also great topped with your favorite hot sauce, or topped with salsa and stuff into a tortilla, or piled onto a bed of crunchy, fresh lettuce!

On to the recipe!
  • 2  1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup Acini di Pepe
  • 1/2 pound, or so, package of chicken gizzards, trimmed
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup celery, chopped
  • 2 cloves roasted garlic, or 1 raw clove minced well. Depends on your love of garlic.
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  •  1/8 teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • 1/8 teaspoon thyme, rubbed between your fingers
  • 1/8 plus a dash, cayenne 
  • 4-5 rubs of a nutmeg on small grater (dash)
  • about 1 cup of thin sliced green onions, including a bit of the green too.
  • 2 tablespoons of grated Asiago on the small grater.
First bring 2 cups of chicken stock to boil, pour in the Acini, give a little stir and turn heat down to a med heat so the Acini is gently boiling. Stir occasionally while preparing the black bean and meat mixture.

Then take your trimmed gizzards and pulse in a food processor. I used a smaller blender for this chore, because it was a small amount. Less dishes- the happier the cook! haha
Whizz the gizzards for 2 or 3 minutes, the texture will resemble fine ground meat.

Gosh, all that work trimming and whizzing, just for about a cup of meat. But it was worth it in the end! Next time should be quicker. I plan to do this step ahead of time and freeze it.

Heat a large pan on medium-high heat, and add the veggie oil and the whizzed gizzards, and a sprinkle of kosher salt and pepper, stir around until they're starting to brown good; then turn heat down to medium and add the chopped onions, celery, a sprinkle of kosher salt and pepper, the remaining spices, roasted garlic, if you're using it (if you're using raw, wait) and 1/2 cup of chicken stock.

 Stir and cook about 5 minutes, and when the onions start to turn clear, then add the raw garlic, if you're using it.  Stir and cook until veggies are tender and gizzard meat is cooked through, about 5 more minutes or so.
Turn heat down to a medium-low.
Add black beans, another sprinkle of kosher salt and pepper.
By this time, the Acini should have absorbed most of the liquid and is done. Do not drain. Dump Acini into black bean and gizzard mixture and mix together.
Cook about 5 more minutes or so, or until hot and most or all of liquid is absorbed.

Top with Asiago and sliced green onions, give a toss and serve with salsa or hot sauce!

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