Kale and cannellini bean stew with a side of GMAT

The last 5 months have been terribly busy for me. Between moving house, my responsibilities at work tripling and studying for the GMAT, I barely had a free moment to eat, let alone cook anything. I just kept my head down, nose in the books/computer and my mind focused on the November 3rd 12:45 test date. So, November 3rd at 12:00am, I decide, in my typical anal retentive way, that I am going to make sure I have everything lined up and ready, including making sure my name is exactly the same on my ID as it is on my test registration. To my horror I realized I had registered for the test in my married name, I didn’t have my drivers license (lost) and my passport was still in my maiden name. After much scrambling, I realized I was going to have to get a new drivers license the next morning. Of course I panicked at this thought because it was so late and I was not going to be able to do the full GMAT ritual I had planned for myself. So, I had to think fast. I ended up sleeping 6 hours, waking up early to be first in line at the DMV, rushing home, sleeping another 2 hours, eating something and then heading to the GMAT with a carafe of iced coffee for in-between sections. The test felt really hard throughout and I was sure I bombed, so, imagine my surprise when I not only managed to not get the 580 I kept dreading I would get while taking the test, but beat my highest practice test score of 660 with a 690. My hands were shaking so badly when I got done that the proctor had to sit me down for a few seconds before my hand would stay still enough to get the palm print.

While I am contemplating taking the GMAT again to get a better balance between quat and verbal, I was told to take the weekend off, and I decided to do just that. So, after I stopped shaking, I came home and Tom took me out to tapas, then dinner, followed by a movie at home. Today, however, I didn’t quite know what to do with myself. As is often the case when this happens I decided we needed to run all the errands I had been putting off for the last few months and I was going to finally make that bean and kale stew I have been wanting to make that I just hadn’t had the time for. This stew is what came of it and I must say, it is a glorious stew for rainy days, which, I guess, makes it a perfect Seattle stew.

One quick note – Do NOT add salt until after the beans are cooked. If you do, it will make the skin on the beans tough. I know most people think this is an old wives tale, it’s not, trust me. I did an experiment with this back when I was in college, Myth Busters style. I made one bag of beans in two separate pots with the same amount of water and heat. I added salt to one and not the other. The beans with salt had a much tougher skin.

Dino Kale, the inspiration for this stew!

Ingredients:
2 bunches of Dino Kale
1 lb Cannellini beans
1 bunch scallions (or 1 small yellow onion)
6 oz chorizo (1 cup chopped)
4 cloves garlic (or 8 small)
1/4 cup white wine
8 cups chicken stock
1 liter boiling water

Step 1: Place a dutch oven over medium low heat.

Step 2: Dice the chorizo into centimeter dice, slice the onions into roughly centimeter size pieces and smash the garlic.

Step 3: Add the chorizo to the pan and allow to render until a fair amount of the fat has abandoned the meat.

Step 4: Add the onions and sauté for 8-10 minutes or until soft and stained red with the chorizo drippings.

Step 5: Add the garlic and sauté for 3-5 minutes or until you can smell it but not until it’s too brown.

Leftover bottle of wine from the wedding. One bottle out of 3 cases.

Step 6: Add the 1/4 cup of white wine and let reduce until the wine is all but evaporated.

Quickest way to boil water. Learned this trick from Jamie Oliver! Pucka!!!

Step 7: Add a liter of boiling water to the pot

Step 8: Add the beans (make sure there is enough water to cover the beans well)

You shouldn’t be able to see the beans under the water.

Step 9: Simmer for 1.5 hours or until liquid reduces by half.
Step 10: Add the 8 cups of chicken stock
Step 11: Boil for another 1.5 hours or until the beans are soft

Step 12: Chop the Kale, leaves and stems, into centimeter wide slivers and mix into stew. Add more water if the stock has become too thick.
Step 13: Add a tsp of salt (or to taste).

Step 14: Boil for another 20-30 minutes or until the kale is soft and and delicious.

Step 15: Apply to face

Coming up next, I will try and finish up the posts from the Florida and European vacation.

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