Here's another simple after-work supper thing I invented last night. I'll say it myself, this was utterly delicious and I would make it again without hesitation. It's vaguely Southern in influence- but more about that in another post.
Chop up a handful of shallots and sweat them in butter and oil. Next, add chopped up bacon bits. I'm currently rather keen on the slightly tacky American bacon, Oscar Mayer, produced by that sinister corporation, Kraft- it's the sort of bacon you get in diners. I'm sure it's been chemically dried, cured, or treated in some way, as it's guaranteed to go crispy every time you can cook it. You can almost eat it raw too, a bit like cured ham.
Add some finely diced red peppers and a minced red chili or two to the mix. Next, drain a tin of butter beans and add to the pan. If you can be bothered to cook fresh butter beans before hand, so much the better- but I do find that tinned (and pre-cooked) beans and pulses are really almost as good as the dried version, if not, to be frank, the same. Isn't it a case of the Emperor's New Clothes here?
Add a nugget of butter, warm through, and set aside. Make a simple dressing: a teaspoon of white sugar, a splash of sherry or white wine vinegar and lots of lovely groundnut oil, sea salt and white pepper. Spoon the dressing over the bean mixture and garnish with finely chopped spring onions and flat-leafed parsley.
Check the seasoning. I sprinkled over a teaspoon of my latest discovery; a dried sweet smoked paprika, thyme and garlic mix which you can buy in small plastic tubs from the dreaded Sainsbury's. These flavours work brilliantly together. Another thing I can eat raw, in Neanderthal fashion straight from the container; it's finger lickin' divine.
I thought this dish was especially good. The sweetness of the red peppers, dressing and chili contrast nicely with the buttery beans and the crunchy, raw, but finely chopped spring onions and the salty, smoky bacon. You could, of course, serve it cold, but I think your guests might prefer it if it was gently warmed through.