Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Patani/Lima Beans with Prosciutto


Do you believe in that baffling occurance they call food bloggers' synchronicity? More and more often, people halfway across the world from each other are reaching for the same things in the market, whipping up the same desserts, trying the same dishes and techniques for the first time...all by coincidence. Strange, mysterious, yet oddly comforting...serendipitous affirmation. What moves us to simultaneously think up of the same dishes or zero in on the same ingredients? Has all this blogging created a gastronomic collective unconscious?

Well, let's leave that to Carl Jung while I get on with the lima beans, or patani, as it is called here, and my own little bit of synchronicity. Where do I begin? It all started on my honeymoon. In one of the (many) amazing restaurants we visited in Barcelona, I had a plate of lightly sauteed habas (broad beans) with ceps. In Malaga, we had a similar dish of habitas (smaller beans) with bacon. These dishes were simplicity itself, but so flavorful and delicious that they planted themselves firmly in my mind, urging me to replicate them or die craving.

Back in the tropics, I did cross paths with an interesting bean. I bought a bag and brought it home, but it proved to be the wrong one for my honeymoon bean dish. It did however, prove to be exactly the right one for another bean dish I had been meaning to try, inspired by another trip I had taken. So I post about this other bean dish (which happens to be a dip/spread), and a well-respected and popular local blogger, Marketman, comments on the "serious deja vu in the air" as he had just bought some lima beans in the market and was experimenting with a lima bean spread. What he didn't know at that point though, is that I had also been to the market (different market but same day), and had also grabbed a bag of lima beans, because there were (yes! finally!) the right beans for my honeymoon bean dish!

Are you still with me? Good, because as complicated as that was, is how simple this dish is to make. And it is absolutely delicious! I wanted to replicate the habitas with bacon that I had in Malaga. After some tips from Marketman, here's what I did: Blanch the lima beans in boiling water and peel. Heat some olive oil in a pan and gently sautee some prosciutto. Toss in the beans, sprinkle with sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper, and sautee briefly. That's it! If you want you can drizzle some of your best extra virgin olive oil on top before serving. This makes an excellent side dish, or even a light meal. You can also use it to top a salad. I'm planning to toss the leftovers with some penne tomorrow. I'll try the lima beans with mushrooms next!

I wonder if there's someone out there making the same thing...gotta love these "happy accidents" :)

20 comments:

Patricia Scarpin said...

Delicious, Joey! And the photo is amazing, lovely presentation!

Susan said...

Hi Joey,
I just discovered your lovely blog. I enjoyed your story--it is fascinating to realize how connected we are though we may be thousands of miles apart. I look forward to fresh lima beans each spring and think your dish looks delicious.

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Oh, Joey, it is time for limas!! I love them and must try your simple recipe.
Fun thoughts on serindipity!

Kalyn said...

Looks just wonderful.

Freya said...

How wonderful that it worked out that way! The dish looks beautiful!

ChichaJo said...

Hi Patricia! Thank you! :)

Hi Susan! Thanks for stopping by and leaving a nice comment :) It's incredible how the internet has "connected" so many people at so many different levels...

Hi Tanna! Yes, they were out in the market in full force :) I was very happy to see them :) Serendipity is always fun!

Hi Kalyn! Thanks!

Hi Freya! Thank you :) Yes, it's wonderful and also a bit funny how things turn out :)

tigerfish said...

Wonder if I could try this with edamame(substitute those lima) since I have edamame currently. Light yummies! Thanks for popping by my blog :D

Linda said...

what a fantastic photo. the colors complement each other soo well. looks delicious!

veron said...

Hi Joey, I did not know lima beans was patani...he..hee.
Your lima beans and prosciutto look fantastic to me!
And i do believe in food blogger's syncronicity...

Dee said...

Hi, serendipity indeed. Almost bought this yesterday in the market too, though I have to admit it was inspired by your earlier post. But I saw the beans weren't all green, which I suspect is not good quality? Btw, love your blog :)

Marketmanila said...

Looks brilliant to me!

ChichaJo said...

Hi Tigerfish! You'll never believe this, but I was having edamame at a Japanese restaurant today and the exact same thought crossed my mind! I think it'll go really well...a great east meets west type of dish :)

Hi Linda! Thanks! I love green :)

Hi Veron! I didn't know either until I read Marketman's post, hehe :) Thanks! :)

Hi Dee! Thank you! See, there is really something in the air :)

Hi Marketman! Thank you!!! And thanks for the tips :)

ces said...

i know exactly what you mean joey! sometimes i just wonder why it happens, huh? and jumping from one blog to the other makes you realize this all the more! strange!
anyway, your lima beans look good!

ChichaJo said...

Hi Ces! Thanks :) Yes, I realize it more and more...it's great I think :)

mae said...

Hi Joey,

Like Veron, i didn't know lima beans are patani too. See, i remember 'bahay kubo' song and i wouldn't have remembered what patani looks like until now.

Your presentation is so beautiful. I love the greens and the food look so clear, i want to grab the plate off the screen. To sum it up, beautiful photo. :)

Mae

JMom said...

awesome presentation, joey! I love patani. Lima beans is also very common here in the south, simply boiled with bacon or smoked ham for seasoning.

This blogging synchronicity is true, it's happened to me at least once or twice. And now, believe it or not, my hubs and I were just talking about looking for lima bean seeds for our garden as we wanted to plant some this year! :)

Lori said...

Joey, I had patani in pinakbet just this past Tuesday. Does that count for food bloggers' synchronicity?

ChichaJo said...

Hi Mae! Thank you! I opened all my windows so the sun could come in, although I still had to turn on the overhead light, I think the sunlight really makes a difference...got that tip from you always mentioning natural light :) You can't say patani without all of us remembering Bahay Kubo!

Hi Jmom! Thanks! See we are all in-snyc...hehe :) It really goes well with the cured/smoked meat pairing no?

Hi Lori! Yes, we will accept that as synchronicity! :) Hehe...in fact the guy I bought the beans from told we to put it in pinakbet!

Lani said...

Patani brings back childhood memories (lol). We had patani vine when we were growing up and every week we had "nilaga or steamed patani" with bagoong as sawsawan, yummy talaga.

ChichaJo said...

Hi Lani! That sounds super good! I must try that :) Thanks for sharing the tip :)