Since I'm avoiding wheat this month, I'm enjoying a lot of corn- and rice-based dishes. Tonight, I tried a really tasty idea: masa dumplings. I found blue corn masa on sale at the Food Coop, and an old article in Gourmet magazine came to mind.
Begin with 1 &1/2 cups of pinto beans. Soak them overnight. Then cook with 3 C water & 1 Tb salt until tender; when beans are tender, add a minced clove of garlic (or 2 or 3!) & a chopped onion. Stir in 1/2 Tb olive oil, 1 tsp chili powder & 1 tsp cumin (more or less--I didn't actually measure). Add 1 Tb tomato paste & 1 1/2 C vegetable broth. Allow to simmer five minutes.
While it simmers, stir together about 1 C masa harina (the stuff that tortilla chips are made from!), 1 Tb baking powder and 1/2 tsp salt. Make a well in center of dry ingredients and gently whisk one egg together with 2 Tb corn oil. Stir in 2 Tb vegetable broth. Begin to work into dry ingedients, adding vegetable broth as necessary to create a dough slightly stickier than Playdough. Roll into balls the size of walnuts and add to gently simmering broth (reduce heat, if necessary). Cover and simmer gently about 5 minutes.
We had ours with salsa and guacamole, but I bet a lot of chopped fresh cilantro would make this fantastic!
I would like to experiment with this recipe to make it vegan--I could probably use ground flax seeds to help hold it all together--but the dumplings turned out so light and fluffy I had to share them right off the bat.