While James Bond may not often have time to sit down to a meal in the film series, food does crop up with with surprising frequency. Take Quantum of Solace (2008). Following his exposure of Quantum members during the performance of Tosca, Bond crashes through the opera house’s busy kitchen, causing food to fly. (The action happens a little too rapidly to identify much of the food, but I’m working on it.) And, outside the Bolivian bar where Bond meets Felix Leiter, there’s a list of items painted on the wall. Three are shown: arvejas (peas), porotos (cranberry or borlotti beans) and lentejas (lentils).
I thought I’d create a dish using one of the items, porotos. Assuming that the painted list refers to food available in the bar, I’ve prepared a sort of tapas dish, inspired by Bolivian recipes, that would go well with some rice or crusty bread and a bottle of cold Cervecita-like beer.
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium (c. 100g) red onion, peeled and chopped
- 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 1 large tomato, deseeded and chopped
- 1 (400g) tin borlotti beans (c. 235g drained)
- 1 tbsp finely chopped oregano (ideally fresh)
- ½ tsp cayenne pepper (or to taste)
- ½ ground cumin
- Pinch salt
- 100ml water or vegetable stock
- Parsley to garnish
In a saucepan, deep frying pan or flame-proof casserole, heat the oil, add the onion and vinegar and cook the onion over a medium heat for approx. 5 minutes or until the onion has softened. Spoon the onion into a bowl, then add the tomato to the pan. Cook for about a minute, stirring frequently, then cover the pan and, over a low heat, allow the tomato to continue cooking for another 5 minutes, by which time the tomato should have reduced to a paste.
Return the onion to the pan and add the oregano, cayenne pepper, cumin and salt. Mix well, then add the beans and stir. Pour in the water or stock, stir again, then cover the pan. Allow the mixture to cook gently for approx. 10 minutes (if necessary, turning up the heat slightly to ensure that the mixture is bubbling). At the end of the cooking time, the liquid should have been absorbed and mixture have become thick and gooey.
Transfer the mixture to individual tapas-style dishes and sprinkle some finely chopped parsley over the top.