Tag Archives: food

Spicy Peanut Stew

In my pantry today:

  • 1 lg sweet potato in 1-2″ chunks
  • 1 14 oz can black beans
  • 1 tbsp grapeseed oil (Olive is totes fine too)
  • 1 c minced onion
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 celery stalk in 1/2″-1″ bits
  • 3/4 c frozen corn
  • 1/2 c minced kale
  • 1/2 c creamy peanut butter
  • 1 14 oz can diced/crushed tomatoes w/ green chile
  • 1-2 c vegetable broth
  • 1 tsp ginger powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (or to taste)
  • 1/8 tsp sea salt
  • dash of asafoetida

peanut-stewIt’s a strange winter that’s seen a lot of beautiful spring days and a few notably polar ones. If it’s going to be cold any particular evening, a soup or stew is what to have on the stove. Not to get all June Cleaver on y’alls tails, but I love knowing something will be ready the minute my darling returns from a long day of work. Stews’ll let you have that. Tonight I’m trying a West African-inspired peanut stew that made friends with the inside of my cupboard.

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RIP, Barbara Billingsly

When your oil in a large pot reaches the high side of medium-low, add your seasonings to the oil and mix it into a paste. Then mix in the kale onion, garlic and celery. Let that cook for 5-10 minutes, and upon your return add the tomatoes peanut butter, stirring it in until smooth. Add the can of beans (liquid ‘n all) and as much broth as your taste permits. Put diced sweet potato in pot and let it come to a leisurely boil on M before covering it, turning the burner to L and walking away until your sweet potatoes are tender (At least 45 minutes).

This is a gluten-free and vegan recipe, but… wait, come back! You didn’t let me finish.

This is a gluten-free and vegan recipe, but use chicken instead of vegetable broth or, heck, add actual chicken and you’ve got an inarguably good dinner at 5 spoons.

Oregano Bruschetta

In my pantry today:

oreganobruschettaStart out by slivering your garlic and putting it in an olive-oiled skillet warming to the M side of ML. While it slowly begins to crisp, get to quartering your little heirloom tomatoes. When the garlic begins to turn golden, remove the pan from heat and let it cool while you wash your cutting board and various utensils. Add one drop of the oregano oil to the partially-to-mostly-cooled pan and add the pan contents to the ‘maters. Toss, seal and let marinate overnight. On the morrow, serve after sitting outside the fridge long enough to come back to near-room temperature atop crostini, drizzling each with a little balsamic vinegar and sea salt. The oregano oil fills in any space left by the absence of fresh basil, being as savory a flavor as it is in this form. Things could really only have been made better by having baked the crostini myself — I know that it would’ve been made with love, which is no guarantee you’ll receive from a store bakery. 4 spoons with crostini, 5 without or with imagined others!

Healthy(ish) Banana Bread and Subsequent Muffin Attempting

In my pantry today:

  • 1 c whole wheat flour
  • 1 c Bob’s Red Mill 5 grain rolled hot cereal
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2.5 cups mashed overripe bananas
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 tbsp ground flax
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 c crushed pecan halves
  • 1 tbsp cacao powder

nanabread2As in most baking recipes, combine all the dry stuff in one bowl and mix the wet stuff in another after creaming butter and sugar. Add mashed up bananas to the wet stuff, then mix it all together. Well, do this with everything but the cacao powder. That’ll be for the mini-muffins you’ll make with the overbatter.  Bake in a 350° oven for 45-60m (until a butter knife comes out of the middle clean).  The whole grain cereal you’re using includes whole grain red wheat, rye, barley, oats and flaxseed (if you’d read the bag more thoroughly before baking you might not have added that extra flax, but oh(mega) well), and using whole wheat flour instead of all-purpose makes this banana bread feel more like breakfast without dampening the flavor (thank you, butter and sugar!). This bread came out more moist than many loaves I have before tasted, and earns 4 spoons for its combination of nutrients and flavor. What batter didn’t fit in my 7.5×3 loaf pan got mixed with some cacao powder and glopped into a mini-muffin pan. This needed to bake just as long as the loaf, but aren’t nearly as moist — just chewy. They only get 2 spoons, boo!

Pasticcio di Carne Ricoperto di Purè (or, “That’s Fancy for Italian Shepherd’s Pie”)

In my pantry today:

  • .5 lb ground sirloin
  • 1 hot Italian sausage
  • 6 sm-med red potatoes
  • 1 c asparagus, cut
  • 2-4 blanched tomatoes
  • 1 small yellow onion
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 tbsp Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp corn starch
  • 2 tsp dried Italian seasoning
  • sprinkle salt

First, call the Waaahmbulance. It is such a pain in the bottomnotches to upload any photos right now. My computer needs an OS reinstall and I can’t do that until I make sure my freelance gigs are taken care of. There was a sudden death in the family and five days of IV infusions for me to control a particularly virulent MS flare… and now I am on steroids for three more weeks and OMG NOM SO HUNGRY NOM. /ninewaahwaah

To be fair — abundant silver linings do exist. In about a week I get to put on fancy clothes and go to a state museum exhibit opening because of the brochure and notecards I made. I am working with another state organization for an upcoming event. I can feel my hands again and I have not had eyeball seizures for a full 24 hours. These and other things remind me that life is good, that I am lucky… and I am hungry.

Mince one clove garlic and mix into ground beef. Remove sausage casing and chop animals while they brown comfortably on M. In another pan, put 1/2 tsp oil and 1 tbsp butter in pan to melt. Chop and add onion and 3 cloves garlic. Let cook over M heat while you dice up those frozen blanched tomatoes. Add that, liquid and all, and let it all boil down on M for 10-15m. Stir in corn starch, bring back to boil then remove from heat. Gently wring moisture from asparagus if frozen (always better of course if fresh) and chop into thirds or fourths. Pour everything into the meat and gently stir.

Meanwhile, you’ve been boiling whole taters and browning one clove of garlic on L with remaining butter. Once the potatoes are soft enough to smash, do that with a potato masher or fork. Pour the meat mix into a baking dish, then place smashed potatoes on top. Pour butter/garlic mix over potatoes, add a little more seasoning and top all that with Parmesan. Put in 350° oven for 20m. This is a gorgeous dish of which I took many photographs. It is not your time, apparently, to lay witness upon it’s glory. 5 spoons!

Photo Recap of the Weekish

In my pantry today:

  • Photographs of food I’ve been making but not writing about and I’m not going to make having taken them a complete moot point in this often otherwise cruel world.

These wontons began beautifully but ended badly. And that’s a damn shame, because fun ingredients like fresh garlic and sushi ginger began their filling. And then something happened which would then ruin the subsequently beautiful soup I’d made for them.  An unwittingly pureed bean paste teaches me to fold in a whisked egg rather than use the food processor for this step. I was heartily saddened upon the dinning time; these wontons can go to… well, I’ll just positively chalk them up to a learning experience. The soup itself was a delight. And an excellent appetizer for the take out Chinese I immediately offered to purchase in apology.

Because I felt a failure at rocking a delicious vegetarian concept, I thawed a roll of ground sausage. Because you can’t fail with ground sausage. Except this time. To be fair, it was less of an abject failure and more of a “this would be great if it wasn’t missing something” issue.It was still great, and beget the beans for additional recipes.

And then I looked at the tiny container garden on my back porch and did a spit take at the jalapeno plant. I picked a dozen peppers, left plenty behind and then stared at the pile for a few minutes.

I do not like pickled jalapenos. In fact, I really have never cared for most peppers. Cooking them before wasting away inside on the counter was a must. Several ideas arose, but for the moment I boldly went a little TGI Fridays with some leftover sausage-n-corn dip and made poppers. The remaining ten or so peppers were halved, the seeds removed and roasted with a little olive oil, garam masala, turmeric and Greek seasoning. After that they were diced and used in a very spicylicious curry (not pictured, but which utilized those above mentioned white beans and became two days worth of meals).

I’m almost caught up now. Next post is being written — and this forthcoming one’ll get it’s very own at 5 spoons!

No Thanks to You, Parsley.

In my pantry today:

  • 1 tbsp reserved sausage grease
  • 1/4 large onion, chopped clumsily
  • 1.5 c cooked lima beans
  • 1.5 c chopped parsley
  • 1 10 oz can Hunt’s rosemary & oregano tomatoes
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 3/4 tsp red hot chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp asafoetida
  • cooked angel hair pasta
  • Parmesan cheese to taste

Ok, let me start out by being completely up front: parsley is unattractive to my palette. I’ve recently boarded the phytonutrient bandwagon and because of that am giving all manner of new-to-me vegetables a try. And parsley is losing the office pool. I do not recommend using parsley in this, and most other, dishes. The health benefits of parsley are well-known enough, and I do not deign to refuse it entrance to my kingdom on all counts… it did very well with the walnut pesto recipe, but when not ground by a food processor can be a little too prickly for the roofs of mouths.

Anyway, we’ve still gotta do this thing, don’t we? Start your sausage grease and onions in a cold pan heating to M. Once it reaches full heat and the bottom of your pan shows the slightest indication of browning, turn heat to L and gently fold in lima beans along with seasonings. Add the undrained can of tomatoes, mix gently enough not to puncture or smash your beans (that’s for later! with forks!). Cover and let simmer for as long as you’ve got, but enjoy at any point now with angel hair pasta and Parmesan cheese. Excepting the parsley (for which, you see, I did not allow room in these instructions) this gets 5 spoons.