There has been a whole lot of nothing going on around here lately thanks to the Snowpocalypse in Portland. The 8-12″ of snow is only just starting to melt. It’s going to be a slow, slow process. As easy as it would be to cook right now, it’s important to get out those nearby businesses and support them. This can’t be easy.
This was deliciously spicy. Two very simple things [chickpeas and tomatoes] shouldn’t taste so good, but they do. It’s amazing what seasoning can do. I’m looking forward to making this again now that I have my very own mortar and pestle to mix things like ginger, Serrano chile, and garlic together. I’m convinced the flavor will be even better. The little food processor worked just fine, though. Faster too. Thanks to that chile, the leftovers are going to get hotter as the flavors marinate. That’s just the way it goes.
I shoveled this in with a spoon, without rice or naan, but I wouldn’t have said no if it was presented to me. I was feeling lazy. Also lazy is not having fresh cilantro around. That would be the perk of having a little rabbit like my friend Emma has, but that’s just not happening.
Inspiration: Eating Well
- 1 small Serrano, seeds removed
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 2″ piece of garlic, peeled and chopped
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 6 tablespoons canola oil
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 28oz can diced tomatoes
- 2 15oz cans of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 2 teaspoons garam masala
- cilantro and fresh lime for garnish
In a small food processor, chop the Serrano, garlic, and ginger finely. You can do this with a knife if you’re so inclined. Add the onion and pulse until it all comes together. Don’t over pulse or it will become a watery mess.
Heat the canola oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion mixture and cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally so it doesn’t stick. Add the coriander, cumin, and turmeric and stir. It should be evenly incorporated into the mixture and smell heavenly. Cook that for two minutes. Keep stirring so the spices don’t stick and burn.
Add the chopped tomatoes and about a teaspoon of salt. Bring to a simmer and stir occasionally for about five minutes. Stir in the chickpeas and garam masala. Cover the mixture and cook for another five minutes. Top with cilantro and lime juice before serving.
I’m pretty sure I used the last jar of my grandma’s tomatoes. Or maybe it was salsa. She made that sometimes. Regardless, the tomato based and that’s what I was looking for. We have this habit of saying “Thanks, grandma!” out loud anytime these jars get opened. There aren’t many left.
This came about in a fit of “I don’t know what I want to eat, but I don’t want to go get anything.” I manage to surprise myself with whatever I have in the pantry. It never feels like much until I start digging into it. This is perfectly acceptable peasant food, and for some reason it has me thinking of An Everlasting Meal by Tamar Adler. It’s still sitting on one of my grandma’s bookshelves. I should get that back one of these days.
I thought about going the pasta route, but I need to really be in the mood for pasta and beans. It feels like too much a lot of the time. I went the canned route, even though I did finally make a batch of beans from scratch for the first time at Christmas. What a difference. That would be exceptional here, but canned work. I’m not going to pretend I’m going to go all-homemade-everything around here. That’s a resolution I’m just not making [as I have my first batch of homemade almond milk in the fridge…]. Speaking of resolutions, these cooking resolutions are inspiring. I’ve already got my eye on this pot roast and to freeze some leftovers. That kind of meal planning is unheard of in our house. The fact that I even remembered to take the last of the steaks out of the freezer is worthy of a pat on the back.
- 1 cup cooked rice
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 small yellow onion, chopped
- 1 celery rib, chopped
- 1 can of diced tomatoes
- 2 cans of cannellini white beans
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- 6 cups chicken broth
- Grated Parmesan cheese, for serving
Heat the olive oil on medium-high heat in a large pot or Dutch oven. Add the onion and celery, cooking it until soft. It should take about 5 minutes. Add in the garlic and stir for 30-seconds. Add the stock, tomatoes, and Italian seasoning. Bring the mixture to a boil before stirring in the beans and reducing everything to a simmer. Simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in the rice before serving. Top with grated Parmesan.
After talking about how much I’ve been lusting after Cheese Club at Cyril’s, I went! They had to reschedule December’s pick-up party because of the weather, so I could make it happen. It was better than I could have imagined. I picked up a block of Rocket’s Robiola from Boxcarr handmade cheese, tasted four others [two of which were also Boxcarr’s], and had a pairing with Clay Pigeon’s 2013 pinot noir and a beer from Occidental that I can’t remember now. A couple of the bottles of pinot came home too. They were having a 25% off sale. Can you blame us?
Simplicity has been the name of the game since the weather has been crap, we’ve been busy, or there have been holiday leftovers in the fridge. Recipes like this are what I want. Protein. Greens. Fiber. Put in a pan. Roast. Eat. Cheese
not optional. This works with pretty much any combination.
- 1 bunch Swiss chard
- 1 16oz can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1lb sausage [about four], cut in half lengthwise and then sliced
- Salt and pepper
- Shredded parmesan, optional
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Tear the Swiss chard leaves into bite size pieces. You can not use the stems if you want, but I chopped them up and used them.
In a large baking dish or ovenproof skillet, combine the chard and beans. Season with salt and pepper.
In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, mustard, paprika, and olive juice. Drizzle over chard and beans. Mix thoroughly with your hands. Nestle the sausage pieces into the greens.
Nestle the sausage pieces into the greens. Roast for 20-25 minutes. The chard should be tender and the edges crispy. If your sausage isn’t precooked, it should no longer be pink.
Top with shredded parmesan before serving.
It’s really hard to get a decent photo of an egg salad sandwich, so there isn’t one for you. If you have any interest in the salad of eggs like I am, you should make this one. It was so good. I promise you can’t really taste the anchovies other than a hint of saltiness. I toasted sourdough and topped it with some mixed greens.
The thought of sardines may make some your nose crinkle, too. In that case, you have my blessing to add whatever else sounds good here. Anything would be good here. Nothing would be good here. I’d gladly eat collards and white beans most days [which is pretty much all I bought at the store tonight]. It’s a comforting kind of wonderful. Sardines added a nice little saltiness and protein that you wouldn’t have otherwise. You probably see all of those red flecks of crushed red pepper. You’re not surprised anymore, are you? Add more or less. I added even more after I took the photo.
I’ve been toying with making beans from scratch, but I’m afraid. Afraid I’ll never want to eat them out of the can anymore, and I never plan ahead to soak beans overnight.
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 1 large bunch of collard greens, thick stems removed, and chopped into bite sized pieces
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 15oz can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
- 1 4.2oz tin of sardines in olive oil [I used Matiz Gallego]
Heat four tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and crushed pepper. Stir often until the garlic starts to turn colors. Add greens by the handful so it’ll all fit into the pan. Toss to cover in the oil. Add the broth, cover, and simmer until the greens are tender. This should take about 5-7 minutes. Add the beans and simmer uncovered until the beans are warmed and the liquid is mostly gone. Stir in the vinegar. Add salt and pepper.
Chop the sardines into small pieces and sprinkle over the top of the greens.
There are a few new-to-me places I have to tell you about. Rose City Taqueria? It’s such a solid taco shop. Filling, cheap, and that green sauce is awesome. Oh and carne asada fries? Yep. Wiz Bang, the new soft serve place by the same folks as Salt and Straw? Talk about reinvigorating my love for them. They have these things called concretes, which is soft serve mixed with toppings. That Woodblock chocolate soft serve with salted, malted chocolate chip cookie dough is like a Dairy Queen Blizzard on steroids. Unbelievably good. It’s in the new Pine Street Market space, which makes me feel like I’m in Europe. I haven’t been to any of the other restaurants in there, but soon. Boke Dokie is Boke Bowl’s new food cart that focuses on their fried chicken [and tofu] sandwiches. I’ve had their ramen, but never the chicken, but it seems like it deserves it’s own food cart. The chicken was juicy, the bun a perfect mix of soft and sturdy, a kimchi-esque slaw, and the green salsa will melt your face. Bomb. So bomb.
So this simple sandwich of smashed chickpeas and avocado had me craving pickles like whoa. After that first bite, I knew that’s what I wanted. That salty brine and crunch was necessary. Some red onion or some capers would have also been gladly accepted. There was a jar of Colman’s Mustard at the store the other day and I had to have it. I haven’t seen it in non-powder form since I was in the UK years ago. It’s so spicy and intense–probably one of my favorite mustards. It definitely started my love affair with mustard at any rate. It would have been absolutely on this sandwich. It’s a versatile thing, this sandwich. I started with the bare bones of this recipe, smash an avocado and some drained and rinsed chickpeas together. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add a splash of lemon or lime juice. It’s been all the rage, and I can see why. It’s filling and fresh. It doesn’t leave the office smelling like fish [but I’m not above that]. It can sit in your desk without needing the fridge, but that avocado may start to brown. I realize it’s not really much of a recipe, but it’s just that good.
- 1 ripe avocado
- 15oz can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- Salt and pepper
- A splash or lemon or lime juice
- Optional mix-ins/toppings: mustard, pickles, red onion, capers
Mash together the avocado and chickpeas in a bowl. I used my small capacity food processor because the avocado wasn’t as ripe as I would have liked. I think in a perfect world, a fork would work just fine. Add salt, pepper, and lemon/lime juice to taste. Mix in additional condiments and make your sandwich. Top with pickles if you’re into that sort of thing.