After I declared that I would resume blogging, I realized that we didn't have our camera. We accidently left it at a friend's house and life is so crazy these days that we didn't pick it up for a week and a half (this is a long time for us to be without camera, folks!). In the meantime, we made two fabulous meals. You'll just have to imagine how these meals looked.
Bihari Green Bean Masala
I absolutely loved this dish. The sauce was so tasty that I would be willing to drink it from a glass. We'll definitely be making this again and might try some variations.
2 tablespoons vegetable oil or light olive oil
2 tablespoons sliced almonds
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
3 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1/2 teaspoon red chili pepper flakes
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup coconut milk
3/4 pound green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 teaspoon lime juice
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro.
1. Heat the oil in a 3-quart sauté pan over medium heat. Add almonds and cook, stirring, until light golden. Remove from heat and transfer almonds to a plate or bowl; set aside for garnish.
2. Add onion, garlic, cumin, coriander, paprika, chili pepper flakes and salt to the unwashed sauté pan, and return to medium heat. Sauté until the onion is tender and begins to fry, about 4 minutes.
3. Add coconut milk and green beans. Mix well and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, covered, until the beans are tender, about 6 minutes.
4. Sprinkle beans with lime juice, and toss lightly. Transfer to a warmed serving dish and garnish with almonds and cilantro. If desired, serve accompanied by plain cooked rice or roti flatbread.
Yields 2-3 servings (we doubled and served over rice)
Friday Night Pizza
We had friends over so we made two pizzas. One with eggplant, olive tapenade, roasted red peppers, and goat cheese. And the other with a roasted tomato and cotija cheese topping. They were both heavenly and very photogenic. Too bad we didn't have the camera.
Stuffed Poblano Peppers
Adapted from Chow
This dish was pretty good but way too salty and way too spicy (and I like my spicy!). We might make again, reducing the salt and skipping the jalepeno and relying on a little heat from the poblano.
1 cup uncooked white long grain rice
1 1/2 cups water
3 3/4 teaspoons kosher salt
8 medium poblano peppers
1 cup cooked black beans
1 teaspoon toasted cumin seeds
3/4 cup sour cream
3/4 cup crumbled Cotija cheese (about 4 ounces)
1/2 cup chopped cilantro (about 1/2 bunch)
1 cup chopped fresh tomatoes (about 2 small tomatoes)
2/3 cup chopped scallions (about 1/2 bunch)
1 jalepeño, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1. Place rice in a colander or a fine mesh strainer and rinse under cold running water until the water runs clear. Combine rice, water, and 3/4 teaspoon of the salt in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Cover the pan and reduce heat to low; cook until water has been completely absorbed, about 10 minutes (rice will be slightly undercooked). Remove the lid and set the pan aside to let rice cool.
2. To prepare peppers for stuffing, use a paring knife to cut a wide circle around each stem (like when carving a jack-o’-lantern), so you end up with a cap that can be replaced once you’ve stuffed the peppers. Be careful not to puncture or rip the peppers. Clean any seeds and membranes from the cap and from the interior of each pepper; set aside.
3. Place beans in a large mixing bowl. Using a potato masher or the back of a fork, lightly mash them (some whole beans will remain). Stir cumin, sour cream, Cotija, cilantro, tomatoes, scallions, jalapeño, pepper, and remaining salt into mashed beans and mix until evenly combined. Gently mix in cooled rice. Taste mixture and, if necessary, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. (Note that the filling should be quite salty to compensate for there being no salt on the peppers.) Stuff each pepper with the filling and replace caps, securing with a toothpick.
4. Light one chimney full of charcoal. When all the charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, pour out and spread coals out evenly over the charcoal grate. Place stuffed peppers on their sides and close the lid. Roll each pepper a quarter turn every 7 minutes or so to cook all four sides. The peppers are finished once the filling is hot, the skins are well-charred, and the flesh is soft to the touch, about 30 minutes. Remove from the grill and serve. (we used the oven)