Sunday, June 22, 2014

Cauliflower and Potato Curry

Posting this week from a wonderful teaching gig at Yale, where the food is great, and I've been eating a lot more french fries than I do at home. It's made me think I don't have enough recipes here that include potatoes, so here's a delicious potato curry.

This is mostly from the BBC's Good Food section, slightly adapted.

Cauliflower and Potato Curry

splash of oil (such as canola)
1 onion chopped
1-inch piece of ginger, sliced thin
3 garlic cloves, sliced thin
1/2 t red pepper flakes 
1/2 t turmeric
1 t cumin
1 t curry powder
2-3 chopped tomatoes, or half a 14-oz can
1 bag frozen cauliflower defrosted, or 1 head cut into florets
2 potatoes
lemon juice

Pierce potatoes several times with fork, put on a plate and microwave for about 4 minutes, until almost done. Split and set aside to cool, then cut into chunks.

Sautee onion in oil with a big pinch of salt until it just starts to brown. Add ginger, garlic and spices to pan and cook just until they become fragrant, a minute or so. Add potatoes, tomatoes and cauliflower and cook over low heat until everything is soft. Salt to taste. Squeeze lemon juice and sprinkle cilantro over.

"Lux et Veritas"

Sunday, June 15, 2014

One-Pot Curried Rotini with Currants and Red Peppers

I love this sweet, rich pasta dish. I it put up on the blog a long time ago, but for some reason I can't find the post--I must have deleted it somehow. So here it is again. The recipe is great as written, but I think it would be really nice to add pine nuts, walnuts or cashews, maybe toasted.

One-Pot Curried Rotini with Currants and Red Peppers

Woods Near Oele, Piet Mondrian, 1908

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Very Simple Flatbread

Here's a recipe I first posted in A Week of Meals for $29.78, slightly revised. There's something nice about knowing that if you have a little flour, water, a pan and heat, you can make bread in just a few minutes.

Try this with chickpea hummus sprinkled with a little cayenne, or any other hummus or spread for a great lunch.

The key to this recipe is rolling the dough very thin and having your pan hot.

Simple Flatbread

1 1/2 c flour

1/2 c water 
1 T oil (optional)
3/4 t salt. 

Mix together, knead until smooth. Make into 12 teeny balls, using floured hands. Flour your surface and your rolling pin (or use a bottle if you don't have a rolling pin). Roll out each ball into a circle, or, if you're like me, any old irregular shape. Make it very thin, like a tortilla or even thinner. 

Put a dry skillet over medium or medium-high heat. When it's hot, cook the dough for a few minutes on each side, until it gets dark spots like a chapati.  

If you have time, here's a slightly more involved recipe for flatbread, using the same ingredients. There's lots about letting the dough sit at various stages and how to divide it precisely and roll it neatly, if you like that kind of thing. (I don't!) 

Jozsef Rippl-Ronai, A Park at Night, 1895

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Georgian Bean Salad with Walnuts and Herbs

A few years ago, I went to St. Petersburg to teach with a program called SLS and discovered the wonderful food of the Republic of Georgia. I'd never had anything like it. It has Russian, Middle Eastern and European influences, and there are lots of traditional vegetarian dishes. Ground walnuts and fresh herbs are in everything, adding richness and bright, springlike flavors.

When I got home, I immediately bought The Georgian Feast by Darra Goldstein. Only a handful of the recipes in it are vegan, but boy, are they amazing. The recipe below is adapted from that book. It's full of protein and makes a great lunch.

Georgian Bean Salad with Walnuts and Herbs

2 cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 small red onion, chopped
a few sprigs cilantro
a sprig of parsley
1/2 c walnuts
1 clove garlic
1 t salt
hot pepper to taste
1/4 t cinnamon
pinch ground cloves
juice of 1/2 orange (about 1/4 c) plus juice of 1/2 lemon
pomegranate seeds if you can get them (optional)
more cilantro and parsley for garnish (a small handful of each)

Mix the beans with the chopped onion and set aside. Put all of the other ingredients except the pomegranate seeds and herbs for garnish into the blender and blend. Then mix into the beans. Sprinkle liberally with cilantro and parsley, and also pomegranate seeds if you have them. It's best if you let it sit for an hour or two to let the flavors meld. Serve at room temperature.

Here's a lovely, fancier interpretation from The New York Times.

Carpets, Elene Akhvlediani, 1898 - 1975