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Posts Tagged ‘Fun’

May 1 brought with it the nicest day of the year. I spent the day lounging in the sun in shorts and actually remembered to put on sunscreen. It was the first day my knee scar had seen the light of day. Hello world!

I of course had to welcome the sun with a flavorful recipe — nothing other than pineapple pilaf and firecracker red beans. And yes, both recipes were from Molly Katzen’s Vegetable Heaven. Her recipes have the most amazing, unique flavors that meld together to take your taste buds on an adventure. It sounds kinda corny but it’s true.

 Here is the Spiced Pineapple Pilaf recipe:

2 tb Butter
2 ts Mustard seed
1-1/2 tb Minced ginger; fresh
1-1/2 tb Minced garlic; fresh
1-1/4 ts Salt
1/2 ts Turmeric
1/4 ts Allspice
1/4 ts Nutmeg
20 oz Crushed pineapple in juice;
-canned
2 cups uncooked basmatic rice
3 tb Cider vinegar; or rice
-vinegar, (3 to 4 tbs)
Cayenne pepper; for the top

Begin by cooking the rice. Prepare the spiced pineapple while the rice is cooking. Melt the butter in a small saucepan. Add the mustard seeds and ginger, and cook over medium-low heat for about 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt, turmeric, allspice and nutmeg and saute for about 1 more minute, or until the garlic is just about to turn golden. Add 1-1/2 cups of the pineapple (including its juice) and cook for about 5 minutes longer. Transfer this mixture to the cooked rice, add the vinegar and remaiing salt, mix everything in well. The rice is ready to serve at this point, but it tastes even better if heated through with the seasonings mixed in. Just cover the pan tightly with foil and place in a 350F oven for about 30 minutes. Serve hot or warm, topped with remaininng pineapple and a fine dusting of cayenne.

This was a beautiful shade of yellow and I couldn’t believe how colorful it was.

The other part of the meal was Firecracker Red Beans. Also, amazing and unique flavor.

Here’s what you need:

2 tablespoons olive oil

• 3 cups minced onion

• 2 tablespoons minced fresh gingerroot

• 2 teaspoons fennel seeds

• 2 tablespoons minced garlic

• 1/2 teaspoon allspice

• 1 teaspoon dried thyme

• 1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons salt

• 1 cup dry sherry or vermouth

• 2 tablespoons prepared mustard (I used dry mustard)

• 1/4 cup ketchup (1 used tomato paste instead)

• 1 teaspoon minced chipotle chilies, plus more to taste

• 2 cups water

• 1/4 cup almond butter

• 2 tablespoons brown sugar

• 2/3 cup boiling water

About 6 cups cooked small red beans and/or kidney beans (three or four 15-ounce cans, rinsed and drained)

Heat the oil in a large, deep skillet or a Dutch oven. When it is really hot, add the onion, ginger and fennel seeds, and saute over strong heat for about 5 minutes. Turn the heat down to medium, and add the garlic, allspice, thyme and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes over medium-low heat.

Stir in the sherry or vermouth, mustard, ketchup, minced chipotle and 2 cups water. Cover and cook for another 10 minutes.

Place the almond butter and brown sugar in a small bowl. Add the 2/3 cup boiling water, and mash with a spoon until the mixture becomes uniform. Stir this mixture into the sauce, and cook uncovered over low heat for about 5 minutes.

You can leave sauce as it is if you like it textured, but if you like it smooth, transfer to a blender and puree. (I kept it textured)

Heat the oven to 325 degrees. Place the beans in a 9- by 13-inch baking dish (or an equivalent casserole) and pour in all the sauce. Cover tightly with foil, and bake for 45 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven, and let it sit for 15 to 20 minutes, still tightly covered, so the beans can continue to absorb the liquid.

Whew….. That was a long post. Hope you can get through it all. If you can, trust me it’s worth it. Tomorrow I’m heading up to P-town for physical therapy and to drop off my hefty work sample I taught last term for my student teaching. I hope it goes ok!

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Yesterday marked my reintroduction to the world.  I drove the Jetta up to Portland for the day to catch up with some friends. I hadn’t seen any of them since the accident (over a couple months ago) so I was ready to get out of the house and back into society. My knee was a kinda sore from the drive but I made it up there. I met a friend for coffee and although it rained a little bit, was actually pretty dry for Portland.

I couldn’t stay off of the swings.

Later we had some delicious food at Pok Pok. Their portions are a little small and you have to buy your own rice, but the five of us went family style and with four entrees (one was a whole fish), I left stuffed.

Check it….

  

Poor fish……. But we enjoyed it in our bellies:)

Followed by a visit to a Kava bar that recently opened up in Portland. I’d never had Kava before. The taste was “earthy” and not necessarily good, but apparently Pacific Islanders drink it for its effects. According to the all knowing Wikipedia, “Kava is sedating and is primarily consumed to relax without disrupting mental clarity.” Hmmm… I didn’t have enough to be able to feel the effects, but my fellow diners told me this description appeared to be correct. I wonder if this is the next phenonemon?

And just for randomness… a photo I took of my knee at the bar while we waited for a table at Pok Pok. Can you tell which knee is bigger?

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