Archive for the ‘invitation’ Category

11
Nov

Invitation – and a recipe for duck soup

   Posted by: Livia Tags: , , , ,

I have an unusual abundance of free time this weekend and an abundance of food. Want to come over and help with that?

There’s a sexy french triple cream cows’ milk cheese and some crackers.

And I’m going to make duck soup.

My duck soup all starts with a good duck stock. And my duck stock starts with going out to dinner with my parents. See – my father loves Peking Duck. So a couple weeks ago, we went to Yang Ming and got one of the prettiest ducks I’ve ever seen. And, as usual, we asked for the carcass to take home.

Duck Soup

Duck Stock
Into a pot, add the frozen cooked duck carcass.

Add onion peels (from purple onions, if possible) and leek ends. Add the skins from a roasted garlic head. Add carrot peels and herb stems. (All the stuff I keep in a bag in my freezer for stock until I’m ready) If you have ginger peels, add them.

Add a couple dried hot red peppers* (rinsing the dust off). Add some cloves and maybe a star anise. Add a tablespoon or two of peppercorns (or fewer if you crush them first, but this is how I go through pepper fast enough to keep my supply fresh). If you have it, add some thyme, savory, rosemary, or anything in that family of herbs. Add a bay leaf or two. Add parsley.

One of the best things, which I rarely have, is parsley root with its leaves.

Add water up to cover, but not much over that.

And cook. You may choose to boil or simmer.

Then strain the stock.

Duck Soup
You know what I didn’t add to the stock? Salt. Because now that you’re tasting it you can add some (and how much will vary on your tastes and how salty the cooked duck skin ended up being) – and it’s going to need a generous quantity of salt and/or soy sauce (or gluten free tamari).

Then I like adding greens. Chinese spinach is good. I’ve pickled my own mustard greens for this (or you can buy them in a package pickled, but rinse them if you go this route). Kale is delicious.

You can add mushrooms, but I prefer them either cooked before adding or from dried. Fresh boiled mushrooms aren’t tasty to me.

You can adjust the seasoning – more ginger? a splash of vinegar?

Add noodles – I like the buckwheat soba noodles for this soup, but it’s flexible and gluten free noodles are also tasty.

And then right before serving – thinly slice fresh garlic and a fresh hot pepper (I aim for the kind that’s about a foot long, 3/4 inch diameter, and bright red or green), and toast them until just brown. Sprinkle the tops of each bowl right after portioning.

*I am still working on the dried red peppers I recieved as a free sample from Marx Foods. They’re only dusty because I’ve strung them on thread and have them hanging in my kitchen where they’re pretty and reminding me to keep using them.

4
Oct

Invitation: Roman Cooking Workshop – 10/23

   Posted by: Livia

Here’s a rough list of dishes that look interesting, which I still haven’t tried:

III.iv.1 – Gustum de Cucurbitis

Cucurbitis coctas expressas in patinam compones. Adicies in mortarium piper, cuminum, silfi modice, [id est laseris radicem], rutae modicum, liquamine et aceto temperabis, mitted defritum modicum ut coloretur, ius exinanies in patinam. Cum ferbuerint iterum ac tertio, depones et piper minutum asparges.

Tastings of Marrow

Cook marrows, drain off the water, and arrange in a shallow pan. Put in the mortar pepper, cumin, a little asafoetida, a little rue, and blend with liquamen and vinegar. Add a little defrutum to give color, and pour this sauce into the pan. When it has come to the boil three times, take off the fire and sprinkle ground pepper over it.

~*~

III.xi.2 – Aliter betas elixas

Ex sinapi, oleo modico et aceto bene interuntur.

Boiled beets redux

They are good served with a dressing of mustard, a little oil, and vinegar.

~*~

III.xxi.2 – Aliter caroetas

sale, oleo puro et aceto

Carrots, another way

with salt, pure oil, and vinegar

~*~

V.ii.2 – Lenticulam de castaneis

Accipies caccabum novum, et castaneas purgatas diligenter mittis. Adicies aquam et nitrum modice, facies ut coquatur. Cum coquitur, mittis in mortario peper, cumium, semen coriandri, mentam, rutum, laseris radicem, puleium, fricabis. Suffundis acetum, mel, liquamen, aceto temperabis, et super castasead coctas refundis. Adicies oleum, facies ut ferveat. Cum bene ferbuerit, tudiclabis [ut in mortario teres]. Gustas: si quid deest, addes. Cum in boletar miseris, addes oleum viride.

V.ii.3 – Aliter Lenticulam

Coquis. Cum despumaverit, porrum et coriandrum viride supermittis. coriandri semen, puleium, laseris radicem, semen mentae et rutae, suffundis acetum, adicies mel, liquamine, aceto, defrito temperabis, adicies oleum, agitabis. Si quid opus fuerit, mittis. Amulo obligas, insuper oleum viride mittis, piper aspargis at inferes.

Lentils with Chestnuts
(note: this dish will only be made if there are at least three people able to help with shelling the chestnuts) (Also, it was referenced in an episode of Highlander… and I’ve had trufax in person conversations with the writer for the show who added that bit about what the ending consistency and texture should be.)

Take a new saucepan and put in the carefully cleaned chestnuts. Add water and a little cooking-soda. Put on the fire to cook. When cooked, put in the mortar pepper, cumin, coriander seed, mint, rue, asafoetida root, and pennyroyal; pound. Moisten with vinegar, add honey and liquamen, blend with vinegar, and pour over the boiled chestnuts. Add oil, bring to the boil. When it is boiling well, stir. Taste: if something is missing, add it. When you have put it in the serving dish, add best oil.

Lentils

Boil [the lentils]; when you have skimmed off the froth, put in leeks and green coriander. Pound coriander seed, pennyroyal, asafoetida root, mint, and rue, moisten with vinegar, add honey, blend with liquamen, vinegar, and defrutum. Pour over the lentils, add oil, stir. [Taste]: if something is wanting, add it. Thicken with flour, pour on best oil, sprinkle with pepper, and serve

[Combine these two dishes for Lentils AND Chestnuts]

~*~

V.vi.3 – Aliter fabaciae

ex sinapi trito, melle, nucleis, ruta, cumino et aceto inferuntur.

Green beans

[Boiled], served with ground mustard, honey, pine-kernels, rue, cumin, and vinegar.

~*~

VII.xv.3 – Aliter fungi farnei

Elixi ex sale, oleo, mero, coriandro conciso inferuntur.

Three Fungi, Another method (we’ll use regular mushrooms)

Sautee with salt, oil, wine, and chopped coriander.

~*~

VIII.viii.12 – Leporem [pipere] sicco sparsum

Et hunc praecondies sicut haedum Tarpeianum. Antequam coquatur, ornatus suitur. Piper, rutam, satureiam, cepam, thymum modicum, liquamine collues, postea in furnum [mittes], coques et impensa tali circumsparges: piperis semunciam, rutam, cepam, satureiam, dactylos iv, uvam passam ustam coloratum super vatillum, vinum, oleum, liquamen, caroenum, frequenter tangitur ut condituram suam omnem tollat, postea ex pipere sicco in disco sumitur.

Hare Sprinkled with Dry Pepper (using chicken)

Prepare the hare as for Tarpeian Kid (VIII.vi.9 – de-boned). Before cooking it truss and sew up. Moistenit with a mixture of pepper, rue, savory, onion, a little thyme, and liquamen, then pour it in the oven, cook, and pour all over the following mixture: 1/2 oz pepper, rue, onion, savory, 4 dates, raisins browned over a brazier, wine, oil, liquamen, and caroenum. Baste the hare with this mixture frequently, so that it absorbs the entire liquid. Then lift out and serve on a round dish with dry pepper.

Let me know if you are interested in attending. I’d like to have a minimum of 3 people, but because my kitchen is still fairly small there should not be more than 8.

Note: All translations by Barbara Flower and Elisabeth Rosenbaum

6
Apr

Giveaway – Soup Bible

   Posted by: Livia

When Groupon* ran a special for Barnes and Noble a few months ago, I knew exactly what I was going to do with it – share my favorite cookbook.

book cover: mauve-ish tones, a bowl of brownish, yet creamy, soup - The Soup Bible
The Soup Bible – edited by Debra Mayhew

Of all my cookbooks, this one has the most wear and the most dirty pages. It reliably offers inspirations and I’ve only had a couple recipes that were less than satisfactory (and one was definitely my fault for adding much more of an ingredient than called for).

It has light soups and hearty ones, simple and complicated. It has ones made from ingredients scrounged around a bare pantry and ones that require special shopping trips. It has some which have become reliable staples frequently prepared. And there are still new recipes I am excited to try in the future. I think I’ve made about half… maybe fewer… but that’s cooking for one and an eclectic palate.

Now here are my reservations about this book: Debra Mayhew is the editor, not the author. You have to look very hard to figure out who wrote the original recipes. Also, this is not the book Debra Mayhew originally edited (though I didn’t figure that out until I’d already fallen deeply in love with this version), which is The Cook’s Encyclopedia of Soup – and this is a Barnes and Noble abridged version.

Those reservations aside – it’s amazing. The photography looks straightforward and explanatory, but it takes quite a bit of skill to make bean soup look that lovely. The directions are easy to follow, and the language is spare, so you don’t roll your eyes too much at the cultural appropriations. And – yes – so many cultural and so many different soups! It’s really a very exciting collection.

So I’m giving one away. Leave a comment and tell me your favorite soup or favorite cookbook. And if I get more than one comment, I’ll pull out a random number generator to pick a winner.

*note: I am not affiliated with Barnes and Noble. I do have a membership with groupon, and the link is a referral code that will give me $10, if you are new to their service and make a purchase. I don’t actually expect to make any money, but I couldn’t think of any reason not to use that link.

2
Nov

Setting the bar low

   Posted by: Livia

So I’ve been thinking about how I’ve been having trouble finding time to post lately. And by lately, I mean an embarrassingly long time.

Then I read this open letter to food bloggers.

And I thought, you know – this not posting probably has an upside. I could offer things, and everyone could win.

So comment on this post letting me know what you can’t/won’t eat or colors you like and hate or something quirky about yourself (and then I’ll drop you an email for a mailing address – don’t put that on the publicly viewable side unless you really do that regularly), and I shall send you something I’ve made. It might be food. It might be paper arts. It might be a rock. It might be some random tea from my cupboard. Who knows? But everybody wins.

That’s the plan at least. I’m guessing that even if I spread this around a bit, there still won’t be more that 20 things to make and send. I’ll definitely do the first 20. If there’s more response, I’ll do my best.

ETA (15 Dec 2010): All packages have been sent out, but feel free to still stop by and leave a comment.

16
Jul

Bagels in Philadelphia

   Posted by: Livia

For years, Philadelphia has been a bizarrely unsatisfying city for bagels. I mean, New York is right over there! I could get good bagels in the suburbs – why so hard here?

I used to swing by my parents’ bagel place every time I’d visit for a dozen day old bagels to freeze. Then that place had a fire and closed that location.

I tried the authentic New York bagel place on the edge of the city in an awkward shopping center… and, yes, they were authentic and tasty, but in that way where the crust is so hard it hurts. Those are not my favorite kinds of New York bagels.

Then – a fancipants market opened up near my yoga studio. It’s not the kind of market where you can just go for random groceries, but it’s pretty good as a place to bring all the small, expensive, artisan foodstuffs from around the city to within easy walking distance. The sourced some pretty darn good bagels from South Street, and I considered all my problems solved.

And then – Capogiro, the local gelato chain, started importing H&H bagels from New York. Whee! They’re pretty tasty, too. And only $2 for half a dozen after 5pm.

And now my suburban bagel place has reopened!

And! And! There’s news that in the future there will be a Montreal-style bagelry.

So I think I want to have a Bagel Showdown Brunch in early October or early November. Only savory bagels will be offered, as a matter of principle. Who’d be interested? Let’s talk schedules

Menu Planning

Bagels
1 each
  • plain
  • everything
  • sesame
  • onion
  • poppy
  • egg
  • and salt (for the boss fight)

cut into eights or twelfths
from

Spreads
butter

cream cheese

  • scallion cheese
  • roasted red pepper cream cheese
  • parsley and roasted garlic
  • olive and almond

Toppings
onion
tomatoes
hot sauce
possibly lox

Other brunch dishes
eggs to order
bacon
collard greens & tomatoes
fresh fruit
feel free to bring something (small)

Beverages
Coffee only if you ask ahead of time
Tea in abundance
Orange Juice (Fairly fresh if I get to either my new tea place or to Earth Cup – otherwise from a carton)
whole milk
water
feel free to bring/request cocktails

Note: this meal would be neither vegan nor celiac friendly. It could accommodate vegetarians with advanced warning.

This is a BiUnity event, but anyone is welcome to attend. Just drop me an email at NoCounterspace at gmail for more information.

BiUnity is a Philadelphia community organization.
The goal is to provide a community outlet for bisexuals, and we welcome anyone who would consider themselves an ally.

Because of the size of the apartment, attendance is limited to no more than 10 people. Minimum number of RSVPs for event to occur is 3.

Saturday, May 29th

10-11am – stroll to Clark Park farmers market to purchase ingredients for the cooking – you are free to join me.

11am-3pm – My house will be open to people who want to hang out and craft, especially if they want to make baubles for Biunity to sell. I can have supplies for that available.

3-8pm – Bisexuals in the Kitchen

This is both a social event and a teaching event. You will have the opportunity to learn how to make a simple summer meal, and you’ll get a chance to help create an improvised recipe for the soup. There are openings for a couple people to help prepping the ingredients for each of these, and feel free to bring your questions. Or – feel free to come just to relax and talk and eat.

tentative proposed menu
soup
spicy corn & lemongrass broth

meat
carnitas (pork)

sides
salsa verde
jalepeno corn salad
quick roasted asparagus

bread
corn tortillas

dessert
depends on what is available at the market

movie – starts at 5:30pm
Velvet Goldmine

Note:Since the meat is entirely separate, I am considering this a vegetarian and celiac friendly event. If you are vegetarian and would like additional food options, let me know when you RSVP, and that won’t be a problem at all. I’m mostly just trying to keep the list simple for people new to cooking and menu preparation

Notes on accessibility:

  • not wheelchair accessible (stairs at entrance)
  • very fuzzy cat on premises
  • no air conditioning

I bought and made so much food this weekend.

First, there was the farmers’ market out by my parents’, which I had to go to because I’d bought very promising looking butter there last weekend, but found it had gone off, when I tried it as soon as I got home. So I took it back in hopes of swapping for fresher butter, but they hadn’t made any this past week – so I swapped for two butternut squash, instead. And I bought a 4 pound sweet roasting squash on impulse.

And then I bought stuff for the Roman cooking workshop. And some broccoli rabe that looked gorgeous. And what’s a couple (or 7) beets for a buck?

So then I met up with my parents so we could try breakfast at an “authentic British pub”. And, yes, they had sourced the right kind of bacon and there was both black and white pudding. And beans from a can. But the eggs were standard tasteless American eggs and there was no grilled tomato… and the tea was only halfway in between the two countries’. I may sound a little down on it, but that’s less because of the quality of the food and more because the entire breakfast run had only one waitress, so the food wasn’t quite as hot as it could have been.

And then my parents wanted to go to a large, indoor farmers’ market. And there was a gorgeous, large, pristine, beautiful head of cauliflower. Locally picked. And some huge white mushrooms picked locally the day before. And we split 3 dozen eggs (I only took one of them) from happy, pasture raised chickens (with flavor!).

And then… just to tempt me further, they wanted to stop and show me their new fancy supermarket, which was very much like a small, off-brand whole foods. I bought an environment-friendly dish soap so that I can finally declare the Dr. Bronner’s experiment a failure. And then I binged on comforting grains – two kinds of oatmeal and some barley. Also, for you doubters of the corporate benefits of social media – I totally impulse bought an unnecessary jar of salsa because I enjoy following the guy’s twitter feed.

Then I went home.

I had completely run out of frozen leftovers for lunch, so last week I had made some desperate bulk quantities of dinner food:

  • leftover pasta salad suddenly turned into dinners
  • mexican-ish rice with chicken and beans
  • macaroni with (homemade) pesto, chicken, and zucchini

You don’t want recipes for those, do you?

This week – There was the Roman Cooking workshop.

We made a pork loin roast boiled in salt water and bay leaves (now I’ve heard of brining, but there was no mention of roasting this meat or any cooking method other than boiling. So I left it in until it started to shred, but I pulled it out then because it was already quite salty. It makes an okay sandwich with mayonnaise (almost tasting like canned chicken). But this morning I started a pot of red beans on the stove, and I used the pork with no additional salt for the beans.

And then we make the barley stew with pork – it turned out almost like risotto, and despite only having two people come to the workshop, there were no leftovers. I might need to make it again soon.

The mushrooms were very tasty (as almost always) and made a great companion to the barley.

Because it wasn’t entirely clear whether the cabbage was to be made with fresh cilantro or dried coriander seeds, I did each half differently – there was a preference for the coriander, but neither one was really exciting, and I do have a lot of leftovers for those. I’ll need to think of a way to repurpose it into something that will freeze.

The fried carrots in wine and fish sauce smelled like ass – fishy ass – while cooking, but ended up tasty enough that I didn’t get to try the finish product.

And then I was pretty much done, especially with only having two people over. SO I handed over the book, and let them select the last recipe. And sweet egg cakes were chosen. Well, it was 4 eggs to 1/2 a pint of milk (with an ounce of oil) to be cooked in a shallow pan (I don’t have the recipe in front of me for the specifics, but it was distinctly not supposed to be custard because that was the recipe above). Because the mixture was so thin and I happened to have a brand new nonstick skillet, I suggested that we could pour many thin layers and treat them as crepes. While not a single one was removed as a flat sheet, we kind of had to bundle it together into a central pile to move it successfully. Oh, and then it’s dressed with honey and black pepper before serving – and it is some tasty! Well chosen!

And then after they left on Sunday, I made two more dinners that I could pack up for lunches:

  • Smitten Kitchen’s pasta with Cauliflower, walnuts, and feta – for which I did substitute regular pasta for whole wheat because I have boxes sitting around that I’m using up before I buy more pasta – and I’m not 100% sure that either the walnuts or the feta will take well to freezing, but the recipe was too tempting to pass up. I did taste a small portion that was didn’t fit evenly into the containers, and it was amazing fresh. I’d almost forgotten the few drops of lemon juice and vinegar (apple cider), but they really brought the flavors together.

    ETA: when she says this reheats well as leftovers, she wasn’t kidding. I was seriously dubious about freezing this one on account of both the nuts and the feta – but thawing it before microwaving has produced consistently tasty leftovers

  • gobhi bharta – inspired by the recipe in my favorite Indian cookbook, but then I took a left turn with the seasonings when I saw an opportunity to use up more of my mother’s extraneous Penzey’s spice mixes – so I used Rogan Josh seasoning with sumac instead or pomegranate powder to tartness and some extra hot pepper. The recipe also called for mustard seeds, so I toasted them in a little bit of my mustard oil I keep meaning to experiment with more. For all of that, it still wasn’t particularly strongly flavored, and it might have been a mistake to put up with rice, but I’d started making it when I started cooking, and I didn’t want to have to think up another use for it.

And then this morning I made one more: pasta with stuff

First, I cooked down a diced purple onion, 2 large mushrooms having been diced, and a bunch of (homemade) turkey meatballs I have in my freezer. Once everything was softer and the meatballs were browner, I splashed some sweet red wine in the pan.

As soon as the pan was dry again, I added 2 small-medium zucchini and some cauliflower (all diced small). Cook cook cook. As soon as it started to soften, I poured in 1/3 cup pasta sauce from a jar. Stir, cook, cook. And then I added macaroni (the pasta box in front, not my first choice of shape) and another 1/3 cup of sauce. And then I took it up into containers. Would be good with cheese.

Oh, and I also did laundry this morning.

And then I pondered whether I wanted to make another set of lunches or whether I wanted to start turning over dirt for restructuring the flower bed out back. And I decided to take a nap, instead.

Now I want soup, and tea, and hot chocolate. And another nap.

I think I’m going to use the remaining stock to make risotto to use up all the surplus mushrooms, so I need to also put on more stock so I can make soup with some of these winter squashes.

I also need to make the brussel sprout and beef stir fry before the brussel sprouts go off.

And I need to figure out something to do with the beautiful broccoli rabe before it starts to taste like nail varnish remover, like the last few bunches I bought did because I didn’t use them right away.

Anyone want to come over for random dinners at 10pm this week?

17
Mar

cooking for charity

   Posted by: Livia

So west philly people… If you wanted to host a dinner party, let me know. I actually have two additional 5-course-type vegetarian dinners sketched out.

And I would love to find a host for one in April to benefit the Mazzoni Center for their Night of a Thousand Friends.

If you know of anyone interested, please let me know.

16
Feb

Cooking With Catladies

   Posted by: Livia

Cooking with Catladies - March 15, 2009 - a fine dining experience to benefit City Kitties Rescue

This is the second time City Kitties has run this event! But this time, the meal will be catered by ME. (RSVP for West Philadelphia location.) This is a great way to help a good cause while meeting new people and sampling new food. At the end of the night, you leave with the recipes. (Or you can even give me suggestions ahead of time here) And if you play your cards right, you might also leave with a cat. OK, that might not be an incentive, but you know, even Catladies can dream…

(please repost far and wide)
From City Kitties:
Another delicious Cooking with Catladies event is fast approaching! For a donation of $30 or more, you can enjoy a multi-course meal and great company. Check out photos from last year’s mouthwatering events here and here. Reserve your place at the table by emailing info at citykitties dot org. Hope to see you there!

3
Feb

Cooking with Catladies – March 15, 2009

   Posted by: Livia

Okay, so I am in the planning stages of making a lovely dinner party that will benefit charity. Which charity? City Kitties. As of now, the date is March 15th, but I will make another post when there is a real announcement with a graphic and everything.

Why City Kitties and not PAWS or some local SPCA group? Because while they are also awesome, I was reading back entries of a friend’s (friend from pilates classes) livejournal and came across an entry where they had done one of these a year ago, and it fills the dinner party void in my life. So there.

So here’s the menu planning part (I really would love your feedback and suggestions):

Beverages

  • We shall provide sangria with the appetizer course, and after that it is BYOB

Appetizers (3-4 of what is listed below based on availability of ingredients)

  • pita chips & tzatziki
    pita chips: (I think I’ll make a separate post about these)

    tzatziki: drain 1 qt yogurt. Peel and finely dice 1 large to 4 small cucumbers. Stir together with 1/4 tsp jarred minced garlic.

  • Sweet potato spears with dipping sauce
    sweet potato spears: toss cut sweet potatoes with olive oil, cumin seeds, powdered garlic, ground coriander, ground black pepper, ground chipotle, and ground thyme. Bake at 400F for 20-35 minutes (depending on size up spears). Sprinkle with salt.

    dipping sauce: Sweet hot Garlic Sauce

  • Asian-style Pickled Cucumber & Carrot
    Peel cucumber in stripes and slice into 2-3mm pieces. Cut carrots into as fine slices as possible. Also cut thin slices of purple onion. Combine in a water-tight container, sprinkle with (citrus-infused) sugar and pure over 1/4c rice vinegar. Shake to mix and let sit 8-36 hours.

Soup (Choice of 1)

  • *Carrot Ginger Coconut Soup
    Heat 1 can of foreign (full fat) coconut milk until the oils separate. Fry asaphoetida, 2 inches minced ginger, and a spice mix made up of (kala jeera, black cardamom seeds, fenugreek seeds, cumin seeds, nutmeg, cinnamon, coriander, black peppercorns, and salt). After 2 minutes, add 20-ish carrots, peeled and cut into large 2-3″ pieces. Add a can of lowfat coconut milk and vegetable stock until the liquids cover the solids. Check seasoning and add salt, pepper, juice of 1 lime, and 1 tsp creamy peanut butter. When thoroughly cooked, blend until smooth. Garnish with ground chipotle, toasted slivered almonds, and possibly arugula

  • Spicy broth with tofu and avocado
    Make my usual vegetable stock with extra garlic and three kinds of pepper (fresh jalepeno, powdered chipotle, dried cayenne). Marinate tofu strips in cumin, chipotle, oregano, and lemon juice. Add tofu to hot broth and garnish with strips of avocado (and maybe fresh red hot peppers).

Main Course – Build your own soft tacos (with optional store-bought tortilla chips?)

  • Beans
    • Curry Black Beans – Sabut Urad Lajawab
      adapted from The Ultimate Dal Cookbook by Mona Verma
      Soak block beans overnight. Heat olive oil and mustard oil in a pan and fry onions until translucent. Add minced ginger, garlic, and seeded jalepeno. After a couple minutes, add turmeric; garam masala; and ground mix of roasted cumin seeds, roasted coriander seeds, and dried chillies – fry a minute until fragrant. Add drained beans, salt, and tomatoes. Cook down. Season with lime juice near the end of cooking and adjust flavors.

    • Kidney Beans
      onions, garlic, jalepeno flesh cooked down. Add kidney beans and 2 cans of stewed tomatoes. Add 1 bay leaf, thyme, oregano, cumin, chili powder, paprika. Cook down until fairly thick and mushy.
    • Thai-inspired chickpeas
      Toast finely shredded fresh coconut in a dry skillet. Add olive oil. Add finely diced purple onion. When soft, add minced garlic, minced ginger, minced jalepeno, minced cilantro stems, minced lemongrass (if available). After 1 minute, add a conservative amount of thai green curry paste. Add chickpeas (from a can, drained and rinsed), lime juice, lime zest, and a bay leaf. After a few minutes, add a mixture of vegetable stock and water and let cook until no longer loose. Let flavors sit overnight.

  • Greens
    • Kenyan Collard Greens
      Cook down thin strips of collard greens in a tiny amount of water/oil. Add vegetable bouillon cube and 5 spice powder. Add diced tomato

    • Asian-inspired Kale – ETA: not served
      Cook down kale and add a mixture of soy sauce, wasabi, minced ginger, and lemon juice.

  • Root vegetables
    • Sweet potatoes
      Roast sweet potatoes and then mash with butter, cumin, chipotle, thyme, oregano, nutmeg, sumac, salt, and black pepper (and maybe a bit of smoked paprika).

      That’s just gilding the lily. Instead, mashed roasted sweet potatoes with roasted garlic and maybe some lime juice to keep things perky. And that’s it.

    • Beet/Cabbage Shred (based on this one)
      Slice beet as thin as possible. Shred purple cabbage. Slice a purple onion thinly. Seed and slice thin matchsticks from a jalepeno or two. Toss together and dress with the following pre-mixed liquid: sugar, finely minced garlic, and a wee bit of minced ginger, rice vinegar and red wine vinegar (equal parts), olive oil, and a decently generous amount of lime juice. Toss together. Grind some black pepper and sprinkle in some cilantro. Toss again. Let sit for 15 minutes.

  • Sauteed onions and peppers
  • Sauteed mushrooms – ETA: not served
  • Cheese
    • hand shredded extra sharp cheddar – ETA: not served
    • queso fresco
  • shredded lettuce, diced tomato, minced purple onion, sliced hot peppers – ETA: not served
  • sour cream and maybe Mexican crema
  • Salsas
  • Guacamole
  • Rice
    1 cup white rice, 1 jar salsa, 1/5 tsp turmeric

Salad – ETA: not served

  • *Carrot & Garlic Salad
    blanch 2 pounds peeled carrots, toss with lemon juice. Roast carrots, 8 peeled scallions, and a head of garlic until tender. Cut carrots and scallions and mix them with the blended mix (roasted garlic, zest and juice of 1 orange, parley, salt, cinnamon, cumin, ground ginger).

  • mixed greens
  • Salad dressings
      Southwestern Ranch
      make a French dressing base (mayonnaise and ketchup), heavier on the ketchup. Stir in 6oz plain yogurt. Add taco seasoning mix from a packet.

    • Sweet Garlic and Cumin dressing
      Roast 2 heads of garlic, and squeeze every clove into a small food processor. Add slightly less than a quarter cup of honey and 2 Tablespoons of good olive oil. Dry Roast 1 Tablespoon of cumin seeds. Add some whole and grind some in a mortar and pestle. Add 2 tsp sweet red wine. Season with salt and pepper. When smooth, taste. When it’s as good as you can make it while still being too strong and a bit too sweet, add cider vinegar until you reach a pourable (but still thick) consistency.

    Dessert

    Note: Adding asterisks to the recipes that need to be tested before the dinner, Anyone interested in tasting some of these things as I go? I especially need someone who likes chickpeas.