Spinach with Chickpeas
This is a spanish recipe (espinaca con garbanzos) from Smitten Kitchen. It is hearty and smoky with a little kick, something you might find at a tapas bar in Spain, and yet are so glad to find you can recreate at home.
1 15-ounce cans of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
3 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 pound (450 grams) spinach, washed
A slice of country loaf or sandwich loaf bread, crusts removed and cut inset small cubes
1/4 cup tomato sauce
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
Pinch of red pepper flakes
3/4 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika**
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Lemon juice, to taste
Place a large saucepan over medium heat and add half the olive oil. When it is hot, add the spinach with a pinch of salt (in batches, if necessary) and stir well. Remove when the leaves are just tender, drain in a colander and set aside.
Heat 2 more tablespoons olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Fry the bread for about 5 minutes or until golden brown all over, then the remaining tablespoon of oil and the garlic, cumin and pepper. Cook for 1 minute more or until the garlic is nutty brown.
Transfer to a food processor, blender or mortar and pestle along with the vinegar, and mash to a paste. Return the mixture to the pan and add the drained chickpeas and tomato sauce. Stir until the chickpeas have absorbed the flavors and are hot. Season with salt and pepper.
If the consistency is a little thick, add some water. Add the spinach and cook until it is hot. Check for seasoning and serve with paprika on top, or on fried bread toasts.
Polenta & Greens
This is a basic modifiable recipe for polenta with greens. Serious comfort food.
?Spinach or other greens (swiss chard, braising greens, kale etc - 1/2 lb to 1 lb)
?1 large onion, chopped
?2 garlic cloves, minced
?2 tbsp olive oil
?Dash red pepper flakes?
2 carrots, halved and sliced
?Italian seasoning herbs (optional)?
Sliced shitake mushrooms (optional)
?1 c grated cheese, provolone, cheddar, fontina, even feta, as you like
1 c polenta (coarse cornmeal)
?3 c water
?1 tsp salt
?Wash and chop the greens. Saute onion, garlic, and carrots and/or mushrooms in olive oil. Season with salt, pepper & red pepper and Italian herbs. Cook until browning and fragrant. Gradually add the greens, stir frying until all are incorporated and just wilted.??
Boil water & whisk in polenta & salt. Turn down very low, watch out for sputters. Cook until thick, stirring often.
?Brush a baking dish with olive oil. Pour in about 2/3 of polenta, spoon in the greens, top with remaining polenta & cheese. Take a butter knife and swirl through the top layers a bit. Bake @ 350 until bubbly and slightly browned, about 30 minutes. Best if you allow to cool a bit before serving.
?This recipe is easily doubled, which makes a generous 10 x 14 pyrex baking dish. The polenta is easier to work with if it is poured right when it thickens. If you wait it will set up into a more solid form. Prep the vegetables and have all ingredients ready before you cook the polenta, so it will be ready at the right time, as the greens take just a few minutes.
Beets with Stout and Sauteed Greens
If you don't feel like using a beer in this recipe you can sub balsamic vinegar, although I have to say that the beer gives it a really nice and unexpected flavor.
1.5 pounds beets, trimmed, leaving 2 inches of the stem ends intact
3 tablespoons Guinness stout
1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter
1 bunch spinach, washed well, spun dry, and chopped very coarse
In a kettle cover the beets with 2 inches cold water, bring to a boil, and simmer the beets, covered, for 20 to 35 minutes (depending on their size), or until they are tender. Drain the beets and under the cold running water slip off and discard their skins and stems. In a skillet bring to a boil the stout and the vinegar and whisk in 2 tablespoons of the butter. Stir in the beets, quartered, add the salt and pepper to taste, and keep the beets warm, covered. In a large skillet heat the remaining 2 tablespoons butter over moderately high heat until the foam subsides, in it sauté the reserved spinach, stirring, for 5 minutes, or until they are tender, and stir in the salt and pepper to taste. Arrange the greens around the edge of a platter and mound the beets in the center.
Here's a good old fashioned slaw recipe for you. This recipe makes 2 pounds of cole slaw and is a standard recipe that begs for improvisation. Feel free to use less mayo, and less sugar. Substitute honey for the sugar (using a bit less, honey is sweeter by volume). Cider vinegar will be great, and balsamic delicious too. Take or leave horseradish depending on how you like it.
1 bag shredded slaw
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1 tsp yellow mustard
1 tsp celery seeds
1 TB prepared creamy horseradish
Pour your shredded slaw into a very large bowl and set aside.
In a separate, medium sized bowl, combine sugar, mayo, oil, vinegar, mustard, celery seed and horseradish with a wire whisk until the sugar is dissolved.
Toss mayo mixture with bagged slaw mixture until completely coated and refrigerate for four hours making sure to stir ever couple of hours or so. This recipe makes 2 pounds of cole slaw.
Curried Apple Slaw
Apples are a great way to liven up your slaw. If you do not have apples on hand try to substitute with something else that has a sweet flavor like raisins.
1-2 apples, shredded
1/4 c sour cream
1/4 c mayonnaise (sub yogurt or more sour cream)
1/4 c apple cider vinegar
2 tsp curry powder
ginger, shredded or minced
salt and pepper to taste
Asian Coleslaw Dressing
1 bag Pete’s slaw mix
½ head Napa cabbage, sliced thinly (can be omitted)
1 onion or 2-3 scallions, thinly sliced
½ bunch cilantro, roughly chopped
¼ cup tamari
¼ cup lemon juice
¼ cup vegetable oil
3 tbsp. grated fresh ginger
3 tbsp. white vinegar
2 tbsp. dark brown sugar
2 tsp. sesame oil
3 tbsp. sesame seeds, optional
Place all ingredients in large bowl and whisk until well incorporated. Add slaw mix, onion and Napa cabbage and toss until well coated. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. This slaw is best served within 15 minutes of making.
Classic Oven Roasted Onions
Bursting with rich brown flavors, roasted onions can be a one-dish meal, a first course, a salad or side dish. For a simple supper, try the warm onions with balsamic, maybe a drizzle of olive oil, and a crumbling of a favorite blue cheese, mild fresh goat cheese, or sp,e parm or whatever appeals.
4 medium to large organic onions (yellow, red, white)
Spread a sheet of foil on oven rack and preheat to 400 degrees. Trim away root and a 1/4 inch of top of onions. Set root side down on foil, spacing about 2 inches apart. Roast 1 hour, or until easily pierced with a knife. Serve warm or at room temperature. Make 2-inch deep cross out of top of each onion, spread slightly and season.
*salt and freshly ground black pepper, 2 TB wine vinegar and 1 TB extra-virgin olive oil
*3 TB balsamic vinegar and possibly 2 to 3 oz of Gorgonzola, Maytag Blue, fresh goat cheese, Parmigiano-Reggiano, Fontinella, or cheese of choice, crumbled or grated
*chopped fresh herbs, rice and grain salads.
There are two secrets to making great home fries, if you ask me. The first is cooking the onions separately. As potatoes need to cook quite a bit longer than onions, it saves them from become burnt specks by the time the potatoes are ready. The second is more of a shortcut (so you can make them more often because they’re easier!) which is that I reduce the pan-frying time by half cooking them in the microwave first. As the best French fries are twice-cooked, this follows that line of reasoning well, yielding home fries with a soft center and crisp edges.
1 1/2 pounds Nicola potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 1/2-inch to 3/4-inch cubes
4 tablespoons salted butter
1 onions, finely chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Seasoning of your choice: Garlic powder or salt work great, as does smoky Spanish paprika or chopped chives
Arrange potatoes in large microwave-safe bowl, top with 1 tablespoon butter, and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Microwave on high until edges of potatoes begin to soften, 5 to 7 minutes, shaking bowl (without removing plastic) to redistribute potatoes halfway through cooking.
Meanwhile, melt 1 tablespoon butter in large regular or nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook until softened and golden brown, about 6 minutes. Transfer to small bowl.
Melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter in now-empty skillet over medium heat. Add potatoes and pack down with spatula. Cook, without moving, until underside of potatoes is brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Turn potatoes, pack down again, and continue to cook until well browned and crisp, 5 to 7 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue cooking, stirring potatoes every few minutes, until crusty and golden on all sides, 9 to 12 minutes. Stir in onion, seasonings of your choice and salt and pepper to taste.
Black Bean Tamale Pie
This recipe, adapted from Vegetarian Classics by Jeanne Lemlin, is a comforting, easy meal.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 red onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 green or red bell pepper, diced
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup tomato sauce or puree
1/2 cup water
1 small jalapeno, seeds removed and diced — or 1 4-oz. can chopped green chiles, drained
1 15-oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups frozen corn, thawed
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped cilantro (optional)
2 cups grated cheese – I use 1 cup cheddar and 1 cup monterey jack
For the topping:
1 1/2 cups water
1 cup milk
1 cup cornmeal
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 large egg, beaten
1 tablespoon butter, cut into pieces
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat, then add the garlic and onion and saute until the onion softens and starts to color, about 5-7 minutes. Add the bell pepper and saute until it softens, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle with the chili powder, cumin, and cinnamon, and keep stirring to toast the spices about 2 minutes.
Stir in the tomato sauce, water, drained and rinsed black beans, chilies, corn, and salt. Bring to a boil, then turn off the heat and stir in the chopped cilantro. Pour the black bean mixture into a shallow 2.5 quart baking dish (such as a 12×7 Pyrex dish or a 9×9 ceramic dish) and spread it evenly. Sprinkle the cheese over the top and set aside.
To make the topping, whisk together the water, milk, and cornmeal in a medium saucepan. Bring it to a boil over medium-high heat, whisking continuously. As the mixture bubbles, keep whisking it until it gets very thick and starts to pull away from the sides of the pan (this takes me about 5-7 minutes.)
Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the sugar, salt, baking powder, and the beaten egg. Pour the topping over the bean mixture and spread out evenly with a spatula. Dot with the pieces of butter.
Place the baking dish on a sheet pan or cookie sheet (just to catch any drips that might bubble over) and bake for 45 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes before cutting.
Baked Ranchero Eggs with Blistered Pepper Jack Cheese
Here's another fun black bean recipe that sounded awesome. This one comes to you from one of my favorite blogs, Annie's Eats.
For the sauce:
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and chopped
3 cups (1 28 oz. can) whole tomatoes, or 1 container tomato puree
1 medium yellow onion, roughly chopped
1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
Salt and pepper, to taste
1½ cups (1 15 oz. can) black beans, drained and rinsed
For the tortilla strips:
2 tbsp. olive oil, divided
4 small (6-inch) corn tortillas, cut into ½-inch wide strips
Coarse salt, to taste
12 large eggs
1¼ cups coarsely shredded pepper jack cheese*
1 cup greek yogurt or sour cream (low fat is fine)
2 tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
¼ cup minced fresh cilantro
Preheat the oven to 450? F. To make the ranchero sauce, combine the jalapeño, tomatoes, onion and garlic to a blender or food processor. Process until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Pour the sauce into a 12-inch ovenproof skillet. Stir in the black beans. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Lower the heat but maintain at a simmer and let cook about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, brush a baking sheet with 1 tablespoon of the oil. Spread the tortilla strips in a single layer on the baking sheet and brush the tops with the remaining tablespoon of oil. Sprinkle with coarse salt. Bake about 6 minutes, tossing once or twice, until lightly browned and crisp. Set aside. Do your very best to not devour them all before the eggs are finished cooking. It’s not easy.
When the sauce has thickened slightly, remove the pan from the heat. Carefully crack the eggs over the surface of the sauce placing them as evenly as possible. Return the pan to the heat, cover, and let simmer gently in the sauce about 10-12 minutes, until the whites are partially but not completely opaque.
Heat the broiler. Sprinkle the cheese over the top over the eggs, place underneath the broiler, and cook until the cheese is browned and bubbling and the eggs are cooked to your liking, just a few minutes. In a small bowl, whisk together the greek yogurt and lime juice. Remove the pan from the oven, top with dollops of the lime crema, sprinkle with crumbled tortilla strips and the cilantro. Serve immediately.