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KotW: Beet-and-carrot curry. June 23, 2009

Posted by panterazero in exotic!, Kip of the Week, vegetarian.
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This is an adaptation of the curried beet recipe to be found at http://curryinkadai.blogspot.com/2007/11/cant-beet-this.html, to which I’m deeply indebted.  I had a few more vegetables to add and, sadly, not quite as wide a spectrum of Indian ingredients; before I make this again, I mean to go to Berkeley and scout up some curry leaves.  Regardless, this was delectable, and I regard it as an excellent candidate for additional development.

one bunch fresh beets (2 to 4, with greens)
four to eight small or medium carrots; if tender and thin-skinned, don’t peel
one cup frozen green peas, slightly thawed
1 cup medium or hot salsa verde or, if you’re lucky, New Mexico green chile sauce
two tablespoons skinless red lentils (masoor dal)
two tablespoons finely chopped ginger
one teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
one teaspoon black mustard seeds
one teaspoon whole cumin
one-quarter teaspoon ground turmeric
two tablespoons corn or canola oil

Cut greens off beets, stem the greens and soak them thoroughly in cold water.  Put beets in a saucepan with cold water to cover, bring water to a boil, and cook beets for five minutes.  Remove beets from water, allow to cool, and rub skins off beets under running water.  Drain and chop beet greens; combine greens with frozen peas.
Cut beets and carrots into chunks.  In food processor, julienne beets and carrots.

Heat oil in wok or sauté pan.  Add lentils, cumin seeds, black and yellow mustard seeds, sauté until mustard seeds start to jump; then add beets, carrots,  and ginger, and stir-fry until vegetables are almost tender.  Add the greens, peas,  and turmeric, and continue to stir-fry until greens are barely limp and peas are fully flawed.

© /KC June 2009

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KotW: Portobello mushrooms and an application. June 18, 2009

Posted by panterazero in Kip of the Week, pasta, saucy, vegetarian.
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Again we are in the realm of the upscale vegetable.  As I write, decent portobello mushrooms are about the same price per pound as top-grade hamburger, and in my view offer a better reason for paying it.  But once you have them, you have to be careful; you want to bring out robust earthy flavor without bitterness, and alluringly meaty texture without toughness.  It took some experiments to hit the note, but here’s how.

4 medium-to-large portobellos
3 cups water
1/4 cup olive oil
one large clove garlic skinned and crushed
one teaspoon salt

Rinse the mushrooms well and trim their stems. Skin them by tearing off triangles of skin from the edge to the center.  Put the skin, the gill cover [if any], water, oil, and salt in the saucepan and simmer for 20 minutes.

Put the mushrooms, caps down, in a wide casserole, strain the liquid over them, and add the garlic.  Cover and braise in a 275°F oven for an hour and 15 minutes.  The mushrooms will be both tender and tasty, but save every drop of the broth, which is some of the most potent mushroom stock imaginable.

now make

MUSHROOM, TOMATO AND PEPPER STEW WITH PASTA

mushrooms from above recipe, cut in chunks
mushroom broth from above
3-4 fresh ripe tomatoes, skinned, cored and chopped
2-4 red bell peppers or sweet red chiles, roasted, water pack
1/2 lb. penne, fusilli, farfalle or any chunky pasta
four to six cloves garlic skinned and chopped
two tablespoons good olive oil
one tablespoon fresh sage, minced, or one teaspoon dried sage, crumbled

Cook the garlic in the oil till golden.  Add the sage and stir till you smell it.  Quench the pan with the mushroom broth.

Add the mushrooms, tomatoes and peppers and keep the mixture over very low heat — you want it quite warm but not cooking.

Cook the pasta in oiled salted water till it’s about two minutes short of your preferred doneness. Drain it, add it to the vegetables, and bring it to serving temperature.  I swear this is one of the most flavorful dishes I ever made, or ate.

© /KC June 2009

KotW: Southwestern Stew. June 8, 2009

Posted by panterazero in Kip of the Week, New Mexico, soups and stews, tomato.
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had two pattypan squashes from the vegetable box, which I wanted to cook while they were really fresh. I was thinking about New Mexico and the NetHeadChef, for a customary constellation of reasons. And I had a nice batch of stock from the most recent roast chicken…

one cup dried small white beans
one-half cup red (skinless) lentils
two cups boiling water

Put the dried beans and lentils in a large cup, pour the boiling water over them, cover the cup with a saucer and leave it for at least two hours.

3 quarts carcass stock or box stock
one 15-ounce can diced tomatoes with diced green chiles
OR
one 15-ounce can diced tomatoes
one 7-ounce can diced green chiles
one large or two medium yellow onions, chopped

one teaspoon ground cumin
one teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
one-half teaspoon dried oregano, crushed
one-half teaspoon red flake pepper, or more to taste

two medium pattypan squashes, trimmed and chunked
three medium or six small carrots, trimmed and chunked
three large or six medium cloves garlic

12 ounces or one pound interesting earth-toned sausage, like chicken mushroom, chicken artichoke, chicken apple
one 15-ounce can whole kernel corn with diced bell peppers
one-quarter teaspoon ground nutmeg
salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Combine the soaked beans, chicken stock, tomatoes and chiles, and chopped onions, and cook at a high simmer for 45 minutes to an hour, until the beans are almost tender and the lentils have almost dissolved. Add the cumin, thyme, oregano, and red flake pepper.

With the grating blade of your food processor, grate the squash, carrots and garlic together and add this to the pot, and simmer for 10 more minutes. Slice the sausage, add it, add the corn, and bring the soup to a boil, stirring for five more minutes. Add the nutmeg, and the salt and pepper as desired. This is tremendously satisfying without being heavy and, unlike most complicated soups, doesn’t need cold weather as a backdrop.

© /KC June 2009