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Red-red stew

8 Oct

red red

Red-red is a traditional Ghanaian bean stew that gets its name (and colour) from the tomatoes and palm oil used to prepare it.

The first red-red recipe I tried called for three types of chilli – fresh Scotch bonnet, chilli flakes, and chilli powder (plus additional minced chilli to garnish).

Despite cutting back significantly on the quantity of chilli (and omitting the chilli powder altogether), it was so blisteringly hot the girls were unable to eat it. Continue reading

Lobio

22 Sep

Lobio

Georgia is a country I would love to visit. A friend traveled there a few years ago, and came back raving about the scenery, the people, and the food and wine.

Until I get the opportunity to visit Georgia myself, my taste buds will have to do the traveling.

There’s a good local Georgian restaurant we visit occasionally in the winter months for their rib-sticking fare like hachapuri (cheese-filled flat bread), hearty soups and casseroles.

(I haven’t tried a Georgian dessert – we’re always too full to consider even sharing one.) Continue reading

Beet hummus

14 Sep

beetroot hummus

Hummus is a staple food in our house – I whizz up a batch nearly every week. While we never get bored of hummus, adding a roasted beet to the mix now and then makes a change.

I prefer to cook beets by wrapping them individually in tin foil and roasting in a hot oven until tender. Boiled or grated raw beet work fine too. Continue reading

Gypsy soup

10 Sep

gypsy soup

I’ve been making gypsy soup for many years. I have no idea why the Moosewood cookbook calls it “gypsy soup”, or what it means by “a spiced and delectable brew of Spanish and Dickensonian origins”.

Is it a reference to Linda Dickinson, one of the thirty-odd “Moosewood people” credited at the front? Or a  mis-spelling of “Dickensian”? (Though what this soup has to do with Victorian England, social commentary, or sentimentality is anyone’s guess.)

Perhaps it refers to the length of the ingredients list?

Continue reading

Moros y Cristianos (black beans and white rice)

1 May

Moros y Cristianos is a Cuban dish of black beans (Moors) and white rice (Christians).

In some versions, the rice and beans are cooked together – resulting in visually unappealing (though tasty) gray rice. I prefer to keep the rice and beans separate until the last moment to maintain the contrast of colours.

I reheat leftover rice and beans separately while I cook the onion and peppers, then stir it all together just before serving. Dressed with a splash of vinegar or lime juice, and a dash of hot sauce it makes a very satisfying lunch. Continue reading

Double happiness beans

5 Apr

Easy to make, pretty to look at, tasty to eat – this dish could be called triple happiness beans.

I assume the “double” refers to the two types of bean involved – Chinese black beans and fresh green beans.

These are not the same black beans that feature in Mexican recipes like sweet potato and black bean tacos, but soybeans that have been dried and fermented with salt.

Pungent and intensely salty, Chinese black beans should be soaked before use to avoid overpowering the other ingredients.

Continue reading

Cuban black bean soup

21 Mar

Cuban black bean soup

Traditional Cuban black bean soup is made with a ham hock, which is simmered along with the beans and removed before serving.

I prefer this vegetarian version, adding smoked paprika to give the soup an element of the ham’s smokiness. Anyway, for me it’s the vinegar that gives Cuban black bean soup its distinctive flavour.

This soup tastes even better the following day, and freezes well too. Continue reading