Archive for the 'chickpeas' Category

08
Aug
10

broccoli rabe, yoga, Thai food

I just had the most demoralizing experience. Despite prior claims to become a dedicated yoga-goer, I’ve had a hard time dragging myself to more than a class a month (at best). I think it’s because I have a hard time equating it with exercise. I feel all soft when I put on the loose pants and barely bother to tie my hair back. I get so much more out of running in 90 degree heat with sweat dripping in my eyes. I feel like I earned that shit.

I have to gear myself up for, like, weeks before I’ll attend a yoga class. This weekend I had four separate sets of plans to go until I finally caved and went this afternoon. Five minutes into the class and my muscles had had it. I found myself cursing during downward dog and half-assing every plank we did. And the sweat? It found my eyes (and arms, back, legs, etc.) I honestly can’t remember the last time I got that disgustingly sweaty in front of about 50 strangers, but it was probs at The Atlantic. Ahh memories. Anyways, yoga was all, “you got served” to me, and I was like, “recognized and modified, thanks.” I don’t care for smugness.

the least offensive yoga photo on google images

On the spicy side, there are so many greens I’m just now getting to know. And I’ve been a vegetarian for, like, years (two). Last week, I decided to get to know broccoli rabe. I found this recipe on Epicurious, and decided to make it, mostly because I still have pounds of untouched orecchiette pasta left over from my birthday. For those just joining, I had plans to make four sets of appetizers on my birthday, and I grossly misjudged how long I would need to prepare. I ended up cutting the appetizer list in half, sacrificing my much hyped truffle mac and cheese. Failure suuucks.

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
6 tablespoons olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 15 1/2-ounce cans garbanzo beans (chickpeas), well drained
1/3 cup thinly sliced fresh sage
1 1-pound bunch broccoli rabe, trimmed, cut into 1-inch pieces
2/3 cup dry white wine
1 cup (packed) freshly grated Parmesan cheese (about 3 ounces)
1 lb orecchiete pasta

You start by boiling the pasta, and in a separate pot melt the butter and olive oil over high heat. Add the garlic and garbanzo beans, and saute for about 8 minutes until they get all golden brown. Add half the sage and saute for a minute more.

Add broccoli rabe, wine, and 1/2 cup reserved cooking liquid to the pot. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes until the broccoli rabe is tender. Then add pasta, remaining sage, and Parmesan cheese; toss to combine and season to taste with salt and pepper. I, of course, added some red pepper flakes for some spicy. It was goooood. I think the acidity of the white wine cut down the bitterness of the broccoli rabe or something, because everything worked really well together.

Try as a I might not to steal Giada de Laurentiis‘s identity, I’m kind of doing it. She’s so damn adorbs, and she has it all. I watched her make Thai food last weekend, and I found myself jacking the Veggies in Yellow Curry recipe for dinner that night, with a few modifications.

orecchiete with broccoli rabe and fried chickpeas

Ingredients:

1 yellow curry jar (she called for coconut milk and curry paste)
1 small russet potato, peeled
2 carrots, peeled and sliced into 1/4-inch thick rounds
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, cored, seeded and chopped
1 15 oz can baby corn, drained and rinsed
1 Thai chile, sliced
5 sprigs basil, with stems, plus 1/4 cup chopped (she used Thai basil)
1 tsp lime zest (she called for 3 Keffir lime leaves)
1 tbsp fish sauce

Ok, so Giada made her own curry with curry paste and coconut milk, but I wasn’t able to find yellow curry paste anywhere. I had to settle on using one of these. Just admitting this makes me feel like a fraud, so imagine how I felt doing it! I never like to take shortcuts while cooking. If anything, I like to make things harder on myself. Even the Asian grocery was out of curry paste, though, so I had no choice.

Anyways, you start by heating the sauce, and then add everything. Easy enough, Giada. You win at life. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, I made this really good whole grain brown rice and read a little from my new ibook. That’s right; I’m trendy. Once 30 minutes are up, you remove the lid and continue to simmer until the vegetables are tender, for about 5 minutes. Discard the lime leaves and the basil sprigs. I served atop the rice, and it was all kinds of delicious. It also fed me for — count it — 7 nights. Hello, record breaking leftovers. Where were you when I was perpetually broke? Better late than never, I guess:

veggies in yellow curry

25
Aug
09

curried okra.

I apologize if my writing is a little off today, but my muscles are being SO needy. They think that, since I subjected them to a weekend of outdoor running, they’re allotted a period of self pity and mouring. And that’s really not the way things go around here. I may have run two miles on both Saturday and Sunday, (which is the equivalent of 8 treadmill miles for those who don’t know the conversion rates), but they were still expected to perform during my after-work gymming. This is not to say they fell short of expectations, but I could do without the constant threat of strain.

Since I pushed myself on the sweaty side, I had no choice but to make something amazing last night so as not to be neglectful to the spicy side. I’ve been wanting to try something new, but inspiration hasn’t really struck lately. Luckily, one of my roommates just threw a bunch of okra in my lap. Well, not literally..that would be weird…but she went out of town leaving me with strict instructions to make use of her okra before it went bad. I’m no fan of rotten okra, so I took her suggestion to make the curried okra recipe off epicurious and RAN with it.

I’ve never made okra before, and I’m pretty sure I haven’t given it much of a chance since I had some fried at Picadilly in the second grade. Seventeen years is a substantial waiting period, so I decided to go for it last night:

okra

okra

The recipe started with some chopped onion, garlic, chopped fresh ginger, vegetable oil and curry powder. I sauteed that all in a big skillet, and then added some drained and rinsed chickpeas and a can of whole peeled tomatoes.

Weirdly enough, the recipe called for whole okra and instructed me to just “trim” them. I would assume they wanted me to take the stems off, but the recipe asked for them to remain in place. I left them intact like a good little sheep, but I trimmed the bottoms off. I have no clue if that was the right thing to do.

Once the tomato chickpea mixture simmered for a few minutes, I threw the okra on top and covered the skillet. They looked like this:

the curried okras are cooking

the curried okras are cooking

When all was said and done, the okras took about 10 minutes to get soft but not totally limp. I served the whole mix atop some Basmati rice, and it was pretty great. My second acquaintance with okra was a pleasant one. Who knew?

My dad warned me that okra get slimy once you cook them, and it weirds most out. Hence the frying, a la Picadilly. Apparently I’m not most people, because I kind of loved it and hardly noticed the slime. It’s possible I’m talking out of my ass, but I’m thinking the acid from the tomatoes counteracted the okra slime? That’s my ass’s guess, for whatever it’s worth.

Anyways, see below for the final product:

curried okra with chickpeas and tomatoes

curried okra with chickpeas and tomatoes




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