Tag Archives: chili

Wanting More

Jamaican Jerk Curry

jamaican_curry

There are few things as challenging as a food blogger as having to cook a cuisine for a challenge that you have no familiarity with.  While I’m familiar with Jamaica, the bits I know are from books and movies – which is something I need to correct.  In looking for recipes I noted a fondness for peanuts and pork, two things that aren’t exactly welcome in my house.  However I kept looking and googling for common ingredients, and with that decided to take the base of a few Jerk Curry recipes I found and make them vegetarian friendly.  I also decided to make my own jerk seasoning, using this recipe I found on AllRecipes.com, which was easy to make and mostly required standard pantry spices.

Wanting More

Serves 4-5

Ingredients

1 tbsp vegetable oil

1 tbsp Jerk seasoning

1 sweet onion, diced

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 inch ginger, shredded

1 tbsp white wine vinegar

3 medium sweet potatoes, cubed

1 green bell pepper, diced

1 large beef steak tomato, diced

1 scotch bonnet pepper, deseeded and diced (optional)

1/4 cup pineapple, diced (fresh or canned - saving at least 1 tsp of juice)

2 cups black beans, presoaked and well rinsed

1 cup wild rice, presoaked (if needed)

Instructions

  1. Heat the vegetable oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the jerk seasoning and fry for a minute, stirring to prevent burning. Add the onion, ginger and garlic and cook for an additional 7 minutes, garlic should start to turn golden. Add the white wine vinegar and stir well.
  2. Add the sweet potatoes and cook for 5 minutes, allowing the potato to slight crisp on the outside before adding the peppers and tomato.
  3. Meanwhile prepare the wild rice per box instructions. Once finished fluff and set aside.
  4. Add the pineapple, along with the reserved juice, and the black beans. Stir everything well then add the cooked rice, stir again and then cook until beans are warm.
  5. Serve and enjoy!
http://dancingveggies.com/2014/02/wanting-more.html

This dish was a HUGE hit – can’t begin to explain how much my husband enjoyed it!  The combination of sweet and spicy was perfection, and the rice gave just the right amount of texture to the dish.  It might have a rather long ingredient list but it was totally worth it, another great find thanks to /52weeksofcooking.

Ever Wanted

Navratan Korma

Navratan Korma

Every now and then I tend to bite off more than I can chew when it comes to blog challenges, and this week’s r/52weeksofcooking is a prime example.  The theme this week was Indian which is a cuisine I’m familiar with and have done a few times in the past.  However I wanted to try something different so instead of my standard tomato based curry I decided to attempt a yogurt based dish, and then go the extra step in making it vegan.  I researched a variety of different dishes before finally deciding on Navratan Korma which translates to Nine Gems Curry.  For my nine gems I settled on: peas, green beans, Indian Eggplant, green bell pepper, tofu (or paneer), Indian red chilies, shallots, cashews, and carrots.  I debated about using cauliflower or broccoli but it’s still too early in the season for them and couldn’t find any at the local market.  Needless to say this is a very (very!!!) prep-heavy dish with lots of cleaning and cutting.

I started prep work with the tofu in order to give it time to press before moving on to the eggplant, for similar reasons, and then all the remaining vegetables.  To figure out the right spices I looked at a variety of online recipes before finally settling on the below combination.  For a more traditional dish use paneer in place of tofu, just keep it mind it will cook a lot faster than tofu and might require additional vegetable oil in order to brown.

Ever Wanted

Serves: serves 5-6

Ingredients

2 tbsp vegetable oil

1/4 tsp cumin seed

1/4 tsp cardamon seeds

1/4 tsp amchoor powder (mango powder)

1/2 tsp tumeric

2 garlic cloves, diced

1 tsp ginger, shredded

3 scallions, diced

1/2 tbsp garam masala

1 lb of tofu, well pressed and drained (can also sub paneer)

4 Indian eggplants, sliced and salted

1 cup spring peas

1 cup green beans, tipped and halved

1/4 lb carrots, cut in to 2inch pieces

1 green pepper, diced

2 Indian red chilis, diced and seeded (optional)

1 cup coconut milk (plain or original - can also used canned version)

1/2 cup plain yogurt (I used So Delicious Coconut - but Almond or Dairy would work as well)

1/4 cup cashews (optional)

Instructions

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large saute dish over medium heat. Once hot add the seeds, spices, garlic, scallions, and ginger. Cook for 2 minutes or until cumin seeds start to split stirring frequently to prevent burning.
  2. Add the tofu and cook for 10 minutes, turning regularly so tofu browns on all sides. Add the remaining vegetables and stir well. Cover and cook for 10 minutes, stirring once to prevent sticking.
  3. Remove lid and add the coconut milk and yogurt. Bring mixture to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
  4. Serve hot over coconut (or regular rice) or with fesh Naan topping the dish with cashews (optional)
http://dancingveggies.com/2013/04/ever-wanted.html

I served the cashews only on top of mine since I couldn’t find a bag that was marked in such a way to indicate it was 100% peanut free.  This dish might have taken a while to get started but it’s incredibly quick to come together and delicious – making all the cutting worth it!  I also have a feeling this dish would work well in a slow cooker and look forward to testing that theory shortly.

Note: I’m submitting this to the So Delicious Dairy Free Recipe Contest

Cold Outside

Sweet Potato Chili

Sweet Potato Chili

Looking out the window it’s more than a little clear Mother Nature has forgotten to take her medication.  We’re almost a week in to spring yet there is snow on the ground and more falling from the sky, which isn’t exactly spring in my book.  This is the time of year for starting a garden, looking at the Cherry Blossoms, and sorting through the past season’s clothes.  Instead I’m pulling out my snow boots and trying to figure out how to navigate my curvy slightly hilly street in order to get to the main roads and work.  However I have a secret recipe for days like this: sweet potato chili.  My first experience with this vegan delight was at my in-laws the day we told them we were engaged, needless to say just one bite of this winter weather soup warms me up heart and soul.  This is a slightly spicier version of that soup, but for a gentler variation just leave out the jalapeno and add chili powders to taste.

Sweet Potato Chili

serves 4-5

Ingredients

1 tbsp vegetable oil

1 tbsp chili powder

1/2 tsp cayenne powder

1/4 tsp cumin seeds

1 red onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, diced

1 jalapeno, diced

2 sweet potatoes

2 1/2 cup kidney beans, presoaked (or 2 14oz cans drained and rinsed)

2 14 oz can tomatoes, chili style

1/2 cup vegetable stock

Instructions

  1. Heat the oil in a large dutch oven over medium heat, add the spices and allow to cook for 60 seconds. Add the red onion and garlic and cook for 5-7 minutes, the onion should be translucent and the garlic golden.
  2. Toss in the jalapeno, cook for one minute while stirring before adding the sweet potatoes. Cook for 5 minutes, allowing the potatoes to get slightly brown, stirring to keep anything from sticking.
  3. Add the kidney beans along with the tomatoes and vegetable stock. Bring to a boil then cover and simmer for 45 minutes. Season to taste and serve!
http://dancingveggies.com/2013/03/cold-outside.html

I enjoy topping mine with some Greek Yogurt while Joe tends to go for shredded cheese and sour cream – either option is delicious!  This dish can also be done in the slow cooker, follow the above directions and after the onion/garlic have cooked just add everything to the slow cooker and cook on low for 7 hrs or high for 2.5 hrs.  For those seeking an even hotter chili, switch the jalapeno for a serrano (or habanaro!) pepper.

Note: So Delicious has no idea who I am, I just enjoy their products and more often then not they have awesome coupons on their website!

Second Note: Yes there is a hair on the lens but it wasn’t noticed until the picture was inserted and the last of the chili had been devoured – sorry!!!!

Fire Burning

Salsa Verde Black Bean Tacos

soft_tacos

Last meet submission for the /52weeksofcooking Taco Week challenge!  I actually made this on Monday but had a rather insane week that resulted in way more delays then I thought possible.  When it comes to tacos I tend to make my black bean sweet potato ones, after all they served at our rehearsal dinner so I’m more than a little partial.  However for this challenge I wanted to go outside of my normal taco shell and try something really different.  The first thing I wanted to do was make a soft taco, and with that a filling that would have some bit to it as a contrast to the shell.  I wanted to keep beans as the primary protein but wanted to include something different.  After debating squash, zucchini, green peppers, and tomatoes I decided to try tomatillos – seeing as how I’m a huge fan of salsa verde.  I still wanted tomatoes, and more color, so I made some pico de gallo and also cut up some avacados to give them an extra boost.  The end results were flavorful and extremely filling soft tacos that provided the perfect punch of heat.

Fire Burning

Serves 4-5

Ingredients

4 roma tomatoes, diced

1 onion, diced and divided

2 tbsp fresh cilantro, minced

1 serrano chili, diced and divided

2 cloves garlic, diced

2 tbsp vegetable oil

1 tbsp chili powder

1 tsp cayanne powder

1/2 tsp cumin seeds

4 tomatillos, husked and loosely diced

1 1/2 cups black beans, presoaked

8 soft shell tacos

1 avocado, sliced

Instructions

  1. Add the tomatoes, half the onions, cilantro, half of the chili, and garlic in a large bowl and blend well. Place in fridge and chill for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Heat the vegetable oil in a large sauce pan over medium heat and add the various seasonings. Heat for one minute before adding the remaining onions. Cook for 5 minutes, then add the remaining serrano chilis and cook for another 3 minutes before adding the tomatillos. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent sticking.
  3. Once the tomatillos are soft add the black beans and continue to stir until everything is well blended.
  4. Meanwhile begin to heat up the soft tortillas either using a small skillet or the microwave. Fill with the bean mixture, the pico de gallo, and slices of fresh avocado.
http://dancingveggies.com/2013/03/fire-burning.html

For additional toppings Joe added cheese to his tacos while I stuck with some sour cream and some salsa verde.  I’m sure there are other ways I could have incorporated the tomatillos but cooking everything in the same pan allowed the the flavors to all build and blend, resulting in a delicious combination of flavors.

Joy Prevails

Poached Eggplant with Spicy Korean Sauce

Poached Eggplant with Spicy Korean Sauce

Time for /52weeks!  This week was a real challenge, since I’ve had Korean maybe once before and had never attempted to cook it.  Luckily I have a few vegetarian cookbooks that include ethnic cuisines and found a great base recipe in Madhur Jaffrey’s World Vegetarian.  After Googling a few of the ingredients, and trying to figure out how I could get the same general flavor without the lemon juice or peanut oil.  I also debated on how to best cook the eggplant, either the poached in the original recipe or the steamed version that was suggested.  In the end I decided to go poached since I have never done that before, and might as well go all new!

Joy Prevails

Serves 4-5

Ingredients

1 lb Chinese eggplant, cubed

1/2 cup water

2 tbsp vegetable oil

3 spring onions, chopped (divide the white and green sections)

3 shallos, minced

1/2 tbsp fresh ginger, shredded

1 tbsp canola oil

1/2 tbsp sesame oil

2 tsp Chili Bean paste (original called for kochu jang which I could not find so used toban djan instead which seemed to be very similar based on ingredients and what Google told me kochu jang was)

2 tsp rice wine vinegar

1/3 cup water

1 1/2 tsp soy sauce

Instructions

  1. Place the eggplant in a large frying pan and cover with water halfway up. Bring to a quick boil, then cover and allow to simmer for 20 minutes, turning three times to ensure even cooking. Drain and set aside,
  2. Meanwhile heat up the vegetable oil and add the white sections of the spring onion along with the shallots and ginger. Cook for 5 minutes, the shallots should start to turn golden.
  3. While the shallot mixture cooks stir together the canola oil, sesame oil, chili bean paste, rice wine vinegar, water, and soy sauce.
  4. Pour the oil into the frying pan with the shallots, then add the green sections of the spring onion. Mix well before pouring over the eggplant. Serve over rice!
http://dancingveggies.com/2013/01/joy-prevails.html

This sauce is amazingly versatile, when I do this again I plan to double the sauce and add some fried or baked tofu to the mix.  I think it would also go well with rice or buckwheat noodles instead of the rice – just to be a little different.  This challenge just proved once again that trying out new techniques and styles can be very tasty!  Also, be sure to check out World Vegetarian for the recipe that inspired this dish