Thursday, March 27, 2014

Hey There my Little Chickpea.

When I was little I'd invite my friends to come over to my house to play D&D, video games, throw rocks at each other, and watch horror movies until my mom yelled at us to go to bed. "Normal American kids" pretty much, whatever that means. I lived outside of Atlanta, Georgia at the time and the few friends I had, had deep Southern drawls. But I remember it always being a little strange the first time a new friend would come over and hear my mothers hardcore New York (where I was born) accent and my grandparents Cuban accents. "Are you a Mexican?" they would ask with confusion and a hint of displeasure. "No asshole. I'm Cuban." would usually be my reply and then we'd awkwardly play by ourselves until their parents picked them up and we'd never hang out again. It wasn't the fact that they though I was Mexican. Or even the fact that they were young racists in the making. I was just proud to be Cuban (among other things). I wasn't going to let anyone make me feel bad about who I was. I had one or two friends that didn't care where I came from though.

I had one friend named Brian who came from a stingy, fat-shaming Baptist family. We became really good friends. I hated going to his house to play though. He was a bit husky and I remember his parents making him drink diet soda and they would order a medium pizza for the whole family of four plus me to share. Fuck that. One slice of sad cheese pizza and diet coke. What is this, prison? I told my mom how terrible it was over there and now whenever I'd go she would pack my backpack full of snacks. However the majority of the time he came to my house to play. I think he especially liked coming over because he could eat as much as he wanted. My family always shoved food on anyone who came over. It was kind and giving. Always trying to make everyone feel taken care of and included. A trait I still try to uphold.

I recall one of our favorite things that my grandmother would make us was the garbanzo and potato omelette (called omeletta). There were no eggs involved, just mashed chickpeas and potatoes with garlic and lots of spices. We would eat like three of them and drink regular cokes and eat bags of chips and candy and watch R-rated movies and life was good. Anyways, the last time I saw the guy we had all grown up (well he did I guess) and it was awkward and kind of unpleasant. He smoked a pipe and thought my mohawk looked "childish". After dropping him off I went out and bought some whiskey and cranked Minor Threat in the car. If growing up means getting all judgmental and boring then you can count me out. All I know is that I'm happy and I will never again be starved by Baptists.

Omeletta (Garbanzo Bean and Potato Omelette)

1 19oz can of garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained
2 medium Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and small diced (1/4"x1/4")
1 bunch scallions, sliced on the bias (separate the white from green)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp pimentón (smoke paprika)
1 tsp (Goya) adobo seasoning (you can just use a little seasoning salt if you don't have)
1/4 cup Spanish olive oil (plus an extra Tbsp)
kosher salt and fresh cracked clack pepper tt
parsley for garnish

sour cream (leave it out to keep it vegan)
hot sauce (I use Tapatio)

In a large non stick pan over medium high heat. Add 1/4 c. olive oil. Add the white parts of the scallions, garlic, and diced potatoes to the pan.
Saute until the potatoes are mostly tender (about 5 minutes).
Toss in the garbanzo beans, spices, and 1/2 cup water (or chicken stock/veg stock to make it even yummier). Cook for 5 more minutes until the liquid is mostly dissolved and the veggies are fully tender.
Pour half of the mixture into a large bowl and mash it until it become a chunky paste. Pour in the rest of the mixture into the bowl and gently stir to combine it.
Wipe the pan clean and add a Tbsp of olive oil. Spread the garbanzo and potato mixture into the pan so that it even and flush against the sides of the pan. Turn the heat down to medium and cook for 6 minutes until the bottom becomes golden brown.
Lay a large plate over the top of the pan and carefully flip the omeletta onto the plate. Then slide the omeletta back into the pan to brown the other side. After 5 minutes flip it back onto the plate.
Mix a few dashes of hot sauce into some sour cream.
Slice the omeletta into quarters. Garnish with the hot sauce/sour cream, green scallion and parsley.
Eat as much as you want. Enjoy life. Don't be a jerk. xoxo

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Show Me The Green.

Winter salad. The words just sound wrong together. Like mortal enemies being forced to paint each others' nails. Salad may not sound like something you want to stuff your hibernating belly during winter but Spring is upon us my dears (well in Seattle the weather's been so screwed up this year that Spring started last October and skipped right over winter. ie: the apocalypse). It's time to start filling your mouth with green leaves that don't start with K and end in ALE. Screw kale. I'm frickin tired of kale. I swear if my small farm CSA sends me one more box of kale i'll seriously lose it. I just need a few months of a kale free life and perhaps I can come to love it again come next winter.

So yes, winter salad. We've started to get some really nice heads of lettuce (butter, red leaf, romaine) in our veggie box and I decided that it was time for a salad. My belly is full of cheesy warm casseroles and my blood has been replaced by soup. I need something light and not 100% beige in color. My body had officially shut down and it refused to function until I put some fresh vegetables in there. The circles under my eyes reverted back to the usual lovely greenish black color versus the sunken-in weird yellow grey they had become. My over bloated stomach went back to it's usual slightly pudgy but happy self. My teeth felt a little less loose in my mouth and my gums stopped crying tears of blood. This salad made me feel alive again. It was either that or the massive amounts of PCP I smoked prior to eating dinner. I think it was the salad though. I really do

Roasted Cauliflower and White Bean Salad with Truffle Parmesan Dressing

1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
1 19oz can white beans, rinsed and drained
1 head romaine lettuce (or what ever greens you want), washed, dried, chopped
1/2 English cucumber, peeled, halved longways, seeded, thinly sliced
1/2 red onion, peeled, thinly sliced

1/4 cup of fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 Tbsp Syrian za'atar (if you don't have it you can sub a mix of cumin, coriander and a tiny bit of cinnamon)

(the dressing)
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, finely grated
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup sour cream
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp white truffle oil
2 tbsps white wine vinegar
kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper tt

Preheat the over to 375F. Chop up a head of cauliflower and spread it out on a sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil, lemon juice, kosher salt, fresh cracked black pepper, and Syrian za'atar. Toss to coat and roast the cauliflower in the over for about 30 minutes or until tender (toss them once or twice while cooking so they don't burn). Set aside to come to room temp. 

In a bowl whisk all of the dressing ingredients until emulsified.

In a large salad bowl toss the beans, lettuce, cucumber, and red onion and enough dressing to coat until combined. Add roasted cauliflower and gently toss one more time. Add more dressing if needed and season with salt and pepper. Eat it as a meal or serve with some roasted fish or chicken. 

Side note. I don't smoke PCP. Especially not when I'm eating a healthy salad. That just seems counter-productive. xoxo