Time for another great summer salad!
This salad is inspired by the flavours of the middle east, using herb/spice blend Za’atar as the main seasoning. White navy beans offer a fantastic base, with a mild and almost creamy flavour that balances with the earthy thyme in the Za’atar.
Continue reading Za’atar White Bean Salad
Deep South Spiced Rice & Beans (p.137, Classic Vegetarian Recipes) – Being “mostly vegetarian”, I try to find recipes that include legumes of some kind. This sounded like a good dish to try, as it incorporates beans and some fresh veggies. It’s a good one for the spring, because it isn’t heavy and saucey.
This is another dish I found in one of my old, dusty cookbooks. It’s a pretty good one, but really not that much unlike things I make on my own. I actually substituted black beans for the suggested kidney beans, because that’s what I had on hand.
I love the colourful peppers in this dish. I think it’s true that the more colour in a dish, the more you want to eat it. I know I eat some things that look pretty rough – some stews and things that have a mushy brown thing going on – but I do love to add colour with veggies and herbs.
What does this dish have that I don’t usually add? Cajun spice. Until recently, I didn’t really think about Cajun spice. Then I had to make some in a pinch because the jar I thought I had was gone… Then I came across dish after dish calling for the vague “Cajun spice” (come ON people, just tell us what spices to use!). Now armed with “my own blend” and some in my spice drawer, I am prepared for such recipes.
Today was gloomy, and full of rain and freezing rain.
It made me miss Cuba.
In an attempt to get back a little piece of Cuba, I decided to look up some Cuban recipes. I’ve made a few Cuban dishes before, but I have a hard time knowing if it tastes the way it’s supposed to. There aren’t many Cuban restaurants here in Toronto, and we just found out that the one we usually went to is closed. Boo!
I just bought some Mahi-Mahi, which reminded me of our last trip to Cuba. I paired it with some Moros Y Cristianos (rice and black beans) and drizzled with Cuban Mojo. “Moros y Cristianos” means Moors and Christians – the white rice and black beans representing the cultural mix of Cuba’s early settlers.
I think I missed again.
I have to say that this didn’t turn out quite the way I expected. I don’t think the mojo recipe is quite how I remember it from Cuba (a little less blended, more mixed, and less like a super tangy garlicky mayo). It was a little overpowering. The Moros y Cristianos turned out pretty yummy, but it took a little longer to cook because I chose to use brown basmati rice instead of regular white rice. That, and I can see that it isn’t the typical dish found in Cuba — their dish is coloured almost entirely by the black beans (see this photo, the dish on the left). I’m not sure if they start with dried beans normally, or if they put the canning liquid into the dish to get that colour. In any case, mine was good, but not quite right.
I still miss Cuba. Next time I’m making plantain fritters or yuca fritas. Yummy!
Recipes after the Jump
Continue reading Missing Cuba