Showing posts with label Potatoes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Potatoes. Show all posts

Monday, June 11, 2012

Braised Chickpea Fritters and Vegetables - The Food Matters Project

 This week it is my turn to host the Food Matters Project. It took me quite a while to choose a recipe for everyone to cook. It was the mix of legumes, vegetables and ethiopian spices that made me decide on this recipe for chickpea fritters and vegetables.

When I reread the recipe this week, it seemed a bit strange to me not to cook the chickpeas. I have done that before with lentils, and found that some did become soft but others not, so I decided to not follow the directions Bittman gives and cooked the beans until they were soft.

For the rest I tried to follow the recipe as closely as possible, but decided to bake the fritters in the oven instead of deep frying. Baking them worked well, but they ended up being a bit crumbly. It wasnt a problem in this recipe, but if you wanted to use them in a pita bread, this might not be the recipe to use. And I also used a mix of chickpeas and white beans, because I did not have enough chickpeas in the house (and want to buy more only after moving).
I really like how this recipe turned out, and I'd say without the deep-frying, it is not as labour-intesive as Bittman mentions in the recipe notes. And I hope you liked it, too. I am looking forward to seeing what everyone else came up with. 

Monday, April 30, 2012

Potato, Chickpea and Asparagus Salad

I never considered myself to be a creative person. Creative were the others. The painters, the musicians, the crafters. The people who knew what they were doing. Who can take a pencil into their hands and just start drawing and produce a wonderful drawing. The people who constantly took beautiful pictures with their cameras. I always looked at their work and said to myself: Oh well, your just not the creative type. They just have talent.

Only recently I realized that creativity is not the same as talent (and talent is a concept I try to distance myself from) and expertise. Being creative is the process, not the outcome. No matter how the end result turns out, the mere act of creating something makes us creative people. And John Cleese shares this view, that creativity is not an ability but a process. If you happen to have time, please watch this video. It is really worth your time.

And it really is good to know that we all are creative beings.

It is in cooking that I often feel my creativity the most. I usually sit and read and write and type the whole day or spend it with friends or maybe on the bike, but don't spend it creating stuff. Creating something in the kitchen is when I feel really connected, to the food I make but also to life in general. Cooking is really grounding to me.

For this weeks recipe in the Food Matters Project, I really planned on making a soup, maybe adding a bit more garlic, pureeing the bean part and leaving the asparagus whole. But then summer came, it is really pleasant outside, I wear a dress, drink beer and just can't imagine eating hot soup right now. And turning it into a cold soup did not sound too great. So here I am today, with a version of the dish that is more suited to the temperatures right now.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Curried Tomato Stew

I talked about kitchen failures, and about insecurities. And still, I'd like to continue thinking out loud here.
You see, I really love to cook, I enjoy spending time in the kitchen, I talk about food - a lot (just ask my boyfriend), and still, I can get really insecure when it comes to cooking. So often I find myself thinking: "I couldn't do that. This must be really difficult. How does s/he do that? The thought of making x scares me."
I really need to stop doing that, because, you know, these insecurities do not only show up in the kitchen, but also in the rest of my life.
I sometimes nurture my insecurities, tell them that they have a reason to be there, where really, there is nothing to fear.
I have been trying to challenge myself these past weeks, because really, that is the only thing that can take away my fears. Your fears, too. I will continue to challenge myself, and think I want to share some of the things I try as I go on exploring.
But today, I want to share my adaptation of this weeks recipe for the Food Matters Project. It is a really easy recipe, quick to make, but still delicious. And it is great for the days between the challenges,  something that can't really go wrong and warms you from within.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Potato Salad with Greens

If I was born not in the 80ies but in the 90ies, I might have been diagnosed with ADHD. This is a thought that just occured to me today. I always wanted to do too many things at one time. I was always distracted, thinking about something else. I was a good student, so nobody complained, but I often forgot my homework, the coursebooks and the library books, too. The only time I did only one thing was when I read a book. I read a ton of books back then. Somehow I stopped, I don't really remember when or why, it brought my so much pleasure.
And still today, I have difficulty doing one thing right, not many things at once. I start writing here, then suddenly it occurs to might that I wanted to write an email, do the dishes, that I wanted to look up this recipe, or that I wanted to look up this movie that I read of in the newspaper. I am a tabs-person - at the moment I have 8 tabs open, one with a bread recipe, a basic yoga routine , some blogs, and a dictionary. I have stacks of books to read, dealing with new topics that I became interested in. I want to learn to draw and paint, I want to learn about the art of photography, about master bread-baking, and many things more. I just get distracted.
I keep reading about people unplugging from the internet, the constant connection. I need to focus too, but not by being absent but by being more present. One focus at a time, not several.
My focus in the kitchen in the last few days was on potatoes. I never really liked plain potatoes. I like chips and fries like any other person, but regular potatoes, cooked in salt water, not really. So it is really shocking to me, that I made a version of this Potato Salad for Lunch the last two days and made it again tonight for dinner. Crazy. I just love how the mustard adds some kick to it, I adore the sharpness of the vinegar, the greens. I already bought more potatoes today. It's a bit scary, really.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Spanish Tortilla

When I was sixteen I spent 5 months in a host family in Barcelona, Spain. My host parents were divorced, and I spent every other weekend at the father's house. He lived outside of Barcelona, in a small town. I enjoyed visiting him. We often went to small restaurants with his new wife and their daughter. I remember going to a place in the woods, were Catalonian specialties were served. The leech that was roaster in the fire. It was eaten in a very special manner that I don't remember well.
This spring I went to Barcelona with my boyfriend. The city has not changed much. And what is just as good as when I lived there is the "Pa amb tomàquet". My host mother used to make this for me. Either plain or instead of butter in a sandwich, with Jamon or cheese. But as I found out now, the sandwich is even better filled with tortilla. It never occurred to me to put a tortilla in a sandwich, but the crispy bread and the soft tortilla go so well together. The onion in the tortilla, the garlic on the bread, and the juice of the tomatoes, they all add so much to the simple flavors of potatoes and eggs.
I haven't had a tortilla bocadillo (sandwich) since. The truth is, that, until this sunday, I never made a tortilla myself. But you should make one. Eat it plain, just as we did, or put it in a sandwich and enjoy a taste of Spain.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Potato Pizza

Before I went on holidays I spent a short weekend at Lake Brienz in Switzerland. I love to be there, it is really quiet and the environment is beautiful. Sometimes we spend a long time in the kitchen there, and sometimes, like this weekend, we made something quicker, so that we could spend more time outside, lying in the sun and reading.
This weekend we made a potato pizza. There is a recipe for a potato pizza in my cookbook by Nigel Slater, but since I did not have it with me, we just improvised.
It feels really decadent to put potatoes on a pizza dough, with not a whole lot more.
The pizza turned out just as I hoped it would. The crust was really thin and crispy, and the potatoes were a bit sweet. The goats cheese added some creaminess to the otherwise crispy pizza.