Spinach with Garbanzo Beans
Total time: 15 minutes.
1 Tbsp oil
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1/2 onion, diced or sliced or minced
1 bunch of spinach or 1 package baby spinach
2 cups cooked garbanzo beans
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cumin
In a large frying pan, heat oil on medium-high heat. Add onions and cook until golden (about 10 minutes). Add garlic, salt, and cumin and cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add garbanzo beans and spinach and heat through. The spinach will wilt when it’s hot.
Some people mash their garbanzo beans. I did not.
Creamy Rice with Artichokes, Mushrooms & Pasta Spools
Total time: 1 hour, plus sofrito and aioli time.
Adapted from Creamy rice with mushrooms, cuttlefish and artichokes by José Andrés, this recipe contains no fish or meat. Daring Cooks’ August challenge.
* 1 cuttlefish or substitute
* 2 Artichokes
* 6 Mushrooms
* 1 Bay leaf
* 1/4 c of white wine
* 1 cup short grain rice (Spanish types Calasparra or Montsant are preferred, but you can choose any other short grain)
* Water or Stock (use 1 ½ cup of liquid per ½ cup of rice)
* 3-4 saffron threads (or ground turmeric)
* Allioli (optional)
If using vegan pasta, skip steps 1 & 2. Prepare your pasta according to directions, and add to the dish near the end.
1. Cut the cuttlefish in little strips.
2. Add 1 or 2 tablespoon of olive oil in a frying pan and put the cuttlefish in the pan.
3. If you use fresh artichokes, clean and cut into eighths.
4. Clean the mushrooms and cut them into fourths.
5. Add a bay leaf, the artichokes and the mushrooms to the cuttlefish.
6. Sauté until we get a golden color in the artichokes.
7. Put a touch of white wine so all the solids in the bottom of the pan get mixed, getting a more flavorful dish.
8. Add a couple spoonfuls/scoops of sofregit and mix to make sure everything gets impregnated with the sofregit (I’ve used anywhere from 1/4 c to 2 c).
9. Add all the liquid and bring it to boil.
10. Add all the rice. Let boil for about 5 minutes in heavy heat.
11. Add some saffron thread to enrich the dish with its flavor and color. Stir a little bit so the rice and the other ingredients get the entire flavor. If you’re using turmeric or yellow coloring, use only 1/4 teaspoon.
12. Turn to low heat and boil for another 8 minutes (or until rice is a little softer than “al dente”)
13. Put the pan away from heat and let the rice stand a couple of minutes.
Creamy rice with mushrooms, artichokes & pasta spools; this time, with more sofregit!
The first picture:
1. Vegan pasta loops shaped to look just like cuttlefish.
2. I cooked and ate my artichoke leaves and used the stock in place of fish stock.
3. I blended up my mushrooms in my food processor before adding them to the skillet (hence the excessive brown hue).
4. I’ve never owned white wine, and I found a “substitute” recipe that included lemon, vinegar and water.
5. I followed the instructions as best I could, and I used 1/3 cup of my sofrito because it tasted so awesome.
The second picture:
Steps 1-4 same.
5. I used 2 cups sofrito, and then I stirred in 1/4 cup of aioli.
Total time: 1 hour.
* 2 tablespoons of olive oil
* 5 big red ripe tomatoes, chopped
* 2 small onions, chopped
* 1 green pepper, chopped (optional)
* 4 or 5 garlic cloves, chopped
* 1 cup of button or Portobello mushrooms, chopped (optional)
* 1 Bay leaf
* Touch of ground cumin
* Touch of dried oregano
1. Put all the ingredients together in a frying pan and sauté slowly until all vegetables are soft.
2. Taste and salt if necessary (maybe it’s not!)
I used 1/2 cup mushrooms, no green peppers, and added 2 habaneros. This took about 30 minutes to prepare and another 30 to cook.
Epic Aioli Fail
Total time: Approximately 20 minutes.
* 4 garlic cloves, peeled
* Pinch of salt
* Fresh lemon juice (some drops)
* ~1 cup Extra-virgin olive oil (Spanish preferred but not essential)
1. Place the garlic in a mortar along with the salt.
2. Using a pestle, smash the garlic cloves to a smooth paste. (The salt stops the garlic from slipping at the bottom of the mortar as you pound it down.)
3. Add the lemon juice to the garlic.
4. Drop by drop; pour the olive oil into the mortar slowly as you continue to crush the paste with your pestle.
5. Keep turning your pestle in a slow, continuous circular motion in the mortar. The drip needs to be slow and steady. Make sure the paste soaks up the olive oil as you go.
6. Keep adding the oil, drop by drop, until you have the consistency of a very thick mayonnaise. If your allioli gets too dense, add water to thin it out. This takes time—around 20 minutes of slow motion around the mortar—to create a dense, rich sauce.
Tried this a couple of times the traditional way, and I’m still unable to get it to come out looking like mayonnaise. The flavor’s still great, but the consistency never comes out. There’s a “modern” version with eggs I might try later.