Bookmarks for 5th March to 7th March 2012

These are my Pinboard links for March 5th through March 7th:

  • Burritos with Spanish Rice and Black Beans | recipe from FatFree Vegan Kitchen – A Facebook friend asked me recently if I had a list of my favorite recipes, and I was sorry to say that I didn’t. But what a good idea! Or so I thought, until I started to name all the recipes I considered favorites and found that the list would be so long that it would be useless. So I decided to reshape the question: Which recipes do I make over and over again? I decided to focus on the recipes I actually make week-in and week-out plus a few that I make regularly for holidays or special occasions, such as green bean casserole for Thanksgiving.

    After I thought of it like that, my list became both much shorter and much less fancy. It includes the Dirty Little Secret Soup that I make once a week (a little differently each time), the chickpea “tuna” salad I pack in my daughter’s lunch, and at least 4 different kinds of split-pea soup. All have been thoroughly tested and are dishes that we–teenager included–love. You can see the full list of my family’s favorites here (it’s now a regular category in the recipe index).

    As I was making the list, I asked my husband to help me think of every meal we eat regularly, and I was a little surprised to discover that several of the dishes in our regular rotation haven’t appeared on the blog. I guess I’ve been so busy trying to feature new recipes that I haven’t bothered with the very simple, stand-by dishes that make up a big part of our diet. So I’ve decided to rectify that. For the next three weeks, I’ll be adding a new “old” recipe each week. I’ll reveal what food we always travel with and tell you how to make the vegetable-rich pasta dish my daughter loves.

    My first old favorite reveals another “dirty little secret” of my family’s eating habits: about once a week, we eat burritos for dinner. On really rushed nights, we rely on canned fat-free refried beans (I know, I know–sodium and BPA, but we’re talking emergency meals) and wrap them in whole wheat tortillas along with lettuce, tomatoes, red onions, jalapenos, and my daughter’s specialty, guacamole (there’s another recipe I’ve never posted.) But when I have leftover brown rice, I skip the refried beans and throw together this easy Spanish rice. It makes a great burrito filling or side dish and doesn’t take much longer than heating up a can of beans.

  • Hari Nayak’s Chicken Curry in a Hurry (Bhuna Masala Murgh) | Serious Eats : Recipes – What is most surprisingly about this "chicken curry in hurry" recipe from Hari Nayak's My Indian Kitchen is how many corners it doesn't cut. There is no cream here, or even yogurt. Instead, a spice mixture is blended up and cooked until it thickens, meaning this isn't exactly the quickest "curry in hurry" recipe, even if it doesn't really take that much time. Luckily, it sure is flavorful.
    It helps that the chicken is browned first so you get that wonderfully meaty backbone in each bite. But I think most of the dish's success comes down to that fragrant spice mixture, which includes onion, turmeric, garlic, ginger, and cumin. Some garam masala is also added in later on, which lends a surprising amount of complexity to this curry.
  • Kneadlessly Simple’s Cheddar and Chiles Bread | Serious Eats : Recipes – Cheese and peppers are one of of my favorite combos, which made this bread a must-try in Kneadlessly Simple. The recipe suggests using white cheddar but I opted for yellow and was glad I did. The bright orange splotches made the interior of the bread look much more interesting.
    Like other breads in this book, the bread was heavy for its size, not a light and fluffy loaf by any stretch of the imagination. There also wasn't much oven-spring—something to keep in mind when you're judging when to put the dough in the oven.
    The chiles I used were fairly mild rather than super-hot, but if you're heat-squeamish the book suggests using pimiento instead, or I'd suggest fire-roasted red peppers.
    This bread would be great with chili or soup and makes an interesting sandwich bread as well. It was perfect for a scrambled-egg sandwich.
  • Kneadlessly Simple’s English Muffin Loaves | Serious Eats : Recipes – I like the idea of English muffin bread, even if nothing quite ever manages to fully mimic an actual English muffin. The flavor of this one comes close, and toasting brings it even closer, but it works just as well for more typical bread applications.
    This recipe suggests using a large bowl for rising at room temperature; use the largest bowl you can find! When the dough threatened to overrun my large mixing bowl and gave me visions of the Woody Allen movie Sleeper, I dug out my super-ginormous mixing bowl to contain it all.
    No giant mixing bowls at your house? Contain it in a big stockpot. You can transfer to a smaller bowl for mixing after that long rise.
  • The Occasional Vegetarian’s Bihari Green Beans Masala | Serious Eats : Recipes – Eating more vegetables is never a bad idea and one of the most enjoyable ways to make it happen is familiarizing yourself with the joys of Indian cooking. If tackling it seems intimidating, try out this Bihari Green Beans Masala adapted from The Occasional Vegetarian. It's a great recipe to get you started.
    It starts with the combination of green beans and almonds (anyone else reminded of green beans almondine?) then employs a palette of spices you probably already have on hand: cumin, paprika, coriander, and red chile flakes. Toasted with onion and garlic then simmered in coconut milk with stubby little green beans, this simple recipe leaves you with a rich dish of spicy-creamy beans that are just waiting to be spooned over a steaming plate of basmati rice.
    No more complicated than your run-of-the-mill green bean recipe, this one is packed with big spices, sweet coconut milk and beans that are so satisfying, they verge on meaty, not to mention give you some confidence to move onto other vegetarian, Indian-inspired cooking projects.

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