Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Three Beautiful Things 05/17/16: Cookbook Revival, Co-op Trip, Satisfying Peruvian Potato-Bean Stew

1. For quite a while, I have relied almost exclusively, with great success, on the World Wide Web to find recipes. This approach has been greatly enhanced by my starting a Pinterest account and I also enjoy looking into recipes on sites like Yummly, Epicurious, and others. Lately, however, I have returned to the more tactile experience of consulting cookbooks. My collection is very small. Ha! I can't remember if I gave away cookbooks before moving from Eugene or if a box of them got lost in our move. I recently bought a book of traditional African rooted recipes of the Carribean, the African continent, and the south of our country that don't use meat, called Afro-Vegan. My pantry, however, is not properly equipped yet to cook from his book. My search is underway for markets in the DC-opolis that sell grains and spices and vegetables for African and Carribean cuisine. In addition, many of these recipes are two day undertakings and require more advance planning than is my habit. (You might remember: I'm a lousy planner.) Today, after realizing I couldn't fix a meal from Afro-Vegan, I returned to a gift from sister Christy, Mollie Katzen's Heart of the Plate, and found a perfect recipe for this chilly and rainy May day: Peruvian Potato-Bean Stew.

2. In order to make Peruvian Potato-Bean Stew, I made a trip to the Co-op to purchase some pinto beans, canola oil, a bag of red potatoes, a poblano pepper, an onion, some cilantro, a couple of limes, and garlic.  I already had bell peppers at home.

3. The recipe is simple and the meal is a little bit peppery hot, hearty, and delicious.  All I had to do was saute a chopped onion with chili powder and cumin for about five minutes or so, then add chopped bell pepper, garlic, and poblano pepper (no seeds) and let that cook for another five minutes or so. Then I added in the chopped red potatoes, put the cover on the pot, and cooked that, stirring occasionally, for five or more minutes, after which I added water and cooked the potatoes until tender. Once the potatoes were tender, I added two cans of pinto beans and a can of diced tomatoes, brought the stew to a boil and then simmered it. I added the juice of a lime at the end and the Deke and I put cilantro in the stew in our bowls.  I thought cornbread would taste good with this so I baked some -- and, lo and behold, I was correct! This was a very good dinner. It filled the house with delicious aromas and we have leftovers.

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