Monday, September 5, 2016

Three Beautiful Things 09/04/16: Kitchen Therapy, Shakshuka and Batata Harra, Greek Pasta Salad

1.  As it turned out, after an afternoon trip to Columbia, Molly recommended that I save the food I prepared for dinner tonight until tomorrow. No problem. I needed to cook today to settle down my restless mind today and it worked and this food might even taste better tomorrow after sitting for a day.

2. When she and Camille visited us back in May, Danielle fixed shakshuka, a versatile dish featuring eggs poached atop a spicy tomato sauce. It's simple to make and I loved the way the smell of onion and garlic and red pepper being sauteed and the added aromas of oregano, basil, chili powder, chili pepper flakes, cumin, and paprika simmering in the tomatoes deliciously filled our apartment home.  Later I boiled some red potatoes, let them cool, cut them up, and coated them with coriander seeds, turmeric, lime juice, and red pepper flakes that I had sauteed in olive oil. I transferred them into a bowl and sprinkled dill weed and fresh parsley and some more red pepper flakes over them. We'll have a spicy Mediterranean (Lebanese) potato salad, called batata harra, to eat on the side with our shaksuka on Monday.  (By the way, the batata harra also calls for cilantro, but one member of the family can't eat cilantro -- so I'm thinking I might buy a bunch and have it on the table.)

3.  Saturday night, I boiled a box of penne pasta and today I turned the pasta into a Greek pasta salad by adding grape tomatoes, cucumber, Kalamata olives (and some brine), red pepper, chopped red onion, feta cheese, and parmesan cheese and dressed the salad with Greek vinaigrette.  The salad rested in the refrigerator all day and I served myself a bowl around 9 p.m. I had bought blueberries on Saturday and suddenly I thought the blueberries would add a sweet layer of taste to this salad so I dropped a handful into my bowl.  For me, it worked. I wouldn't be ready to serve blueberries in Greek salad to others without their consent, but this move got me thinking about different possibilities for blueberries and soon I dove into recipe websites, seeing if any of my ideas appeared in recipes.  They did. There could be a pork tenderloin with blueberry and kiwi salsa in the future here at our apartment home. And some other experiments....

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