Monday, March 24, 2014
Sunday was leftover day at our house, as it usually is. The night before we had enjoyed a great Indian meal with family (plus a game of Cards Against Humanity, which if you haven't tried yet, you really should because it is hilarious). The Indian meal left us with a few pieces of naan bread leftover and I hate to see that awesome stuff go to waste, so I made a super easy appetizer with it - a recipe I learned from my friend Dayna.
Her original recipe is slightly different, so I will give you both versions below. The photo above is the one made with naan and tzatziki, whereas hers uses pita bread and sour cream.
The next time someone calls you up last minute to invite you for dinner, and you really want to bring something but you don't have much time, this is what you should make. Trust me.
whole wheat pita bread
asparagus, ends removed
onions, sliced thin
oil to sauté the onions in
onion soup mix
freshly grated parmigiano reggiano cheese
naan (2 whole pieces, or 4 halves)
asparagus, ends removed
1 large clove of garlic, crushed
lemon juice (juice of 1/2 lemon)
onions, sliced thin
camelina oil (http://www.omegamaidenoils.com/about-camelina-oil.html)
For Dayna's version, here is what I usually do:
Slice the onions thinly. Heat the oil in a pan and toss the onions in with some salt and pepper. Caramelize the onions on low heat (takes about 15 - 20 minutes).
In the meantime while the onions are cooking, remove the ends from the asparagus and toss with olive oil, salt and pepper. Grill in the oven under broil (500 degrees F) for about 5 minutes. Remove and let cool, then chop into 1 inch pieces.
Reduce heat to 350 degrees F and bake the pita in the oven for a couple of minutes. Remove.
Mix some sour cream with a few tbsps onion soup mix.
Lay the asparagus across the pita, add some of the onions. Sprinkle some freshly grated parmigiano reggiano cheese on top and toss back into the oven for a couple of minutes.
Remove from the oven and add dollops of the sour cream mixture on top.
Slice into wedges and serve warm.
For My Sunday Night Leftover version yesterday, here is what I did:
Slice the onions thinly. Heat 1 - 2 tbsp of camelina oil in a pan and toss the onions in with some salt and pepper. Caramelize the onions on low heat (takes about 15 - 20 minutes).
In the meantime while the onions are cooking, remove the ends from the asparagus and toss with olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Grill in the oven under broil (500 degrees F) for about 5 minutes. Remove and let cool, then chop into 1 inch pieces.
Reduce heat to 350 degrees F.
Lay the asparagus across the naan, add some of the onions. Put into the 350 degree oven for less than 5 minutes.
Remove from the oven and add dollops of the tzatziki on top.
Slice into wedges and serve warm.
toasted pine nuts
zucchini sliced thinly and sautéed with the onions
toasted slivered almonds
I have posted a recipe for black bean soup before (http://www.richlerrecipes.blogspot.ca/2013/02/black-bean-chick-pea-soup-with-sour.html) but it is a bit different from this recipe. This recipe is smokier, spicier, and a bit richer in my opinion. Both are delicious. The inspiration for this soup came from my brother-in-law, Simon.
Simon, his lovely wife, and my beautiful niece live out of town so we don’t get to spend enough time with them. Whenever we visit them in their quaint little town, brother-in-law pulls out all the stops to make us delicious eats. One of his specialties is soup (he is the King’s brother after all), and my very favourite soup that he makes is black bean.
The problem with Simon, like many actual chefs, is that he doesn't write down his recipes. So every time he makes this soup it is slightly different - but it is always ridiculously delicious. Two visits ago, as he was making the soup, I hovered around the kitchen and wrote down a list of ingredients. I was not able to write down any amounts because he was halfway through the process when we arrived - but I have made some educated guesses for this recipe.
This weekend my cousin Emilie was visiting from Montreal (and before you ask, yes, she brought us 6 dozen Fairmont bagels and tzatiki from Arahova and she is welcome back any time). For her first night here we decided to make tacos because we are all big fans. We made the black bean tacos that are on this blog (http://www.richlerrecipes.blogspot.ca/2012/05/cinco-de-mayo-black-bean-tacos.html) and they were amazing.
Saturday night the plan was to have Indian food (also delicious, recipes to follow later for Chettinad Chicken Curry and Mulligatawny Soup) and then Sunday was going to be leftover day. In the spirit of leftovers, and reinvention, I decided to turn the black bean taco medley into this soup. It was a good decision.
For this list of ingredients, I am going to pretend that we are starting from scratch (but now you know the secret - make tacos one day and turn them into soup the next).
Black Bean Soup
2 - 3 tbsp grapeseed oil (or an oil that can be heated to a high temp, not olive oil)
1 medium to large sweet onion, diced
1 shallot, diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 stalks celery, diced
2 medium carrots, diced
1/2 large red pepper, sliced
1/2 large orange pepper, sliced
1 small zucchini, sliced
2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed (14 oz each, or you can soak dry black beans if you prefer)
1 can diced tomatoes (28 oz, or fresh tomatoes if you prefer)
2 cups+ water or vegetable broth
1 tsp dried thyme
2 tsp dried epazote
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp smoked paprika (or a touch more if you like)
salt and pepper
1/3 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
2 tsp sambal olek (thai hot sauce)
avocado, chopped into biggish chunks, or a few spoonfuls of guacamole
limes -juice and zest, at least one for in the soup, and some wedges
chopped fresh cilantro
sour cream (optional)
cheddar cheese, grated (optional)
If you have these ingredients on hand, you can add some to the pot if you want to:
jalapeño (instead of the sambal olek)
rice (to thicken the soup)
yellow or green pepper
kidney beans (or other bean)
Start by heating the oil in a heavy soup pot. Sauté the onions for about 4 minutes on medium heat. Add the garlic and shallot and sauté for another minute, then add the celery and carrots and continue to cook for about 3 minutes.
Then add the peppers and zucchini and all of the dried herbs (thyme, epazote, chilli, cumin, smoked paprika, salt, pepper).
After about 3 minutes, add the beans. Stir for a minute and then add the tomatoes and broth or water, the sambal olek, 1/3 cup fresh cilantro, and the lime zest from 1 lime.
Bring to a boil and then simmer on low for about 1/2 hour or so. You don't want to overcook the veggies as they will lose flavour.
Remove from the heat and use a ladle to remove about 1 1/2 to 2 cups of the mixture. Set aside.
Puree the remaining soup using a hand blender. Once it is smooth and to your liking, squeeze in the juice of 1 - 2 limes. If you need to add more water at this point, go ahead. Make the consistency what you like it to be. Once you are happy, salt and pepper added to taste, consistency good - then add back in the 1 1/2 - 2 cups of mixture that you set aside. This way your soup is nice and smooth but also has some character with the bigger chunks of beans and veggies. See photo below.
To serve, ladle some soup into a bowl, top with chunks of avocado (or guacamole, as shown in photo below), cheddar, sour cream, fresh cilantro - one or all of these toppings. You can also serve with some lime wedges and tortilla chips (as crackers) if you like.
This soup is quite filling so if you are serving before a main course, just serve a small bowl. If you put it in the fridge overnight it will thicken and you will have to thin it out with broth or water before serving.
For a great guacamole recipe, click here: http://www.richlerrecipes.blogspot.ca/2011/09/best-guacamole-ever.html
Let me know how you like it!!