Beans are supposed to be a healthy protein alternative, but they don’t have to be restricted to soups or rice & bean dishes. And, never mind the health factor, these 3 dishes were ‘off-the-chart’ delicious.
Camarones Enchilados (Spicy Shrimp) with Spaghetti Squash and Black Bean Puree
Grilled Chicken with Black Bean Puree
Black Bean Burger with Blue Cheese and Cilantro Dressing
Ingredients: spaghetti squash, 1 can Goya Black Bean Soup, shrimp, 8 ozs. tomato sauce, 1/2 cup of white wine, chopped onion, sliced red pepper and garlic, capers, chopped stuffed olives, 1 package of Sázon, chopped cilantro, red pepper flakes and a splash of hot sauce.
Halve squash, remove pits, and microwave till tender and you can fork out the spaghetti. Reserve to side.
Dust shrimp with Sázon and place in hot olive oil to sear. Remove as soon as they start to get pink but are not totally cooked and set aside. Add onion, garlic, red pepper and saute till soft. Remove from pan and toss reserved spaghetti squash into pan to coat, then remove and set aside. Return the onion, garlic and peppers to the same pan, add the rest of the ingredients and let simmer till flavors are melded. Add shrimp, toss, and let cook for a few minutes more.
Meantime, pulse 3/4 can of black beans with a few sprigs of cilantro and a splash of cider vinegar. Blend in remaining whole beans.
Presentation: Paint bottom of dish with black bean puree, place spaghetti squash in center, and top with camerones enchilados.
Grilled Chicken Sandwich with Black Bean Puree
So there was some black puree leftover and I thought it would make a great sandwich spread. The dash of cider vinegar really brings the flavor to a new level and is very suitable to a sandwich spread. Pictured here is a grilled chicken breast served on my favorite – a toasted Ciabatta roll – with a layer of black beans, piquillo peppers, sliced tomato, arugula, cilantro. Truth be told, the sandwich would have been delicious without the chicken which led me to the idea of…
Black Bean Burger
Somewhat following a recipe I saw in Gourmet magazine, I used toasted oats where they called for bread crumbs and in lieu of mayo, I used no-fat sour cream. These burgers were delicious and I can’t help thinking healthier than meat.
1 can black beans rinsed
1 tablespoon no fat sour cream
1/3 cup toasted whole oats
a few toasted walnuts
oregano, cumin, chipolte powder
Pulse half can of beans with sour cream, oats, seasonings. Remove and blend with remaining whole beans. Form burgers (I got 2 from this ratio) and fry in skillet.
Cilantro Dressing: I pulsed a cup of fresh cilantro with olive oil, the juice of 1 lemon, Dijon mustard, S&P.
For presentation: Again, my favorite ciabatta roll toasted and layered with cilantro dressing, piquillo peppers, and blue cheese.
I hope these 3 recipes came across as lip-smacking tasty as they are. What do you think?
I think you will enjoy all of these very different, but equally interesting, German recipes — and the websites from which they came. Each blogger added a personal and unique element to the tour. I hope you visit all their blogs.
Abigail of Mamatouille in Japan, joins us again. Remember her? She’s the Floridian who moved to Japan with her British husband and two children. She made Mohrrubensuppe, a colorful and creamy curry-flavored carrot soup.
Robin of Big Red Kitchen, currently from just outside Washington, D.C., lived in Germany for 3 years so she definitely brings an authentic perspective — and she added a new medium to the tour. Check out the video she made making several varieties of spatzle. It’s a real NetworkTV moment.
Cindy of Cindystar in Lake Garda, Italy tells us she is only a 4 hour drive from Bavaria and that Lake Garda is a favorite vacation for many Germans. I just love the look of these Brezel. The recipe and a how-to photo mosaic is on her website.
Brii from Briggis Recpt och Ideer from Valsorda, Lake Garda, Italy made 2 desserts. I couldn’t choose…could you? The first is a kaisertorte and the second is Rumtopf, a fresh fruit compote with strawberries, peaches, cherries, etc. and a whole lot of sugar and even more rum! It sets for about 2 months before eating.
Next Stop: France on or about February 2. Round-up will be posted on February 4 so get your post links and photos to me before that date.
Reminder: This event is for fun and to challenge ourselves to reach outside our culinary comfort zones. It is also to enlighten ourselves about other cultures and to bring awareness to the work being done by BloggerAid. We are currently calling for unpublished recipes from food bloggers for a cookbook that will be published toward the end of the year. All proceeds from sales go to fight world hunger.
Guten Morgen…welcome to Germany.
Please, I prayed, as I ‘landed’ in Germany, let me find a recipe that doesn’t include either the word cabbage or the word sauerkraut. And, if it’s not too much to ask, could I possibly find one with a little color? It’s the third stop on the tour and I’m longing to see red, green or purple on my plate.
Food and Culture
• Not only did Germany have a political split between the East and West until 1990, it has also had a divide in its regional cuisines particularly from the north to the south.
• Fatty, heavy, sauerkraut-laden somewhat sums up conventional thinking about food in Germany, but contemporary cooks are lightening it up.
• A traditional dish is called Rat’s Tail. Quite a turn-off to see on a menu, but it’s actually pork.
• Skat is the national card game and if they’re playing skat, they’re probably drinking beer and eating pretzels.
• German manners dictate that when you’re invited to someone’s home for dinner, you cut as much of your food as possible with your fork…this would indicate to your host that the food is tender and does not require a knife.
• Alcohol preference is Korn, a whiskey made from grain — and of course, beer. Prost!
• Would you live long, be healthy and fat, drink like a dog and eat like a cat. (German proverb)
Belegetes Buttbrot & Rotkhol…Guten Appetit!
OK so I couldn’t get away from cabbage but at least it’s red! I think my choice of this meal was driven mainly by my hunger for color. I reviewed and rejected a lot of recipes.
L-R: Black Forest ham & pickles on Wasa w/mustard; sliced egg, tomato, asparagus on buttered black rye; German smoked gruyere, mustard on Wasa topped w/fresh cranberries; and grilled shrimp, red pepper, dill on buttered black rye.
Open faced sandwiches are a traditional evening meal in Germany. Like many other Europeans, Germans generally eat their main meal at lunch time. There are myriad number of toppings but most sandwiches call for softened and flavored butter as a spread. Now I’m a muffuletta kind of gal…I like my bread crusty and on both sides of the filling! My sandwich spread of choice would be pesto, followed by flavored mustards. I don’t even keep mayo in the house and to the best of my knowledge have never (willingly) eaten a sandwich with butter on the bread. So, this, my friends, was my challenge. Once again, it was the ingredients or the combination thereof.
I left a half stick of butter out on the counter to soften while I went in search of German breads and toppings. I settled on a black rye and Wasa whole grain crackers. When I returned home, the butter was ready to be flavored and I added caraway seed, a little salt, and some finely minced fresh dill. The red cabbage recipe, which was really very good, came from Epicurious.
I’m looking forward to seeing who will be meeting me in Germany. The round-up will be posted on Wednesday, January 28.
Next Stop: France, on or about, February 2, followed by Portugal 2/9; Israel 2/16; Ethiopia 2/23; Russia 3/2; India 3/9; Mongolia 3/16; Australia 3/23; Peru 3/30, and USA 4/6. (Itinerary subject to change.)
A Word About Blogger Aid: The Administrators have been working very hard over the past 2 months to get this initiative going. They have established a relationship with the World Food Programme, the premier agency that helps those in need, and we are now operating with their full support.
As you may have heard, our first fundraiser is a cookbook which will be published in the Fall and sold on Amazon. All proceeds go directly to the charity. This is a great opportunity to get one of your recipes published and to help a worthy cause. You don’t have to be a member to contribute. Details here.
As I approached Poland I could not wait to see which of my food blogger friends decided to meet there…and what they brought to the party!
An Equal Opportunity Kitchen is a mother-daughter blog from Toronto, Canada. Giz admits to some advantage here, coming from a Polish background, so she was able to tell us about her mother and grandmother while preparing this chicken and cabbage dish.
More than Burnt Toast. Val from British Columbia, Canada not only heats it up in the kitchen, she heats up at the keyboard spinning one imaginative tale after the other. Check out the culinary vacation program she virtually attended in Poland and the recipe for the nalesinki, both sweet and savory.
Kopiaste. Ivy from Cyprus, Greece gave us a tour of the ‘old town’, an introduction into Slavic culinary traditions, and a lesson in economics with this lovely kluski z kapusta.
Paul from Dad Cooks@Recipe Redux lives on a beautiful horse ranch in Sorrento, FL. His ancestry is part Polish so he takes us on a nostalgic journey along with a step-by-step recipe.
And Rachel from The Crispy Cook in Schuylerville, NY was back again. No viking hat this time, but she wanted to pay homage to her husband’s ancestry with kapusta! She also made a tasty but not-as-pretty-as-the-cookbook Polish Coffee cake which is on her blog. We’ve all had that experience, right?
And, look who’s also back? Brii of Briggis rech och ideer from Lake Garda, Italy. Thankfully, she broke the kapuska/blintz spell and made a delicious-looking poppy seed roll cake that makes me crave a slice (or two).
Cindy (Cinzia) of Cindystar joins us for the first time. She is also from Lake Garda, Italy and she made Salatka which is the Polish version of a Russian Potato Salad. And, in case you were wondering…you add siedz to make Salatka Siedziowa. You’ll have to check her blog which is written in both English and Italian for further details.
With the exception of the last 2 dishes, there seemed to be a theme in Poland…if it’s not kapusta, it’s nalesinki. Cabbage and blintzes rule! Hmmm, I wonder if anyone has done a cabbage filled blintz?
Please visit all of the blogs mentioned above — and we’ll see you in Germany on or about 1/26. Food bloggers get your post links and photos to me by 1/28 to be included in the round-up.
Recipes are like life. You start out in one direction and wind up somewhere else…and along the road there are many twists and turns. A profound sentiment for a recipe perhaps, but true. I can’t give you the instructions for this dish because it’s being submitted to the BloggerAid cookbook so, instead, I decided to take you through the long and circuitous process of how a recipe finds life in this kitchen. It’s a tricky route from idea to execution.
Over the past month a recipe/meal plan has been germinating in my head:
• It started with my friend, Carolyn, who sent me a tin of dried porcinis along with her mother’s recipe for porcini sauce and a note saying “make something delish“.
• Then Jenn at Foodie Blogroll announced the 3 challenge ingredients for this month: mushrooms, noodles, and cauliflower. An idea immediately sprung forth but I had to confirm that ‘pasta’ was considered ‘noodles’. It was.
• So I started to think about a roasted garlic and cauliflower lasagna with a porcini sauce.
• Then I decided to heft it up and make a porcini ragu instead.
• Simultaneously, BloggerAid announced the fundraising plans for a cookbook.
• Ah, I thought, 2 birds with one stone.
• Alas, part of submitting for the cookbook is the stipulation that you post WITHOUT the recipe – the grand unveiling will be when the book is published.
• I gave up on entering the Royal Food Joust because I would have to post the recipe.
• Then, I thought, if I’m not wedded to using “cauliflower” anymore, how about using spinach or roasted peppers which are more colorful?
• And, instead of a traditional lasagna pan which is messy (and not too photogenic), why not do individual lasagna roll-ups and call them Florentine Lasagna Roll-ups?
• Yesterday, however, as I was shopping, I started to second guess the whole thing. Hmm, the ragu is a pretty heavy sauce and lasagna is a heavy pasta. It wasn’t sitting right with me — and it might not sit well in our bellies either. The roll-ups seemed to be calling for a lighter sauce.
• I was not about to give it up the porcini ragu so I purchased malfadine which is just the curly end of the lasagna and that satisfied the lasagna component of the recipe which was still rolling around in my head.
• Lastly, because the ricotta and mozzarella were in the house (and still on my mind), I made a fresh basil pesto with roasted garlic instead of raw and folded it into the cheese mixture which was served on the side for anyone who wanted a dollop — and everyone did!
• And that, my friends, is how a recipe grows at Casa Nova, aka, FOODalogue.
This is a real “Sunday Sauce” because the longer it simmers on the stove, the better it gets. It’s the kind of dish our Italian mothers and grandmothers would put up early Sunday morning for a late afternoon family dinner. The smells permeate the house and tease for hours. I wish we had Smell-a-blog because it’s smelling really good around here!
Since I wanted to make this an all-day family affair, I decided we’d play games (Trivia Pursuit & Canasta) while the Ragu simmered on the stove. But, rather than tease with the smells, I prepared an antipasto type lunch to while away the time.
Sorpressata, olive salad, artichokes, peppers and baked breaded zucchini, mushrooms and string beans — and, of course, some toasted ciabatta with garlic and olive oil.
The BloggerAid cookbook will be available for sale in November/December and will feature food blogger recipes from all over the world. Submissions are not restricted to members of BloggerAid so join the fun.
A Culinary Tour Around the World will be posting a round-up on Wednesday and will be arriving in Germany on or about 1/26.
Like most everyone else, Floridians are experiencing winter and some of us, like me, actually relish it! It’s not the mittens and boots kind of winter, but just a delicious chill in an otherwise hot climate. The A/C goes off, the windows and doors are flung open and you actually have to put a jacket on to go outside…though by noon, it’s tied around your waist.
Today was such a day. It was clear, sunny and a glorious 62 when I left the house and set off for the Delray Beach Art Fest and the Green Market. I had such a wonderful time. Walked for hours looking at the various art styles from fine oils to glass to jewelry to kitchen art and other decorative pieces for the home and garden. This exhibit was so big it spanned both sides of the Intracoastal Canal so I also stopped to admire the view and boats as I walked up one side and down the other. I took too many photos for this blog so I’m going to do something different and invite readers to view them on my flickr account or go directly to the slideshow.
By the time I got to Green Market, the pickings were sparse so I stopped at my favorite neighborhood farmer’s market called “The Boys” to pick up the ingredients for the dinner I’m making tomorrow which is tentatively titled “Recipes are Like Life” or “The Germination of a Recipe Idea”. Stop by tomorrow for a taste.
I hope you enjoy the slideshow. It’s artsy, colorful and whimsical — and, of course, there’s photos of the food stands. It will make you feel all warm and sunny.
*Good morning…and welcome to Poland. With origins in the 10th century, this country has a long and rich history and is a land of many diverse cultures, languages and religions. Yet, most people today are more familiar with the historic events emanating from WWII and during the 80s when Lech Walesa organized the work movement called Solidarity. In ‘pop culture’, Poland is known as the birthplace of Karol Wojtyla, the most beloved pope, the perogi and the kielbasa…and the brunt of many politically-incorrect jokes. What’s with that?
Food and Culture
• Like Norway, the word “vegetable” is synonymous with cabbage, beets or potatoes.
• Horseradish is a favorite condiment.
• Honey and poppyseed are widely used in noodle dishes and desserts.
• Because of the forestry of the terrain, there is an abundance of mushrooms.
• Alcoholic preference: Vodka; Mead, a fermented beverage similar to wine but made from honey; beer. Vivat!
“A good appetite needs no sauce.” (Polish Proverb)
I was going to make Czarina (duck soup) until I read the first line of instructions: “put vinegar into glass bowl and into this catch the blood when killing the duck.” Am I wimping out on my promise to challenge myself? I don’t think so.
In fact, a few of the recipes I looked at began with ‘you either love it or hate it’ –like Zurek, purportedly the best hangover soup which is made from sour rye, and Bigos, a sauerkraut and meat soup that is left to simmer for days. I was starting to think “should I have begun this journey going west, rather than east?” I didn’t want to do perogi (not a big fan of making dough) nor kielbasa (don’t have a meat grinder) so I pressed on until I found the following recipes.
Smacnego! (Good Appetite)
Shall we begin? In my dream, I spent a week visiting the sights, absorbing the culture, meeting the people, and on my last day the Wisnieski’s, a lovely family I met in Krakow, invited me to dinner to sample Wieprzowina w Smietanie served with Kluski z Kapusta. Huh?
Pork Chop with Sour Cream & Vinegar Sauce
Noodles and Sauerkraut
What I’m learning. While the dinner was simple to execute, the challenge for me was the combination of ingredients. I’m accustomed to sauerkraut on hot dogs, not noodles. I also never developed a taste for sweet and sour so the blending of vinegar and sugar for the sauce was a step out of my comfort zone. This is only the second stop on the tour, but I’m learning that my palate isn’t as broad as I’d like to think. I realize now that I’ve been clinging to my personal preferences for Mediterranean, Latin and California type-cuisines, even some Asian. But, I learned in Poland that one can enjoy a dinner of noodles and sauerkraut served alongside a pork chop in sour cream and vinegar sauce. Really!
Next Stop: Germany, on or around 1/26.
Food Bloggers: Break out your Oktoberfest shorts and beer steins and meet me there!
Let me introduce you to a few of my wonderful — and interesting — travelmates who journeyed from far and wide to ‘meet’ me in Norway. They are food bloggers extraordinaire, each with a sense of adventure and a winning personality matched by their evident skills in the kitchen and at the keyboard.
Rachel, The Crispy Cook from Schuylerville, NY, was the first to meet me. She’s a funny lady (ya think?) and her take on Norwegian cuisine is a must-read. I’m suspecting this is not the first time her kids showed up for dinner and found her costumed.
Val of More Than Burnt Toast, who lives in British Columbia, Canada, really immersed herself in the project. She gave us language and geography lessons, virtually went to culinary school, skied, snowshoed, fell in love with Svein (but that’s another story), and prepared this beautiful salmon roll-up and potato gallette.
Ivy of Kopiaste, one of the Administrators of BloggerAid who lives in Cyprus, Greece, decided to try her hand at Norway’s largest export, the gravlax. Along with this lovely dish set on lace (how authentic looking is that?), she gives us the origin of graxlax and a recipe to make it at home.
Liliana of Cookbook Addiction comes from Laval, Quebec, Canada and she is a dessert goddess. Just take a look at her blog! This Norwegian Honey Cake makes me want to pull up chair, pour a cup of tea…and enjoy a slice.
Brii was born in Sweden and currently lives in Valsorda, Lake Garda, Italy — which explains the Swedish title of a blog that is written in Italian (with a sprinkling of English)! Her enthusiastic post is just charming. I think this herring salad would make a very nice first dish or a light lunch.
Abigail, a former Floridian married to a Brit, writes Mamatouille from Japan where she has been living for the past 8 years. She made a Norwegian lemon pound cake that looks very moist but you’ll have to go over to her blog to check it out because I chose to include this fun photo of Abigail instead of the cake.
In fact, please visit all their websites for full stories and recipes. You’ll be glad you did.
Exciting news from BloggerAid: The effort has begun to crystallize with the announcement that the first official fundraiser will be a cookbook written by the food blogging community (yup, us!). It will be available for sale on Amazon later this year and 100% of profits go to the fight to eradicate world hunger.
Next Stop: Poland, on or about 1/19.
Welcome to Norway, part of the Scandinavia peninsula located in Northern Europe and home to about 4.6 million people. The economy is largely dependent on shipping and its abundance of natural resources, including petroleum exploration and production, hydroelectric power, and fisheries. One report I read stated that only 25% of the terrain is populated, the rest is devoted to natural resources. Norway is said to have a very high standard of living compared with other European countries, and a strongly integrated welfare system.
Food and Culture
• Dairy is big and included in most every meal, especially milk.
• Apples, pears and plums are the fruit staples but the whole country gets involved when it is berry-picking time. Cabbage, potatoes, beets and carrots are the vegetable mainstays.
• Norwegians enjoy many meats, most particularly lamb or mutton.
• Having an abundance at their beck and call, they also love fish.
• Salt & pickling seem to rule over sweets and desserts, which are only lightly sweetened and non-syrupy.
• Alcoholic preference goes to Aquavit, followed by a beer chaser. Skaal!
• And lots of coffee.
So, assuming I met Gunnhild and Ludvik when I virtually passed through their home town, I think they would have invited me in for Farikal. It’s a Sunday favorite for most Norwegians. I’m going to skip the Aquavit but pass me a beer, please.
Because this was such a simple dish and I’m supposed to be challenging myself, I made a salad and dessert also.
I was delighted to find this salad since most of the choices were pretty colorless. Sadly, the dessert, Norwegian Sour Cream and Raisin Pie, was not only colorless but also not photogenic. It tasted good, however, so I wouldn’t dissuade you from trying it. First time (that I know of) that I had a dessert with white vinegar as one of the ingredients. “Try it Mikey, you’ll like it.”
1. I stayed true to my promise to follow recipes and not insert my culinary point-of-view. I fear I may regret that promise…I was already itching to make the recipes better.
2. Photo titles link to recipes.
3. Sources for Norway info: Wikipedia, other internet websites
5. Itinerary (slight change in dates):
This was great fun! I’ve already started the research process for Poland and I promise you it will be interesting. Come back to FOODalogue next week for a round-up of other blog posts about Norway (to be included be sure to send me a link) — and we’ll see you in Poland on January 19!