Haven't posted in a while, sometime I get anxious when posting stuff for real and so I avoid doing it. Its not that I'm afraid what people will think its just the act of putting something together for blog publication. Anyhow my new plan is to make this entirely into my own forum for my food and drink musings... so here I go.
I've been thinking about and working with beans a lot lately. I am not sure whether the motivation is that amazing cassoulet I had this winter, the delicious beans I discovered at Ranchogordo.com (which were one of the few foodstuffs of mine to survive the recent move), or just plain frugality, but I've had beans on the brains lately.
I recently made some chipotle black beans and some curried carrots and black eyed peas and thinking of bean soups and pureed soups and how sauces can be concentrated soups I've constructed some imaginary menus to go with them. Both sets of beans are somewhat spicy and are well spiced with dried chiles, cumin, and coriander dominating the black beans and garam masala with cayenne, coriander, and cardamom finding a home in the black eyed peas.
SO. my menus are:
Black eyed peas menu
Appetizer- spiced flatbread (I'll figure out something from my new 5 minute artisan bread book)
Drink- (I'm determined to make up a specific cocktail for dinner parties to avoid the 'what would you like' confusion )- Honi Honi (rum, lemon, apricot brandy, orgeat) or maybe go crazy with a singapore sling, I just have to replenish my cointreau and I'll have all the ingredients.
Meal- Grilled sambal, garlic, and soy marinated chicken thighs on a bed of curried carrot and blackeyed pea puree served with roasted cauliflower and cilantro (adapted from a Madhur Jaffrey cookbook)
Dessert- Mango pudding (probably based off this recipe but I may look around some more and/ or go off on my own using coconut milk and less gelatin) garnished with a fruit salad with chopped mango, mint, and lime juice (what other fruit might be good in that salad?)
Black Bean menu
Appetizer- smoked paprika flatbread w/ lardons (on a flatbread kick and trying to use up my homemade guanciale... yeah just figured I'd drop that one on ya).
Drink- all this food is so darn spicy I'm never sure what to make (nothing too alcoholic), but I think some caipirinha's maybe with some pineapple muddled in might be nice. Although come to think of it this copa verde from chow might be just the thing.
Meal- Braised Chipotle Short Ribs with a cilantro, lime zest and garlic gremolata on a bed of pured chili spiced frijoles (which I'll probably mix some of the braising liquid into) served with some sort of mexican flavored green vegetable (I'll check my Rick Bayless cookbooks... mmm tastes like mexican)
Dessert- After all that heavy stuff I'm down for something fresh so I'll save my goat caramel for later... I think my summer berry pudding is always a hit, its basically layers of bread (brioche or challah works well) with fruit in syrup layered in between. Basically a fresh uncooked bread pudding served with whipped cream.
Anyhow, thats all I have in me for now. Perhaps I'd best make some friends in this new city before I start planning dinner parties, but for me half the fun is in the planning. I'll repost if any of these recipes or menus become a reality.