kindkit: Two cups of green tea. (Fandomless: Green tea)
[personal profile] kindkit
Something I've cooked recently: This is stretching the definition of "recently," but I wanted to give a bit more detail about the potato, cheese, and greens pie I mentioned in my last food post, since it turned out quite well.

It was based on this recipe by Paul Hollywood, but with a few modifications. I used only butter in the crust, since that's what I had, and I only used 113 grams (1 US stick of butter) rather than the 150 called for. I didn't want to thaw out a second stick of butter, and it seemed to me that the dish was pretty rich already. It worked fine, and also, because I baked the pie in a deeper, narrower dish than the original recipe called for, I only used a little more than half the pastry (the rest is in the freezer awaiting its destiny). In the pie itself, I used a mix of cheeses--cheddar, Cantal, Parmigiano-Reggiano, and feta--because I thought that would be more interesting, and also because British-style mature cheddar is hard to find in the US and expensive. I also added a big bunch of dandelion greens, blanched, squeezed, and chopped fairly finely. Be sure to squeeze all the water out of the blanched greens, and maybe cut back the milk a little; I wasn't as careful as I should have been and the filling was a bit runny as a result.

The pie was very tasty. The greens add earthiness and texture, and make the pie pretty much a meal in itself.

Since then I haven't done a ton of cooking, as I've been trying to use up some of the leftovers in my freezer. Today, though, I made something that turned out well, probably better than it deserved to, so I'll talk about that.

Mung Bean Stew with Grains, Greens, and Beef

This is a strange hybrid of a dish. It was inspired by two different recipes: one for mung bean stew with coconut milk from the Sundays at Moosewood cookbook, and one for a sort of pilaf of mung beans, rice, and beef from Clifford Wright's One-Pot Wonders. Further tweaking happened based on things I had around that I either needed to use up or wanted to try.

So here's what I did. Not a proper recipe, because I didn't measure some quantities.

1 large onion, chopped fairly small
some Trader Joe's Seasoned Buffalo Ghee
2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
about 8 oz ground beef
some mung beans
some mixed grain brown rice (this is the kind I used)
fish sauce
a couple of teaspoons of sugar
3-4 dried red chiles (optional)
a large bunch dandelion greens, carefully washed and cut into bite-sized pieces
half of a regular-sized can of coconut milk (I always use Chaokoh brand)
very roughly 2 teaspoons of black mustard seeds and a slightly lesser quantity of cumin seeds

I cooked the onion in a good dollop of ghee until fairly soft, then turned up the heat a bit, added the beef, and cooked that until the beef was browned. Then I added the garlic and cooked for a few seconds, added water and the mung beans and brought it to a boil, then turned the heat down to a gentle simmer and partially covered the pot. Once the beans were about half cooked, I added some of the multigrain rice, a bit of fish sauce for umami, the sugar, and the dried chiles. I actually should have added the chiles with the mung beans but I forgot. Anyway, I simmered everything until the mung beans were cooked and the grains were tender but chewy, then added the dandelion greens and covered the pot until they had wilted. I then added the coconut milk.

In a small covered pan, I heated some more ghee with the black mustard seeds and cumin seeds over medium heat until the mustard seeds popped. When they had mostly stopped popping, I added the whole thing to the stew.

Despite being a crazy hodgepodge of ingredients from different cuisines, it was delicious.

Variations: You could use any kind of greens you like, though I recommend greens with some bitterness and heft such as mustard greens. The stew could easily be made vegetarian or vegan; substitute soy sauce (perhaps Pearl River Bridge brand dark mushroom soy sauce) for the fish sauce, leave out the beef, and substitute oil (Indian mustard oil if you can get it, for flavor) for the ghee. If you do that I'd add ginger and some spices such as cumin, coriander, turmeric, cinnamon, and whatever else takes your fancy while you're cooking the onion, and I'd use a full can of coconut milk rather than a half can to compensate for losing the richness of the beef. I'd also recommend adding spices if you use plain ghee or butter or whatever instead of the seasoned ghee.

Something I have concrete plans to cook in the near future: Well, I bought some pears the other day and in a little while I'm going to make a pear crisp with almonds and toasted sugar. I also want to make an almond-and-polenta cake with orange, but probably not until next weekend. I have some tomatoes that I want to slow-roast in the oven for pasta sauce or something. I'll probably roast them once the pear crisp is out of the oven, but I'm very full from the stew so I doubt I'll actually use them until tomorrow or later.

Something I vaguely want to cook eventually: It's all a bit vague. The recent cold snap has made me crave stews, soups, polenta, beans, and sausage, but it's going to warm up again soon, so who knows? I definitely want to use a lot of pantry staples, though, because they're accumulating.

Date: 2017-04-30 10:26 pm (UTC)
vilakins: Vila with stars superimposed (Default)
From: [personal profile] vilakins
The pie sounds good! [saves recipe] I'd add some greens and maybe carrots too.

Also the stew - I do love slow-cooked stews and legumes, and that's a nice combo.

Date: 2017-04-30 10:52 pm (UTC)
executrix: (cakewedge)
From: [personal profile] executrix
Lack of butter that is NOT in the freezer is not necessarily a problem--in fact a lot of people deliberately make pastry by grating a still-frozen stick of butter with a box grater, the extra chill means that the butter warms up less quickly, and you have nice little flakes and chips of butter that "pastry" up quickly.

Date: 2017-05-01 12:31 am (UTC)
genarti: Knees-down view of woman on tiptoe next to bookshelves (Default)
From: [personal profile] genarti
Oooh, that pie sounds delicious -- especially with the addition of greens! Cheese and onion pie (with or without potatoes) always seem incomplete to me without some other kind of vegetable added in, but I really like the idea of incorporating blanched dandelion greens.

Date: 2017-05-01 05:31 am (UTC)
st_aurafina: A shiny green chilli (Food: Green Chilli)
From: [personal profile] st_aurafina
Almond and polenta cake sounds really nice - if you try that one out, let me know if it's good.


kindkit: A late-Victorian futuristic zeppelin. (Default)

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