Oooooh it was a week. I don’t even know what made it such a long hard week. I think it’s the snow. No, not snow, it’s the ice. No, no, that’s not quite it either. We need a special term for the road conditions right now. Last Wednesday I got so frustrated and tired of being slightly scared I walked my bike the last two blocks home. I know it’s tough driving as well, but from a car you don’t get the long slow up-close version. It’s not a road, it’s thick dense slick ice sheets that absorb sand and rocks like a black hole. On top of the ice sheet are ice bumps, ridges, snow mounds and traps. Snow traps, like sand traps. Greyish piles of snow that are the consistency of damp sand. Depending on the depth I might just pedal through or lose all traction and feel my rear wheel skate sideways. All of this occasionally gives way to bare asphalt. Often leaving an edge parallel to my tires which might as well be cracks in the space-time continuum for how much I fear them. Biking to work feels like a malevolent obstacle course designed by Sideshow Bob.
In the past, as bad as the road conditions might be, somewhere it was decent. Main roads would be mostly clear but have more traffic. Side roads would be snowy but spacious. Now there is evil everywhere. Main roads are ice bumps and edges. Side roads are pitted with so many varieties of snow Inuits would need more words. All roads are so choked with snow (even with the parking restrictions) I’m either holding someone up or narrowly being passed while balancing on snakes.
So without further ado, I’ll finally get around to sharing what I cooked this week.
Nuyorican rice and beans pilaf style.
My original inspiration came from the New York Times Magazine
I made it several times following the recipe.
But over time I’ve kept simplifying it until it was a one-pan pile of slop. Tasty slop.
So roughly this is what I did:
- Chopped up bacon (6 slices?), fried it up.
- Added a diced onion, waited a bit, added lots of garlic, waited some more, added tons of cumin and coriander. I think I tossed in a little bit of orange juice here because the pan was getting dry.
- Added chopped up chicken thigh (three of them?).
- Added a cup of rice, let it soak up the oil and seasonings before adding about 1.5 cups of water.
- Turned the heat down, covered it and let it go for about 10 min while I prepped the remaining ingredients.
- Drained and rinsed 3 cans of kidney beans. Chopped a red and green bell pepper. Chopped up a whole bunch of cilantro.
- When the rice was somewhat cooked I added the peppers, beans, and about a cup of orange juice (and a bit of pineapple because I happened to have it on hand). Covered it back up and let it go until the rice was fully cooked.
- Stirred in the cilantro and a squeeze of lime juice at the end. Oh and a drizzle of olive oil would have been nice here too (at the end to preserve the fruity flavor of good olive oil).
Makes excellent leftovers.
That’s all I managed last week. I made it over a week ago Saturday the 22nd and couldn’t muster the energy to cook for 6 days. I’d get home from either the miserable biking or the bus that was late and collapse in a pile unable to rescue the vegetables wilting in the fridge.
So Will cooked!
It is our favorite vegetarian go-to meal.
The original inspiration was from Orangette where you can find the simple and pure recipe. As usual, I’ve added some things.
This is what Will did 🙂
- Fried up chopped mushrooms, onions, garlic, and red pepper flakes in a generous amount of olive oil.
- Added a whole bunch of chopped up kale.
- Added broth (oops, chicken broth, not vegetarian, but it could have been!).
- Added a can of navy beans (because it makes me feel better).
- Salt and pepper to taste.
- Let it simmer away for a while.
- Toasted bread, english muffin for him, pumpernickel for me (that Will had made and stored in the freezer).
- Fried up eggs with runny yolks (because it makes the kale so yummy).
- Sprinkled with cheese to serve.
There’s enough kale to make a couple more throughout the week.
I am officially sick of winter. Without a thaw in the forecast this next week is reverting to classic warming winter comfort foods. Bring on the starch! Bathe me in cream!
I think almost everyone (maybe except those with condos in warm places) can identify, if not totally commiserate. Loved this line!: “Side roads are pitted with so many varieties of snow Inuits would need more words.”
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