9/11. So it is there that my thoughts turn. To memories of New York, of where I was when it happened. To those who lost loved ones in the Twin Tower Attacks. So before I tell you about how a rice bake became tacos became a soup, I will share some of these thoughts.
in 1999 with E. We didn't go to the Twin Towers. Yet looking back they were present. There they are in the photos we took from the Staten Island Ferry looking back over the skyline. They towered over us as we walked through the financial district. We saw them when we went up the Empire State Building. Even fridge magnets we bought at the time include pictures of them in the background. They were there. They are no longer.
old magazine recipe clippings that I have kept from my childhood. That will tell you that I am not good at letting go. I don't like loss. Sometimes that is a good thing. We can't hold onto everything. Yet we mustn't forget those who have gone before us. Memories are important. One recent dish that I made was a rice bake from a foodie magazine I bought a few years ago. It seems right for this post that it had rosemary from my own garden. Rosemary for remembrance. The rice bake wasn't brilliant but it was good honest food if a little lacking in flavour. It improved with a few more seasonings that I have added in my below version of the recipe.
Taco Bean Nut Meat based on the one made by Angela on Oh She Glows. It was a simple matter of mashing some beans and nuts and then adding spices. I also made some salsa with corn, avocado and apple. It was a wee bit sweet. Perhaps some extra spring onions would help (I have added them to my recipe below) or even a chilli pepper. I think I would have preferred it with tomato or capsicum instead of the apple. Only, the apple needed to be used.
vegetable stock. I worried it would make the soup too dark. It didn't but it was quite bitter in this soup. (Usually the sweetness of the vegetables balance the my stock if the batch is bitter.) I added lots of seasoning and it was surprisingly tasty, especially with some crunchy toast croutons scattered on it - I couldn't be bothered making proper croutons so I just cut some toast into cubes.
Lisa announced that the theme was Your Garden for the No Croutons Required event that she and Jacqueline hold each month, I knew this was the soup for it. My garden doesn't produce oodles of vegetables that can be used for a soup. It does, however, produce some flavours. Herbs from my garden went into the stock and lemon juice from my tree went into the soup.
Rebirth. It follows five people who lost loved ones in 9/11 over 10 years. It is an excellent insight into loss and grief and a beautiful documentary. I also wish my oven was working so I could bake a cake for Marla of Family Fresh Cooking who is holding an event to remember 9/11 with cake called We Bake to Remember (thanks Cakelaw for alerting me to it). But at least I can visit the cakes in the round up to share others experiences and cakes! We shall not forget!
Previously on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
This time last year: MLLA Holiday Pasties
This time two years ago: Fontina onion and potato tart
This time three years ago: A bloody tale of burritos and beans
Rice and vegie bake
adapted from BBC Australian Good Food, July 2009
serve about 4
1 cup uncooked basmati rice
1 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 tsp chopped rosemary
250g button mushrooms, chopped
2 red capsicums, chopped (I used one red, one yellow)
400g tin of diced tomatoes
400g tin of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 1/4 cups vegetable stock
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp seeded mustard
1/4 cup chopped parsley
Preheat oven to 190 C. Rinse rise under water and drain.
Heat oil in a flameproof casserole dish and cook onions over medium high until softened. Stir in rosemary and mushrooms for about 2 minutes or until mushroom is softening. Add rice and stir to coat grains. Add capsicums, tomatoes, chickpeas, stock, paprika, mustard and seasoning. Bring to the boil, stir and cover tightly with a lid (NB my rice was a little crunchy on top so maybe some foil across the top and then the lid might help next time).
Bake for 20-25 minutes or until rice is tender (I think I did a bit extra). Check and adjust seasoning, scatter parsley over the rice and serve hot.
Taco bean nut meat
adapted from Oh She Glows
1 cup kidney beans, mashed with a fork
2 heaped tbsp walnuts, crushed with a fork
1/2 carrot, finely grated
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion granules
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp olive oil
Mix everything except the oil. Heat the oil in a frypan and lightly fry the mixture for a few minutes. Serve warm. We reheated some of it the following night.
Corn avocado and apple salsa - work in progress
serves about 4-6
1 tin corn
1 apple (or capsicum)
1-2 tbsp chopped parsley
1 medium lemon juice
dash of cayenne pepper
pinch of salt
1-2 spring onions, finely chopped
Mix everything together and serve at room temparature.
Creamy cauliflower and walnut soup
1 tsp olive oil
1 red onion, chopped
few small stalks of celery from centre of the bunch, chopped
1/2 huge carrot, chopped
1 head cauliflower, broken into florets
1.25 litre stock
250g silken tofu
1/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes
1/4 cup walnuts
juice of 1/4 of a medium lemon
1 tbsp miso
1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
1/2 quantity of above salsa or 1 apple or other sweetener
Optional: toast, golden syrup, black pepper and smoked paprika, to serve
Heat olive oil in a stockpot and fry red onion, celery and carrot until softened - I think I did this for 10-15 minutes. Add cauli and stock. Bring to the boil and simmer for about 20 minutes. Add remaining ingredients. Check and adjust seasoning (my homemade stock was quite bitter so I needed quite a lot of seasoning). Bring to the boil and turn off heat. Blend. Serve with toast cut into croutons, golden syrup (or other sweetener), freshly ground black pepper and smoked paprika, as desired.
On the stereo:
Best of Miles Davis