01 July 2009

Mid week feast.

I don't know if this will become a regular feature, but I guess I'll give you guys a peek at this week's mid-week feast. It's a special cooking I do during the middle of the week, to lift up my spirits (because I love to cook), and Steve (because it gives him something of a change, and makes the house smell nice). This week's mid-week feat was simple, but tasty.

I had a few yuccas lying about, along with a few heads of cabbage, some onions, a lot of garlic, some tomato, and sweet potato. I peeled and chopped up the sweet potato (1 large one) into large (about 3 cm cubed) pieces, and set it in a pot of cold water. I set it onto the stove to boil. While that water came up to heat, I peeled the yucca, and set that in a pot of cold water. Set that on the stove to boil as well. Then, I chopped up 1 1/2 heads of cabbage, and the onions I had left. Then I minced up a head of garlic. I then got to cooking. By the time the onions, garlic, and cabbage were prepped, the sweet potatoes were just tender.

That's when the magic started to happen. On went some oil into a screaming hot skillet. In went some mustard seeds, cumin seeds, and sesame seeds. In went a bit of coconut oil, to fortify the smell and taste of the Canola. The house started to fill up with the heady aroma of the coconut oil, and the lovely spices. In went the sweet potatoes, a hefty hit of salt, and a bit of turmeric, black pepper, and cinnamon. I rounded it out with a good scraping of nutmeg.

I then continued to cook the sweet potatoes until they developed a rich, decadent crust on them. They browned every so nicely. I had to drop down the heat to medium low, and let them sit for a few minutes to move them around, but so what? The crust was developing. Then, I finished it off with some garlic, onion, and flaked coconut. That only boosted the smell even more.

By that point, the yucca was done. So I drained that, and chopped it up. In that same wok, I threw in some more oil, mustard seeds, and cumin seeds. When they popped, I dumped in the cabbage, along with some salt, and black pepper, and some red chili flakes. I sauteed that around for about ten minutes. That went off the heat into its serving bowl.

Finally, I had the chopped yucca, some tinned beans, the rest of my onions and garlic, and a hankering for a hearty stew. In went the mustard seeds, cumin seeds, and coriander seeds (crushed) with the screaming hot fat. In went the onions and garlic. When they browned, I threw in one tin of drained and rinsed black eyed peas, and a tin of pink beans (with the liquid it came in). I sauteed the beans around in the hot oil and spices, and slated it generously. Then in went the yucca, the yucca's cooking liquid, and some red chili flakes. The smells got even more heady, as the yucca cooked up, and the spices got more aromatic.

While this whole thing was going down, I had a pot of rice going in my rice cooker. All said and done, it took about 40 minutes from start to finish. Hope this inspires some of you to try your own mid week feasts.