Tuesday, 22 July 2014

With my studying having got a bit quieter, I've been able to get back into my kitchen again and start cooking something a little bit more interesting for me.

Like I mentioned last week, I've taken to adding lentils into my rice to give things more fibre and more flavour - brown rice and green lentils are my favourite combination at the moment. There's something that goes off in my brain when the lentils and rice go together, saying 'yeah, this is great!'. Not so long ago, I saw a recipe idea on Green Gourmet Giraffe and knew immediately it was what my belly had been crying out for: teriyaki tofu, rice and kale.

GGG's recipe looked fab, but I had to put some lentils in for good measure. Because, you know, lentils. And mushrooms, because, well, because I didn't know what else to do with them. Johanna of GGG roasted her tofu, which is a much better plan as it does wonderful things to the texture of the tofu, but I was feeling too lazy to wait for the oven to heat up, so I stove-topped the lot.

Can you see the little green bits in the rice that aren't the lentils? That's radish greens, in both their fresh and dehydrated form. I only discovered them recently, and I'm totally in love with them right now. I always used to top and tail my radishes and ditch the greens - what a waste!

I used the furikake recipe from Just Bento for the fresh radish leaves, and to make the dehydrated version, I just tossed some radish greens, soy sauce and a bit of chilli sauce together and then put them in the dehydrator for a few hours until they were sort of leathery.

Sounds disgusting, but tastes amazing. It's great on top of rice, or just generally for spicing up grains that need a bit of pep.

As the weather's been really hot recently (the mercury's been north of 30C at the weekend - yowza!) so there's been a few salads over here.

The first one was a semi-successful attempt to get to grips with chicory. I think the only way I actually like eating that stuff is when it's been braised slowly in stock and served as part of a Sunday roast, when all that bitterness gets caramelised into sweetness.

To try and turn chicory from also-ran to all-star, I thought I'd try making something a bit Thai-style, using chopped chicory, peppers, carrot and spring onion. There's a bit of coriander in there - the culinary equivalent of a fig leaf - but otherwise the salad's naked in the picture.

I did put a dressing on it honest, but I didn't take picture of the dressed version because it looked sort of wrong. It was mix of soy, lime juice, chilli, and peanut butter. It was pretty nice tasting though. I mean, you couldn't really taste the chicory, so in that sense it was both a success and a failure!

Another salad stopover was called for after a particularly vigorous fry-up. Yep, I managed to cook up a breakfast so big and heart-stoppingly bad for me, I couldn't manage lunch. By the time dinner came around, all I wanted to eat was a salad. I had a bag of avocados with no particular home to go to, so I thought I should introduce them to some broccoli and see if they couldn't make a go of it.

Turns out they were a perfect match - broccoli, cherry toms, marcona almonds and basil, all wrapped up in a big avocado dressing (yeah, it's guacamole, but let's pretend its something fancier).

I ate two big bowls of this, it was that good. I'm totally patenting it and selling it to Whole Foods for £5 a tub under the brand name Brocc and Guac.

My favourite way to eat broccoli I think is to roast it. There's something about the way the smokey edge it brings to the broccoli just makes everything better. I thought I'd apply the same logic to other veggies.

Have you ever tried roasting radishes? If not, give it a go. Just put on some oil, some salt and pepper and roast til the skins go a little wrinkly and then enjoy. The taste is totally different to the raw version - the sharp crisp flavor mellows - and it becomes a really nice side dish.

I thought I'd try the same trick with one of the veggies that's always been a bit of a black spot for me. I mean, I've tried to love artichokes, but I just can't. Granted, in the weird light I took this photo in, it looks like they've crawled out of a swamp, but that's not the reason for my lack of artichoke love.

I think it's the effort to taste ratio. I mean, I spent 10 or 15 minutes getting three tiny artichokes ready for the oven, peeling the leaves, chopping the tops off, putting them in lemon water so they didn't decolour, all that jazz. And then, for what? It's a decent vegetable, for sure, but for that work and knife skills, I want wonderful and superb!

Artichoke lovers, help me out here - what am I missing? Show me the path of artichoke righteousness!

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

When I was raiding my camera for snaps of what I've been eating recently, I was somewhat confused to find that I couldn't remember what had passed my lips in the past days.

So join with me as I take a tour of all the meals I've forgotten recently, as we play Guess the Meal!

Take this fella for a start. What exactly is it? I couldn't tell you. All suggestions on a postcard. I think there's sweet potato in there, and maybe tofu too, but flavoured with what? Who knows? A shiny mystery sauce of wonder, I can only hope. A shiny mystery sauce of wonder so glorious no fragment of its joy can be retained by the human memory, perhaps.

It looks like one of the early victims to my current favourite trend of adding lentils to the rice as it's cooking to bring some extra flavour and texture to the finished result. Looks like a mixture of brown rice and green lentils to me, what do you reckon?

This next meal looks like a more straightforward proposition - burritos or Mexican wraps of some kind? If only the filling weren't so hidden, perhaps I could have a better guess as to what they contained.

There some pickled radishes, it looks like, some guacamole, grated carrot and peppers, but what lies beneath them, hidden in their vegetable cloak? If I had to guess, I'd say tofu scramble and black beans. I mean, I don't know if that's right, but that's what I'd want it to be if I was eating it again right now.

The one thing I do recall about this meal was it was inspired by the discovery of mini wraps in the supermarket - more dainty saucer-sized ones, rather than the usual dinner plate-sized wraps you get normally. I was pleased by them, as it sparked the realisation I could either cut down my wrap consumption by weight (eat two small wraps instead of two large ones), or just eat the more wraps and get the same volume of wrappage overall (eat three small wraps, instead of two large ones.) That's a wrap win-win, right there.

Though I can't remember which of the two options I chose, lets pretend it was the former, so I can bathe in my restraint.

Next up in my memory fail-based post is this wrap, which I found in a nearby supermarket and was marked as vegan. You know, with the word vegan and everything (I bought it in Tesco, which doesn't really put vegan labelling on anything, including most things that couldn't be anything but vegan.)
I meant to make a note of the maker to say it wasn't half bad for something you put in the microwave when you've not got any proper food on hand - a great big filling of squidy curried potato filling and a light greasy in a good way Indian roti around it. If you're in Tesco, and you find it in the freezer, let me know what it is. 

I think it had been in my freezer for six months before I ate it though, so the it may have been discontinued. At least I got to enjoy it while excavating the further reaches of the ice box, and it didn't seem to have been harmed any by its stay in the deep freeze. 

And from cold to hot, and one thing I do remember making recently - baked peaches!

Man, these were tasty. Little donut peaches are so good right now - so full of flavour and reminiscent of how amazing peaches used to taste before they were bred for weight rather than taste.

There's not much to this one - cut the peaches in half, sprinkle on some sugar or sweetener of your choice, tiny bit of dairy-free butter, stick in the oven, and wait til the delicious smell of roasting fruit fruit means you can't wait any longer and have to grab them and gobble them all up.

Note to self: next week, remember to write down what you're eating when you're eating it...

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

I'll be honest, the term 'fine dining' normally makes me want to stick pins in my eyes. I've been to some fancy-dan restaurants before in the course of my work, and normally I just find the atmosphere so stuck-up I'd rather be anywhere else. The food may be delicious, but if it's stuffy, I'd still rather have a bag of chips instead.

So when I saw the "aspirational fine dining" club Asparagasm was going to be running a pop-up in Brixton, I'll admit it wasn't the first place I wanted to check out.

Still, I'm a greedy so-and-so, so I thought I'd haul my arse down there anyway and see if they could serve me up a dinner tasty enough to make me change my opinion on fine dining.

Luckily enough, Asparagasm decided to take the ambition of fine dining places, and leave their oppressive atmosphere. No overbearing sommeliers here, just a hardworking cocktail guy, and the starched tablecloths have been ditched in favour of paper ones. Think casual rather than ceremonious.

The pop-up is in Vozars (normally a gluten free cafe) in Brixton market. It's just a matter of a few tables outdoors, which you get to share with other diners when things get busy. The menu's rather tiny too - just three mains, three starters and three desserts to choose from (the booze menu is far longer, and if you ask to look at the cocktail list, some poor waitress has to hoik a great big sandwich board almost as big as she is over to your table.)

For our starter, me and Mr Flicking the Vs decided to try the papa arrugadas with mojo rojo - I picked it over the callaloo fritters or avocado, black bean and corn ceviche (the other two options on offer) as I didn't know what it was, and really wanted to find out!

If you're feeling equally curious as to what papas arrugadas is, let me put you out of your misery:

Yep, papas is potatoes (I should know that really, right?) but I had to google arrugadas when I got home, and found out that it meant 'wrinkled'. I guess that's a nod to the look of the dish. I also googled what papas arrugadas should involve: it's a Canary Island recipe of new potatoes, first boiled than baked. I'm not sure whether the papas were baked here, but the texture was a little suboptimal - a bit on the claggy side.

Luckily, the sauce that came with it was absolutely delicious - rich, creamy and devilishly moreish. The dodgy spuds were happily lost in their velvety covering.

Things stepped a notch when the mains arrived - tofu with root veg and asparagus for me, a lentil parcel for Mr Flicking the Vs. In this particular contest, my main totally won. I mean, his was nice and smoky- puy lentils, ratatouille and a bit of salsa verde on the side - but mine was pure comfort food heaven.

The tofu was lightly herbed, cooked til thin and crispy, the asparagus was deep fried til the middle practically melted, but the crushed root veggies were something else. How exciting can mash be, you might think? Very, I'd tell you. I think if Asparagasm's was the only mash I could eat for the rest of my life, I'd not be hard done by!

If I had a complaint about the dish, then it would be the portions were a bit on the small side (and not just because the mash was so good!) - a little more on the plate wouldn't go amiss. Other than that, it was glorious.

Of the three desserts, the berry bocker glory with chocolate tiffin and chocolate ice convinced me it should be the one to see the inside of my stomach, and I didn't want to disappoint.

There was a smooth, sharp raspberry sauce poured over a couple of chunks of tiffin and the sort of ice cream that makes you proud to be vegan. Oh yeah, there were some berries there too, but I was kind of lost in the ice cream by that point.

I could well be wrong, but I think the ice cream might have come from Ms Cupcake and the tiffin from Lazy Day, so there was more assembling than cooking when it came to pudding, but I can't say I didn't enjoy it nonetheless.

If you want to check out Asparagasm yourself, head down to Vozars. It's not fine dining - and I mean that as a high compliment. If you want to get yourself to Brixton for a good feed and cocktails (and I recommend you do!) you've got til Saturday. This pop-up isn't here for long, more's the pity.

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Hey, I'm back! I've missed you guys. Did anything happen while I was away?

I've been in Dubrovnik, Croatia for a short holiday. It's a lovely city and the weather was amazing. But you don't want to hear about that, right? You want to hear about whether it's a good place for the herbivores, I reckon.

Let me get on with it then! Before I went away, I did a bit of research about vegan options in the city, and found out that it's not the most exciting place for veg*ns. Because it was a cheaper (and in most cases, nicer and more convenient) option, we stayed in apartments in the city, so we cooked for ourselves a few times. We also stayed on Korcula, an island that had even less interesting food options for vegans than Dubrovnik. Perhaps unsurprisingly, we didn't eat out in Korcula, unlike in Dubrovnik, where we had some decent feeds. But more on that later…

One of our apartments in Dubrovnik was just down the road from Bio and Bio, a health food store that had a pretty decent selection of veggie and vegan options, including non-dairy milks, mock meats, raw bars, and all that sort of fun stuff. We picked up a few sweet treats, hot dogs and seitan slices for our trip to Korcula, as we knew we'd not find much there - it seemed like all the restaurants were fish places or touristy pizza joints.

That doesn't mean Korcula wasn't a great place to visit, though, so don't let me put you off - just don't expect to get a load of great meals out! (There's some lovely views and great places to drink, and the locally-available brews Ožujsko and Karlovačko are vegan friendly).

And while the restaurants aren't overly loaded with vegan options, Croatia's local supermarket chain Konzum has a fair few vegan items - vegan chocolate, crisps, non-dairy milk etc as well as all the usual fresh and store cupboard essentials.

There are also vegan pate type things - including this one I picked up at Konzum...

And these two I found in another supermarket that I've forgotten the name of. The top one had a sort of sweet orangey flavour which kind of made me gag when I first tried it, but by the end of the holiday I kind of liked it on toast with a load of tomato and lamb's lettuce on top. Maybe it was a sort of culinary Stockholm syndrome?!

If you want something better to dip your bread in than sweet orange pate, may I suggest ajvar?

Ajvar is sold in almost all the supermarkets in big jars, and it's a vegan spread/dip type thing, also known as "vegetable caviar", apparently. It's really good stuff, and it ended up doing double duty during our trip as a pasta sauce later on that week.

But what about eating out?

Our first dinner was at the Lapad Beach bar, one of a few bars around the Lapad area, a bit away from the old city. It's a really touristy part of town with loads of excursion and restaurant touts, which kind of put me off a bit. Anyway, when we found the bar, I was pretty happy to see a number of vegan options on the menu and a pretty nice view, which my phone didn't really do a great job of capturing. Here it is:

While the vegan options weren't overly exciting - soups, sarnies, pasta - I was still looking forward to trying my first vegan dinner in Dubrovnik. I ordered the vegan platter and crossed my fingers. Here's what arrived on my table:

The vegan platter was double the price of the rest of the vegan dishes so I was expecting something a bit special, and this wasn't it. It was OK - some salad, fried veggies, tofu and (I think) bacony seitan. Everything was swimming in oil, and the tofu was entirely plain. The seitan was bizarrely pretty tasty, but that must have been an oversight on the kitchen's part! The service was friendly but hapless - we weren't given any cutlery, and couldn't find any waiting staff to get them from for a good while.

If you're looking for a decent vegan meal in Dubrovnik, I wouldn't say you'll find it here, but if you were desperate and in the vicinity, at least you wouldn't starve to death. I was going to say the view's pretty nice so go for a drink and skip the food, but after we left, I discovered we'd been overcharged for the drinks we'd had, so maybe give the whole place a miss and head to Nishta instead.

Nista is a little veggie place in Dubrovnik's old city, down one of the side streets with a few tables indoors and outdoors. It's always packed, so when we turned up one balmy night, we were pretty lucky to get a tiny table inside. Alas, it was boiling and a little cramped, but we persevered.

Our starter was some lentil pancakes with curry filling and fruit and mint chutneys on the site. The pancakes had a few touches of burn on them, but not really the worse for that.

For a main, I went for the bar-bea-burger - a great thick patty in a homemade flatbread, sweet potato fries and a curry type sauce on the side. The sweet potato fries were a bit on the greasy side, and given the size of the burger, would probably have been better swapped for salad. The burger itself was hugely  flavoursome - a mix of seitan, barley, and beans with a rich smokey flavour. I ate it all.

It was all pretty good, but I spent the whole meal sweltering from the heat in the restaurant, and I was put out that Mr Flicking the Vs' vegan option turned up unvegan so I couldn't get to try it (he's not vegan, so he didn't mind himself, and was spared from me stealing his tea!). Luckily, Mr Flicking the Vs came up with the great idea of booking an outside table for the last night of our holiday so we could come back and enjoy another meal at a temperature that couldn't cause humans to melt.

I'm glad we went back. While the food was decent on our first visit, what we ate on the second visit was really great. We shared a starter of veggie tartare, which looked like this:

Don't let that unassuming appearance fool you - this was really a winner. There was tofu in there, and tomato, capers, and who know what else? Fairy dust maybe? I've been dreaming about recreating this one at home since I've eaten it.

Next up was Kokofino, a rich mix of curried vegetables and millet, with marinated and coconut-coated tofu sticks. This was a solid gold winner, and has converted me to the cause of eating millet.

Despite the fact I'd long since stopped being hungry (Nishta doesn't stint on its main courses), we decided to go for a dessert to share. Nishta has a fair amount of raw food on its menu and while I'm not raw foodist, I like a good raw pudding, and chose the appropriately named Rawnie.

It was a solid, chocolatey puck of a dessert, but not heavy to eat, and the forest fruits sorbet helped cut through the dense date sweetness. We sent back another clean plate to the Nishta kitchen.

  Dubrovnik may not be vegans' idea of culinary heaven, but it's a great place, and Nishta more than makes up for its dining shortcomings!

Saturday, 21 June 2014

The nightmare of the last few weeks of exams is finally over! I'm so relieved. One of the things that I've been most looking forward to is spending a bit more time in the kitchen.

With so many hours in my days being spent hunched over books recently, all food has been functional. Once I was freed from the shackles of study, I decided to make something that took hours - literally.

Making granita is no small task. While whipping up the ingredients doesn't take too long, once it's in the freezer, that's when the hard work begins. You have to get it out of the deep freeze every 20 minutes or so and break up the ice crystals that form. According to one recipe, you have to do this for about six hours, but I got bored and stopped after a couple. The texture wasn't perfect, but it was a lovely frosty dessert nonetheless, and I got four hours of free time back - score!

The granita I made was a mix of peach and basil. I bought a cheap bag of doughnut peaches from the local market and they were insanely good - so perfumed and full of flavour, just like peaches should be.

Here's the recipe I used, and here's the result:

Because Mr Flicking the Vs is a good sort, and knows I am a creature of simple tastes, he knew the best way to keep my motivation up during the hard slog of study was to bring cake.

On one particularly stressful day which I furrowed my brows over the cause of learning, he slipped out and returned with two different types of wonderful vegan cake and vegan beer to boots. Here's one from the wonderful Cookies and Scream:

In Cookies and Scream's defence, this was originally far larger, I just ate a massive chunk of it before I remembered to take a picture. It was a plum and almond beauty and gluten free too. It tasted pretty much like the best Bakewell tart I could imagine.

If I go quiet next week, I'm on holiday, so will hopefully return with lots of tales of vegan eating from a new land. With the weather so good over here, I decided to sacrifice the chard I've been growing on my windowsill because I didn't think it would survive during my absence.

Here's a few handfuls of my window crop:

OK, I'm not exactly self sufficient, but it's nice to grow your own veggies, even in a small first floor flat! (The basil in the granita came from my homegrown efforts too!)

In a pre-holiday fridge clearout, I fried off the chard with some spring greens and asparagus, added some nooched-up white sauce and breadcrumbs, and had me a gratin for dinner. No pic of that, but here it is in its formative stages:

 Awesome colours!

Another new discovery for me is this bad ass hummus. Get ready for the picture, and don't think I've lost my marbles when you check it out:

OK, it looks like any normal hummus, but it's subtly different. The rest of the ingredients are what you'd normally find in hummus - lemon juice, garlic, tahini etc- but instead of chickpeas, the main event is yellow beetroot. Using this lovely root makes the hummus far sweeter than the usual, so you might need to step up the lemon juice to counteract it, but other than that, the beetroot version works in all your usual hummus dishes. Go try it!

Friday, 13 June 2014

This week, it's been a proper sweet potato fest in my kitchen.

What makes this more surprising than it might otherwise be is that I really don't like sweet potatoes. They are my orange tuber nemesis! I think I just don't like sweet flavours in savory food - I like things like cinnamon and nutmeg, but I much prefer them in dessert to lunch.

Anyway, I always feel that if there's a particular vegetable that I don't like, the fault is mine, not the vegetable's. With that in mind, I embarked on a mission: Project I Will Love Sweet Potatoes At all costs.

My first foray into sweet potato world is age jaga, a Japanese stew (apparently originally inspired by English meat and potato stews) made from carrots, onions, potatoes, sugar snap peas and age tofu. I make it fairly regularly as it's the best thing you can make in a single pan with minimum effort - just veggies and tofu with water, soy sauce, and mirin, left to do its thing while you get on with something else.

Normally, the potato element comes from new potatoes, but I with my mission in mind, I got some sweet potatoes to keep the newies company. Here's what happened:

It looks weirdly meaty in the picture there, but it really didn't in real life. It did taste fabulous though. It's one of those dishes that's heavy with umami, and it can be really hard to stop yourself having just one more spoonful.

Traditionally, age jaga has brown sugar in it, but I left it out (see my no-sweet-tastes-in-savoury-food grumble above!) as the sweet potatoes did a far better job of bringing a hint of sweet, but also delivered a load more flavour to boot.

Part two of learning to love sweet potatoes involved a more wonky strategy: adding sweet potato to dessert. Yep, adding it to dessert.

I'd seen a few recipes for just such a crazy notion (including this one), so I used elements from each to make up my own brownies. I think I ended up with a mix of sweet potato puree, potato starch, chickpea flour, flax egg, cocoa powder, vegan chocolate chips, walnuts, and some other stuff I can't even remember.

Give the frankenrecipe, I was surprised how darn good it turned out in the end. It wasn't a traditional brownie by any means, more like a chocolate mousse cake, rich and fudgy.

I coated them with melted dark chocolate for goodness (it's pictured above in its nude state). It didn't taste hugely (in fact, at all) of sweet potatoes, but as a way to learn to love a vegetable, eating it covered in chocolate is pretty much up there with the best of them.

And summer has finally arrived in London. The weather is beautiful here, so I've been ditching hot food for big made up plates of salad using whatever happens to be in my fridge at the time.

First up, a sort of Middle Eastern arrangement. There's some pickled turnip (the pink cubes up top), falafel (not made by me), pitta bread (also store bought), baba ganoush (that was made by me), and Turkish everday beans and pumpkin, carrot and caraway salads, adapted from recipes in Veggiestan (adapted according to which of the ingredients I had at the time!)

I love meals made up of loads of little elements - you get to enjoy so many different tastes in one meal. Admittedly, it takes loads more effort to makes and means loads more washing up, but it's worth it. When aubergines are in season over here, I could - and do - eat it by the bucketful. 

My other plate of lots of different stuff is a bit more of a mish mash - vegan sausages, a bit of bread that was leftover, potato salad with red onion and tarragon, French carrot rapees salad, and sugar snaps in an avocado sauce. 

And yes, you guessed it, there's some more sweet potatoes there - a thick dip of sweet potatoes, celery, garlic, cardamom and cumin. While I'm not yet a sweet potato devotee, I'm beginning to come around to it. More orange is on the way!

Thursday, 5 June 2014

You shouldn't judge a book by its cover, so conventional wisdom goes. Fine, I get that. But don't tell me you haven't splashed out a few quid on veggies on looks alone, just because something interesting caught your eye.

Case in point: these radishes. Check out the colours on those bad boys! I'm only used to radishes that are one colour, so when I was at the market and saw a dash of purple and yellow in with the usual pink, I decided I had to take a big bunch home with me.

Only, what happens when you've picked up your new hot veggie date based on looks alone? Now you've got to work out what to do with them. Not easy.

I'd had a craving for banh mi for a while, so in the absence of any Japanese radish in my fridge, I decided to make a version of the Vietnamese sandwich with the English kind of radish instead. Using it as a stand-in for mooli, I pickled some radishes and carrots, added them and some herbs to some marinated tofu, and bundled the whole lot into a baguette with some mayo.

Here's what happened:

I'll be honest, it wasn't great. No disrespect to the radish though, it subbed for the mooli admirably - it just wasn't the best bit of bread I've ever put in my face.

The baguette was so chewy I had jaw ache by the time I finished the thing. I think the tofu cubes had been taking some tips on density from the bread too - that banh mi left me feeling like I'd had a whole face workout rather than a meal. I should have just tucked into a plate of radishes and left it at that.

Interestingly, I was wondering if radish leaves were edible (who wants to throw away good greens like that?) when I remembered dimly seeing a recipe for radish furikake a while back. I made a dehydrator version to see if I could turn the radish leaves into a nori-sprinkle type topping for rice. I'll let you know how that one goes in future...

Another bulletin from foods-that-looked-pretty-good-but-were-actually-disappointing world came in the form of an attempt to make a savoury vegan clafoutis, having been inspired by this non-vegan version.

The one I made was a mix of asparagus, spring onions and garden peas in a batter of soy milk, flour, flax eggs and cornstarch. Let's just say I got the ratios wrong, and ended up with something of the consistency of rice pudding with some veggies floating around in it. Not so good. (I mean, it tasted fine, and I'll give it another go with a bit more flour and that, but the texture? Yeuch.)

Just when I was starting to think I would never cook something worth sticking in my face again, I hit upon a new pasta dish. How exciting can pasta be, you might ask. Very, I would answer.

All it was was a head of fennel, a white onion and some garlic sweated off, with some chopped tomatoes, pasta, vegan sausages and my new secret weapon, aci biber salçası.

As far as I can work out, biber salçası is pretty much the pepper equivalent of tomato puree - a thick paste of boiled down hot and normal red peppers. It's got some nice, but not overpowering, heat to it, as well as lovely deep flavour. A tablespoon or two added into some pasta sauce left me covertly chasing the last smears of sauce around my plate with a hungry spoon.

I also put the sauce to work in a simple dish of roast veggies (aubergine, new potatoes, cherry tomatoes, onions) and black beans. I smothered the lot in a little stock, a little paprika, and a lot of biber salçası, and baked in the oven for a while. Once it was done in the oven, it got a going over with lime juice and parsley.

I was kind of pleased with the result - it did double duty as a topping for rice, and then as a sandwich filling with some guacamole. If you happen to see some biber salçası near you, I heartily suggest you pick some up - not only will it perk up your food, it can also help ease the sorrows of any recent failed dishes.