I have a brand new Valentine (Mr. Tayto take note).
His name is Aleppo (which, granted, makes him sound like one of the Marx Brothers), he hails from Syria, he’s red hot (well, he’s perhaps not as hot as some, but just hot enough for me) and smells, as best I can describe it, of tobacco.
Hmm. Not sounding so attractive now, is he?
Dearie me. I was once more beset by cabbages.
Multiple heads of the green stuff were inhabiting my kitchen and wearing a look that said if I didn’t do something soon, their mate turnip would show up and then there’d be real trouble. This time, however, I would take charge of the situation. Nothing like a bit of fermentation to show those brassicas just who was boss. Yes indeed, the time had come to make kimchi.
Kimchi a la Spud
This soup is full o' beans
The time of year it is and the way I’m feeling says soup. Plain and simple. It’s cold without and cold within (cold and muzzy within my head, that is). My first thought was carrot and ginger soup (which is a favourite) but then I drifted towards something more substantial, and that lead me to think of this black bean recipe, which I adore. It’s one of those recipes that doesn’t have a long or complicated list of ingredients, but those that are featured just seem to combine to great effect. In its original format, the recipe is for a thick stew but, with a little more liquid added, it makes for a really hearty, chunky soup with a nice chili kick. The black beans used are those that are popular in Latin American dishes (sometimes called black turtle beans), as opposed to the (typically fermented) black soy beans found in Asian dishes, which are a different beast entirely. In any case, the soup version of this dish is exactly what I felt like today. That and a couple of hot whiskeys. Good for what ails ya.