When I made Smoky Black Bean and Spinach Soup last week, it was not quite so grey and cold out as it has been of late. Instead, a warm and sunny day had shifted into a temperate and windless evening, which is unusual by San Francisco standards. I blame this sudden change into decidedly spring-appropriate weather for creating my otherwise inexplicable craving for carrots on that soup-dedicated evening. Seriously … who ever really craves carrots?!?
To satisfy my desire for the crunchy and sweet root vegetable, I quickly ran a carrot against a coarse grater. To tie it in with the Mexican flavor profile of the soup and balance out the sweetness of the carrot, I added some fresh cilantro, tart lime, smoky cumin, and spicy hot sauce. (more…)
When I was a kid, I loved cabbage – roasted or boiled, slathered in melty butter, and sprinkled with salt. (I still enjoy that sort of cabbage now, but reserve it for St. Patrick’s Day.) However, as much as I liked cabbage itself, I never understood slaw.
Most of the slaws I’ve tasted over the years have been more or less drowned in mayonnaise, and you see, mayonnaise and I aren’t quite best friends. I’m a mustard gal at heart, though I’ve learned to enjoy artichoke leaves dipped in a bit of mayo. But I never acquired that same taste for mayo when it came to cabbage salads. Peanut butter, on the other hand, I have always been able to eat by the spoonful (maybe even dipped in a little raspberry jam for some tart sweetness – yum! and yes, that is a “dessert” that I’ve eaten on multiple occasions.).
So when I first dipped chicken (and lamb!) satay – or even grilled sweet potatoes (seriously delicious with this sauce) – into spicy-sweet Thai peanut sauce, it was basically a dream come true. And at some point, probably after I dumped the leftover mango salsa and a dollop of pink chipotle mayonnaise on the extra cabbage from fish tacos, I had one of those light bulb moments where everything in the background fades out and a bright idea emerges: (more…)