Sometimes, I feel like I have so many ideas and things to do and say, that I crowd myself out and never get anything done. Never finish anything. Always just mental diving. Though this week I did start and complete a big dream catcher. Sí, mis amigos, if I had a dollar for every novel I have picked up in the last year, begun, then quickly laid aside in between it all, I would be on a flight to Buenos Aires already!
~ Nearly Done ~
With this blog, though I have been strongly feeling to begin it, I thought I already had too many half pots on the fire. “No way, Ladypants!” First you must finish the drawings for the coloring book, finish the designs for the CaféPress page, and make that beach mobile that lay in pieces of soft wood, thin rusty metal, worn, edgey shell, crowding the only table in the room.
Et voilá, here I am starting a blog. No new drawings. Big pile ‘o books.
One thing I do finish easily these single-mama days is the cooking, and many times, I finish the dishes in the same day. I’m a clean as I go kinda cook. One who, when alone, listens to food podcasts while cooking and reads food books while eating.
In my inner and outer kitchens, I love working with what is. I highly appreciate simplicity, economy, creativity, and whimsy. Ingenuity. Experiment. I can assure you, though I favor simplicity, there is no compromise of smooth or bold in my bowls. Things are never dull. I simply enjoy working with a given palette, what is already here, and sometimes I am surprised by all there is. In this way I create. Though of course I also do the shopping of basics, and seasonal, too.
My recipes are not precise, clear blueprints. They are solid approximations. They generally require tasting. I encourage you, don’t be afraid of raw, open your mind and flatten your buds. Allow it to come freely. I imagine my sharing recipes this way may be helpful to those who would like to get a little more comfortable with their intuitive cook. Get their taste bud trust running high and low.
Welcome! I hope you will be pleased, entertained, inspired and guided. I am happy to be here. I am Enza Esperanza.
And now, while my brightest sun, “Seven”, is swinging on a trapeze in the big bodega turned circus school, across from the “Mexichocolate” shop, with a bunch of other little jumpy, brown monkeys, and the sweat beads a tropical shine upon my face, I want to tell you about my lunch.
Looking around, I decided on making a big, thin sweet potato pancake, with red onion, garlic and broccoli, but it turned into sweet potato fried rice with ginger, chile and peanut butter. It was fabulous. Crêpe omelette strips, and cucumber, on the side.
Note: I love sweet potatoes and use them in many ways. One kid pleasing favorite is to blend them, baked or quick steamed, with tomato sauce (thin with water, possibly add salt and pep, a splash of balsamic) for pasta, pizza, etc. Think Romano cheese. Extra vitamin A and C. Calcium. A nice soft landing. Tone and balance.
Ahhh, a little further now, into the now, I offer you today’s culinary coming together, a kid pleaser, even with it’s ginger zing, for the peanut butter, ahh, the peanut butter knows it’s earthy place.
Ginger, Peanut, Sweet Potato Fried Rice
A.K.A. Sneaky Rice (Serves Four)
~ 2 Cups Cooked Rice, loose not packed (I love Jasmine)
Patiently Sautée (to beginning stage of caramel, golden brown):
~ 1/2 Red Onion, diced
~ Sprinkle with Sea Salt
~ 3 or 4 Garlic Cloves, minced (brown a bit)
~ 1 Medium/Large Sweet Potato or Yam, grated
~ 1/2 Crown and Stem of Broccoli, chopped small
~ Sprinkle with Sea Salt
Sautée, approximately five minutes.
~ 1/8 tsp. Cayenne and a Squeeze of Lime
or Several Shakes of Your Favorite Hot Sauce
~ A 2 inch piece of Fresh Ginger, grated
~ The Cooked Rice
~ Two Honking Tablespoons of Unsweetened, Salted Peanut Butter
~ Medium Pour of Oil, your choice
~ A Bit of Water, 2-3 Tablespoons
Mix well, nice round, lifting, under belly strokes!
Continue to sautée until all is tender, approx. two more minutes.
Remove from heat.
Plate and top with:
~ Two Eggs, mixed well
~ Pinch of Salt
Fry thin, cover to steam, or flip, to brown.
Cut into 1/4 inch strips and pile onto each heap of rice.
Garnish with green onion, cucumber, cilantro,
mint, cherry tomatoes, whatever moves your fancy.
Of course, you can use any veggies you choose, sweet red pepper, carrot, cabbage, red or green… I simply used what was on hand.
In the end, this dish was tickled by my memory of the Senegalese Peanut Soup I loved as a teenager, served with yeasty poppyseed baguette and no salt butter, at The Saxton’s River Inn under Averill Campbell in the early 80’s. To make a similar rich, wonderful soup, from a recipe by Mark Bittman at the New York Times, click here.
Try blending the soup, too. Holding aside the chicken and collards, some onion, tomato, sweet potato, then adding them back in.
Thanks, for coming by! As we go on, I will get more into the cultural and spiritual ins and outs of my flowy day to day, and paint a relaxing, colorful backdrop: my new life, with sun, and Pineapple Tomatillo Compote, in a small town on the Pacific coast of Mexico.
Though not before I pay homage to what came before. Up next, APPLE Season in Vermont!