Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Ful for Madame?

Meze or mezze in Eastern Mediterrean is a selection of appetizers or small dishes often served with beverages, similar to the tapas of Spain…or here in the US, Finger foods!

Beans are featured in many dishes and one of the legumes I particularly like are the Ful Medames. These small brown beans are members of the Fava family, of a specific type native to Egypt and the Levant. They are served with egg on top for breakfast, mashed into a puree with oil and lemon juice for mezze, or prepared as in this recipe, for a mezze, for a main course with meats, or for a side dish. There are restaurants in the Middle East- Egypt especially- that specialise in ful dishes!

Brown Beans with Herbs
1 15oz can of Ful medames beans
15-20 cherry tomatoes, halved
3-4 tsp extra virgin olive oil
juice of 1 lemon
3-4 garlic cloves crushed
1 tsp cumin powder
2 tbsp finely chopped cilantro or dill leaves (I prefer dill/suva)
salt and pepper to taste

Drain and rinse the canned beans. In a bowl add the crushed garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, cumin powder, salt and pepper and stir in the beans and chopped fresh herb (cilantro/dill). Cool in the fridge for 2-4 hours and serve with more olive oil and lemon wedges and pita bread.

This recipe is submitted for the event My Legume Love Affair, created by Susan of The Well Seasoned Cook and hosted by Sra of When My Soup Came Alive.
For the event FIC-Brown, an event created and hosted by Sunshinemom of Toungue Ticklers.
And for Herb Mania-Dill, an event created by Dee of Ammalu's Kitchen and hosted by Latha & Lakshmi of The Yum Blog.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Holy Moly it's a Pozole

If pozole is unknown to you, hominy might be as well. It is a very large-kernel white corn that has been slaked in a solution of lime. It looks a little like chickpeas but has a strong corn flavor and makes this classic dish a hearty treat from Nuevo Mexican cuisine.

This soup is traditionally made with pork shoulders and hominy, and is said to have originated in Jalisco, but many claim it was actually Guerroro! The soup comes in three main versions, one just pork and hominy in a broth, second is as green version flavored with tomatillos & anaheim or poblano peppers and finally the third one is made with dried red chillies (ancho). If you do not find Ancho’s in your neck of the woods, you can substitute it with deghi mirch or paprika powder to give the intense red color and smoky flavor. Fresh roasted corn can be used as a substitute if Hominy is not available!

My version has it all in one bowl: a base of grains – hominy; vegetables – small chunks for flavor and finally garnished with chopped red onions, corn tortillas chips and lime wedges…who needs anything more?

Pozole Rojo de Jalisco

1- 16 oz can hominy
4-6 Roma tomatoes
1 medium sized zucchini, cubed
1 bell pepper (any color) cubed
1 large onion, peeled and diced
2 corn tortillas
2 dried ancho chilies2-3 tbsp olive oil
4-6 cloves garlic
½ cup cilantro/fresh coriander leaves, chopped
1 cup vegetable stock or 1 cube vegetable bouillon soaked in 1 cup warm water
3-4 cups water
¼ tsp white pepper
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp oregano flower
½ tsp red chili powder or paprika
salt to taste
Garnish: Red onions, red radish, cabbage, sour cream, tortilla chips and lime

Roast on the stovetop, a grill, or in the oven the tomatoes, whole tortillas until spotted with brown and ancho chilies –for a few minutes after which they’ll start to burn and taste very bitter! Break the tortillas into pieces. Blend all toasted ingredients until smooth.

Heat olive oil in a stock pot. Add the garlic cloves and onion and saute over medium-low heat for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the zucchini and bell pepper. Cook for 5 minutes. Drain the can of hominy and add to the pot along with the stock and water. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer 25-30 minutes.
Serve warm garnished with chopped onions, tortilla chips, shredded cabbage, cubed red radish and sour cream.


This soup is my entry for the event No Croutons Required, inspired by Tinned Tomatoes and hosted by Lisa of Food and Spice.