Some recent dishes

No time for too much detail, but here are some recent dishes.

Chicken arroz caldo, Filipino comfort food from Jun-Blog. I made the chicken stock from scratch yesterday. I scoured the city fruitlessly (NPI) for calamansi, and even bought rangpur limes from Eataly, but ended up using regular limes as Jun recommends.

Beef pad prik king adapted from David Thompson. I made the curry paste from scratch, but anyone used to cooking Thai food in NYC will recognize the shortcuts used from the photo above – brined green peppercorns in place of fresh, Thai basil in place of the often unfindable holy basil (if anyone knows a source in Manhattan besides Bangkok Centre Grocery, which is often sold out, please let me know. Note that what is marked as “holy basil” in the fridge at Kalustyan’s is actually Thai basil.)

Madhur Jaffrey’s kheema, a Delhi slow-cooked ground beef dish from her first cookbook, is one of my regular favorite heartwarming dishes, and always a pleasure to make. It’s one of those meals where the various flavors waft in succession from the pan as the dish cooks, so that you gradually smell the meal in advance. It’s like eating twice. This is an easy variation she supplies after the main recipe, with peas. They’re a great, sweet & textural addition.

Kala chana (black chickpeas) made from Neelam Batra’s 1000 Indian Recipes. This is an inconsistent and difficult book for me, because I don’t cook in the quantities she recommends (frequently making a cup and half of a given paste or masala), and spices don’t always scale well. However this recipe turned out delicious.

I’ve been eating a TON of legumes, in fact, and will post more about those in the weeks to come. I’ve actually accidentally cooked vegan for a few days in a row. (I even realized I could make a full vegan meal including pasta puttanesca by substituting Marmite for the anchovies.) Anyway, if you’re into beans (and I highly recommend Russ Parsons’ no-soak method if you’re worried about all the prep time), then check out the excellent Rancho Gordo site for dried heirloom beans. Their Good Mother Stollards are meaty, earthy and with incredible depth. Expect them to take over 2 hours with the no-soak method, but boy are they worth it.

I leave you with a picture of the Good Mother Stollards below. Just some aromatics during the cooking, topped with chopped chiles. They are also great with Rancho Gordo’s “oregano Indio,” which is like Mexican oregano but more intense, with a citrusy lemony undertone.