Archive for the 'vegetarian' Category

Samosa Stuffed Potatoes

samosa stuffed baked potatoes

There are few kitchen techniques as basic as baking a potato – yet I’ve been asked a handful of times over the past couple of weeks how to do it. What’s the best variety? Does it require a foil jacket?

A good baked potato can be a beautiful thing – as basic (yet infinitely more satisfying) as a bowl of popcorn with butter and salt. I dig out the fluffy innards, then butter the crispy skin and eat it like a thin, floppy piece of toast.

And sweet potatoes. I roast them when the oven is on, and keep them in the fridge to reheat for lunch. (If you happen to have a jar of bacon jam in the fridge? Ridiculous.)

Trio of baked potatoes

There’s nothing like a good traditional russet – which also happens to be the cheapest of the potatoes. To bake, give it a wash, dry it off and rub it down with whatever cooking oil you generally use in your kitchen (canola, olive, sunflower) and sprinkle with salt, then roast directly on the oven rack at 350F or so for about an hour. A sweet potato will take less time to cook and wind up deliciously caramelized inside, with thin skin that separates itself from the flesh, making it easy to peel off with your fingers if you’re after mashed potatoes or something to add to soup. Bonus: you can roast potatoes while the oven is on for other things, and have a head start on lunch or dinner.

Chili baked potatoes were a staple of my teenagehood, and these days I’m discovering how well suited they are as a vehicle for leftovers – imagine the last of the butter chicken, spooned over a baked potato? I was also imagining how much I love the inside of a potato-pea samosa, and how seldom I actually make the real thing, and it occurred to me how well that combination of ingredients would do reassembled and piled back into a baked potato shell.

Samosa Stuffed Potatoes

Stuffed potatoes don’t require a recipe per se – it’s just a matter of unstuffing a baked potato, mashing the insides along with other tasty ingredients, then piling it back into the potato shell. I winged it when I made these samosa potatoes, but this is essentially what I did. (The recipe can be multiplied to feed however many you like.)

2 baked russet potatoes
canola or olive oil, for cooking
a dab of butter
1/2 small purple onion, chopped
some chopped cilantro stems (optional)
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1/2-1 tsp. curry powder or paste (or to taste)
1/2 cup frozen peas, straight from the freezer
a few cherry tomatoes, halved
salt and pepper

In a medium skillet, heat a drizzle of oil and dab (about a tablespoon?) of butter over medium-high heat. Saute the onion for a few minutes, until soft; add the garlic and curry powder and cook for another minute. Add the frozen peas, cherry tomatoes and the insides of the potatoes, scooped out into the pan; cook for a few minutes, until the peas are heated through, tomatoes have wilted and everything is coated with curry and browned bits. Season with salt and pepper.

Pile back into the baked potato shell and serve immediately, topped with a dollop of plain yogurt and/or extra cilantro if you like. Serves 2.

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February 03 2015 | vegetables and vegetarian | 10 Comments »

Really Good Veggie Chili

Veggie chili

W lives in Minecraft world, where even when he’s not attached to the screen everything revolves around swords and armor and pickaxes and protecting oneself from creepers. The creepers in my world are the cinnamon buns that I have to bake in the morning for a photo shoot, and then sit lustily on the countertop, warm and needing to be eaten. The succession of recipes to be tested and photographed – the pizza straight from the oven, the baked cheese and waffles and pasta carbonara that I have to make and shoot, still steaming, before it gets dark. The lunch meetings and restaurant openings, the rationalization that I need to eat all this, in the name of research. It’s my job, dammit.

Veggie chili 2

So in the interest of preservation of self and pants, I’ve decided to arm myself with pots of flavourful, veggie-heavy food at all times. Things like soup and chili and baking sheets of roasted veggies. Because it’s harder to go overboard on a bowl of veg than a pile of just-baked biscuits, and even if you do, you’ll feel better for it. Or so I’m told.

(Also? This veggie chili is really good. And it gets better with time in the fridge, so you can dip into it all week.)

Really Good Veggie Chili

This is almost the same as one I made all the time years ago, but I read about Jamie roasting his sweet potato first, which seemed like a very good idea. (On the other hand, I don’t like cinnamon in my chili – I only added a pinch.)

1 medium dark-fleshed sweet potato, peeled and cut into chunks
canola oil, for cooking
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 onion, chopped
1 red pepper, seeded and chopped
1 yellow pepper, seeded and chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 bunch cilantro
1 Tbsp. chili powder
2 tsp. cumin
pinch cinnamon
2 19 oz (540 mL) cans beans, such as kidney, black, romano or chickpeas
2 19 oz (540 mL) cans diced or whole tomatoes, or one of each
crumbled feta, for serving (optional)

Preheat the oven to 425F.

Spread the sweet potato out on a rimmed baking sheet, drizzle generously with oil and toss around with your hands to coat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and roast for 25-30 minutes, until tender and turning golden.

Set a medium pot over medium-high heat, add some oil and saute the onion , peppers and garlic for a few minutes, until soft. Chop and add the cilantro stems and about half of the leaves (save the rest to put on top) along with the chili powder and cumin and cook for another few minutes.

Add the beans and tomatoes, scrape the roasted sweet potatoes into the pot, season with salt and pepper and bring to a simmer; cook for 30-45 minutes, until thickened. If you like, continue to cook it over low heat, or cool it down and refrigerate overnight to let the flavours develop a bit. Otherwise, it’s good to go. Serve hot, topped with crumbled feta (or sour cream) and fresh cilantro.

Serves 8.

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January 19 2015 | beans and one dish and vegetarian | 10 Comments »

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