A One-Off, a Two-Fer, and a Threesome: Part Two

The Two-Fer
One of a few tricks in my bag is to make one thing and then convert the remainders into another.  Not that innovative I know, but if you are to eat leftovers, a transposition can clear the air of any dreariness they might be susceptible to.

The first incarnation could be a mushroom sauce for pasta that becomes a mushroom soup two days later.
You could make spicy green beans as a side dish and later incorporate them into a rice stuffing for peppers.

Here we have a recipe for Moroccan Carrots.  These were a side dish last night to a dinner of Stuffed Eggplant, Roasted Okra, and Brown Rice.  Today the carrots will be turned into a soup.

Something spicy this way comes: if all you have is Tobasco, you are on your own.  My condiment of choice is  La Bomba or Bomba Italiana .  Either one will do.  They each make a very useful addition to marinades, side dishes, soups, main courses, grains, beans, and ratatouille.  They’re about 6 or 7 bucks a jar, but a little goes a long way.

La Bomba

Leave at Home When Flying

Recipe:  Moroccan Carrots

2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. cumin seed
5 or 6 large carrots, large slices
2-3 c. tomato sauce (tomato-red pepper sauce even better)
1 Tbsp. (or more) La Bomba
2-3 cloves garlic, finely minced

In a large skillet heat the olive oil and cumin.
When it is well warmed, add the carrots.
Stir to coat with oil, cover with lid and cook on med. heat.
After 5 min. stir again and cover.
Cook until tender, checking every 5 min. or so to see that they aren’t browning.
Add a splash of water when it seems like it’s getting too hot and this will help them steam a bit.
Alternatively, if you have some vegetable stock handy, throw a splash of that on.
Stir La Bomba into tomato sauce and add this to the carrots before they are completely cooked.
Turn heat to low and let simmer 5 min., covered.
Stir in the garlic, cover, and let sit 5 min.

Moroccan Carrots

Recipe:  Moroccan Carrot Soup

First follow the recipe for Moroccan Carrots (see above).
To the whole batch or to the leftovers, add some vegetable stock.  Of course the amount will depend on how much of the carrots you are dealing with.  A whole batch could take a liter and more.
If you have a surplus of tomatoes this is a good place to put some of them.  Cook this all together in a soup pot until vegetables are soft.  Taste.  Maybe it’ll need a little more La Bomba.  A little more broth.  Or some water.
Perhaps add some fresh coriander.
Puree with a blender or food processor.
Good as is, but takes beautifully to a swirl of yogurt.

Moroccan Carrot Soup

The Threesome:
Fennel, Figs, and Haloumi.
Simple and elegant, this chummy trio composes a salad that would be in its proper milieu whether at brunch, lunch, or dinner.  The three can be arranged on a plate au naturel, or, as I have done here, on a bed of arugula that has been tossed with olive oil, lemon, and garlic.  The secret to its success is that, with haloumi cheese, the preparation should be done at the last minute.

Fennel, Fig, and Haloumi Salad

Recipe:  Fennel, Fig, and Haloumi Salad

1 med. sized fennel bulb, washed, trimmed, and sliced
6-8 ripe figs, halved
½ lb. haloumi cheese, thickly sliced
1 modest sized bunch arugula, washed and trimmed
olive oil, lemon juice, minced garlic, salt and pepper

Tear arugula into bite-sized pieces.  A few leaves of radicchio go well here too.
Toss with last five ingredients.
Divide onto individual plates or make up a platter.
Top with fennel and figs.
Place a cast iron skillet over medium heat and even before it heats up,
put in sliced haloumi.  It’s oily enough on its own and will brown nicely.
When one side is golden, turn over.  It doesn’t take long, between 5 and 10 min. max.
Arrange the hot, grilled haloumi on the salad.
This should serve 4, depending on what else is on offer.

Conventional fennel seems to be much larger and milder tasting than organic.  As if it’s pumped up with water and dilute in flavor as a result.  So if you’re seeking the gusto, get the organic.

Regarding the figs:  I’m very grateful for their increasing availability, but it’s not unusual for half  of the pint to be under-ripe.  Adriano says you don’t know figs until you’ve tasted them ripe off the tree.  Don’t have a tree?  No problem.  His website says it is his ‘mission’ “to put a fig tree in every home”.  He has over 200 varieties (“one of the largest private collections in the world”) and he sells (within Canada) plants and cuttings from out of his home in Oakville, Ontario.
Until your fig tree bears fruit, you can send your ‘second-rates’ to finishing school in a 350 degree oven, with a drizzle of honey, for a mere 15 min.
Advance their station.
Give ’em the ‘Fygmalion Treatment’.

Advertisements
This entry was posted in arugula, carrots, cheese, fennel, figs, Haloumi cheese, La Bamba, Moroccan, Soup, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to A One-Off, a Two-Fer, and a Threesome: Part Two

  1. Dan Imbrogno says:

    Hi Maureen, I’m contacting you on behalf of Aurora Importing, the distributors of La Bomba. We love to see how our customers enjoy the product. I use it myself on a daily basis, but I’m not sure that I’ve ever tried it in a soup before, I’ve bookmarked your recipe and will be sure to give this a go!

    I wanted to let you know that we appreciate your patronage. If you email me with your address I’d be happy to have a complimentary jar sent out to you.

    Thanks again,

    Dan Imbrogno,
    Aurora Importing

  2. Maureen says:

    Thanks Dan,
    You can bet I will!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s