Friday, May 20, 2011

Post-Kid Kitchen: A Birthday Dinner!

Rob's birthday was the 18th (happy birthday, baby!), and when I asked him what he wanted for his birthday dinner, I fully expected him to say Tofurkey and mushroom stuffing dressing. Thanksgiving in May! I started picturing the dirty-dish pile-up.

But instead he requested black bean curry, which, in addition to being really tasty, is completely easy to make. It also calls for a tablespoon of oil per serving. The fat boosts the flavor of the dish, but it's not strictly necessary. You could get away with as little as a tablespoon of oil here, but in that case, I'd recommending watching the onion-garlic-ginger mixture like a hawk to make sure it doesn't burn.

I make this recipe in a big cast iron skillet and use a pizza pan to cover it.

Rob's Birthday Dinner

Black Bean Curry
Serves 4

3 1/2 cups cooked black beans
1/4 cup canola oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 large onion, diced fine
5 cloves garlic, minced or crushed
2 Tbsp fresh ginger, minced
1 tsp salt
2 tsp your favorite curry powder
2 cups water, bean cooking liquid, or vegetable broth
(if using vegetable broth, omit salt)

Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot (but not smoking!) add the mustard seeds and cover. The seeds will begin to pop. When the popping has stopped, add the onion and cook until light golden brown. Add the ginger and garlic and cook for about a minute more. Add the black beans, curry powder, salt and water and bring to a boil. Lower the heat, cover, and let simmer for 20 minutes. Serve with brown basmati rice and roasted cauliflower!

For dessert, I made Susan's Cherry-Chocolate Mousse Pie.

Cherry-Chocolate Mousse Pie

This is not a gluten-free, nor a soy-free recipe, but I had been promising Rob this pie for months. And since I'm not in the I-This is not a gluten-free, nor a soy-free recipe, but I had been promising Rob this pie for months. And since I'm not in the I-will-die-if-I'm-in-the-same-room-with-my-allergens camp, I don't have a problem making things I shouldn't eat.

Instead of the graham cracker crust, I went with a chocolate cookie crust. A whole box of these (pulsed to crumbs in the food processor) plus 3 tablespoons melted of Earth Balance margarine did the trick. I mixed that up, pressed it into a pie plate and baked at 350 F for 12 minutes. Next time I might use a little less margarine, or make the pie in a spring-form pan, or both; the crust mixture didn't adhere well to the sides of the pie plate, and we ended up with a bottom-heavy, difficult-to-cut crust.

For a gluten-free pie, there are gluten-free sandwich cookies (I hope) with which to make your crust. Or, simply make the filling without a crust. I plan to experiment with this for the next big family get-together. The mousse holds its shape really well when refrigerated for several hours - just cut and serve!

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1 comment:

Allison the Meep said...

What has me completely sold is the roasted cauliflower. That stuff is total porn to me lately.