Not much has changed in two years… I still have a faint loathing of the brunch ritual, unless it’s chilaquiles. In which case, yes, yes, yes. Chilaquiles for breakfast, that I can give a thumbs up. This batch was topped with not just guacamole but also my famous tomatillo salsa, made extra spicy with a habenero or two, and served warm. And also: refried black beans with salsa fresca, pan-fried breakfast potatoes with chorizo, pineapple in lime juice, and Sasha’s amazing sauerkraut.
As if it weren’t already a brunch that demanded a post-meal nap, there was dulce de leche-filled churros, too. (Thank you, Sabor Latino.)
Carlo, framed by two bunches of peonies, makes me sad that peonies here are gone so fast. When they were in season, we were picking big bunches from bushes every morning. You couldn’t keep up — the bushes would hang so heavy with the blossoms and be destroyed in an hour of rain or a day or two of sunshine. But while they were here, our apartment was full of magic.
Twice baked potatoes, you guys!!! Ultimate comfort food maybe?
One gigantic potato, scrubbed, pricked with a fork, tented with foil and roasted in the oven for an hour at 400 degrees. Sliced lengthwise, scooped out mushy insides, and mashed with some cooked black beans, grated cheddar, red onion and hot sauce. Stuffed back into aforementioned potato and finished off for 15 minutes. Topped with minced parsley and plenty of scallions and cracked black pepper. The easiest, most comforting lunch. Also so easy to make for one person. I think I liked this way more than I logically should have.
Okay — off to the UFO Fest. My weekends in Portland keep getting weirder and weirder…
One of the best bits about living alone is that you only have yourself to answer for when thinking about cooking your next meal. I often make a gigantic pot of dried beans and eat them throughout the week, and I never have to worry about fatiguing someone else’s palette. Very rarely do I get tired of a pot of black beans – this batch was simmered with lemon thyme, chicken broth, 1/2 red onion, garlic and a few limes for about 45 minutes so the beans stayed super firm. I’ve been eating them for lunch for the past few days and the flavor has only intensified. I’m so simple, I like to eat these on their own with a little avocado in a bowl or next to a salad on a plate, but these would be perfect mixed into rice, folded into a burrito, pureed for a soup, mashed into a dip, or baked into empanadas.
PS. People in California have it so good. Strawberries in February? Truly bizarre.
I made black bean soup from scratch the other day. I soaked organic black beans overnight and simmered them the next evening for hours, with fresh bay, tomatoes, water, onion, limes, cherry tomatoes and cumin. It was the best black bean soup I’ve ever had, and so simple to make.
Kept lunch simple with falafel, romaine and shredded chicken. My friends always like to point out that my nails are in a perpetual state of chipped-ness. I guess they were right.
Leftover beans went into tacos the next night, alongside roasted vegetables and a weird slaw that I made from these bitter greens we bought on a whim at the Farmer’s Market. I wish I had asked what they were. They were sort of spindly, kind of pointy, almost sharp, and very bitter, but when dressed with a little lime and oil, super tasty.
I roasted bundles of red carrots from the farmer’s market with one potato, and made guacamole, too. The vegetables went in a hot 400 degree oven and I added 1 cup of broth from the black bean soup halfway through. They absorb all the liquid and cook perfectly. I can’t get over all this affordable citrus in January. It just doesn’t feel right! But I’m not complaining.