A while back, my wife and I were in the middle of a move. Busted tired and hungry enough to eat a... Well, you get the picture. We'd unfortunately packed away most of our good stuff, along the lines of seasonings, and had to figure out how we were going to make a silk purse out of the proverbial sow's ear.
I looked in the fridge and all I saw was a
- scant quarter jar of chipotle salsa [that I'd gotten from Trader Joe's in a moment of convenient weakness]
- a block of palm sugar [of which I used 1 1/2 tbsp]
- a jar of capers [2 tbsp used]
- 1 1/2 tbsp coconut oil [extra virgin]
- 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil [extra virgin]
- yellow mustard seeds [1 tsp]
- coriander seeds [1/2 tsp]
- cumin seeds [1/2 tsp]
- crushed garlic [1 tbsp]
- frozen peppers [1/2 cup combo of red, yellow & green]
- tomato basil marinara sauce [1 1/2 cup]
- hot and spicy mustard [1 tsp]
I took the oils [coconut and olive] put them into my sauce pan along with the mustard, coriander and cumin. Toasted them until they were aromatic and added the peppers.
[I had to cook the peppers until they had reduced by 2/3 to get the intense flavor out of them before I added the other ingredients.]
I added the capers, fried them up, then the palm sugar, stirred added the garlic, swirled until the oil was well fragranced with that Mediterranean aroma. I poured in the chipotle sauce and fried it down until it released its steam and concentrated in flavor, viscosity and color. Finally I added the marinara sauce and spicy mustard, reduced and served over some black eye peas and veggie hamburger layers in a semi-deconstructed lasagna in a bowl.
Oh and was it good!!!
It was a great challenge and one that we'll keep in our archives. I've made it since with a lot of great variations to fit the moods.
Try it and I know you'll be a believer. It's tasty, healthy and a whole lotta fun! As a matter of fact... try it with my black eye peas fritters!
As always, it's my pleasure sharing with you tasty vegetarian innovations from my kitchen. Until next time...