Monday, October 02, 2006

I love peppers! And dinners!

Saturday afternoon, I roasted peppers and called my mom. When I told her what I was doing while we were on the phone, she said "weren't you doing that last time we talked?" She was right - I roast peppers pretty much every week now, and I talk to my parents on the phone every week. They're easy things to do at the same time.

This time, I was roasting the three poblanos, two Anaheims, and three "El Diablero" peppers. The Anaheims were hotter than I expected - about the same as the El Diableros - so I ended up only using the poblanos, Anaheims, and one of the El Ds in my big pot of black beans (5 cans; I make extra to freeze), as well as three small, unroasted jalapenos. So I have two leftover roasted peppers for the next giant pot of black beans. This batch was especially great. The combination of all the different peppers made the beans spicy and smoky - just extremely flavorful. Otherwise, just shallots, garlic, cumin, and oregano - the chiles did most of the work.

So for dinner Saturday night, we had black bean tacos with garlicky chard and golden tomatoes. Wonderful! I suspected that the chard's hearty texture would work well with the black beans, and I was right. Usually I add spinach to my black bean tacos, but the chard was even better in this case; its natural bitterness was mostly masked by the flavorful beans. I would have taken photos of our colorful plates...but everything smelled too good to wait.

Sunday night we went to Diner in Williamsburg, where I hadn't been in a long time. Their menu is quite meat- and seafood-heavy, but can always be counted on for some excellent vegetable dishes. We shared a cheese plate, and I had a brilliant tomato salad with black olives and grilled haloumi, a Greek cheese I've wanted to try since reading about it in a cookbook, as well as a side of greens. The tomatoes were terrific on their own, but the salty/meaty olive tapenade and the smoky grilled cheese combined to make the salad spectacular. We were so pleased with ourselves for our healthy restaurant dinner (he had tomato-eggplant soup and a green salad) that we went a bit crazy and got the chocolate bread pudding for dessert. Of that, the less said the better - it was extremely delicious, what with the fresh whipped cream and all.

Thursday I'm planning the tofu and tat soi wraps, or maybe we'll just have a simple stir-fry over rice. I hear spinach is back some places, but I've been meaning to try new dark green leafies regardles...

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