Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Caribbean Banana Soup from Ceridwen

Serves 6-8. This is great if you have excess bananas that are going bad, or if you have some dumpstered. The latter is generally more likely in these post-flood days as bananas are worth their weight in gold.

50g brown rice
6 ripe bananas
1lt vegetable stock
1 onion
1 red capsicum
2 cloves of garlic
30ml olive oil
1 can creamed coconut
120g ground peanuts
salt and cayenne to taste

Cook brown rice. Combine bananas and stock, simmer for 10 minutes. Sauté onion, capsicum, and garlic in oil. Add coconut and sauté. Add rice and peanuts. Simmer covered for 15 minutes.

Zia Maria's Orecchiette (Little Ears)

My zia (auntie) Maria taught me how to make this traditional Pugliese fresh pasta when I was staying with her in her small southern town of Zollino. You should see her little face when she asks 'Vediamo, sé ch'lhai la cappacita', as in, 'let's see if you can do it'; rolling out the pasta on your finger and getting it perfect is obviously seen as something only little nonnas and zias can do. After making it about four times now I have almost got it.

1 cup double O flour
1 cup plain flour
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup tepid water

Combine flours with 1/2 water and salt. Slowly add more water while kneading; more or less water may be needed until dough is smooth. Let relax for 20 minutes. Cut into 1/2 inch sptrips and again into small squares. Make ears by pressing down on a square and rolling with your finger, then turn inside out. Dust with semolina flour and boil in salted water until they float.

Serve it with pan steamed broccoletti, grated strong pecorino or parmigiano, and good olive oil.

Thursday, June 9, 2011