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This super simple recipe combines waxy potatoes with green beans in a light curry sauce to create a quick, yet delicious side dish.
Heat the oil or ghee in a large saute pan over medium heat; when hot add the onions and cook for about 2 minutes or until translucent. Add the potatoes, green beans, salt, pepper, curry powder, turmeric, and sumac, if using. Saute for about 2 minutes, or until the spices are fragrant. Stir in cayenne and chicken stock, cover and cook for about 10 minutes, or until the potatoes and beans are tender. Uncover; stir in the tomatoes and cook, stirring gently, until all the liquid has evaporated. Taste and adjust seasonings. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve.
It was my birthday last weekend.
Thank you, thank you all for your good wishes.
BB and I decided to take a short trip to the redwoods that lay just a few hours north of us and lucky for me, my Mom’s and sisters houses are on the way so we plan to stop and have a short visit, a bite to eat, and then on to our destination, The Historic Benbow Inn.
My sister and her guy come up the hill to my mom’s house carrying a basket full of produce from their garden. Lunch!
We thought our garden was going to be great this year. We had layed straw over the beds all winter which we hoed in to provide organic matter. I fed the plants at least twice. I doubled down on water. But it didn’t flourish. It only existed. Lackluster. Unimpressive.
Their produce was beautiful. Large, ripe, happy veggies.
I took a tour of the garden and low and behold, discovered that plants like a lot more food and a lot more water than I was providing. While they watered daily to begin the plants, mine had gotten a twice weekly watering. They used compost tea weekly. I weakly used organic plant food. Their plants were robust. And highly productive.
But they did send me home with a birthday present bag filled with ripe tomatoes, freshly harvested potatoes, tomatillos, squash, and green beans.
When we returned home from our relaxing weekend communing with nature, in radio silence, I needed to use my beautiful fresh produce while it was still beautiful and fresh. Easy Curried Potatoes and Green Beans is what I came up with. A recipe loosely based on a memory of a recipe from Cooking Light circa 1999.
For this recipe, you want to use a waxy potato. Perfect are red skinned, Yukon gold, or even Peruvian purple. The red skinned and Yukon gold, however, will show the curry colors more so than the purple potato.
After scrubbing, cut the potatoes into a fairly small dice, just bite-sized. That way they will fully cook at the same time as the green beans. If you want larger pieces of potato then start them first with the spices and chicken stock adding the green beans after the potato is just beginning to soften.
Most green beans you get in the grocery stores are stringless. Sometimes, when you purchase from a farmers market or grow them yourself, you have to pull the fibrous string off. To do this grasp the stem end firmly between your thumb and index finger, pull the tip down toward its seam, and with a quick, even motion draw the broken tip down along the seam to remove the string.
Trim the ends, cut into pieces.
If using fresh tomatoes, you can use any type or color. No need to peel, but you can if you like. If the tomato is particularly seedy, you may want to squeeze some of the seeds out. But you don’t have to. Because fresh tomatoes break down better than canned, I use more. Canned tomato can be used in the winter months, but this dish is best when made with fresh.
Sumac comes from the berries of a wild bush that grows wild in all Mediterranean areas, especially in Sicily and southern Italy, and parts of the Middle East. It is an essential ingredient in Arabic cooking, being preferred to lemon for sourness and astringency.
If fresh the berries can be dried and ground then sprinkled into the dish. Or you can seep them in hot water, mashing them to release their juice, and then use the resulting liquid as one might use lemon juice. Ground sumac keeps well if kept away from light and air.
If you don’t have any sumac on hand you could use lemon zest mixed with a bit of salt in its place.
So overall, in about really 20 minutes time, you can have this interesting, flavorful, side on the table. Keep your main dish simple, like a grilled chicken breast, or fish fillet allowing the vegetables to shine.
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