I’ve been scrolling through my feed, old posts, random scribbled notes and sketches this month looking for the spark for the next big idea. I recognize that I sometimes ignore the more “ordinary” things we eat at home because they don’t always match up to the more elaborate, or cool-looking stuff that I try to post every week. This time, though, I started to see something else: versatility. From the start, Craving Mad was meant to fit your needs for any situation: parents (or in-laws) coming over? Got it. Trying to impress your crush? Yup. Celebrating an achievement you’ve been grinding for? Done.
Whether you’ve been following for two years, or just dropping in for the first time, there’s something here to get you started. So this year, I’m embracing the chaos inside my food brain; you’re going to see jumps between cuisines, simple ideas next to all-day processes. This is going to be fun.
This one is easy–and I’m not just saying that! You’ve probably already made hogao, that ubiquitous Colombian base of onions, and peppers. This time, we’re making it two ways: a charred version for the actual stew base, and a standard sautéed version as a condiment.
I would usually do this on the grill, but the broiler will have to do for a few more weeks until the weather improves. I tossed in bell and poblano peppers, garlic, tomatoes, and onions, seasoned with salt and a little oil, and let it get roasted and charred. I chose to blend it up afterward to turn it into a puree, and reduced it in a pot. Stir in the beans, some herbs and lime juice, and you’re pretty much there. You can make it spicy, add cheese (I used cotija this time), or even meat if you want. I kept it extra simple this time, but I realize that I haven’t posted a vegetarian dish in a while. So…here you go: a fully-realized dish that is going to make you happy. You can eat it as-is with rice, or tortillas.
2 Bell Peppers
2 Poblano Peppers
3 Cloves of Garlic
2 Cups Cherry Tomatoes
2 Cups Kidney Beans
2 Cups Cannelini Beans
1 Cup Spinach
1 Cup Cilantro
1/2 Cup Cotija Cheese
1 Tbs Dried Thyme
1 Tsp Coriander Powder
1 Tsp Paprika
1 Tsp Cumin
1 Tsp Garlic/Onion Powder
Salt & Pepper to taste
- Season half of the peppers, garlic, onion, and tomatoes with salt, and oil, then place under the broiler. Allow a char to form, then stir to prevent burning. Remove from the heat, season with paprika, cumin and coriander, then set aside.
- Dice the remaining fresh peppers, tomatoes, garlic and onion, and combine in a sauté pan on medium-high heat. Allow the onion and pepper to caramelize, then stir in lime juice, and cilantro. Remove from the heat.
- Purée the charred hogao in a food processor, then sauté in a separate pot until it is reduced by half. Stir in beans, then season to taste. Wilt the spinach, and remove from the heat.
- Plate and serve with cheese, and lime.