27 August 2011

Corn, Poblano, and Black Eyed Pea Sauté

It seems that, like the rest of the Middle East, the blog has taken a little bit of a Ramadan break. Perhaps I've gotten a case of what people call "Ramadan brain," a general blurriness that comes not from lack of food, but from the complete lack of sleep people endure during Ramadan. Thanks to everyone for all the comments and questions in my absence, I hope you all had plenty of time to dig into some frozen yogurt. Here's a few things that have caught my eye over the past few weeks:

--Overnight cooking star Ghalia Mahmoud in Egypt. (Watch a full episode here, if you're like me Egyptian Arabic always takes some getting used to :)

--The best kunafe for Ramadan, or anytime.

--Did you say challapeno?

--Anissa gives an awesome version of hummus (with pomegranate and red pepper)

I was making a bunch of these summer sautés this past month. They are almost always based on sweet summer corn sliced off the cob and sauteed with onion and beans and whatever else strikes my fancy. One week it's onion, corn, baby lima beans, cherry tomatoes, and chives. Another week it's black beans instead of limas and some very finely chopped turnips. Basically, it's whatever you think looks good at the market.

Corn, Poblano, and Black Eyed Pea Sauté
The staples here are onion, corn, and some sort of legume, other than that you can substitute vegetables as desired. Make sure to cut your vegetables into relatively similar size pieces so that they cook evenly.

1 small onion, finely diced
1 large poblano pepper
1 cup cooked black eyed peas
1 cup very finely sliced and diced carrots
3 ears of sweet white corn, corn cut from the cob
salt to taste
pinch of Aleppo pepper or black pepper
squeeze of lime juice, optional

1. Roast poblano pepper over gas flame or grill until blackened on all sides. Transfer to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap, let steam 10-15 minutes. Scrape blackened skin off pepper, remove the core of the pepper and dice the flesh. Reserve some of the poblano seeds if you want your saute to be spicy.
2. Heat a good glug of olive oil in a wide skilled. Add diced onion and a bit of salt and cook over medium heat until very soft and starting to caramelize, 15 minutes.
2. Add in the carrots and poblano and allow to cook until carrots are soft, about 10 minutes. Add the corn and black eyed peas, season with salt and pepper and cook until the corn is tender, about 3 minutes.
3. Taste for seasoning, adjust salt/pepper/add lime, serve warm.