Let’s Cook!

I’m back! It’s been a month and I’m ready to get cookin’!

The most interesting gastronomical experience I had while on hiatus was in Cartagena, Colombia when James, our tour guide and I had lunch. Our tour guide ordered us a traditional Colombian feast of beef stew, roast chicken, rice, plantains, beans, cabbage salad and sugarplum juice. It was delicious! The interesting thing about the soup was in addition to the piece of meat (still on the bone), there were two new ingredients I had never seen in soup before: one being yucca, a root vegetable; and two, a banana!

james  and franklin at lunch
james and franklin at lunch

It wasn’t a plantain, just a cooked banana and it was delicious in the soup. I don’t know if they do any preparation to the fruit before hand, but it soaked up the flavors of the soup perfectly. And instead of bread at the table, the waitress brought us each a banana. That too was the perfect cap to a heavy meal.

Now onto the recipe of the day! Over the holidays I received several wonderful cookbooks, including Simply in Season. This recipe is a hearty rice dish that fills you up on these cold winter nights.

wild rice veggie bake
wild rice veggie bake

1 cup wild rice
2 cups chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup pearled barley
1 sweet potato, peeled and chopped into 1 inch cubes
2 parsnips, peeled and chopped into 1 inch cubes
1/2 butternut squash, peeled and chopped into 1 inch cubes
1 cup apple juice or cider
3 cups chicken or vegetable broth

Preheat oven to 375
1. Boil rice in 4 cups of water for 10 minutes, then drain. Place in 9×13 baking dish and set aside.
2. Saute onions with garlic and 2 T. of olive oil
3. Add onions to rice and stir. Add barley to onion and rice, stir.
4. Add sweet potatoes, parsnips and squash on top of grains
5. Add apple cider and chicken/vegetable broth. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and parsley.
6. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake for one hour.

Voila! Serve with a side salad and you’re set for dinner for two nights!

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Kate says:

    That’s crazy about the banana, because they serve meat stew topped with a banana in Somalia too! (I wasn’t in Somalia, but our Somali tour guide in Yemen made us dinner, and he made that dish for us.) It is great! I’ve been meaning to recreate it at home for a long time now.

    Welcome back!

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