Friday, July 29, 2011

Two-Bean Sofrito, Aranitas and Braised Dinosaur Kale

Plantains are one of my favorite things to eat so I am always looking for new ways to prepare them. Aranitas, as I made tonight, are shredded green plantain fritters. Lightly seasoned and pan fried until golden brown, the natural starch in these plantains are all you need to hold the fritter together. I especially love these because they are crunchy like hash browns on the outside and creamy on the inside.
Wait a second...plantain hash browns! Note to self, I need to try that next....

My two-bean sofrito combines mashed black eyed peas and whole black beans with traditional sofrito ingredients (onions, bell pepper, garlic and spices) and zucchini into a delicious mix great as a side or served inside warm tortillas.

Two Bean Sofrito
2 tbl extra virgin olive oil
1 cup yellow onion, small dice
1 green bell pepper, small dice
1 bay leaf
1 tbl cumin
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp pepper
3 garlic cloves, minced
1-15oz can black eyed peas, drained and rinsed
1-15oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 zucchini, medium dice
juice of 1 lime
1/4 cup cilantro, roughly chopped

In a medium pot, heat the oil and saute the onions and pepper until soft, 7 minutes. Add the bay leaf, cumin, oregano, salt, pepper and garlic. Toast the spices for 3 minutes. Add the black eyed peas and cook 5 minutes more. Mash the peas then add the black beans. Bring to a simmer and cook for 25 minutes. Add the zucchini and cook 5 minutes more. Add the lime juice and stir in 2 tbl of cilantro. Garnish with the remaining cilantro.

Aranitas (Shredded Green Plantain Fritters)
1/4 cup canola oil
2 green plantains, grated
2 garlic cloves, grated
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp cumin

Heat the oil in a saute pan while you prepare the fritters. Combine the shredded plantains, garlic, salt, pepper and cumin. Scoop out patties, flatten and pan fry until golden brown on both sides.
Drain on a paper towel and sprinkle with salt while hot.

Braised Dinosaur Kale
1 tbl extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup yellow onion, small dice
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 head of dinosaur kale, roughly chopped
4 cups vegetable broth
2 tbl apple cider vinegar
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp organic cane sugar

Sweat the onions and garlic in oil over medium-high heat until soft and translucent, 5 minutes. Add the dinosaur kale and toss to wilt. Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Boil for 15-20 minutes until the liquid has reduced by half. Taste and season with salt. Serve in bowls with a portion of the cooking liquid to keep the greens hot and moist.

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