I have been a cook for about a hundred and and twenty eight years now, (if you count it in dog years, which you have to really, because cooking is hard). You would think that when I’m hungry, ideas would spring from my head like little baby spiders going out into the world for the very first time; sometimes, but you know a lot of the time I do the same things over and over and over again. The trick is, to improve your list of standby’s. You wouldn’t throw out your oldest best friend just because someone new came to town with some good jokes and a cute outfit.
Shake up good old black beans and rice with finely diced shallot and garlic, say two shallots and one clove of garlic, for one can of beans, and one cup of uncooked rice. Cook the shallot and garlic until it is beautifuly golden, and then add one teaspoon each of coriander and fennel that you smashed up in your mortar and pestel. Instead of regular rice, try thai sticky rice, simmered with a bay leaf, a little olive oil, salt and a squeeze of lime. When the rice is done, stir in the shallot mixture, and a well drained can of black beans. If you can find a green heirloom tomato, seed and chop, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, salt, and if you like it spicy, a little red pepper flakes. Let sit for a moment, and then stir into the rice. Taste for salt and lemon juice. Serve with corn on the cob, slightly smashed avocados with salt and lemon, and tortillas sprinkled with a good cheddar, folded in half, and grilled or heated in the oven until the cheese melts.
PS I know I’ve had a lot of garlic and shallot going on. A. Garlic and shallot is a good thing B. I bought a heck of a lot of garlic and shallots in a fit of, “it’s getting late, and I’ve got to buy something”, so I gotta get through it.