Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Curried Greens with Golden Onion and Cashews (Page 543)

RECIPE #1062

  • Date: Saturday, December 5, 2009 -- 8pm
  • Location: East Lansing, MI
  • Kitchen: Our New House!
  • Fellow Chef: Mike
  • Dining Companion: Matty
  • Recipe Rating: B-

This recipe was part of the special Recipes That Sound Bad meal that Mike and I made together a few weeks ago. In truth, I would have made this recipe long ago (despite the fact that it sounded questionable), but I couldn't find dandelion greens in Bloomington. Luckily, the grocery shopping in East Lansing is superior to that in Bloomington, and dandelion greens were quite easy to find. So I suggested this recipe for my dinner with Mike. The only reason it fell into the requisite category of dishes that sounded bad was that I have an aversion to bitter green vegetables. I am generally a flexible eater, but bitter greens are not my thing. So I was dreading this one a bit...

Mike started by cooking wedges of onion in olive oil with some salt until the onions were deep golden and crisp. We then stirred together curry powder, ground coriander, ground cumin, mustard seeds, cinnamon, and cayenne. Once the onions were ready we added some chopped, roasted, salted cashews, cooked for a few mintues, then added some of the spice mix. Then we removed the mixture from the heat. Meanwhile, I prepped spinach, mustard greens, and dandelion greens, removing all tough stems and center ribs, and chopping the leaves. We then heated some oil in a pot and added the remaining spice mix. When it was fragrant we dumped in all the greens and cooked until the greens were tender. Then we seasoned with salt and topped the greens with the onion mixture. My feelings about this recipe were exactly as I expected: I found the bitter greens quite hard to take and the carmelized onion topping quite delicious. I was willing to put my anti-bitter-greens bias aside and judge this recipe from a more neutral palate. However, even for a bitter greens recipe it wasn't so good. The topping was flavorful, but the greens themselves were a bit bland. The bitterness drowned out the spice mix, leaving the greens tasting very plain. Additionally, they had a wateriness to them which wasn't appealing. Mike and Matt liked it fine, but no one could muster much enthusiasm for this dish.

The recipe is here.

Ah, the holiday season! The weeks surrounding Christmas are certainly some of my favorite weeks of the year. After I gave my exam last week my special gentleman and I drove up to Michigan. The weather there was brisk and snowy and it couldn't have felt more like the holidays! I went to a lovely all-women Christmas party one afternoon (with lovely food!) hosted by one of the neighbors, and I met some of the women in our neighborhood! On Thursday, my special gentleman's good friend and collaborator Phil came to town. He stayed with us for 4 days, and it was great to have him visit! Having company only enhanced the holiday spirit! I cooked a lot -- we sat at the table sipping wine and eating food from The Book almost every evening. It was perfectly lovely. Then yesterday my special gentleman and I drove from East Lansing to Madison (stopping in Milwaukee to visit our friends Grant and Anna and their new baby Julia!). We arrived at my parents' place late last night, and today we had a relaxing day, enjoying Madison and finishing up some Christmas shopping. Tomorrow I will do a bit of holiday cooking, then Thursday we will head up to my grandpa's house in Oshkosh for the extended family Christmas festivities! What a fun time of year!!

No comments: