We did some grocery shopping in my old neighborhood, the Inner Richmond, last weekend. I picked up a bundle of long beans since I needed a vegetable and had never cooked them myself before. I cleaned and chopped them into uniform(ish) segments so they would cook evenly. I sauteed 2 cloves of garlic with some olive oil before throwing in the beans. Once the beans started to cook, I drizzled oyster sauce to taste.
These beans were awesome–sweet, salty, crispy and fresh. They seemed to take a bit longer to cook than regular green beans but maintained their crispness. One thing I really hate is overcooked, soggy vegetables. It is no wonder to me that some people hate vegetables. They’ve just never had them cooked well.
While I was home alone last week, I warmed up some Belizean chicken stew and ate this entire serving of long beans. I could eat a whole bowl of these on their own for dinner.
These are my girls; I know I can always count on them. Although the four of us haven’t lived in the same city since college, we get together as often as life allows. Once in a while, we find the time to take an always memorable trip together. In 2008, we went to Belize to celebrate our 30th birthdays.
Prior to arriving in Belize, I had spent a week traveling through Costa Rica. While the nature was fantastic, I was severely disappointed by the food. I avoided the ubiquitous American fare; everything else was fried, bland or required copious amounts of hot sauce to choke down. After my first meal in Belize, a chicken stew over coconut rice and beans, I knew I would be happy eating in this country. This chicken stew is served everywhere (with a cold beer) and I never got tired of it during the week we spent there.
I have never forgotten this chicken stew but have had a hard time tracking down a recipe. I also couldn’t find any recado until a recent trip to downtown LA’s Grand Central Market. The red brick of recado resulted in an extra inspection at airport security but was totally worth it. I scoured the internet for recipes and realized that this is the Belizean version of adobo–everyone has a slightly different recipe.
Here’s what I decided on:
I had spent the entire afternoon preparing for family dinner (for 12) the following day and didn’t really feel like either cooking or going out. We had bought a large bunch of rainbow chard from the farmer’s market that morning and two sushi-grade ahi tuna steaks from the butcher so it turned out to be a very simple dinner.
Joel chopped the swiss chard and we sauteed it with garlic, a shallot and some soba noodle soup base. Once that started to wilt down, I pan-seared the cajun-seasoned tuna on both sides. This was my first time searing tuna so just used a little bit of butter in a really hot pan. Next time, I would probably let it cook a little longer. We sliced it and ate it with a little wasabi mayonnaise or gave the tuna a little dip in the soba noodle soup base. Quick and easy!