Stupid Easy Borscht

from: Jamey Bennett
to: Daniel Larkin
date: Sun, Jan 8, 2017 at 6:01 PM

Hey Dude,

So I was sick on Christmas Day, home alone and sick. It sucked. So I decided to postpone Christmas until the Julian calendar Christmas observed by Ukrainians, Russians, Serbs and so forth, and celebrate with my niece and brother in New Orleans.

So to mark the occasion, I also offered to prepare some Russian food for them. I made pierogi, sauerkraut, borscht, and blini. It was great.

15801861_1162680187183021_3256929483592040448_n

Today, I want to focus on the borscht, a traditional beet-based soup. Basically, my understanding is borscht can be prepared many ways, with the non-negotiable ingredient being beets (and arguably dill). As far as I know, just about anything else is up for grabs.

This recipe is essentially paleo, though some dogmatists would gripe about the dairy and legumes. But those people are turds. To make this vegetarian just omit the chicken stock and do more veggie stock.

Oh, and because I didn’t want to spend five hours in the kitchen, I rely heavily on frozen and canned foods. It’s so easy and really damn good.

Here goes:

Open a beer. Start drinking it.

4 cups vegetable broth
4 cups chicken broth

Bring to a boil, then simmer.

Olive oil
1 package frozen potatoes, carrots, onion (“for stew”) in the frozen section (16 oz? 32 oz?)

Sautée for a while, then add to the broth.

2 cups frozen green peas
2 cups frozen cut green beans

Throw these in the broth. Drink more beer. Take a shot of vodka.

4 cans sliced beets (15oz.)

Drain, but save the purple beet water. Chop up the beets and throw them in. Add the beet water to the pot. You might want to bring up the heat a bit for a few minutes or whatever. I don’t know. I think I did.

Add 4 tsp. vinegar or so, you could also use lemon juice or something like that, I used apple cider vinegar
Maybe throw in some butter, I did, a few tablespoons or so, sounded like a good idea
2 handfuls of fresh dill, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

Cook a little longer. Or whatever.

Sour cream to serve. Add more dill if you want. Take another shot of vodka. Serve. Stir in the sour cream. Sour cream is awesome.

This was killer. It makes a lot, so go halvesies if you want. But I think it’s fun to have soup to eat all week.

Merry Second Christmas,
Jamey

Advertisements

Grilled Plantain Vegan Tacos

from: Jamey W. Bennett
to: Daniel Larkin
date: Mon, Apr 6, 2015 at 4:53 PM

Hey Dude,
I know I already texted you a little bit about this, but I’ve gotta get into more details, because it was so good. Those grilled plantain vegan tacos I made this afternoon were absolutely stellar. It literally only took me like 15 minutes from start to finish to make this, but I had a lot of stuff prepped from either the freezer or frozen meals.

PicFrame

The tacos were assembled with the following ingredients, from bottom up:

  • Corn tortillas
  • Grilled plantain pieces
  • Grilled cherry tomatoes
  • Spicy passion fruit-mango slaw
  • Pieces of fresh avocado
  • Sauteed onions
  • Sriracha to taste

It was really the perfect marriage of sweet, savory, and spicy. Amazing. There is really not much to say about this one. I got the tortillas at Trader Joe’s. They got sprayed down with a coconut oil spray and thrown on my grill. The plantains were pre-cooked in palm oil, got it from the freezer section of the grocer, but that may be a south Florida thing. You might have to go fresh. Anyway, I sprayed these down with coconut oil while still frozen and generously sprinkled faijita seasonings on all sides. They went directly on the grill, and only needed maybe 7 minutes.

IMG_7452

Put the cherry tomatoes on a skewer, sprayed them lightly with coconut oil. Grilled. The slaw is trickier. I made it the other night and can’t really tell you what I did, except the following ingredients got involved at some point: cabbage, jalapeno, red wine vinegar, adobo seasoning, fire sauce from Jake’s Sandwich Board in Philly, mango-passion fruit puree, and pear-passion fruit juice. Beyond that, I couldn’t say. You’re on your own.

The rest of the ingredients are self-explanatory. I will make these again. Beautiful little f***ers.

Jamey