sunbeams and sugardrops

Posts Tagged ‘Easy

Well pots of pepper at any rate.

Growing up, I wouldn’t call myself an odd or picky eater but I did have a couple of teeny quirks. I loved okra a.k.a bhindi or ladyfinger, which is sadly a widely hated vegetable. And I hated bell peppers a.k.a capsicum, which is pretty much indispensable in my kitchen these days.

Ever read about people hating coriander/cilantro with a passion because it smells a bit off to them (ickily descriptive New York Times article on why)?  I think that’s how I felt about capsicum. They always smelled and tasted a bit funky. I religiously picked them out of my food and piled them neatly on the side of my plate.

But now! They look like little lanterns in all their pretty colors and they taste fantastic, particularly the yellow and red ones. Raw they’re crunchy, sweet, juicy and a bit like I’m eating some sunlight. Cooked they transform into so many kinds of awesome. They’re great in salads, stir-frys, tomato-based pasta sauces, in my fancy mac-n-cheese, with eggs, in eggs, roasted, in sandwiches and oh plenty more. I’ve fallen for peppers quite hard to be honest.

My latest favorite thing to do with them is to make my version of a peperonata which is a capsicum stew that can be almost jam-like and packs a flavor punch when added to any number of things:

  • On toast topped with a fried egg
  • Cooked with a little garlic and an additional splash of extra virgin olive oil, it’s great with some al-dente spaghetti
  • With a little turmeric and chili powder cooked along with it, mashed up paneer stirred through it – easy weeknight dinner
  • A little bacon, ham or other deli meat browned and added to the mix – the possibilities are endless.

It’s flexible and luscious and even manages to lift up some shop bought pizza crust to something quite delicious. Which is exactly what I did one tired weeknight. Whipped up some peperonata, spooned it onto the shop-bought crust, sliced some mushrooms and olives, browned a little ham, a little cheese and you’re off. 15 minutes in the oven and that’s dinner!

Click here for the recipe

YouTube – Frances Langford sings Cole Porter – Easy To Love, 1936

Breakfasts are my absolute favorite of all meals, especially those not on the run. There aren’t too many things as satisfying as the idea of a crisply laid out table on a sunny porch, overlooking a lush and still-damp green lawn, chirping birds…maybe a swimming pool off to the side…and you know…not costing Rs.1850 + taxes to enjoy.

This love for all things breakfasty has led to many fantastic brunches that melt away in a slightly alcoholic haze as the afternoon sun glints off our glasses and silverware and we find ourselves struggling to split the bill and calculate a decent tip. It has also translated into some pretty awesome home cooked meals obviously not limited to the AM because Chez Sugardrops is an All-Day-Breakfast and Open-Bar establishment.

Some of the highlights of this long-standing love affair range from the simplest fried egg on buttered toast to elaborate pancakes and tortillas. There have been luscious stewed apples with cinnamony french toast, crusty potato and sausage hash, boozy bourbon banana bread, elaborate roast pepper and chorizo frittata and pancakes in so many forms – ricotta pancakes with a fresh peach compote, buttermilk pancakes with dried blueberries, eggnog pancakes courtesy joythebaker (whose love for pancakes is legendary), chocolate pancakes with strawberries – all with endless drizzles of maple syrup.

One might notice a tendency towards the sweeter breakfast but one of my current favorites is this gorgeous omelet which is a Sunday morning staple at my in-laws’ place. Nothing fancy, no precious ingredients, just the simplest combination of onions and tomatoes cooked till they’re perfectly savory-sweet.

Click here for Mum-in-law’s omelets

Sugar Droplets