Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Today’s melange with bitter melon and black cumin

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I just learned of black cumin in this (interesting) video, so of course I wanted some. It arrived today for a fresh batch (and version) of melange.

I used my 6-qt All-Clad Stainless pot, which is a wide-diameter pot, good for sautéing ingredients before adding stock.

First, of course, I chopped small the garlic so it could rest for 15 minutes before cooking. (Google “letting garlic rest after chopping.”) I used an entire head of garlic, and though it wasn’t the hardneck red Russian garlic, it was still quite good — a local garlic, better than the Gilroy (“Garlic Capital of the World” and home of the Gilroy Garlic Festival — and home, too, to some very pungent smells at some seas) garlic I got in California.

I did all the chopping in advance, putting things into bowls to be dumped into the pot at the appropriate time. As I’ve noted, it took me way too long to learn the value of this. I just rinse out the bowls once empty. The leek I put directly into the pot, since it is cooked first.

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil (real EVOO)
1 enormous leek, with a long white section, halved lenthwise and then sliced

I do rinse out the dirt and grit that seems inevitably to inhabit the point where the green leaves meet the white stem. I also cut all the green leaves and cook those as well. The only thing I cut off and discard are the roots.

I turned the heat on once I had finished chopping everything, and the leeks soon began to cook. After they had cooked a few minutes, I added:

about 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
the chopped garlic.

After the garlic had cooked a minute, I dumped in the bowl that contained:

1 medium Italian eggplant, diced somewhat large
1 good-sized chunk of daikon radish, diced (good potassium source)
1 bitter melon, quartered lengthwise and sliced thick
1 medium beet, diced
a few stalks of celery, including leaves, chopped
about 10-12 oz white domestic mushrooms, chopped
2 tablespoons black cumin, ground in my spice grinder

I sautéed that for a while, then put the lid on and cooked it about 10 minutes, until it reduced in volume. I then added:

1 pint (dry measure) cherry tomatoes, a variety mix—I dumped them in whole and then cut the larger ones in half with scissors)
1 lemon, peel cut off, then diced (seeds went in, too)
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup vegetable broth
about 1/3 cup Yu-Tou Chili Sauce (new to me — moderate heat, quite salty)
1 bunch lacinato kale, chopped

I covered the pot and simmered that, stirring from time to time, for 10 minutes, then added:

1/2 bag (about 6 oz) of bean sprouts
1 bunch asparagus cut into 1″ sections

I cooked that about 10 minutes, then stirred in:

1.5 cup frozen mixed berries

I was somewhat hesitant about the berries, but then I decided to go for it, and they worked extremely well: savory+sweet appeals to me, it turns out.

I decided not to include grain or beans in the melange, but rather dish those out and put the melange on top. It’s easier to get a full serving of grain and beans that way. Right now I have Red Fife wheat (intact whole grain) and Du Puy lentils. I take about 1/3-1/2 cup of each and put about 1 cup of melange on top, then mix and eat.

Quite tasty. I about through the cooked Red Fife, so I’ve cooked a batch of oat groats which is the the fridge now. I cook intact whole grain and refrigerate it after cooking to make the starch resistant. I cook 1 cup dry grain in 3 cups water so I get enough cooked grain for multiple meals.

The berries were just a spur-of-the-moment idea but worked really well. As you know, I use Dr. Greger’s Daily Dozen as a template. Since kale is cruciferous, I did not add the horseradish (1/3 cup) I would have added otherwise.

I trust that it’s obvious that you can very this in any way that you like. The “recipe” is simply a description of what I cooked this time.

Written by LeisureGuy

4 January 2020 at 4:57 pm

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