Saturday, October 30, 2010

Southwestern Roasted Sweet Potato, Corn, and Black Bean Salad

Lazy [Saturday], wake up in the late afternoon... [sorry, does that ever get old?]

Well, there wasn't so much with the waking up late today (outlining and whatnot), but today feels excellently lazy, especially after last night's Halloween party at a friend's house, where the best costume award totally went to the guy dressed as a pinata, who threw candy in the air whenever anybody whacked him with a stick. The SO and I were Christine O'Donnell and Mike Castle, basically not the most creative costumes there, but I had great fun doing a conservative-lady clownface on myself.

Ahem. So, anyway, here's a black-and-orange Halloween treat that has nothing to do with candy or pumpkin because I am actually worn out from the sugar-induced coma that was my birthday last weekend. The recipe is adapted from a Mark Bittman recipe from last fall. I omitted the onion and red bell pepper he calls for and added roasted corn instead.

Souwestern Roasted Sweet Potato, Corn, and Black Bean Salad
Adapted from a Mark Bittman Minimalist recipe

2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks (Dodson Farms)
1/4 cup cut corn kernels (from Mama L's summer garden)
olive oil, kosher salt, ground pepper, and cumin
about a half teaspoon diced roasted jalapeno peppers (Richardson Farms)
about one tablespoon more olive oil and a half-tablespoon lime juice
1 garlic clove, chopped
1/2 can black beans, drained
some chopped cilantro (from the U of M edible garden)

[oooh, a pretty new cutting board!!] Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Toss the potatoes with olive oil and sprinkle them with the salt, pepper, and cumin. Roast on a cookie sheet for about 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes or so.

Then toss the corn on the cookie sheet, stir it around to coat it with olive oil, and roast for 10 more minutes. Take the veggies out of the oven and leave them on the sheet while you assemble everything else.

While that's cooking, use the back of a spoon to smash up the garlic with the jalapeno and a pinch of salt until it makes a sort of paste.

Then add olive oil and stir in the lime juice. Add some pepper--it probably needs it. More salt, too, if you think so.

Then combine the veggies with the black beans, drizzle over the dressing, and garnish with the cilantro. Then nomnomnom. This made enough for a side dish for two, but I ate it all for a very seasonal dinner.

Pretty fantastic. The roasted corn was sweet and salty and chewy and crunchy all at once. I really liked that this was easy to make out of stashed-away winter stuffs, like stored sweets, frozen corn, peppers, and cilantro, and pantry black beans.

I've also been making simmer pots on the weekends to make the house smell good and fall-ey. This one has dried orange peel, cinnamon, and vanilla. It smells super-sweet, and honestly, I don't like it as much as the one I made last weekend, which had cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and bay leaf. Cloves are definitely the way to go to fall-up a house. Just combine everything in a saucepan, add water, bring it to a boil for a couple minutes, then turn it down to a simmer. Instant atmosphere.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Interim Updates

O, last six weeks of the semester, how I loathe thee. I've got posts, kids, but they'll have to wait until finals are over! (Or, more likely, they'll get posted as I run out of ways to procrastinate while I should be studying for finals.)

The good news is that Eating Local in Memphis will continue to be... in Memphis next year. I'll be working for a judge here in town. Excite! This blog almost became Eating Local in Little Rock or Eating Local in Jackson. I'm glad Memphis prevailed.