One pot

I wanted to take it easy this week – the one problem with dating a chef (and you will hate me for saying this) is that he often wants to make everything from scratch. Sometimes dinner takes 2-3 hours to make. I can’t do that every night! Save for Mom tacos, of course but even then they can take a while to make if we make fresh salsa and guac. So this week I made two meals in my Le Creuset Dutch oven:

Red beans & rice with chorizo, shrimp

We had left over shrimp from the scampi we made so I cooked them up on Tuesday so they wouldn’t spoil. I didn’t want to do pasta again so we decided on red beans & rice. And chorizo. This is super simple to make.

Measure out your rice and rinse it a few times. It’s important to do this every time you make rice so it’s not too starchy and the grains actually separate. Let the rice sit to drain. Meanwhile, heat some oil in the pot and add some achiote seeds. When the oil turns yellow, discard the seeds. Add diced onions and sweat them out, then add diced jalapeños. Add the chopped chorizo – you can use a fresh sausage but we couldn’t find any, so we used 3/4 of a cured sausage. After cooking for 3-4 minutes, add diced tomatoes and green olives. Then add the rice and cook for 2 minutes. Add the water – my ratio is 1.5 parts water to 1 part rice. Stir in a packet of sazon Goya and bring the water to a boil. Turn the heat down to its lowest and cover. It’s done in about 20 minutes, give or take. Since the shrimp was already cooked I put them in when the rice was done and steamed them for about 5-8 minutes.

That’s it.

On Thursday I made sinigang na bangus, which is one of my favorite Filipino dishes. You can make it with fish, shrimp, pork, basically any kind of meat. It’s a tamarind-based soup like tom yum, and you can find Mamasita’s flavor mix packets at any Asian grocery:

Sinigang na bangus

It’s ridiculously easy.

Bring 10 cups of water to a boil and add quartered tomatoes and onions. I used 3 tomatoes and 2 small onions. Add fish sauce to taste. Then add green beans and cook for about 3 minutes. The directions asked for a couple of long green chiles sliced in half but my grocery didn’t have any, so I used crushed red pepper flakes to taste. Add daikon – these should be cut into 1.5″ chunks. Cook for about 2 mins. Add your protein and cook. You should have a green leafy vegetable ready to go – I used bok choy but I also like watercress or anything that will stand up to a good broth. Turn the heat off and put the greens in, then cover to let steam for about 5 minutes.

To eat this, serve it in bowls. You should have a plate of white rice. You add the soup to the rice as you go, eating the rice, veggies, and fish together.

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