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A Stinky Spice and Hot Pepper Jelly: Don’t Say I Didn’t Warn Ya!

April 29, 2010

Well to show you that I haven’t completely stopped cooking, here are photos of two recent concoctions:

Kidney Bean Curry, from the Indian Vegan Kitchen.  I really enjoyed it–I hadn’t had kidney beans in a long time, and when I do it’s usually in chili.  The beans’ hearty texture was a nice compromise between the sturdy chickpeas and creamy lentils that I’m so used to seeing in Indian cuisine.  We scooped the last morsels of curry with fenugreek-scented roti I bought from the farmer’s market… OH YEAH.

This recipe called for asafetida, which I bought from a very grouchy-looking shopkeeper a few weeks ago when I was in Chicago.

This innocent-looking spice, which has an onion-y flavor when cooked, gives off a whiplash-inducing locker-room odor that has leaked from its medicine-like bottle and filled my cabinet.  Note to self: keep the bottle in a plastic baggie next time, though that may not help…?  Aside from the stench, I’m glad I bought the stuff–I feel so “authentic.”

Anyway.  Last week, the fact that I got 7 avocados for $5 filled me with a freakish amount of happiness.  But after I put them in a paper bag atop the refrigerator and they all ripened at the same time (funny how they do that!) I was at a loss.

Not wanting to eat–and later regret my consumption and mourn the emptiness of–the mandatory family-size bag of tortilla chips that guacamole would naturally require, I ate a few of the fruits sprinkled with sea salt and chopped a couple up to serve with burritos and mole…but eh, all that felt so amateur.

I said to myself, Self, it’s time to dig deep, and find your true purpose in the land of avocado. Inspired by one too many blog posts about savory oatmeal (and hormones) and having eaten far too much, um, unsavory oatmeal in my life apparently, I made Oatmeal with Avocado and Hot Pepper Jelly for breakfast one morning.

Spicy foods in the morning aren’t everyone’s thing, but they’re always welcome in our house.  Hot pepper jelly sounds so bizarre, but the hot-sweet combination is addictive, and adds a nice yippee factor to the blandess of oatmeal.  Andy and I keep several varieties on hand–this time I used strawberry, but we also have apricot and pomegranate.

With the addition of the avocados, this is a creamy, comforting spicy/sweet/salty bowl of energy to start your day!  Part of a nutritious breakfast!  (Sorry to sound like a Frosted Flakes commercial, just couldn’t help it.)

I know the thought of anything but maple syrup and/or cinnamon and/or raisins on oatmeal may shake some people to the core, and am prepared for any backlash.

Next time I make this, hopefully I’ll have steel-cut oats around.  And it would be nice to top it with something crunchy–walnuts, perhaps?What do you think?

Oatmeal with Avocado and Hot Pepper Jelly

Serves 2

1 cup oatmeal
1 3/4 cups water (more or less)
1 ripe avocado, sliced
A pinch of salt
4-5 tbsp. hot pepper jelly

Cook the oatmeal according to the directions on the package. Meanwhile, put the jelly in the microwave (oh, the horror!) or heat it in a small saucepan until it is liquified. Pour the oatmeal into two bowls.  Sprinkle the avocado with salt, and place half in each bowl. Pour the jelly over top of each bowl.  Dig in!

Tonight I didn’t cook though.  For the second night this week, we had a fabulous cheeseless deep-dish pizza from Berkeley Pizza.  If you ever get a chance to try their pizza, DO IT!  Their tomato sauce is the best!  Hidden beneath the chunky sauce are artichoke hearts, spinach, and mushrooms.  I’m in love!  Vegan pizza delivery??  I like San Diego more and more each day.

Too bad I’ll be leaving soon–flight attendant training, here I come!  My first-choice airline sent me the fateful email, so after May 9th (ish), no more delicious San Diego food for me to eat (or for you to look at pictures of).

Don’t say I didn’t warn ya.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. April 30, 2010 5:24 am

    I LOVE asafoetida! Always have 2 bottles on hand. But yes, you want to keep it far away from other ‘delicate’ foods/spices, or it will overpower your cabinet. Its best cooked with potatoes :)

  2. May 7, 2010 3:05 pm

    VB, I’ll have to try it on potatoes ASAP! I’m such a spice fiend. After a while, the smell isn’t so bad…I guess it’s like how some people feel about cheese–the funkier the better. :)

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