Living far away from home means that I don’t always get to enjoy the subtleties of my family’s and friends’ everyday lives. I miss the everyday hellos on the street and the “vamos a tomar un cafe?” exchanges. Proximity, even with silence, is enough sometimes.
I have noticed recently that those phone conversations with friends always end up with talks about food. Not food in general, no. Detailed descriptions of what we have been eating, what new foods we have discovered, what “el gordo” cooked on yesterday’s show… I mean it goes on and on.
Recently, I have been very conscious and mindful about what I eat. Rather than focusing on things I cannot have, I have been focusing on things I should be incorporating into my diet. Always learning about new foods and their benefits (learning tons from Sarah Wilson I must say).
And it was in one of the hundreds of late night Twitter chats I always have with Y, where she told me about the purple corn she bought. I had seen blue corn before, but had never had the purple kind. Come to find out, it is widely used in Peru where my good friend P. is from.
The next morning when I saw P., I bombarded her with questions and she told me about the different purple corn dishes her grandmother used to make for her as a child.
I immediately ordered some organic purple corn online and couldn’t wait to cook with it. I made some breakfast purple corn porridge, mazamorra morada and these purple corn and banana muffins. The muffins are sweet and good for you. Can you believe that?
I actually served the muffins with a large salad of greens, fingerlings, snap peas and salmon to make one satisfying lunch.
I warmed up some olive oil and infused a bunch of mint and thyme into it. Then slowly poached the salmon in the oil for a few minutes, just like my grandmother used to do with bacalao. Served with with watercress, baby romaine, arugula, blanched snap peas and super buttery fingerlings. Salt, olive oil and lemon.
So simple and abundant.
Gluten Free Purple Corn and Banana Muffins
makes about a dozen and a half muffins
50 grams (1/4 cup) organic cane sugar
280 grams (1 cup) ripe bananas, pureed
125 grams (3/4 cup) vegetable oil
25 grams (2 Tbs) coconut milk (can use whole milk if you like)
75 grams (1/2 cup) superfine brown rice flour
20 grams (2 Tbs) potato starch
20 grams (2 Tbs) tapioca starch
100 grams (3/4 cup) purple cornmeal
25 grams (1 Tbs + 2 tsp) baking powder
3 grams (1/2 tsp) salt
1 gram (1/2 tsp) xanthan gum
Whisk together the eggs, sugar, bananas and milk. In a separate bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. Add the liquids to the dry and mix until combined.
Divide the batter into your baking cups and bake at 350F for about 15-18 minutes depending on the size.
Poached Salmon, Snap Pea and Fingerling Potato Salad
makes 2 servings
2 cups of mixed greens (watercress, baby romaine, arugula, herbs)
1 cup of fingerling potatoes
1 cup of snap peas
8 oz (225g) salmon
Olive oil for poaching
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
1 Tbs freshly squeezed lemon juice
Large pinch salt
Place the potatoes in a pan and cover them with water. Bring them to a boil and cook until fork tender. Drain and peel them. I like to serve them when they are lukewarm in the salad as they absorb more of the dressing this way.
Blanch the snap peas in salted boiling water for about 1 minute. Drain them and shock them in ice water. Reserve.
Place olive oil (enough to cover the salmon almost all the way up) in a small pan. Add some thyme and mint leaves to the oil and let it steep in medium low heat for a few minutes. Season the salmon with salt and pepper. Add the pieces of salmon and reduce the heat to low. There might be a little sizzle but must be gentle. Let the salmon cook for about 5-7 minutes, depending on the thickness, until it turns pale pink.
Remove the salmon from the oil. Let it cool on a plate. When cool enough to handle, remove the skin and flake it with a fork.
Place the greens, snap peas, cut fingerlings and salmon on a plate. Drizzle with olive oil, lemon juice and salt. Toss and taste to adjust seasoning.