A heartfelt goodbye to summer. Please don’t come back in a hurry.
(I do not take any responsibility for the charred peppers. It was the gas oven!)
Recipe- adapted from Epicurious.
1 lb small potatoes (the tiniest round ones you can find-they are often bagged separately. I don’t like to use fingerlings here- they are too sweet.)
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1-2 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp coarse salt
1/2 tsp coarsely ground pepper
1 red bell pepper, chopped into bite sized pieces
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
a few fresh basil leaves (optional- I didn’t have them.)
1 tbsp feta crumbles
– Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees.
– In a large bowl, toss the scrubbed potatoes with oil, salt and pepper.
– Spread the potatoes on a foil lined baking sheet. Add the garlic cloves (unpeeled) to one end and crumple the foil over the cloves to make a pocket.
– Roast the veggies for 20 minutes, then add in the peppers and roast for another 15-20 minutes, until the potatoes and peppers are done. (Charring optional.)
– In the same bowl, add the vinegar. Peel the roasted garlic cloves and mash them in the vinegar. Add the potatoes and peppers and toss quickly.
– Sprinkle the feta and basil on top and serve warm.
This is a delicious salad, best served relatively quickly.
And now on to more practical things.
That curry smell.
I wasn’t aware of this entity until I came to the US. Indian houses don’t smell like curry. They are designed for curry. The walls are brick, the floors hard cement/stone. Kitchens have large windows and industrial-strength exhaust fans. There are no carpets, no heavy drapery, and no central air-conditioning.
Most American kitchens, on the other hand, are designed for closed cooking. Boiling, baking, roasting. Bring in an open wok and lots of spices, and you have a situation. That curry smell.
So, until you build yourself an Indian house, here’s what you can do.
1. Ventilate, ventilate, ventilate. Before you start cooking, open windows, turn on the fans, and use that exhaust above your stove.
2. Cover your pots and pans as much as possible.
3. Remove any splatters immediately. After you’re done cooking, clean the stove-top, counters and the floor (if you cook like me, there’s going to be food on that floor) with a rag soaked in white vinegar and baking soda. Grease is your enemy.
4. If all else fails, boil a saucepan full of apple cider vinegar till its almost completely evaporated.
5. Once in a while, rub down your cabinetry with vinegar. This will remove the tiny grease splatters that carry all the aromatics.
Finally, if the neighbors complain, invite them over for a curry dinner!