Oh, how I’ve missed cooking for all of you.
Most of my meals have been less than exciting as of late, and I haven’t had much to share (though if you’re curious, you can check out some recent salad pictures on my twitter feed. Riveting stuff, I know).
My time at VISI is drawing to a close — we have two concerts to perform this coming weekend, and then I’m headed back to San Francisco and onto the rest of my summer adventures. On the horizon are a Eurotrip to London, Paris, and Edinburgh, staging rehearsals for Troilus & Achilles, and teaching some new voice students when my friend and fellow voice teacher Lindsey leaves for grad school in the fall.
In the midst of all this business, I’ve hardly had a chance to do the tourist thing and hoof it around the city — yesterday was my first solo foray into Downtown Vancouver. After a morning coaching, I hopped on a noontime bus from UBC to Downtown Vancouver. I had a great time plunking down in the middle of Nelson Park for a picnic lunch, browsing the downtown shops, then slowly making my way back home.
On the way home, I bought a few things for dinner, including some ground buffalo from Market Meats, and a hunk of ginger and some sambal oelek from New Apple Farm Market. I wasn’t sure how dinner was going to come together, but something meaty and spicy sounded really good after a couple weeks of mostly salads and sushi.
Once I got home, I looked to my limited pantry for inspiration. I’d bought a couple cans of beans earlier in the week, and there was still some produce from last Sunday’s outing to the farmer’s market. I settled on preparing a spicy stew, starting by sauteeing red onions with copious amounts of garlic and ginger. Then, I rolled the ground buffalo into tiny meatballs (slightly larger than garbanzo beans), scooted the aromatics to one side of the pan, and sauteed them until brown. Next, in went the rest of the vegetables from the Richmond market, a can of garbanzo beans, some sambal oelek, a handful of chopped basil, and some water to allow all the ingredients to simmer together.
One hour later, dinner was served. I topped my stew with a big dollop of yogurt, more sambal, and a generous sprinkle of Garlic Gold Southwest nuggets, which I’d carried over the border from home. I can’t wait to cook this meal again when I’m back in San Francisco — it’s a comforting dish that’s still light enough for a midsummer meal.
Spicy Buffalo and Chickpea Stew
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 small red onion, diced
1 2″ knob ginger, minced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 lb. ground buffalo, rolled into 1 tsp. meatballs
1 large corno di toro pepper (or red bell pepper), halved lengthwise and sliced thinly
2 small carrots, sliced thinly on the bias
1. Heat the olive oil in a 10″ skillet over medium heat.
2. Add the onion, ginger, and garlic, then cover the skillet. Let cook for 10 minutes.
3. Remove lid and scoot the aromatics to one side of the pan. Add the buffalo meatballs to the other side of the pan and sear until all sides are browned, about 5 minutes.
4. Add the bell pepper and carrots to the skillet, tossing everything to combine. Saute another 5 minutes.
5. Add the garbanzo beans, sambal oelek, basil, and water. Stir to combine. Cover, turn heat down to low, and let simmer for 1 hour.
6. Serve with yogurt, sambal oelek, and garlic gold nuggets on top.