Saturday, 24 August 2013

The Color Purple

Piadina di Farina di Mais Viola, con Insalata di Fagioli Neri & Epachote
Purple Corn Flatbread & Black Bean Salad with Epachote

Sometimes you make mistakes. And the thing to do, when you make a mistake, is to try to learn from it or to make good in some way or other. Which is exactly what I did today. The mistake I made was to simply assume I could use this groovy purple flour I found at Mrs Wong's stall at the market hall today, in the same way that any other flour is used. Even after consulting the internet and reading otherwise... sigh!

Harina Morada is actually more suitable for preparing drinks or puddings from- definitely not for baking! So, after one failed attempt at creating a decent dough (my first dough looked great but was too crumbly when I rolled it out), I decided to make my flat bread into a cross between a tortilla and a pancake, by adding an egg to the dough/batter and counting my losses! I had decided what kind of meal I was going to make and I wasn't going to let some crazy flour get the better of me!

For my dough, I simply cracked an egg into a bowl and added 1 tablespoon of yogurt to it, a pinch of salt and a drizzle of olive oil. I whisked these together and then began to add the purple flour, little by little, working it in with a wooden spoon until it became at first and smooth paste and then ultimately a firm dough. It took around 15-16 tablespoons of flour in all.

Once the dough had a nice, firm and smooth consistency, I wrapped it in cling-film and popped it into the fridge to rest and to start doing its thing..

After 30 minutes or so, I took out the dough, separated it into 2 and then rolled each portion out between 2 sheets of cling-film to the desired size, making sure to turn the dough so that I got nice even circles of dough... which did not stick to my work surface, or my rolling pan! I sprinkled the dough lightly with cumin and fennel seed- I thought I may as well do something original whilst I am at it!

I carefully lifted and placed the flattened dough onto a dry frying pan and turned on the heat pretty high... this was a kind of bread after all and it did need to "bake". Which meant not touching it for the first 3-4 minutes and only THEN flipping it over. After another 3-4 minutes from the other side, with some constant  pressing down with a wooden spoon, it was done... now it was time to make some black-bean salad!

I used black beans from a can to make this- there was only minimal cooking to this dish and that's perfect in the Summer months. To make it I first started a handful of finely chopped bacon sizzling in a pan and then added a little cumin- Once the bacon was beginning to brown, I added the beans and let them sizzle away together for 2-3 minutes.

In the meantime, I finely chopped a Spring onion, 1 small orange pepper, 1 regular sized tomato and 1 handful if finely chopped Epazote. This is a great herb if only for one reason... pardon my French now, but it does work wonders against any possible build-ups of gas after eating. Let's just leave it at that. And get back to our salad!

Once the bacon and beans were nicely browned together, I then added all of the ingredients I mentioned earlier, along with a little olive oil, salt, pepper, cumin, paprika and sriracha chili sauce- oh yes! It was a great mix!

I served the bean salad up with the bread, a generous scattering of cilantro and chili flakes and some slices of cucumber to counterpoint the hot, rich spice- it was pretty delicious! At least try the salad out as it is really good! As for the bread- maybe next time I will do better! Enjoy!

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