African, Caribbean & Southern Flavors Remixed
by Bryant Terry
(Ten Speed Press, 2014).
The chef, food justice activist and author of Vegan Soul Kitchen and The Inspired Vegan reworks and remixes some favorite ingredients and classic dishes of the African Diaspora to present more than 100 delicious new recipes. Notes include Terry’s insights about building community around food, and suggest world music tracks and books to enhance the cooking and eating experience. Find recipes like Smashed Potatoes, Peas, and Corn with Chile-Garlic Oil, a recipe inspired by the Kenyan dish irio; Cinnamon-Soaked Wheat Berry Salad with dried apricots, carrots, and almonds, based on a Moroccan tagine; and Crispy Teff and Grit Cakes with Eggplant, Tomatoes, and Peanuts, combining the Ethiopian grain teff with stone-ground corn grits from the Deep South and North African zalook dip. Finish meals with desserts like a Caribbean-inspired Cocoa Spice Cake with Crystallized Ginger and Coconut-Chocolate Ganache.
Smashed Potatoes, Peas and Corn,
with Chile-Garlic Oil
Reprinted with permission from Afro-Vegan by Bryant Terry, copyright © 2014. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc. Photography © 2014 by Paige Green
YIELD: 4 to 6 servings
SOUNDTRACK: “Ndiri Ndanogio Niwe” by Mbiri Young Stars from Kenya Special: Selected East African Recordings from the 1970s & 80s
3 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 ½ teaspoons coarse sea salt
12 small yellow potatoes (about 2 inches in diameter)
2 ½ cups shelled green peas (about 2½ pounds fresh peas in the pod)
2 ¼ cups sweet corn kernels (from about 3 ears of corn)
¼ cup packed chopped flat-leaf parsley
Freshly ground white pepper
To make the chile oil, put the red pepper flakes in a small heatproof bowl. Warm the peanut oil in a small skillet over medium heat, then add the garlic and sauté until the garlic is fragrant and just starting to turn golden, about 5 minutes. Pour the oil and garlic over the red pepper flakes and let cool, stirring a few times, for about 20 minutes.
To prepare the vegetables, put 2 teaspoons of the olive oil and ¼ teaspoon of the salt in a large bowl and mix. Put 2 inches of water in a large pot fitted with a steamer insert and bring to a boil. Put the potatoes in the steamer, cover, and cook until fork-tender, adding more water if necessary, about 45 minutes. Remove the steamer basket from the pot and let the potatoes cool for 5 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 400°. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Transfer the potatoes to the bowl with the olive oil and toss to coat. On a clean work surface, gently press each potato with the palm of your hand until about ½ inch thick. With a spatula, transfer to the lined baking sheet. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until browning and crispy on the edges.
After the potatoes have been baking for 15 minutes, put the remaining 1 teaspoon olive oil and ¼ teaspoon of the salt in the same bowl and mix well. Put about 8 cups of water in a medium pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the remaining 2 teaspoons salt, then add the peas. Return to a boil, and cook uncovered until the peas are just barely tender, 2½ to 4 minutes. Add the corn and cook for 30 seconds. Drain well, then transfer to the bowl with the olive oil. Add the parsley and toss well. To serve, top each potato with 3 heaping tablespoons of the pea mixture, drizzle with the chile oil, and finish with a few grinds of white pepper.
Note: If you’d like to substitute frozen peas, thaw them, then add to the boiling water along with the corn and cook until just tender, about 5 minutes. To know for certain whether the peas are tender, give one or two a try.