Do you guys cook when you're busy? I don't. I tend to consume whatever is lying around in increasingly gross combinations until someone or something forces me to do otherwise. Since my husband is doing his fieldwork at the moment in Sweden, there is no one around to witness my descent into depravity (at least, cooking depravity.) Let's just say, there are a lot of nooch sandwiches being consumed. (Though strangely, I always have the money to purchase wine.)
This weekend, however, S. came home for a heartbreakingly brief visit and we had a small dinner party to celebrate with some of his friends. Eschewing my normal impulse to make cheap Megadarra, we actually spent a little cash and got some nice veg and chicken for the meat eaters, for the vegetarians we had an amazing throwback: V'Con's CHICKPEA CUTLETS!!! This is not the first time I've made them, but frying them in a cast iron skillet brings them to a whole new level of toothy, crunchy goodness. The other vegetarians, clearly expecting to just eat sides as usual, were terribly impressed. I myself had forgotten how good they are, and they are also excellent broke food as they consist of pretty basic pantry staples (at least, by vegan standards- not sure everyone considers wheat gluten flour to be a pantry staple but I always have some on hand.)
The other exciting side, other than solid wingman mashed potatoes, was a new carrot trick I picked up from watching reruns of Good Eats (don't ask me how I access Food Network reruns from Europe, I don't want to get arrested.) I love carrots with ginger and garlic, but this recipe is quick and easy and an excellent use for the leftover can of ginger beer from your Dark & Stormy party. Hell, next time I might throw some rum into the mix too, just to see what happens.
Ginger Beer Carrots, a la Good Eats
-1 bag (~2 lb.) carrots, peeled and cut on the bias into 1/2'' rounds
-1 bottle high quality ginger beer (not ginger ale)
-2 Tbsp. non-dairy margarine
-pinches each of salt, pepper, cumin
1. Place carrots in large pan with ginger beer, cumin and margarine over medium heat. Simmer 5-8 minutes, or until liquid is mostly cooked off.
2. Turn heat all the way up to high, salt and pepper liberally, and cook while stirring until carrots are getting browned and pierce easily (with some resistance). Serve sprinkled with parsley.