Malcolm’s supreme spicy croquettes

My Malcolm is a temperamental boy, and I’m not always the most patient mother. When we try to work together on a school project, it doesn’t always end well. But when we cook together, we make quite a team. Over the summer, Malcolm invented a sauce with roasted red peppers, roasted beets and roasted tomatoes. He smelled every spice in the cabinet, choosing the perfect mix for his sauce. It turned out delicious! Smoky, spicy, slightly sweet. He named it “Malcolm’s supreme spicy sauce.” This weekend, he had the idea of turning the sauce into cookies. I suggested we make croquettes, using his signature spice mix, and we added some pureed moong dal. The result was something between a croquette and a cookie, like nothing I’ve ever tasted. But it was a wonderfully tasty dinner! We dipped it in a tart-sweet tamarind sauce, and ate it alongside cauliflower puree and spinach sauteed with garlic and mixed with goat cheese, tomatoes and pesto. And a salad of course! Malcolm ate 4 croquettes, and Isaac tried it, and ran crying from the table, saying, “I tried it and I liked it, but I want something I knew I liked, like pasta or rice!” Ah, yoots.

Spinach, pesto, & goat cheese

Here’s one of Malcolm’s favorite songs, K’naan’s Bang Bang, which gets extra points for using the phrase

Hotter than a pepper-crusted Samosa.

I want a pepper-crusted samosa!!

Recipe coming up…
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Sofrito!

Sofrito…it’s fun to say and delicious to eat. It’s also one of those foods that turns up all over the world in different guises. In Spain it’s a slow-cooked, intensely flavored tomato paste. Where different versions of sofrito show up – in the Carribean, latin America, the mediterranean – you’ll find different ingredients added or taken away. You’ll find green peppers, pork, cilantro, olives, capers, chilies, different seasonings. A sofrito is usually a base for another dish. You can add it to a soup or stew at the end to deepen the flavor, toss it with pasta, use it as a condiment. And it is the main ingredient of the empanada gallega, which is the mother of all empanadas.

paste tomatoes

I picked these paste tomatoes from our local CSA, but you can just as easily (well, more easily, really!) make them from a can of tomatoes. But use a can of good tomatoes – fire roasted is nice!

This is my version of a Spanish sofrito. I keep the seasonings simple (rosemary and beautiful smoked spanish paprika) because the sofrito will probably find itself in another dish, mingling with other flavors. I’m not sure this is authentic, but it is delicious!

Recipe after the jump.
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