Taking Liberties

I like the creative process of cooking.  Imagining how flavors will taste together, trying on new exotic or not-so exotic ingredients for size.  Tonight I took liberties with Vegetarian Time Black Bean Banana Empanada recipe.  For some reason when I was in Whole Foods I bought a plantain.  I’ve never eaten or cooked with a plantain so I’m not sure what made me do it.  But there I was with a plantain quickly ripening in my fruit bowl.  I’m surprised N. didn’t pick for his lunch fruit this week…sometimes he picks out the lemons I have in there and T. has to gently discourage it.  Who knows maybe he really does want a lemon, vitamin C deficiency or something.  I digress.  I also had a sweet potato and I started imagining the two of those married with some black beans in a creamy coconut sauce with a little bit of jerk seasoning to spice things up.  I started with the sweet potato, chopped it up quite small and then simmered it in some coconut milk I had leftover from some other creation, probably my birthday cupcakes.  Once those were all soft, I cooked up a chopped onion and garlic in some Garlic Gold, dumped in a can of black beans, stirred in the plantain, finely chopped, and the sweet potato coconut milk mixture.  I added a dash of salt and about a teaspoon of jerk seasoning.  I used the empanada crust recipe from VT.  They were fun to make, I think I’ll pawn some off on T. to get a taste test though!  That’s the second best thing about taking liberties…you get to try your experiments out on people.  If they love you they’ll be honest but won’t spit it out until after you walk out the door!

Sweet potato in a hot tub of coconut milk

Then comes the plantain all chopped up and showing off in a Vegan bowl

A few empanada dough boys waiting to be filled.  The chili powder makes nice little red flecks in the dough.

Ready for the taste test!

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