Remember the mysterious ajika, labeled only as "Russian delicacy, best with meats, chicken, seafood, and vegetable"? I found a great use for it. This dish is simple, healthy, and fast. I paired it with a version of adas bil-hamud and some rice for a quick and restorative meal. Lemon and garlic forever!
Garlicky Green Beans with Lemon and Ajika
1 lb green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-in pieces
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp ajika (or to taste)
1 TB lemon juice (or to taste)
1. Steam beans until tender
2. In a medium frying pan, saute garlic in oil.
3. When garlic is golden, toss in the beans and stir to coat. Stir in ajika.
4. Turn off heat and stir in lemon and salt. Check flavors and adjust to taste, then serve warm. Serves about 3.
And here's some citrus porn. The regular grapefruits are from Sina's garden.
Finally, I've been experimenting with making my own stock, saving scraps in a freezer bag until I have a whole bag, then simmering it in water with salt and straining. The first batch was a bit weird--I got too excited about recycling and started throwing in potato and apple skins--but I'm getting better. It's safer to stick just to garlic and onion scraps, or maybe two basic stocks: garlic, onion, celery, and parsely; and garlic, onion, ginger, and chilies. I've also cheated and thrown in another whole onion to boost the flavor. You can, of course, freeze the stock in smaller batches once its made and strained.