I am glad that I am writing this post in English first (not an unusual occurrence), because conveying the concept this post is about is pretty hard to write about in a language (Spanish) that lacks a term for it. I am talking about comfort food.
Yeah, that is right. There is not such word or concept in Spanish, at least not that I know of. But the fact that my mother’s tongue lacks a name for it does not mean that we do not have comfort food. You may have to use something more descriptive to call it, perhaps a whole phrase, but if you inquire about it, each Dominican will tell you they do have a food that they come to time and time again. In my inquiries I have found that this dish is usually something simple, humble, unassuming.
We once made a poll amongst our readers, only that we called it “poor man’s food” (see explanation above). The votes ran the gamut between the humble rice with spicy sardines, bread with avocados, and surprisingly for me, many of our readers mentioned that their favorite comfort food was the same one I always come back to: rice and scrambled eggs!
Why yes, we all thought of it as a little déclassé, not something to admit to in public, after all you can not get any cheaper than this when it comes to Dominican food. But there is something oddly familiar, reassuring, comforting in a plate of rice and eggs.
And much to my surprise, Aunt Ilana, who is decidedly not Dominican (although we’ve adopted each other), also confessed that rice and eggs were her comfort food. Perhaps there is something universal about it. I don’t remember eating it at home as a child, but I do remember using it as a quick, cheap meal during the days of my ill-spent youth.
Rice and scrambled eggs require exactly 5 ingredients (rice, salt, water, oil, eggs), all of them very cheap. It takes no more than half an hour to cook a batch of it, making it the go-to food for lazy, cash-strapped young people who have flown the coop.
But what does rice and scrambled eggs have to do with our dish of the day?
A lot, in my case.
A long time ago I came up with this very tasty confit and use it to dress up otherwise unimpressive dishes. Confit is a french word for food cooked in a way that maximizes its taste, a preserve of sorts. And we go back to the inadequacies of languages when it comes to conveying some culinary concepts. I cannot find an equivalent in the language of Shakespeare. So let’s borrow one from the French.
The smoky, sweet taste of the roasted peppers, combined with the garlic, which, with this method of cooking, turns into a much milder version of itself, and will dress up whatever dish you use it for. Although I totally recommend you try it with rice and scrambled eggs, please, humor me.
To add just the right touch of sour I used Nakano’s roasted garlic rice vinegar, the touch that completes the flavor. By the way, join Nakano for the Splash it On, Step it Up Challenge, and make yourself healthier this summer. Walk, share and you could win a gym membership.
Delicious, comforting and healthy. It hardly gets better, does it?
- 4 bell peppers
- 1 cup of olive oil
- 1 head of garlic (yes, one entire head), peeled and sliced
- 1/4 cup Nakano Red Pepper Rice Vinegar
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 1/2 teaspoon of pepper
Roast the pepper on the stove until the skin has blackened. Submerge in cold water and remove the black peels. Clean the peppers of seeds and the white parts inside. Chop into thin strips.
Heat the olive oil over very low heat in a skillet. Add the garlic and cook for 5 minutes (make sure it does not burn). Add the peppers and cook for another 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool to room temperature. Stir in vinegar, salt and pepper.
If you will not serve it immediately, pour into a jar with a tight-fitting lid and save in the fridge for up to week. Always serve at room temperature.
This post and recipe is sponsored by Nakano, all-natural seasoned rice vinegars
These opinions are 100% mine, and have not been revised nor altered by the sponsor.