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Archive for April, 2008

Indian Red Rice Pulao with Pistachios

From The New Whole Grains Cookbook by Robin Asbell

1 T. canola oil or ghee
1 T. chopped ginger
1 T. brown mustard seeds
1/2 t. chili powder
1 t. ground turmeric
1 c. red rice or brown basmati rice
2 c. water
1 medium carrot, sliced
2 T. brown sugar
1 t. salt
2 c. cauliflower florets
1/2 c. currants
2 T. lemon juice
2 large scallions, slivered
1/2 c. shelled pistachios or toasted slivered almonds

In a 2-qt saucepan, heat oil briefly and add ginger and mustard seed. When ginger is fragrant and seeds are popping slightly, add chili powder and turmeric and cook for a few seconds. Add rice, water, carrot, brown sugar and salt and bring to a boil. Cover tightly, reduce heat to low and set a timer for 35 minutes. When the timer goes off, quickly put cauliflower and currants on top of rice, cover and cook for 10 more minutes. Remove pan from burner and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes. Stir in lemon juice and serve topped with scallions and pistachios.

KATE’S NOTES: I used a combination of red and brown basmati rice for this dish and it was terrific. I felt that the finished dish was a little sweet; next time I think I will cut back on the brown sugar and maybe add less currants. By the time I added the cauliflower, all the water in the pan had been absorbed, so I poured in more, and it ended up cooking for a while longer than listed in the recipe, but it wasn’t a huge issue. The carrot, being small and thin had just about fallen apart by the time it was all done. Overall, it was a phenomenally flavored dish and I can’t wait to make it again.

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Szechuan Chicken and Red Rice Salad with Sesame Dressing

The New Whole Grains Cookbook by Robin Asbell

1 1/2-2 c. water (use smaller measure for Himalayan red rice, the larger for Wehani or other long grain)
1 c. red rice, washed and rinsed*
3 T. tahini
1/4 c. soy sauce
1 T. rice vinegar
1 T. hot sesame oil
1 T. dark sesame oil
1 T. sugar
1 T. minced ginger
2 t. minced garlic
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. crushed szechuan peppercorns, optional
8 oz. boneless skinless chicken breast or thighs, cooked and shredded
2 c. bean sprouts
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and sliced
4 scallions, slivered
1/4 c. chopped dry roasted peanuts

In a 1-qt saucepan with a tight fitting lid, bring water to a boil, then add washed rice. Return to a boil, reduce heat and cover, simmering for 25 minutes or until water is absorbed. Remove from heat and let stand 10 minutes. Allow to cool to room temperature. In a measuring cup or small bowl, whisk tahini, soy sauce, sesame oils, rice vinegar, sugar, ginger, garlic, salt and crushed peppercorns (if using). Put shredded chicken in small bowl and toss with 2 T. of dressing; add remaining to rice and stir to coat. Fold rice, chicken and cucumber gently in bowl, top with scallions, sprouts and peanuts.

*- To wash rice, place in bowl and cover with water. Swish with fingers, rubbing the grains around until water is cloudy. Drain, rinse through a wire strainer and shake excess water off.

KATE’S RECIPE NOTES:
Yum, the dressing is divine! I only used enough on the rice to hold it together, reserving the remaining to pour over as it was served. I chopped a red pepper into this as well for some extra antioxidant power. I did not have the two different kinds of sesame oils, just the basic and it tasted fine using that in the same amounts. The vegetables will soften in the dressing overnight; if you want to avoid this, keep everything separate and toss together just prior to eating to retain the crispness. I would love to try this on Soba noodles.

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Mexican Quinoa with Pepitas and Cilantro
from The New Whole Grains Cookbook by Robin Asbell

1 1/2 c. water
1 c. quinoa
1/2 c. raw pumpkin seeds
1 c. washed cilantro leaves
2 cloves garlic
1 jalapeno chile
1/2 t. salt
1 t. ground cumin
2 T. olive oil
1 t. lime juice
1 small red bell pepper, chopped
2 scallions, chopped

Bring water to a boil in 2-qt saucepan with tight fitting lid. In medium bowl, wash quinoa well, rinsing with warm water. Pour off most of the water and drain in a fine-mesh strainer. When the water boils, add the quinoa, bring to a boil and the reduce heat to simmer, cover and cook for 15 minutes. The water should be absorbed and small holes will have formed on the top. Let stand, covered for 5 minutes.

In a large skillet, dry-toast pumpkin seeds, shaking pan until they begin to pop. Remove from heat and place in food processor or blender. Add cilantro, garlic, jalapeno, salt, and cumin and process, scraping sides occasionally, until all ingredients are well minced. Gradually add in oil and lime juice and process until smooth. Stir into cilantro, mixing well. Can be served warm, or chilled.

KATE’S NOTES: I followed the recipe faithfully. The only thing I did different was to use roasted and salted pepitas (the seeds) as the store I went to did not carry raw ones. The flavor, at least in my opinion, was highly enhanced by the roasted seeds, which I toasted as per the recipe. You would need to cut back a little on the salt if using a salted seed. I also added lime zest to the sauce. You just can’t lose with that addition.

Roasted Vegetable Wrap
Cut one sweet potato/yam, one red pepper and two small zucchini into 2-inch strips. Toss with olive oil, salt, pepper and place on baking sheet. Roast in 400 degree oven for 20 minutes; stir and roast until tender.

Stir one cup of drained and rinsed black beans into Mexican Quinoa. Layer quinoa/beans and vegetables on a whole wheat or multi grain wrap and fold over. Cheese is optional, enjoyment is paramount.

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And despite my best attempt on Picnik to lighten up the photo and make them a bit more appealing, it just plain sucks. But the recipe was delicious.

Ancho Chili Chicken

From Cuisine at Home magazine

1# boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 t. dried mexican oregano
1 t. ground cumin
Salt and Pepper

Sprinkle seasonings over chicken and set aside.

2 dried ancho chilies, stemmed and seeds removed, torn into pieces
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 corn tortillas, cut into strips
1 1/2 c. chicken broth

In large pan over medium heat, saute onion in oil until translucent and soft. Add tomato and garlic and cook for about three minutes. Scrape into bowl and wipe out pan. Heat more oil and add in chicken, seasoned side down. Cook until browned, flip over and cook other side until almost cooked through. Remove to fresh plate. Wipe pan once more. Add chilis and toast in a tablespoon of oil until browned and fragrant. Add in tomato and onion mixture and stir to combine. Nestle chicken in vegetables and pour in the broth. Bring to a boil and then simmer until chicken is cooked through. Carefully scrape sauce into food processor or blender and blend smooth. Add back to pan with chicken to heat through, if needed. Serve topped with cilantro, lime wedges or crumbled cheese.

KATE’S NOTES: This is my version of the recipe, although I didn’t vary too much from the original; mostly I just changed up the cooking procedure. I added the corn in with the tomato/onion mixture, blending it right in with the sauce. I cooked a yellow rice pilaf with poblano and jalapeno pepper and stirred a can of black beans into it as it was nearly done cooking. It was this mixture that I used for the veggie patty

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To me, something this delicious bears repeating, if only to offer the tantalizing recipe to someone who may have missed it before.

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Pork Fried Rice (F&W magazine, January 2007
3 tablespoons soy sauce
5 teaspoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon Asian sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/4 cup solid vegetable shortening
3/4 pound Chinese barbecued pork, half cut into 1/2-inch dice and half sliced 1/3 inch thick
1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
1 carrot, cut into 1/3-inch dice
1 head baby bok choy, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
6 cups cold cooked Japanese short-grain rice
2 scallions, thinly sliced
Pinch of freshly ground pepper
Kosher salt

In a small bowl, stir the soy sauce with the rice vinegar, sesame oil and sugar. Heat a very large skillet. Add the shortening and let melt. Add the diced pork and stir-fry over high heat for 1 minute. Add the peas, shiitakes, carrot and bok choy and stir-fry until tender. Add the eggs and scramble just until set. IStir in the cooked rice, scallions, soy sauce mixture and pepper and stir-fry until the rice is hot. Remove from the heat and season with salt. Spoon the fried rice into bowls, top with the sliced pork and pickled ginger and serve.

KATE’S NOTES:

I don’t use shortening, replacing it instead with peanut oil. I also use napa cabbage. And certainly, because Mike can’t stand them, no. eggs.

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Pasta with Creamy Red Pepper Sauce

Food and Wine Magazine Feb 2008
3/4 pound gemelli
2 whole roasted red peppers from the deli counter (6 ounces)
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 oil-packed sun-dried tomato halves, drained
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 garlic clove
9 large basil leaves
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 pound salted fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into 1/2-inch dice

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the gemelli and cook until al dente. Drain the gemelli.

Meanwhile, in a blender, puree the roasted red peppers with the olive oil, sun-dried tomatoes, tomato paste, garlic and 3 basil leaves until smooth. Season the sauce with salt and pepper.

Scrape the sauce into a large bowl and toss with the pasta until well coated. Tear the remaining 6 basil leaves into the pasta and add the mozzarella. Toss the mozzarella, basil and pasta and serve warm or at room temperature.

Browned Panko Crumbs:
In a small skillet, melt two tablespoons of butter. Add in about a cup of Panko crumbs and stir to combine. I also add garlic and onion powder, basil, oregano, some rosemary, sea salt and pepper. Stir continually over medium-low heat until browned and fragrant. Remove and immediately scrape onto plate to cool. Don’t cool in pan or they will burn; trust me!

KATE’S NOTES:
I roasted my own peppers for this dish. I also lightly browned the garlic in oil on the stove before adding it as I don’t care for the taste (or aftertaste) of raw garlic. This needed a lot of seasoning; don’t be shy with the S&P. I think some of the fresh mozzarella could be added to the sauce before blending, as the whole chunk seemed to be excessive and we didn’t even come close to adding it all in. Stir some in the hot pasta and top it with more; I love the different textures. Add lots of basil to the finished product. I didn’t have quite enough and it seemed to need more.

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