Friday, September 28, 2012

Sri Lankan Pearl Rice with Lemongrass

This is a nicely aromatic rice with a lovely yellow colour. The coconut milk also makes it a good option for pairing with spicier dishes. The author suggests that you can use any short grain rice. I used some leftover Japanese rice and it worked great.

One year ago: Grape Focaccia with Rosemary

Sri Lankan Pearl Rice with Lemongrass (from 660 Curries)

1 cup white Sri Lankan sambha rice
2 tbsp canola oil
1 cup finely chopped red onion
2 tbsp finely chopped lemongrass
4 - 6 green or white cardamom pods
4 whole cloves
1 cinnamon stick
1 tsp coarse salt
1/4 tsp ground turmeric
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk

1. Place rice in a medium bowl. Cover with water, rub grains, and drain. Repeat 3 or 4 times until water remains clear. Drain. Fill halfway with cold water and let sit at room temperature, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Drain.
2. Heat oil in medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion, lemongrass, cardamom, cloves and cinnamon. Stir-fry until onion is light brown, 3 - 5 minutes.
3. Add rice, salt, turmeric, coconut milk, and 1 cup water. Stir once or twice and bring to a boil.
4. Cook rice until water has evaporated and craters are forming, 6 - 8 minutes.
5. Stir once. Cover with a tight-fitting lid, reduce heat to low, and cook 10 - 15 minutes more.
6. Turn off heat, and let pan stand, undisturbed for 10 minutes.
7. Remove lid, fluff rice, and serve.

Chicken with Lemongrass and Kaffir Lime Leaves

A Thai-style curry from an Indian cookbook? Yes, please. The chicken comes out very moist in this and the sauce is quite rich. It also smells fantastic with the chiles, ginger, garlic, and lemongrass.

One year ago: Savory Squash with Spinach and Coconut Milk

Chicken with Lemongrass and Kaffir Lime Leaves (from 660 Curries)

2 tbsp Ginger Paste
1 tbsp Garlic Paste
1 tsp coarse salt
1 chicken, skin removed, cut into 8 pieces
2 tbsp finely chopped lemongrass
2 - 4 fresh green chiles, stems removed (Thai, cayenne, or serrano)
2 tbsp canola oil
1 large tomato, cored and finely chopped
1 small red onion, cut in half lengthwise and thinly sliced
1/2 cup half and half

1. Combine ginger paste, garlic paste, and salt in a medium bowl. Add chicken and stir to coat. Refrigerate, covered, 30 minutes to overnight.
2. Combine lemongrass, lime leaves, and chiles in a food processor and pulse until minced.
3. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Arrange chicken in a single layer, meat side down in skillet. Cook until seared, 3 - 6 minutes. Flip and brown other side, 3 - 6 minutes.
4. Turn chicken over again. Spread minced mixture on chicken and scatter tomato and onion over them.
5. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 20 minutes.
6. Turn chicken over and continue to simmer covered until chicken is cooked, 5 - 8 minutes. Transfer chicken to a serving platter.
7. Pour half-and-half into skillet and simmer over medium-high, uncovered, stirring occasionally until sauce thickens, 5 - 8 minutes.
8. Pour sauce over chicken and serve.

Figs with Young Pecorino and Honey

This salad is an excellent mix of sweet figs and honey, salty pecorino, and peppery arugula. Don't be confused by the cheese. This recipe isn't calling for the hard cheese similar to Parmesan. It wants the young kind, a soft sheep cheese. You could probably also go with a soft goat cheese here or something similar.

One year ago: Celery Root and Apple Puree

Figs with Young Pecorino and Honey (from Ottolenghi)

2 tbsp honey
3 tbsp olive oil
600g ripe green or black figs
300g young pecorino or similar cheese
80g arugula
10g basil
coarse salt and black pepper

1. Whisk together honey and olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
2. Cut figs into quarters and tear cheese into chunks.
3. Arrange arugula, basil, figs, and cheese in layers on individual plates. Drizzle with honey dressing and serve.

Salmon with Red Pepper and Hazelnut Salsa

This was our first new recipe in the new apartment. It's fairly simple and can be made with only limited kitchen equipment on hand. The salsa is outstanding. The author suggests that you could peel the bell pepper, but I thought that was too much work (and I didn't have a bowl available to steam them!). It also calls for searing on a ridged griddle pan, but I just cooked them in the oven.

One year ago: Pork Chops and Apples, Madeira-Bay Butter Sauce

Salmon with Red Pepper and Hazelnut Salsa (slightly adapted from Ottolenghi)

4 salmon fillets, 200g each
2 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper
2 red bell peppers
6 tbsp olive oil, divided
15g hazelnuts, toasted and chopped
15g chives, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
juice and grated zest of 1 lemon
2 tbsp cider vinegar

1. Preheat oven to 200C/400F. Quarter peppers and remove seeds. Place on baking tray and toss with 2 tbsp olive oil and a pinch of salt. Roast for 20 minutes until slightly charred. Let cool.
2. Cut peppers into 5mm dice. Mix with hazelnuts, 4 tbsp olive oil, and the rest of the salsa ingredients. Salt and pepper to taste.
3. Bake salmon in oven until fish is just done. Serve with salsa on top.

Rice and Quinoa with Orange and Pistachios

This grain salad surprised my by how satisfying it was with the mix of bitter arugula, sweet dried fruit, and tart citrus. The original recipe calls for Camargue red rice and dried apricots, but I used wild rice and golden raisins.

One year ago: Lamb Chops with Smoked Paprika Oil, Cumin, and Arugula
Two years ago: Tomato Sauce with Olive Oil, Cheese, and Chopped Vegetables

Rice and Quinoa with Orange and Pistachios (from Ottolenghi)

60g shelled pistachio nuts, toasted
200g quinoa
200g Camargue red rice or wild rice
1 medium onion, sliced
10tbsp olive oil, divided
grated zest and juice of 1 orange
2 tsp lemon juice
1 garlic clove, minced
4 spring onions, thinly sliced
100g dried apricots (or golden raisins), finely chopped
40g arugula
salt and black pepper

1. Fill 2 saucepans with salted water and bring to a boil. Simmer quinoa for 12 - 14 minutes and rice for 20 minutes (if you're using wild rice, it will take closer to 35) or until tender but still with a bite. Drain grains and spread on trays to hasten cool down.
2. Meanwhile, saute white onion in 4 tbsp olive oil for 10 - 12 minutes until golden brown. Let cool.
3. In large mixing bowl, combine rice, quinoa, cooked onion, and remaining 6 tbsp olive oil. Add rest of ingredients and serve.

Beef and Rice Meatballs in Tomato Rosemary Broth

I had a bit of frustration with this recipe, but the finished result offset the frustration enough that I'm still posting it. As a first word of warning, the meatballs did not want to stay together. They lost there shape while browning and it was more than a bit frustrating. As a second word of caution, I made quite a few substitutions to this recipe due to what I was trying to use up before moving. It turned out fantastically and I think it would be equally wonderful following the recipe to the letter. I note my substitutions below. Finally, don't forget to add the thickened yogurt to the final dish. It's excellent.

One year ago: Parsnip-Apple Soup with Bacon Candy
Two years ago: Cheesecake-Marbled Brownies

Beef and Rice Meatballs in Tomato Rosemary Broth (from The Olive and the Caper)

1 lb/454g ground beef
1 cup cooked rice, at room temperature
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 large garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1 tbsp chopped mint
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground pepper
1 large egg
6 cups beef or lamb stock (I used a mixture of duck and turkey)
2 cups dry white wine (I used a mixture of wine and sherry)
2 medium tomatoes, cut into 1/4" dice
2 tbsp tomato paste
1/4 tsp chopped fresh rosemary needles (I increased this)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 cup thickened yogurt (yogurt strained through cheesecloth or a fine sieve)
1 tbsp chopped mint

1. Place all meatball ingredients in medium-size bowl and mix thoroughly. Roll tablespoon-size amounts into walnut-size balls.
2. Place all broth ingredients in a large pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until tomatoes are soft, about 15 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, lightly oil a skillet and heat over medium-high. Brown meatballs, in batches if necessary. Set aside.
4. Bring stock mixture to a boil, drop in browned meatballs, partially cover and simmer until meatballs are cooked through, 5 - 6 minutes.
5. Ladle broth and meatballs into bowls and garnish with yogurt and mint.

Pasta with Bacon, Rosemary, and Very Ripe Tomatoes

I'm finally getting settled in my new city and catching up on the recipe backlog from before I left Montreal. This is a very simple recipe, so it's key that you use high quality ingredients. I wanted a little more tomato in this so I increased it to 4 medium tomatoes and was very happy that I did.

One year ago: Apple Pie Streusel Muffins
Two years ago: Veal and Tomato Ragu

Pasta with Bacon, Rosemary, and Very Ripe Tomatoes (from Cook This Now)

8 ounces/225g pasta of your choice
3 ounces/85g bacon, sliced into 1/2" pieces
1 rosemary sprig
2 garlic cloves, minced
pinch crushed red pepper flakes
kosher salt and ground pepper
2 very large tomatoes (or 3 - 4 medium), cored and chopped
balsamic vinegar (if tomatoes taste flat)

1. Cook pasta in pot of salted water.
2. Meanwhile, in large skillet over medium heat, cook bacon until brown, 5 minutes. Transfer to paper towel-lined plate, but leave the grease in the pan.
3. Add rosemary, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Salt and pepper to taste and cook until garlic is lightly browned, 1 - 2 minutes.
4. Add tomatoes and let sauce simmer until pasta is cooked. Season with salt and pepper and add vinegar if it still tastes flat.
5. Drain pasta and top with sauce. Sprinkle with bacon.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Buckwheat Pancakes with Sliced Peaches and Cardamom Cream Syrup

Nothing says weekend quite like pancakes. These are great. The buckwheat, cardamom, and peach combination is delicious. My only quibble is that I wish the pancakes themselves had a bit of cardamom flavour. Next time, I might add some ground cardamom to the batter.

One year ago: Chicken Paprikas
Two years ago: Gratineed Cauliflower

Buckwheat Pancakes with Sliced Peaches and Cardamom Cream Syrup (from Cook This Now)

Cardamom Cream Syrup
1 tbsp cardamom pods, crushed
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup heavy cream
pinch kosher salt
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup buckwheat flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 tbsp honey
2 cups buttermilk or yogurt
3 tbsp unsalted butter, melted plus more for the pancake cooking
sliced fresh peaches for serving

1. In small saucepan, combine cardamom, sugar, and 1/3 cup water. Bring to simmer and cook until sugar dissolves, 5 minutes. Stir in cream and salt and let bubble for 2 minutes. Cool and strain.
2. In large bowl, whisk together flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
3. In smaller bowl, whisk together egg and honey. Whisk in buttermilk and melted butter.
4. Form a well in the dry ingredients and pour wet into dry. Stir until combined.
5. Melt butter in large skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches, spoon 1/4 cup dollops of batter onto skillet. Cook until bubbles form on surface and edges, 2 - 3 minutes. Flip and cook until golden, 1 - 2 minutes.
6. Serve topped with cardamom syrup and peaches.

Bulgur Salad with Apricot, Radicchio and Parsley

This is a beautiful salad with a mix of sour, sweet, and bitter that works incredibly well.

One year ago: Dan Dan Noodles
Two years ago: Bolognese Meat Sauce

Bulgur Salad with Apricot, Radicchio and Parsley (from Raising the Salad Bar)

1 cup bulgur
1/2 small head radicchio, cored and thinly sliced (1 cup)
1/2 cup chopped dried apricots (I used golden raisins)
1/2 cup minced parsley
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped (I used pecans)
Lemon Dressing
4 tbsp fresh lemon juice
4 tbsp olive oil
1 small garlic clove, minced
1 tsp sumac
1/2 tsp kosher salt

1. Place bulgur in a bowl. Add 1 1/4 cup boiling water and 2 pinches of salt. Cover with a plate and let sit 20 minutes until water is absorbed. Remove cover and set aside to cool.
2. Place bulgur in a large serving bowl. Stir in radicchio, apricots, and parsley.
3. In a small bowl, combine dressing ingredients and whisk.
4. Add dressing to salad and stir in walnuts.

Puy lentils with sour cherries, bacon, and Gorgonzola

This could be served as a main dish, but I think it works better as a starter. The flavours on this one are quite unique. I used jarred sour cherries as I had some leftover. I estimated it was about 150g of sour cherries and omitted the extra water and sugar.

One year ago: Sweet and Sour Red Peppers
Two years ago: Tomato Galette

Puy lentils with sour cherries, bacon, and Gorgonzola (from Ottolenghi)

125g Puy lentils
2 bay leaves
2 - 3 shallots, finely chopped
3 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp water
1 tsp caster sugar
60g dried sour cherries
70ml red wine vinegar
8 bacon slices
80g baby spinach
120g creamy Gorgonzola cheese

1. Wash lentils under cold water and drain. Transfer to saucepan and add enough water to cover by 3x their height. Add bay leaves, bring to a boil, and simmer for 20 minutes until lentils are al dente.
2. Meanwhile, place shallots in pan with 2 tbsp of olive oil and saute over medium heat for 10 minutes or until golden.
3. Add water, sugar, cherries, and vinegar to shallots and simmer over low heat for 8 - 10 minutes or until sauce thickens. Season to taste.
4. Drain lentils and add to sauce. Set aside to cool.
5. Fry bacon until crispy (he suggests doing this in remaining olive oil). Transfer to plate and let cool. Tear into large pieces.
6. Add bacon to lentils. Add spinach and stir.
7. Transfer to serving plates and dot with Gorgonzola.