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Archive: May 2015

Thai coconut rice

Creamy exotic coconut rice combined with a little bite from red pepper flakes and ginger, creates a delicious dish to accompany a wide range of entrees.

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Serves 4

1 cup uncooked basmati rice or 1 cup jasmine rice or 1 cup long grain rice
1 (14 ounce) cans coconut milk
1/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/8 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh ginger
finely chopped crystallized ginger (optional)
sliced toasted almonds (optional)

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan, except the crystallized ginger and sliced almonds.
Stir well to combine.
Cook over medium high heat, stirring until mixture comes to a low boil.
Immediately reduce heat to low.
Cover and cook for about 18 minutes.
Fluff with a fork, then cover, and let sit for 5 more minutes.
Garnish the finished rice with the candied ginger and the sliced toasted almonds.

Baked curried rice with apples and coconut

I love anything curried and this baked brown rice dish is a no-fuss recipe that needs to be left alone for 45 minutes in the oven. Your reward for doing next to nothing is a pot of tender, fragrant, slightly spicy grains (if you want more heat, use up to a tablespoon more curry powder).

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Serves 4

2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 to 1 ½ tbsp curry powder
1 tablespoon minced ginger
1 cup brown Basmati rice
Salt and black pepper
One 14-ounce can coconut milk
1⁄4 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut
2 tart apples, (Granny Smith) cored and chopped
1⁄2 cup chopped fresh cilantro + extra for garnish
1⁄4 cup Greek-style yogurt, optional

Heat the oven to 350°F. Put the oil in a large ovenproof saucepan over medium heat. A minute later, add the curry powder and ginger and cook, stirring, for about a minute. Add the rice and some salt and pepper; cook, stirring, until the rice is glossy and translucent, just a minute or 2.

Measure 1 & 3/4 cups of the coconut milk; stir it into the rice mixture. Bring to a boil, then cover tightly and transfer to the oven. Bake, undisturbed, for 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, put the shredded coconut in a small skillet over medium heat and toast, shaking the pan and stirring often, until it begins to brown, 5 to 10 minutes. Remove the rice from the oven, uncover, and use a fork to stir in the shredded coconut, apples, and cilantro. Replace the lid and let it rest for 10 minutes.
Taste and adjust the seasoning and fluff again. Serve immediately or at room temperature, topped with yogurt and a sprinkling of cilantro if you like.

Warm pan of garbanzo beans, chorizo, spinach and goat cheese

I just love healthy and flavorsome food that is easy to prepare.

 

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Serves 4 to 6
1/2 teaspoon olive oil
2 cups baby spinach
Kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon red wine vinegar
1 medium onion, thinly sliced into half moons
3 roasted red peppers, preferably packed in oil, chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 chorizo sausages, chopped
1/8 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
One 14oz can garbanzo beans (chickpeas) drained and rinsed
2 tablespoons chives, chopped
3 tablespoons parsley, chopped
1/4 cup goat cheese (chèvre) crumbled

Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a wide saucepan. Add the spinach and toss to coat. Heat the spinach until it begins to wilt, about 4 minutes, then add the red wine vinegar and a pinch of kosher salt. Remove the spinach into a bowl.

Add the onion, the roasted red pepper, and the garlic to the pan. Sauté for 5 to 7 minutes, until the onion is translucent. Add the chorizo. (If the chorizo is not cured, make sure to cook it through, about 5 to 7 minutes.) Add the paprika and the cayenne. Add the chickpeas, then stir everything together. Taste and correct the salt, as needed.

Stir in the reserved spinach, then the chives and the parsley, and finally top with the chèvre. Lightly stir through. Serve warm with crusty bread

Sauteed scallops with Thai scented pea puree

This is a terrific recipe from Nigella Lawson which is simple to make and the Thai scented pea puree really adds a terrific zing to the dish. It cuts the sweetness of the peas and is really tangy alongside the sweet scallops.

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Serves: 2

1 lb frozen petits pois
1 tbsp green Thai curry paste
⅓ cup creme fraiche
kosher salt (to taste)
2 tsp peanut oil (or other flavourless oil)
2 tsp butter
6 large scallops (preferably diver caught) (or 10-12 small ones)
Juice of 1 lime
2 tbsp chopped cilantro (or Thai basil)

Cook the peas in boiling, slightly salted water until tender, then drain and tip into a blender, adding 1 tablespoon curry paste and the crème fraîche. Season to taste with salt and perhaps add more curry paste, depending how strong it is.

Heat the oil and butter in a frying pan until foamy, then fry the scallops for about 2 minutes a side. If you are using big scallops, then it is sometimes easier to cut them in half across. When they are cooked, they will have just lost their raw look in the middle and be lusciously tender, while golden and almost caramelized on the outside.

Lift the scallops onto 2 warmed plates and then de-glaze the hot pan by squeezing in the lime juice. stir to mix well and pick up every scrap of flavour, then pour this over the scallops on each plate.

Dish up the pea purée alongside the scallops, and sprinkle with the chopped coriander or thai basil. Serve with another wedge of lime, if you feel like it.

Asian brown rice, avocado, ginger and peanut bowl

The combination of crunchy peanuts, creamy avocados, and the sweet bite of ginger make for a dish that’s full of complex flavors, yet easy to make. Serve it on its own or with tofu for a vegetarian meal, or add grilled chicken, fish, or shrimp.

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1 cup short grain brown rice (or leftover cooked short grain brown rice, then miss the rice-cooking part of the recipe))
Kosher salt, to taste
3 1⁄2 tbsp soy sauce
3 1⁄2 tbsp. mirin
3 1⁄2 tbsp. sake
1 tbsp. sugar
1 cup cilantro leaves and tender stems, plus more for garnish
1⁄2 cup dry roasted peanuts, roughly chopped
1⁄4 cup pickled ginger, thinly sliced. (Available from the Asian section at your supermarket. It’s in a glass jar)
5 scallions, thinly sliced
2 avocados, peeled, pitted, and thinly sliced
1 English cucumber, peeled, seeded, halved lengthwise and sliced into 1⁄4” pieces (1/2 moon shape)
Zest and juice of 1 lime

Rinse the rice in a strainer under cold running water for 30 seconds. Bring 12 cups water to a boil in a large pot with a tight-fitting lid over high heat. Add the rice, stir it once, and boil, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Pour the rice into a strainer over the sink; cool to room temperature.

Combine soy sauce, mirin, sake, and sugar in a 2-qt saucepan over medium-high; cook until sugar has dissolved, 3-5 minutes. Cool the sauce slightly. (It is a teriyaki sauce)

Combine rice, teriyaki sauce (You may only need half of it at the most. taste to tell), the cilantro, peanuts, ginger, scallions, avocados, cucumber, and zest and juice in a bowl; transfer to a serving platter and garnish with cilantro.

** I had some leftover salmon in the fridge and put chunks of it in the salad and it was delicious!

Creamy spinach and sausage spaghetti

This is a real comfort dish, the soothing creaminess of the spinach paired with whatever flavor sausage you prefer. Thank you to Delicious Magazine for this recipe. I love sharing recipes I find online!

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Serves 3 to 4

12 oz spaghetti (or other pasta)
1 medium red onion
2 garlic cloves
4 good quality sausages
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp wholegrain mustard
6 oz frozen spinach, defrosted
3oz crème fraîche
1 good sized lemon
Parmesan cheese

Bring a large pan of water to the boil, then add the spaghetti and cook for 9-10 minutes or until al dente. Drain, reserving a 4 tablespoons of the pasta water.

Meanwhile, finely slice the onion and garlic and roughly chop the sausages into bite-size pieces. In a large frying pan, heat the oil over a medium heat. Add the onion and gently fry for 3-4 minutes. Add the garlic and sausages and cook for 2 minutes, then add the mustard and spinach. Cook for 1-2 minutes, then stir in the crème fraîche.

Zest the lemon, then stir into the sauce along with the pasta and reserved water.
Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste, then divide among 4 bowls and serve topped with a grating of parmesan.

Banana coconut parcels

This has got to be one of my favorite desserts and so easy. You can store the banana leaves in your freezer, so you will always have them around.
This recipe is c/o Saveur magazine.

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12 fresh or frozen banana leaves
2 1⁄4 cups coconut cream
3⁄4 cup sugar
Kosher salt, to taste
1 1⁄2 cups short-grain sticky rice, soaked for 6 hours, drained, and rinsed
3 firm-ripe bananas, quartered lengthwise

Cut each banana leaf into a roughly 12″x 14″ rectangle, then cut the scraps into 12 thin ribbons for tying; set aside.
Combine the coconut cream, sugar, 1⁄4 cup water, and salt in a 12″ nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
Cook, stirring, until it begins to bubble, about 2 minutes. Add the rice; cook, stirring often, until most of the liquid is absorbed, about 7 minutes.
Remove from heat; let the rice absorb liquid, about 20 minutes. Divide the rice into 12 equal portions.

Working with 1 banana leaf at a time, arrange a leaf with a short edge parallel to you, smooth side up.
Put a portion of rice in the center; top with a banana quarter; press gently.
Shape the rice into a rectangle.
Fold the leaf ends over the rice to make a packet. Tie with a ribbon. Repeat to make 12 packets in all.
Pour water into a wide-bottomed pot to a depth of 1″. Set a colander inside pot.
Working in 2 batches, steam the packets until firm, about 15 minutes.

Stuffed roast peppers with goat cheese, chorizo, rice, tomato, zucchini and orange

This started out as a vegetarian recipe and still can, if you eliminate the chorizo. I happen to think it adds a layer of flavor  that raises the bar. If you don’t like goat cheese they work really well with feta cheese too.

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This recipe serves 2 but can easily be doubled

1¾oz wholegrain long-grain rice
1 red and 1 yellow pepper
olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
8oz Spanish chorizo, diced very small or crumbled.
1 courgette, diced
2½oz cherry tomatoes, halved
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tsp ground cumin ( roast my cumin before grinding it)
1 tsp ground coriander
¾oz toasted flaked almonds
½ orange, zest only, finely grated
3 heaped tbsp roughly chopped fresh Italian parsley (or cilantro)
3½oz mild goats’ cheese, rind removed and cheese cut into chunks (or feta cheese, but make it the Greek one)
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 400F
Cook the rice in a pan of boiling water for 25 minutes, or until just tender, then drain.
Meanwhile, cut the peppers in half from top to bottom and discard the seeds. Place, open-side up, on a baking tray (cut a sliver from the base if necessary to help them sit flat). Bake for 15 minutes.

Add 1 tbsp olive oil to a frying pan and over medium heat, fry the chorizo for 5 minutes, then add the onion and courgette over a medium heat, stirring regularly, for 4-5 minutes, or until softened and lightly browned.

Add the tomatoes, garlic, cumin and coriander and cook for a minute, stirring constantly. Tip into a large heatproof bowl and stir in the almonds and orange zest.

Add the rice and parsley and season with a little salt and lots of pepper. Mix together.

Fill the peppers with the rice mixture. Dot with the cheese and return to the oven for 10 minutes, or until the peppers are softened and the filling is piping hot.

Bacon wrapped dates with almonds and goat cheese

Unctious, divine and so easy.

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MAKES 24
24 large moist dates, such as Medjool
12 not-too-thick slices of bacon
2 oz. softened goat cheese
24 whole toasted unsalted almonds

Move oven rack to upper third of oven and preheat oven to 500°. Pit dates, tearing them open as little as possible. Set dates aside. Halve the 12 slices of bacon crosswise. Put the goat cheese into a pastry bag fitted with a round, plain ¼” tip.

Stuff cavity of each date with 1 almond. Pipe goat cheese into the opening of each stuffed date. Wrap 1 half-piece of bacon around width of each date and put dates, seam side down, on a baking sheet, at least ½” apart. Bake until bacon is golden and crisp, 6-8 minutes.
Set aside to cool briefly before serving.

Turkey tonnato

Given I’m not using beef or veal in recipes, I have replaced the usual veal tonnato with turkey and it’s brilliant! Thank you to Giada de Laurentiis for this recipe.

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2 pound turkey breast, skinless and boneless (Or you can be really lazy and use precooked thickly sliced turkey, (1/2 ” slices) then miss the cooking stage of the turkey completely)
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon dried basil
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup chicken stock
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Tuna Sauce:
6 ounces canned white meat tuna, packed in olive oil, do not drain. (Try not to use a tuna that contains soy.)
1 teaspoon anchovy paste or 1 anchovy fillet, drained
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon capers, drained
1/3 cup Kraft Real, or Helmann’s Real mayonnaise. (Or a good quality Whole 30 version)
Chopped parsley leaves, capers or lemon slices, for garnish

Preheat oven 375 F.

Season the turkey with salt, pepper and herbs. Coat with olive oil, place in a baking pan and pour the chicken broth around the turkey. Place in the oven and bake for 30 to 40 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool in the baking pan for 10 minutes. Slice into 1/2-inch slices, on an angle. Allow to sit in baking pan with juices as you make sauce.

In the bowl of a food processor add the tuna, anchovy, lemon juice and capers. Puree until creamy, about 1 minute. Pour the tuna mixture into a bowl and stir in the mayonnaise.

Place the slices of turkey on a platter and pour the tuna sauce on top. Garnish with chopped parsley.