October 20, 2010

Recipe: Lemon-Rose Quinoa with Oven-Dried Sungold Tomatoes, Torn Basil and Pomegranate Arils

This recipe was a late-season treat spanning end-of-summer vegetables and fall fruits.  It also gave me an excuse to use the word "Arils" aka pomegranate seeds.

This dish can be served at room temperature or cold.

First, I have to thank Madhur Jaffrey for her recipe of oven-dried tomatoes.  It is in her book Madhur Jaffrey's World Vegetarian: More Than 650 Meatless Recipes from Around the World which you will find in my recommended books on the left side of this web site.

Oven-Dried Tomatoes
Take one pound of cherry tomatoes and cut them in half.  I used sungold tomatoes from my garden.  Put them cut-side-up on a baking sheet.  Lightly dust with salt and sugar.  Bake at 175 degrees for 7-8 hours until they are slightly chewy but not dry like a raisin or sun-dried tomatoes.

If you don't have time for this, I would soak sun-dried tomatoes in boiling water for 10 - 15 minutes and then roughly chop them.

Lemon-Rose Quinoa
2 C of cooked quinoa (salted to taste)
1/4 C oven-dried tomatoes
1/4 C pomegranate arils
1/4 C lemon juice
1 t rose water
1/2 t mustard
Small handful of fresh basil

Combine lemon juice, rose water and mustard.  Whisk until the mustard is fully incorporated.  Set aside.  To the quinoa, add the tomatoes and pomegranate arils.  Tear basil leaves in half or thirds and add to quinoa.  Add the lemon-rose mixture and stir.

For plating, I packed the mixture into a one-cup measuring cup.  Tap the cup gently on a plate and the whole mold should come out easily, like the picture.

Serves two.


October 9, 2010

Recipe: Stuffed Lychee with Citrus Coriander and Chili

Finally, an easy one!!!  It doesn't get any easier than this and you will blow your guests away with this appetizer.  No cooking necessary, just whole delicious food, the way nature intended.

1 T coriander (aka fresh cilantro), finely diced
2 T lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
1 red chili pepper. thinly sliced
6-8 lychees (fresh or canned)

Mix the cilantro and lemon juice in a small bowl and let sit.  If using fresh lychees, remove the stone from the center without destroying the structure of the lychee.  Canned lychees are usually pitted.  Cut a thin slice off the bottom of each lychee so it can stand up on its own.  With a small spoon or knife edge, fill each lychee with the lemon coriander mix.  Garnish the top with paper thin slices of chili pepper.  Serve cold or at room temperature.

Serves 3-4.


October 2, 2010

Awesome Cornbread!

So, every once in a while you nail a recipe.  I brought this cornbread to a church community meal with chili.  It got rave reviews and multiple requests for the recipe.  Sorry, no pictures on this one.  It disappeared too quickly.

Truth be told that night at church, I was wingin' in.  I didn't have all the ingredients I needed and I even borrowed ideas from a banana bread recipe.  Great accidents do happen.  It is moist and slightly sweet with a great texture.  If you like a sweeter cornbread, use 1/3 C of sugar instead of 1/4 C.

Nutritionally, this corn bread clocks in at just under 11% fat with about 6 grams of protein per serving!  

1/2 C corn grits
1 C masa flour (found in your Mexican section of the grocery store, usually used for tamales).
1/2 C white whole wheat flour
1/4 C sugar
2 T ground flax seed
2 t baking powder
1 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1 C unsweetened soy milk
1 C water
2 T lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray oil one 8x8" pan.  A cast iron skillet will also work.

Mix the grits, masa, flour, sugar, flax, baking powder, baking soda and salt together in a bowl.  In a large measuring cup, mix the soy milk, water and lemon juice.  Pour the liquid mixture into the dry mixture and stir until most all the lumps are gone.  You should have a thick batter.

Pour the batter into your pan and bake for 30 - 35 minutes until a toothpick comes clean.  Serves 4 - 6.