Thursday, October 28, 2010

Vegetable Biryani

We are by no means vegetarian, but this is a meal all by itself and is so different and delicious. We make it all the time.

3/4 cup dry green lentils
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon curry paste (mild, medium or biryani)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 cup basmati rice (or wild/basmati mix)
1/4 cup raisins (golden)
2 1/4 cups vegetable stock
1 cup green peas
1/4 cup toasted sliced almonds (optional)
feta cheese crumbles (optional)

In saucepan of boiling water, cook lentils for 10 minutes; drain and set aside.  Meanwhile, in Dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat; sauté onion until deep golden, 6 minutes.  Add carrots, garlic, curry paste, salt and pepper; sauté until fragrant, 3 minutes.  Stir in rice, raisins and lentils to coat.
Add stock and bring to boil; reduce heat, cover and simmer until rice and vegetables are tender, 20 minutes.  Stir in peas and warm through, 4 minutes. Sprinkle with almonds and feta (if using).

35 minutes, 10 minute prep. Serves 4.

What is really funny is that if you asked me, to this day, what my least favorite foods were, I would probably say peas, carrots, and raisins!

Pot Roast

Beef Chuck Roast- any size depending on how many people.
garlic powder/salt and pepper on meat prior to putting it in the crock pot
1 can of beef consummate (or beef broth if you cant find it) (2 cans if it is a big roast)
1 can of water
red wine (if you desire)

Cook in crockpot on low all day or on high for half the day. It is good served with creamy horseradish sauce, and definitely with spoonbread.

Stacked chicken enchiladas with salsa verde

I never make any other enchilada. Amazing.

5+ poblano chilies* (8 ounces total)
6 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
12 (5- to 6-inch-diameter) corn tortillas
4 cups salsa verde, divided (I sometimes use less)
2 cups shredded roasted chicken, divided (rotisserie)
3/4 cup sour cream, stirred to loosen, divided
6 ounces grated Emmenthal, Muenster, or Mexican Chihuahua cheese (about 1 1/2 cups)
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro (I add more)

*Fresh green chilies

Char chilies directly over gas flame or in broiler until blackened all over. Enclose in paper bag; let stand 10 minutes. Peel and seed, then cut into 2x1/2-inch strips.

Preheat oven to 375°F. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in medium skillet over medium heat. Add 1 tortilla to skillet; cook until slightly softened, about 15 seconds per side, turning with tongs. Transfer tortilla to paper towels to drain. Repeat with remaining tortillas, adding oil to skillet as needed.

Spread 1/2 cup salsa over bottom of 8x8x2-inch glass baking dish. Arrange 4 tortillas over salsa, covering bottom of dish completely, overlapping slightly, and extending about 1 1/2 inches up sides of dish. Scatter 1 cup chicken over tortillas, then half of poblano strips. Spoon 1 1/2 cups salsa over, spreading evenly. Spoon 1/4 cup sour cream over in small dollops. Cover with 4 tortillas, overlapping slightly. Layer with remaining 1 cup chicken, remaining poblanos, 1 cup salsa, and 1/4 cup sour cream. Cover with remaining 4 tortillas, then 1 cup salsa, and remaining 1/4 cup sour cream. Sprinkle with cheese.

Bake casserole until bubbling and cheese is lightly browned, about 35 minutes. Cut into 6 pieces; divide among plates. Sprinkle with cilantro.

Bon Appétit |  June 2007
Roberto Santibañez
Servings: Makes 6 servings.

Chicken with goat cheese and basil

Perfect easy weeknight chicken

6 boneless chicken breasts, skin on
8 to 10 ounces garlic-and-herb goat cheese, such as Montrachet
6 large fresh basil leaves
Good olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Place the chicken breasts on a sheet pan. Loosen the skin from the meat with your fingers, leaving one side attached. Cut the goat cheese into 1/2-inch- thick slices and place 1 or 2 slices plus a large basil leaf under the skin of each chicken breast. Pull the skin over as much of the meat as possible so the chicken won’t dry out. With your fingers, rub each piece with olive oil, and sprinkle them very generously with salt and pepper. Bake the chicken for 35 to 40 minutes, until the skin is lightly browned and the chicken is just cooked through. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Mediterranean Orzo Salad

We serve this in spring and summer during cookouts, great with burgers or grilled chicken.

16 ounces (~455 g) orzo or other small pasta (or 1 lb)
1/4 cup (~60 mil) olive oil
1/3 cup (~80 mil) plus 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons grated lemon zest
1/4 cup (~60 mil) freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 cups Kalamata olives, chopped
2 pints (~680 g) grape tomatoes, halved lengthwise, or 1 large yellow or red tomato cubed.
1 large red onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup drained capers (optional)
1/2 cup (~20 g) lightly packed chopped fresh parsley leaves
freshly ground black pepper
pinch of sea salt

1. Bring about 3 quarts of water to boil in the large pot. Add salt and the orzo and cook until al dente. Drain well in the mesh strainer, then pour hot orzo into the mixing bowl.
2. While the orzo cooks, stir together the olive oil, red wine vinegar, lemon zest, and lemon juice in the small bowl. Pour the mixture over the hot orzo and toss. Allow it to sit for about 5 minutes. Stir occasionally.
3. Add the olives, grape tomatoes, onion, capers, and parsley, and stir well. Season with fresh ground pepper and a pinch of sea salt. Serve warm, cold, or at room temperature.

Mix Kalamata with green and black olives.
Double the lemon zest and juice.
Add 1/4 cup freshly chopped basil leaves or fresh oregano.
Add 1/4 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes.
Add 1 cup chopped seedless cucumbers or red bell pepper.
Add 1 cup crumbled feta cheese.
Substitute a different cooked grain for the orzo, such as Israeli couscous, barley, or quinoa.
Add Spinach leaves to make it more like a Salad

Beetle & Fred's Southsides

Anyone who has ever been over to my family's house while my dad is entertaining or to his cousin, Beetle's house in Baltimore, has to have had one of these amazing summertime cocktails.

1 6 oz can lemonade concentrate
1 6 oz can of limejuice concentrate
Several handfuls of mint leaves
2 TBS sugar (or splenda to taste)
2 6 oz cans of water (12 oz total)
juice from 6 lemons and 10 limes

Combine concentrate with water in bowl.  Add the juice from lemons and limes.  Muddle/rind mint leaves with sugar in bowl until mint is smashed and fine.  Add touches of water as necessary to grind the mint.  Put mint mash with the liquid mix into the bowl.  Run through strainer to remove mint leaves and excess pulp from lemons and limes.  Squeeze the top of the strainer to make sure all juice gets through the pulpy part.

Serve as an "elixir", with about 2 Tbs south side with 2 oz liquor (bourbon, vodka), over a glas FULL of crushed ice, and fill rest of way with soda. Rim glass with lime.  

*Can reduce the amount of water if you want it to be more concentrated.  Can use splenda instead of real sugar to make it less caloric.  Can do it without any sugar because lemon/lime concentrate has sugar in it - a more tart version.  Definitely start with less sugar, and can add more later!

Insideout Burritos

1 rotisserie chicken, meat pulled and chopped
1 can (15 oz.) black beans, drained & rinsed
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 bag mexican rice (preferably VIGO)
1 can chunky RoTel (keep juices)
about 2 cups water
2 chicken bouillon cubes
1 bunch cilantro, chopped (the WHOLE bunch!)
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. dried oregano
cheddar/mexican cheese, shredded, for serving
dollops of sour cream for serving
lime, to squeeze for serving (KEY!)

  Heat oven to 375 degrees. Saute chopped onion over high heat with olive oil until very fragrant, about 3-5 minutes.  In dutch oven (any covered ceramic or metal deep dish) combine all ingredients except cheese, sour cream, and lime. Cover and bake 45-60 minutes, stirring once halfway through cooking time, until rice is tender. Remove casserole from oven, remove cover and serve in bowls.  Sprinkle with cheese, sour cream, and squeeze lots of lime. Let stand 2-3 minutes until cheese is melted. As a main dish, serves 4 people.