Monday, September 06, 2010

Weekly Recipes #30 - Nathan & Jill

Chicken Skewers with Bean Salad and Parsley Pesto

Serves 4 Hands-On Time: 30m Total Time: 30m

1/4 cup plain low-fat yogurt
2 tablespoons pine nuts
1 small clove garlic
2 1/4 cups fresh parsley leaves
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
kosher salt and black pepper
1 15-ounce can cannellini beans, rinsed
1/2 small head radicchio, thinly sliced (about 1 cup)
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 2-inch pieces
In a food processor, puree the yogurt, pine nuts, garlic, 2 cups of the parsley, ¼ cup of the oil, and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper; set aside.
Chop the remaining ¼ cup of parsley. In a medium bowl, toss with the beans, radicchio, vinegar, 1 tablespoon of the remaining oil, and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper; set aside.
Heat grill to medium-high. Thread the chicken onto 8 skewers, coat with the remaining tablespoon of oil, and season with ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper. Grill the chicken, turning occasionally, until cooked through, 7 to 10 minutes. Serve with the parsley pesto and white bean salad.
Grilled Chicken Sausages with Zucchini, Tomatoes, Feta and Orzo
Prep time: 10 min. Total time: 25 min.

1 (8-ounce) box Orzo Pasta
1 package (4 links) precooked sweet Italian chicken sausage
2 Tb extra virgin olive oil
3 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 lb. zucchini and/or summer squash, cut into ½ in. pieces.
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
1 tsp dried basil (substitute ¼ fresh basil, chopped)
1 tsp dried oregano (substitute 2 Tb fresh)
Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
1 (6-ounce) container crumbled feta cheese

Prepare orzo according to package directions. In the meantime, prepare sausages according to package directions, on the grill or in a skillet. While the sausages are heating, heat oil in a large heavy sauté pain or medium-high heat. Add garlic, stir for a few seconds, then add zucchini and cook 3 to 5 minutes.

When sausages are done, cut into large bite sized pieces and add to sauté pan along with tomatoes, basil, oregano, salt and pepper. Continue to sauté until tomatoes are just softened, about one minute more. Toss together cooked orzo, feta cheese and sausage mixture in a large serving bowl. Serve immediately.

Serves 4
Vegetable Garbanzo Wraps with Quinoa
Prep time: 8 min, Total time: 10 min (plus quinoa cooking time)

1 large tomato chopped
1 avocado chopped
1 cucumber chopped
4 leaves of Romaine lettuce, shredded
1 15oz no-salt added Garbanzo beans, drained and mashed
2 Tbs. fruit vinegar ???
4 whole grain tortillas
½ Tbs. raw sesame tahini
1 cup quinoa (uncooked)

Cook the quinoa. Toss the vegetables and quinoa with garbanzo beans and vinegar. Warm a whole grain tortilla and spread a thin coating of tahini on it. Roll with vegetable/bean/quinoa mixture.

Coconut Rice Pudding
(using a heavy-bottomed saucepan is key for preventing the bottom from burning)

2 cups water
1 cup medium grain rice
¼ tsp salt
2 ½ cups coconut milk
2 ½ cups half & half
2/3 cup sugar
1 ¼ tsp vanilla abstract
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup shredded, sweetened coconut

Bring the water to a boil in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan. Stir in the rice and salt and cover. Simmer over low heat, stirring once or twice, until the water is almost fully absorbed (15-20 minutes).

Preheat oven to 325F.
Stir in the coconut milk, half & half, and sugar to cooked rice. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to maintain a simmer. Cook uncovered and stirring frequently until the mixture starts to thicken (about 30 minutes).

(Spread coconut out on a baking sheet and place in oven for 10-15 minutes, stirring often, until golden brown.)

While the coconut is toasting, reduce the heat of rice mixture to low and continue to cook, stirring every couple of minutes to prevent scorching, until a spoon is just able to stand up in the pudding (about 15 minutes longer).

Remove rice from heat and stir in the vanilla and cinnamon. Serve warm, at room temperature, or chilled. (To store, press plastic wrap directly on the surface of the pudding and refrigerate for up to 2 days. If serving at room temperature or chilled stir in up to 1 cup of warm milk).
Salad of Beef with Lime, Chile, and Mint
Serves 4 to 6

1 pound wide or linguine shaped rice noodles
4 quarts boiling water

1 large garlic clove, minced
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
2 packed teaspoons brown sugar, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon each salt and freshly ground black pepper
Juice of 1 large lime
1 tablespoon Thai or Vietnamese fish sauce (nuoc mam)
2 tablespoons water

The Salad:
3 to 4 cups cooked beef, chicken, tempeh or tofu (grilled is ideal), cut into 1/4-inch dice, warmed if possible
4 whole scallions, thinly sliced
1/3 cup fresh cilantro leaves, torn
2 to 3 thinly sliced very hot fresh red Thai chilies, or milder jalapeño chiles (seed if desired, but the salad should have a real snap of heat)
2 small cucumbers, peeled, seeded and cut into thick sticks
1 cup coarsely shredded green cabbage
1/3 tight-packed cup whole fresh mint leaves

Lime wedges

1. Place rice noodles in a large bowl and cover with the boiling water. Let stand about 5 minutes, or until tender, but not mushy. Drain in a colander, rinse with cold water, and place back in the bowl. 2. Blend the dressing ingredients in another large bowl and toss with your choice of meat or other protein. Let stand while you pull together the rest of the salad.3. Just before serving, fold in the rest of the salad ingredients. Serve the larb accompanied by a bowl of the rice noodles. 4. Take a small amount of rice noodles and spoon the salad over them. Squeeze on lime juice to taste.

Three things cut back the sear of hot chilies: some kind of fat (the substance that gives chiles' heat is soluble in fat) like coconut milk, cream, oils, etc; sugar, and acids like lime, lemon and vinegars. It's no accident that the countries with the world's hottest foods always team them with one or more of this trio. Think about Thailand, southern India, Sri Lanka, and all the others.

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