Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Grains and Chicken and this and that...


I have to say that I have been cooking and cooking and cooking, but I have switched the focus to healthier foods. For now Pork and I have broken up. We used to be BFF. No more.


There has been an elephant in the room and I want the big oaf out of here already. I haven't said anything here and I think I need to say it. I wasn't one of the last 2 of the Charcutepalooza finalist. I got to the last 10 and then was out. Thanks to all of you that laughed at my jokes and prankster(ish) approach to something that I put my heart into. It was a lot of work for all that participated and Peter of Cookblog won the trophy (or rather a trip to Gascony). It was well deserved. Ok, enough of the long face on my part. The only reason I shared is because now I can tell you that I really don't like meat all that much :--) I really don't.


So, we went to our friends house for New Years. They had cooked us a Goose and other amazing dishes. The two things that I seemed to go nuts over was the Cumin Scented Quinoa and Black Rice dish and also the Green Beans with Miso and Almonds. I loved them.


So when I was grocery shopping I picked up the stuff to make them during the week.


Of course there was a chicken in the mix too. I have made so many chickens that I am embarrassed to say that I have no idea what I did to this one. Give me a break, it was last week. You expect me to remember? Dr. Food, do you remember? No? I didn't think so. A chicken is a chicken is a shiken. I butterflied (SPATCHCOCKED) the bird and then did something to it and then roasted it. Lets move on...


Did I tell you how much I loved these green beans? I loved them.


The Cumin scented black rice and quinoa will make you into a convert if you don't like quinoa.

Cumin-Scented Quinoa and Black Rice
Printable Version
You can substitute any color of rice or quinoa to make this gorgeous (and healthful) salad, which works as a vegetarian main course or hearty side dish.
6–8 servings

Recipe by The Bon App├ętit Test Kitchen

(Black rice and red quinoa are available at better supermarkets and at natural foods and specialty foods stores)
1/2 cup short-grain black rice
1 cup red quinoa, rinsed well
1 bay leaf
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt plus more
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 small onion, finely chopped
3 large garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons 1" pieces chives
Freshly ground black pepper
1 avocado, peeled, pitted
1 lemon, cut into wedges

Bring rice and 1 cup water to a boil in a small saucepan. Cover, reduce heat to low, and cook until water is absorbed and rice is tender, 25–30 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine quinoa, bay leaf, 1/4 tsp. salt, and 2 cups water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer until quinoa is tender, about 15 minutes. Drain; return quinoa to hot saucepan. Cover and let sit for 15 minutes. Discard bay leaf, fluff quinoa with a fork, and transfer to a large bowl.

Heat 2 Tbsp. oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 8 minutes. Add garlic and cumin and cook, stirring often, for 2 minutes. Add to quinoa. Add rice; mix well. Stir in remaining 2 Tbsp. oil, fresh lemon juice, cilantro, parsley, and chives. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cut avocado into wedges. Serve salad with avocado and lemon wedges.

Green Beans with Miso and Almonds
from Bon Appetite by Anita Lo
2 1/2 pounds fresh green beans
Kosher salt
1/4 cup white miso (fermented soybean paste)
3 tablespoons thinly sliced scallions, dark-green parts only, divided
3 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
2 tablespoons Japanese prepared hot mustard (not wasabi), or 1 Tbsp. English mustard powder mixed with 1 tablespoon water
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 cup almonds, toasted

Working in 3 batches, cook green beans in a large pot of boiling salted water until crisp-tender. Transfer to a large bowl of ice water to cool. Drain well. Trim beans; cut in half on a sharp diagonal. DO AHEAD: Can be made 8 hours ahead. Arrange cooked beans in batches in paper towels, roll into cylinders, and transfer to plastic bags; seal and chill.

Whisk miso, 2 tbsp. scallions, vinegar, mustard, oil, and sugar in a small bowl. Season dressing to taste with salt. Place green beans in a large bowl. Pour dressing over; toss to coat. Garnish with almonds and remaining 1 Tbsp. scallions. Serve warm or at room temperature.


  1. Pssst, chicken is meat too ;) That quinoa dish looks really good. I have never really been a fan of quinoa but have managed to find a couple of dishes that I really like it in. I've also been eating a lot of vegetarian meals since the end of charcutepalooza. Although, last night we did have some pork cutlets.

  2. Mmmm both of those looks great. Maybe your not liking meat gives you a special insight into it as you do do wonderful things with it. I actually could almost go vegetarian with the occasional bacon added as a condiment, but Rebecca is not a fan of the idea.

  3. Aw!  You totally got my vote though!  I was just looking at your recipe on Food 52 the other day.  I'm sure you and pork will make up soon!

  4. Thanks Jen. I am sure as soon as I smell bacon I might forget my grudge :--)

  5. I could never give up seafood though.

  6. This looks divine..I think the last time I had quinoa was a lunch date with Pizzarro. I think after seeing this recipe I'm going to have to cook it again! Wish I could send you guys a ticket to Gascony, you deserve it!

  7. Wish you would've won! But on to other things, like cumin. Cumin makes everything so much better and tastier!