Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Cranberry and Grains Salad

Here's another try at duplicating Central Market's addictive Four-Grain Salad (see also Wheatberry Salad recipe below). Drawn from this Wild Rice Salad and these instructions for preparing wheatberries.

  • 1 cup wheat berries
  • 3 cups salted water
  • 1 cup long grain rice
  • 1 cup wild rice
  • 5 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • 1 1/2 cups water with a pat of butter
  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 3/4 cup slivered almonds
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 Tbsp dark sesame oil

1 In a saucepan, cook wheatberries in 3 cups of salted water for 45 min. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and cook. Remove from heat. Cool completely.

2 In a saucepan, cook the rices in chicken broth for 40 min. Cool completely.

3 Simmer basmati 25 min. in 1 1/2 cups of water with a little butter.

4 Whisk together the olive oil, red wine vinegar, sugar, and sesame oil.

5 In a large bowl, gently mix together the cooled cooked rice, wheat berries, dried cranberries, almonds and dressing. Add salt and pepper to taste, if needed.

Chill completely before serving.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Meyer lemon semifreddo

1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted
1 3/4 cups chilled heavy whipping cream
1 1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar
7 large egg yolks
1/2 cup fresh Meyer lemon juice or regular lemon juice
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons finely grated Meyer lemon peel or
regular lemon peel
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 cups mixed fresh berries (such as raspberries, blackberries,
blueberries, and quartered hulled strawberries)

Line 9x5x3-inch metal loaf pan with plastic wrap, leaving generous
overhang. Sprinkle almonds evenly over bottom of pan. Using electric
mixer, beat whipping cream in large bowl until soft peaks form.
Refrigerate whipped cream while making custard.

Whisk 1 1/4 cups sugar, egg yolks, lemon juice, lemon peel, and salt
in large metal bowl to blend. Set bowl over large saucepan of
simmering water and whisk constantly until yolk mixture is thick and
fluffy and instant-read thermometer inserted into mixture registers
170°F, about 4 minutes. Remove bowl from over simmering water. Using
electric mixer, beat mixture until cool, thick, and doubled in
volume, about 6 minutes. Fold in chilled whipped cream. Transfer
mixture to prepared loaf pan and smooth top. Tap loaf pan lightly on
work surface to remove air pockets. Fold plastic wrap overhang over
top to cover. Freeze semifreddo until firm, at least 8 hours or
overnight. DO AHEAD: Semifreddo can be made 3 days ahead. Keep
frozen. Gently mix all berries and remaining 2 tablespoons sugar in
large bowl. DO AHEAD: Can be made 3 hours ahead. Cover and refrigerate.

Unfold plastic wrap from top of semifreddo and invert dessert onto
platter; remove plastic wrap. Dip heavy large knife into hot water;
cut semifreddo crosswise into 1-inch-thick slices. Transfer to
plates; spoon berries alongside and serve.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Garlic Cheese Tomatoes

2-4 medium ripe tomatoes
1 clove garlic
Crumbled feta or herb cheese
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 350. Grease shallow baking dish that can take
broiler heat.
Halve and core the tomatoes; discard seeds and pulp. Set in dish, cut
side up (small slice off bottom can help them sit flat).
Mince the garlic and sprinkle on tomatoes. Drizzle oil; add salt and
pepper to taste.
Bake 20-30 min as tomatoes start to shrink and soften.
Take out dish; move top rack 4-5" from broiler; turn oven to "Broil."
Sprinkle cheese on tomatoes and broil 3-5 minutes till cheese starts
to brown.
Let rest 10 min. and serve.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Savory beef kabob marinade

1/2 cup dry red wine
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
2 Tbsp soy
2 Tbsp minced garlic
1 Tbsp Worcestershire
1 Tbsp chopped rosemary
1 Tbsp thyme leaves

Technically I think this is Emeril's Essence. Marinate meat in
plastic bag 6-24 hrs, skewer and grill till medium rare, about 6 min.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Salmons! A la Mom and otherwise

Since Costco sells nice salmon fillets individually frozen, these are all essentially pantry recipes. (Love that!) All these recipes are for 2 portions.

Just move the salmon to the fridge the day before, to let it thaw, and bake about 18 minutes at 375. Most of these benefit from marinating before and/or glazing during.

Soy-Garlic Salmon (a la Mom) -- This came out MARVELOUS.
2 Tbsp Dijon
3 Tbsp soy
6 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp minced garlic

Lemon Herb Salmon -- Haven't tried, but Allrecipes users rave about it
2 cloves garlic, minced
6 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp basil
1 Tbsp parsley
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
2 Tbsp lemon juice
Original says to seal fillets in tinfoil and bake 35-45 min at 375.

Honey-Dijon Pecan Salmon
2 Tbsp melted butter
4.5 tsp Dijon
2 tsp honey
1 Tbsp bread crumbs
1 Tbsp fine-chopped pecans
Mix all the wet and marinate; sprinkle with the dry ingredients and bake.

Maple Salmon
2 Tbsp maple syrup
3 tsp soy
1.2 clove garlic, minced
1/4 tsp garlic salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper

Balsamic Salmon
1.5 cloves garlic, minced
tsp white wine
1 tsp honey
5.5 tsp balsamic vinegar
1.5 tsp Dijon
salt and pepper to taste
Soften garlic in sauce pan; add rest and simmer 3 min.; brush on fish and bake.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Experimental Black Bean Salsa

Here's an attempt.... don't know if it will work or not!

30 oz. corn
15 oz. black beans
15 oz. RoTel Fiesta
juice of 2 limes
4 cloves minced garlic
1 diced green bell pepper
5 green onions, minced
cilantro and a little olive oil, optional
Experiment with balsamic vinegar, chili oil?

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Wheat Berry Salad

Central Market version had wild rice, brown rice, basmati rice, slivered almonds and craisins, plus vinegar (balsamic?) and lemon instead of the honey and dijon. And no greens.

Red Wheat Berry Salad
* 1 cup hard red winter wheat berries, soaked overnight
* 1/2 cup raw wild rice
* 2/3 cup toasted chopped pecans
* 1 cup dried cranberries
* 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
* 1/2 cup chopped green onions
* 3 tbs fresh lemon or lime juice
* 1 tbs honey
* 1 tbs dijon mustard
* 1 tsp kosher salt
* 1/2 tsp ground black pepper

1. Soak the wheat berries overnight in cold water, covering them 3 inches. Drain the water in the morning.
2. Boil the wheat berries in 6 cups of water for about 50 to 60 minutes, or until tender. Add more water as necessary to keep wheat berries covered during cooking. Drain excess water from the wheat berries when done.
3. In another small pot, boil 2 cups of water. Add the wild rice and simmer for about 45 minutes, or until the rice begins to split. I prefer to undercook the wild rice slightly so that it retains some structure. Drain excess water.
4. Combine the cooked wheat berries and wild rice in a large bowl.
5. Whisk the lime juice, honey, mustard, salt, and pepper to make the dressing. Add the dressing to the wheat berries and wild rice, mix thoroughly.
6. Now add the cranberries, pecans, parsley, and green onions and combine well.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Garlic burgers

We find that with a toasted bun (spread, in my case, with a scraped-thin layer of Miracle Whip) these taste pretty gourmet. This recipe is Chris' Bay Area Burgers from allrecipes. (He gives grilling instructions, also)

1 lb ground beef
2 cloves garlic, minced (we double this)
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp dried basil

Also if we don't have the basil we skip it and they're still pretty tasty.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Cooking basmati rice

(Note: Brown Texmati retains some of the nutritional value.)

Do not wash U.S.-produced rice, as the coating is where the fortified
nutrients are. Wash imported rice 2 or 3 times to get starch off.
Optional: Soak in icy water for half an hour. (Drain and refill
before cooking)

Heavy pot, a little butter/oil/ghee and 1-to-1.3 rice-to-water ratio
for firm rice, 1-to-1.5 for tender

Simmer white basmati 11 minutes. Simmer brown basmati 25 minutes.

Don't stir while cooking -- and let it sit 10 minutes after.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Filipino Ginger Chicken

2 6-packs of boneless chicken thighs (3 lb)
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup vinegar (red wine, apple vinegar, etc)
1 cup water
1 BULB garlic, peeled and crushed
2 tablespoons thinly sliced or grated fresh ginger root
2 bay leaves
1/2 tablespoon black peppercorns
basmati rice

Marinate chicken 1-2 hrs or overnight.

Optional: Brown chicken pieces.

Bring all ingredients to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat, cover
pot and simmer for 30 minutes. Baste chicken occasionally.

Make rice. One option: Butter a casserole dish, put in a cup of
basmati, 2 1/2 cups of the pot liquid, 1/2 cup of water; cover and
bake at 425 for a half hour.

After 30 minutes, remove pot lid and cook until liquid has reduced to
half. Pull chicken out onto a serving plate.

Strain the liquid from the pot to remove all the food particles, and
set aside. Serve chicken hot over rice and drizzle with reserved sauce.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Updated quick Thanksgiving

Cranberry sauce was way too sweet.

Uncle Ben's original recipe wild & long-grain rice tastes wonderful -- one packet's barely enough for 4 Sue-sized servings so I'd make 2 to accompany a whole roasted turkey breast.

About that roasted turkey breast:

Modified the method somewhat, to wit --  
If frozen, breast can thaw in fridge for a day or two.
Preheat oven to 450.  
Brown the breast in a pan with salt and pepper, then toss it and its cooking oil into a covered baking dish.  
Roast 20 min, turn and baste with oil-salt mixture; 20 min and repeat; 20 min and take it out to rest for another 20 min.  
Meat thermometer should reach 180.

(Actually I covered it 10 minutes in, and roasted 40 min at 400 and 30 at 450, but schma.)