Red Quinoa Pilaf

 

 

Red Quinoa Pilaf, a rif from this recipe at Food52.

I used red quinoa, sauteed 1/4 onion (chopped) first. Regular lemon instead of a Meyer lemon and feta cheese. I also used truffle oil instead of walnut oil.
I was not clear on Chris’s opinion as he initially said ‘this is different.’ Then he got up for seconds before finishing his pork chop (the crispy thing on the side- panko crusted pork chop first slathered with a little brown mustard).

 

Turkey meatballs + noodles + roux= mmmmmm

Turkey Meatballs with Green Beans & Noodles in Roux-ly Good Sauce

What I used

Meatballs
1 package ground turkey (20 oz?)
1/2 onion, finely diced
tarragon
garlic powder
thyme
salt & pepper

Sauce
1/2 onion, sliced thinly
2 cups fresh green beans, chopped in to 1/2 inch pieces
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
2 cups flour
smoked paprika
garlic
thyme
any other herbs/spices you like

egg noodles

What I did

In a bowl, combine turkey (I used 85/15), onions, garlic powder, thyme, tarragon salt and pepper. I didn’t measure the seasonings but I’d guess a teaspoon of thyme, 1 1/2 tsp of tarragon and 1/2 tsp of garlic powder.

Heat non-stick pan over medium-heat. Form turkey mixture in to 1 inch meatballs and add to pan. Cook, turning periodically, until cooked through, 10-15 minutes. If you use a leaner ground turkey, you may want to add a little oil to the pan.

Remove meatballs from pan and drain most of the fat then return pan to heat. Add onions, sprinkle with smoked paprika and saute until lightly golden. Add green beans along with 1 teaspoon thyme and 1/2 tsp garlic powder (approx). Cover and cook 5 minutes until green beans begin to soften.

At the same time, prepare egg noodles according to directions.

Push onions and green beans to the side in the pan. Melt butter and flour together to form a roux (paste). When roux becomes lightly golden, stir in 2 cups chicken broth and bring to a boil. Cook until green beans are soft then return turkey meatballs to the pan and combine all along with noodles to heat through.

Garnish with fresh cut parsley.

Basking in the late-day sun


The point of making turkey meatballs is to attempt to reverse engineer these stuffed rice cakes Chris found at the Better Health Store in Novi. They were turkey meatballs surrounded by risotto then dipped in bread crumbs and baked. Pretty good but should be even better with my mushroom risotto. For the above recipe, I used 8 of the 14 meatballs. I’ll be trying the risotto cakes with the remaining 6 tomorrow.

Garlic-Rosemary Chicken

Having barely posted over the last several weeks and now coming back post-honeymoon to a big project at work, I am struggling with the “swing of things.” I have many drafts, many posts circulating in my head but not yet drafted and, as of Wednesday, our wedding photos to edit and play with in Photoshop. I may have to schedule my blogging time in to my day like a job.

For now, I shall start simple. Saturday night, we decided to make some chicken but didn’t want buttermilk chicken as we had just done that a few days before. Chris found a recipe online for a garlic-rosemary rubbed pork loin which intrigued him but was rather time consuming with creating an oil infusion then letting it sit for several hours followed by cooking it in the oven.

I don’t know the source of the original recipe but basically, you mixed fresh rosemary and chopped garlic together with olive oil to infuse the oil, by letting it sit for several hours. Then this is mixed with salt to create a paste which is then rubbed on the meat. I knew that introducing heat to the equation would speed up the infusion process and I also knew we had some garlic olive oil from a store in Traverse City. Its a tasty oil but does not hold up to high heat cooking like a non-infused oil so we don’t use it a lot.

In a small saucepan or saute pan, mix 2-3 sprigs of rosemary leaves, finely chopped with 2 cloves fresh chopped garlic (okay, I used the stuff in the fridge) and 3-4 tablespoons of oil (use extra virgin if you don’t have flavored). Heat over medium-low until aromas fill your kitchen. Allow to cook at a medium-low or lower temperature about 20 minutes to allow flavors to meld without frying the garlic.

Remove from heat and let cool. Stir in enough salt to create a paste. I didn’t measure this but I’d estimate 3/4 to 1 tablespoon worked for me. Rub paste in to all sides of chicken breasts. Allow to sit about 10 minutes.

Heat 1 teaspoon olive oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet. Add chicken breasts and saute 5-7 minutes per side until golden brown and cooked through. We used thin cut chicken breasts, as usual, so total cooking time was about 12 minutes.

Served with sweet potato fries: 2 sweet potatoes, cut in to similarly sized chunks, tossed with olive oil and seasonings, baked 30 minutes or so in a 425 degree oven (watch these- they will burn).

To accompany the sweet potato fries, I had some sweet garlic mustard from Vermont. Yummy!

The chicken was incredibly easy and very flavorful; I expect to see a return engagement to our kitchen in the near future. Not really having to measure anything makes it very nice indeed.

This salsa is great! Can I have the recipe?

I hosted a baby shower on Saturday for my best friend who is having a girl in August.  I had hoped to make a great spread of tasty appetizers but space and time being a premium this week, I went with veggie trays, cake from Sam’s Club and cheese and crackers instead.

But no party hosted by me is complete without something homemade.  A few weeks ago, I came across a recipe at 101 Cookbooks for a Cherry Macaroon Tart that sounded interesting and with Michigan being a big cherry growing state, figured I could get my hands on some nice fresh sweet cherries without much effort.  The cherries I did find were a little more tart than sweet but the tart was still pretty good. A lot was eaten at the shower and my dad was chowing on the leftovers today.

I knew I’d have some down time during the baking of the tart and decided I’d make some salsa too. I have a spinach dip I’m kind of famous for but didn’t have a food processor on hand for that.  Salsa only requires a knife and cutting board, which I did have. Oh, and this salsa required a can opener.

At the shower, I’m talking with some old friends and one says “I have to get the recipe for this from you.” I said okay, but its really hard and time consuming.


What you gotta do is….

a. chop up 1/2 a red onion

b. chop up 1 red bell pepper

c. Open a can of corn, a can of black beans, a can of fire-roasted tomatoes. Drain/rinse (beans).

Dump all of the above in a bowl.  Squeeze some lime juice over the veggies, add some chopped garlic and as much cilantro as you like plus a little salt and pepper. Mix it up.

Add chopped jalapenos as desired.

DONE!

Now, for the garlic, I actually sprinkled the salt over the chopped garlic then used the side of my knife to mash it in to a paste.  I let it all sit in the fridge overnight then adjusted the lime juice in the morning.

And I bought an avocado thinking I might dice that up and add it right before the shower. But then I didn’t so instead I’ll eat that avocado all by myself tomorrow with tuna over my salad, for lunch.

Easy-peasy salsa-reasy!


You could of course use fresh tomatoes if desired.  This “concept” for this salsa came about as I was packing up the pantry in anticipation of moving.  I just held out the cans of beans, corn and tomatoes.  And of course, tomato pickens’ are slim at the moment, what with all the deadly salmonella running around. Or not.  Or running around, not on tomatoes.