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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Recipe Review from 6/13/11

Oops!  I thought I had this set up to post automatically, but I guess not!  Spent a lovely weekend visiting my sis K2, BIL and Nephew in Menominee, where the weather was be-uuooo-tifulll!  75*F (23*C) and very lightly overcast.  Upon my return from Menominee back to the blustery shores of Lake Superior, the temps dropped 25*.  Not kidding - it was 73* (23*C) when I departed, 48* (8*C) in Superior, and 58* (14*C) at my house outside of Duluth.   YUCKO!! 

And today (and yesterday for that matter?).  50* (10*C) and rain.  Buckets and buckets and buckets of rain.  With 25mph winds.  I'm still waiting for summer....

In the meantime, I leave you with these two recipes:

White Beans and Yellow Rice (Ckng Lght, June 2011)
Good dish, but greatly modified!  If you follow the link, you will see it is actually Black Beans and Yellow Rice - however, I had white dried beans on hand and venison kielbasa, so we, ahh, changed things at bit.  Perhaps a lot.  I also see as I review this that I forgot the tomato.   Drat.  But I can safely say, it tasted pretty good without.

  • white beans for black.  Pre-cooked beans in slowcooker couple days before.   
  • kielbasa for chorizo.
  • sauted veggies, then added thinly sliced kielbasa to veggies, tossed in beans to re-heat.
  • so I skipped entirely the simmer for 2 1/2 hours bit and cut down cooking time considerably.   

4 ounces dried black beans  navy beans
Cooking spray
4 ounces Spanish chorizo, venison kielbasa, thinly sliced
6 cups water, divided   enough water to cover bean 2" in slowcooker
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon black pepper, divided
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
1 orange bell pepper, chopped
1 jalapeño pepper, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup uncooked long-grain rice
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
3 cups chopped fresh tomato
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro


1. Sort and wash beans; place in a bowl [slowcooker]. Cover with water to 2 inches above beans; cook 8 hours. Drain.

2. Heat a medium skillet over medium heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add 1 1/2 cups onion, bell pepper, jalapeño, and garlic; cook 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add cumin.  Add chorizo; sauté for 3 minutes. Add beans, long enough to heat.  Stir 1/4 teaspoon black pepper.
3. Bring 2 cups water to a boil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir in 1/4 teaspoon salt, rice, and turmeric. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes or until liquid evaporates and rice is tender. Spoon 3/4 cup rice into each of 4 bowls, and top each serving with about 2/3 cup bean mixture, 3/4 cup tomato, and 1 1/2 teaspoons cilantro.

Yeild: 4 servings

Spaghetti with Grilled Ratatouille  (Fine Cooking, May 2011)
This came together more quickly than I anticipated it would.  As the vegetables cooked on the grill, I got the water boiling for the spaghetti.   Hmm, it seems I deviated from the recipe again...I admit, sometimes I don't pay very close attention to the directions and kinda warp off into my own thing.  I think that happened here.  That's probably why it came together so quickly!  Still, I thought this was really good and would make it again.  This would be great for company too.  (I'll note my changes below.)
Fine Cooking Magazine
by Pamela Anderson
Serves 4

2 medium zucchini (about 12 oz.), trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch rounds on a slight diagonal  in half lengthwise
2 baby eggplants (about 12 oz.), trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch rounds on a slight diagonal
1 large red bell pepper (about 8 oz.), stemmed, seeded, and quartered
1 large red onion (about 1 lb.), cut into 1/2-inch slices
1 small head garlic
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp. herbes de Provence

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup pitted Kalamata olives

12 oz. dried thin spaghetti

2 Tbs. chopped fresh basil
2 tsp. chopped fresh marjoram

1/2 cup crumbled feta or goat cheese

Prepare a high gas or charcoal grill fire. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, toss the tomatoes, zucchini, eggplant, red pepper, onion, and garlic with 3 Tbs. of the oil, the herbes de Provence, and a generous sprinkling of salt and pepper.

Put the vegetables (tomatoes cut side up) and garlic on the grill in a single layer and cover. Grill the tomatoes without turning until their skins have darkened and their flesh is soft; grill the remaining vegetables, turning once, until grill-marked and tender, about 8 minutes. Transfer the tomatoes and garlic to a medium bowl. Transfer the remaining vegetables to another medium bowl and let cool briefly.

When cool enough to handle, very coarsely chop the zucchini, eggplant, bell pepper, and onion; return to the bowl and add 1/2 cup of the olives to the bowl.

Slip the garlic cloves out of their skins into a food processor. Add the remaining 1/4 cup of olives, the tomatoes, and the remaining 1 Tbs. of oil; process until smooth.

Meanwhile, bring 3 quarts of well-salted water to a boil in a large pot. Cook the spaghetti in the water about 1 minute less than the package timing for al dente texture. Reserve 1/2 cup of the water, drain the pasta, and return it to the pot.

Toss 1/2 cup of the tomato-olive sauce and the basil and marjoram with the warm vegetables in the bowl. Toss the remaining sauce and the reserved cooking liquid with the pasta; stir over low heat for about 2 minutes so the pasta absorbs some of the sauce.  Toss everything together.  Divide the pasta among 4 plates, top with the vegetables, sprinkle with the cheese, and serve.

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