I like to cook. Sometimes my daughter likes to eat.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Bulgur, I don't even know her!

Okay, that's bad. But I've always thought bulgur was a strange word for something so toothesome. We've been trying to eat more whole grains here at Casa Robmaliam, both because MZ likes them and because they're good for all of us. And bulgur is almost as easy as couscous. It can be prepared the same way, with salt, EVOO or butter and boiled water, left to steam ~10 minutes, but it's even better as a quick pilaf. And our bountiful supply of cherry tomatoes lightened the whole dish up to make it more bearable on this unusually hot weekend. It barely felt like cooking.

This dinner is on the table in 20 minutes, easy. Part of the speed is in using Penzey's dependable, high-quality spice mixes -- a quick way to add complex flavor without a lot of chopping and measuring. The recipe feeds two and a toddler generously with leftover bulgur for toddler meals.

Halibut with Cherry Tomato Salad and Bulgur Pilaf
1 lb halibut fillets
3 t. Penzey's Greek seasoning mix or ~1/2 t. each crumbled dried Mediterranean oregano and marjoram, garlic powder, lemon zest, kosher salt and black pepper
1.5 cups bulgur
1 leek, coarsely chopped
1 stem celery, medium dice
1 t kosher or sea salt
1.5 cups boiling water
1 cup cherry tomatoes
1 coarsely chopped green onion
1 t white wine or champagne vinegar

Rub the halibut fillets with 1.5 t. Greek seasoning or your own spice mix, and 1 T EVOO. Set aside.

Heat 1 T EVOO in a saucepan and saute leek and celery till softened, add 1 t salt and the bulgur, stir to combine and add boiling water, stirring again to combine. Turn off heat, cover tightly and allow to steam for 10 minutes.

Combine green onion, remaining Greek seasoning, and vinegar in a non-reactive bowl. Allow to sit while preparing rest of dinner.

Heat nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Pan-grill fish for 2 minutes on each side, then turn heat to low, cover and cook for 2 minutes more. Remove from heat.

Meanwhile, slice cherry tomatoes in half, reserving some if you think your child won't like the seasoned tomatoes, and add to green onion mixture. Add remaining EVOO. Fluff the bulgur.

Lay halibut over a serving of bulgur, then spoon tomato salad over all, this is delightful with a glass of chilled Sancerre or other Loire Sauvignon Blanc.


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