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

Sunday, May 31, 2009

"Indian" Fried Rice and Garam Masala Vinaigrette

I had 3 cups of leftover brown rice that needed using, and tandoori-spiced chicken thighs for the grill. This came together easily and was a nice change from plain brown rice. I riffed off Madhur Jaffrey's Turmeric Rice, a classic spiced basmati and Kylie Kwong's "Mums Fried Rice." It reminded me of the Chinese-influenced Indian food we enjoyed in New Delhi. Leftovers would be great with a fried egg.

2 T grapeseed or other mild cooking oil 
1/2 t each cumin and brown mustard seeds
1/4 t turmeric
1 yellow onion, finely diced
2 t minced ginger (knife-cut, not grated)
1.5 T sugar
3 cups cooked small-grain brown rice, broken up if clumped
2 T light soy sauce

Heat the oil on med-high heat in a wok or flat frying pan. Add the seeds, then  the turmeric a moment later. When the seeds start popping, add the onion, ginger and sugar, stir and fry about 1 minute. Add the rice, stir and fry, then add the soy sauce. Fry, stirring occasionally so the rice gets crisped a bit but doesn't burn. Serve as a side, along with a butter lettuce salad with the vinaigrette below. 
This was a delicious vinaigrette, perfect on a butter lettuce salad with shredded carrots and diced tomatoes.

1/2 t whole grain dijon mustard
1/4 t salt
1/4 t garam masala
2 T rice wine vinaiger
3 T grapeseed oil

Whisk ingredients together. Mustard will help dressing to emulsify.

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Farfalle with Sugar Snap Peas, Spring Onions & Ricotta

It's been so crazy with work and life events that we've fallen off the weekly meal plan. However there have been some very good dinners and this one was so good and so easy it begs to be recorded.

I had skim milk ricotta, a bag of sugar snap peas and spring onions from my farm box and some leftover roast chicken breasts from GFC. I had Marlena Speiler's article full of pasta recipes from the Chronicle food section. This came together in under 20 minutes and was very tasty!

  • 12 to 14 ounces Barilla whole wheat rotini pasta*
  • 2 cups sugar snap peas, halved crosswise on the diagonal
  • 3 spring onions, halved and very thinly sliced
  • 1 stem green garlic, white and lightest green part only, halved and very thinly sliced
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 7 ounces part skim milk ricotta cheese
  • Shredded meat from 1.5 roast chicken breasts
  • Salt and liberal grindings of freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano or Pecorino Romano, plus more to pass at table

Cook the pasta in boiling salted water according to package instructions. With about 2 minuts to go, add the peas to the water and continue cooking until the peas are bright green and tender and the pasta just al dente. Set aside a cup of the cooking water and then drain the pasta and peas.

Return the pasta and peas to the still hot pan and toss first with the green onions and olive oil, then the ricotta, salt and pepper. Add pasta water as necessary to moisten. Lightly stir in the chicken and grated cheese. Serve right away.

True to her recommendation, this went fabulously with dry rose. Even MZ enjoyed it!

* This is our favorite w/w pasta, it has great pasta flavor and texture, it's never gummy or tough.

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Monday, May 04, 2009

Creamy Asparagus Mustard Sauce for Pasta

This recipe is a riff off an Eating Well recipe. I didn't want red sauce, R wanted cream sauce, we had asparagus and pancetta that needed to be cooked. The end result was delicious, easy and extremely satisfying but not crazy-creamy. Definitely worth making again

1 t EVOO
1/4 cup pancetta, fine dice
1 lg shallot, halved and thinly sliced
1 stalk green garlic, white part only, halved and thinly sliced
1/4 cup white wine
4 t mustard
4 t flour
1/2 t kosher salt
1/2 t freshly round pepper
3/4 cup each half/half and 1% milk
zest of one half lemon
1 bunch asparagus, thicker stalks
1/4 cup grated parmesan
8 oz. whole wheat fusilli or spaghetti

Bring a large pot of water to boil. Heat the oil in a medium pan over medium heat, add the pancetta and brown slowly. Drain all but 2 t fat and add shallots. Saute till softened, add green garlic and saute briefly. Add white wine, turn up heat and reduce by 2/3.

Meanwhile, snap the bottoms from the asparagus stalks, trim "points" from sides and slice 1/4" thick on a sharp diagonal. Reserve tips.

Cook pasta per the package directions. Add asparagus tips in the last 90 seconds of cooking, then add the asparagus in the lass minute. Drain.

Whisk together mustard, flour, pepper and salt. Add milk and half/half slowly, whisking to combine. Add to pancetta mixture, heat to a simmer and stir, 1-2 minutes till the sauce thickens. Stir in the lemon zest and parmesan, combine with the pasta and asparagus and serve.

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