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Though this blog is primarily meant for fun, however there are times when posting becomes less than frequent due to a busy schedule. For the better part of my time since starting this blog, I ponder and think about food, what to make and how to photograph it each and every day.

 

I think about the tarts I had made a few weeks ago, the dozens of cookies now long gone, the many braises and roasts that filled the home with wonderful  aromas that still need posting. I hope to get a little time to share every little bit of it here. Letting you know, all is good!

So today from a long pause of writing and sharing, here is a wonderful salad and another crumble. The salad was simple and beautiful which can be adjusted according to taste. Adding more of a favorite ingredient or swapping out one you don’t favor for something else.

The weather over the weekend was muggy, but there I was braising and cooking away for an evening with friends. The salad was a refreshing quick meal that took the heat off while I finished up with the dinner plans. Everything that was prepared and made it to the table was colorful and flavorful.  The recipes are written and ready to be shared.

I had not anticipated serving the crumble after dinner, but everyone seemed to take interest. As we finished dessert everyone was happy to be treated to a delicately sweet fruit dessert. No ice cream this time, but some gently whipped cream flavored with vanilla seeds was the next best thing.

I am ever eager to get into the kitchen when a dinner is planned. I get that it is more work, but I enjoy it and look forward to it! To share food in the company of friends is so worth it.

I hope you enjoy these recipes and to enjoy the rest of your week!

Shrimp & Quinoa Salad [serves 2-4]

½ cup black quinoa

¾ cup cold water

¼ teaspoon sea salt

30 small white shrimp, peeled & deveined [approx. 2 cups cooked]

2 Tablespoons olive oil

Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste

1 small English cucumber, quartered & cut into bite size pieces [approx. 1 ¼ cups]

1 cup shelled edamame, thawed

4-6 French breakfast radishes, thinly sliced [approx. ½ cup]

1 hand full micro greens [add more to taste]

1 Recipe Lemon Dill Vinaigrette

1. Place quinoa, water and sea salt in a small pot and bring to a boil.

2. Reduce heat and gently simmer covered until the water is absorbed, approx. 15 minutes.

3. Turn off heat and allow quinoa to rest for 10 minutes.

4. Spread cooked quinoa onto a baking sheet to cool while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.

5. Sauté shrimp in olive oil until opaque, approximately 3-5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

6. Place the quinoa, shrimp and vegetables in a bowl and fold in vinaigrette, adjusting to taste with salt and pepper.

Lemon Dill Vinaigrette

3 Tablespoons lemon juice

3 Tablespoons olive oil -or- sunflower oil

1 ½ teaspoons Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon cane sugar

3 Tablespoons fresh dill, finely chopped

Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste

1. Whisk together all ingredients except the oil in a small bowl.

2. Slowly whisk in oil until emulsified. Adjust vinaigrette to taste with sea salt and black pepper.

*note: Though I styled and photographed this delightful salad, the inspiration for this particular styling came from no other than Aran of Cannelle et Vanille.

I really enjoy weekends when there is nothing big going on, no house projects that need tending too. A weekend like that is a good time to catch up on movies that have spent too much time on the coffee table and to read a few pages of interest from books that always seem to pile themselves in any space there is room.

The kitchen was well in use this weekend, testing out new ideas and cooking up favorites it was hard to decide which one to write about. As indecisive as I can be more often than not I decided to post a few of them here. Cooking food for capturing “that shot,” can mean eating food that has sat to long or in most cases cold, my thought through this process was to be quick and precise, allowing time to enjoy food as it should be, “right out of the kitchen.”

 

Seafood Chowder Recipe

¼ cup shallots, diced

2 large garlic cloves, minced

1 Tablespoon unsalted butter

 

2 cups fish stock

13 little neck clams

13 mussels

1 1/3 pounds white fish [swordfish was used here]

 

1 large russet potato, approximately one pound, peeled and chopped

½ cup cream

1 Tablespoon Sunny Paris Seasoning [Penzy’s]

¼ cup fresh chopped dill

Sea salt & freshly grated black pepper [to taste]

 

1. Sauté shallots and garlic on low heat for a few minutes until light golden.

2. Add the fish stock bring to a simmer.

3. Add clams and mussels and cook covered until they open approximately 3-5 minutes.

4. Remove clams and mussels, discarding any unopened ones, set these aside.

5. Add chopped potatoes and simmer until just tender. At this point add the swordfish and the seasoning mix. Cook just until fish flakes.

6. Stir in the cream and season with sea salt and black pepper to taste.

7. Add clams and mussels back into the pan and heat through.

8. Serve with crusty French bread and garnish dish with fresh chopped dill.

Serves 2-4.

 

Quinoa Salad w/ Toasted Chickpeas & Summer Vegetables

 

½ cup quinoa

¾ cup water

¼ teaspoon sea salt

 

1 medium zucchini

2 Tablespoons safflower oil

1 cup small heirloom variety tomatoes, halved

 

1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained & rinsed

1 Tablespoon safflower oil

1 teaspoon Sunny Paris Seasoning [Penzy’s]

Pinch of sea salt

Pinch of freshly ground black pepper

 

cooking the quinoa:

1. Place quinoa, water and sea salt in a small pot and bring to a boil.

2. Reduce heat to low and simmer covered until all of the water is absorbed.

3. Turn off heat and rest for 5-10 minutes. Spread out on a sheet tray to cool.

 

preparing the chickpeas & zucchini:

1. Toss chickpeas with the oil, seasoning, salt and pepper and roast in a 350ºF oven for 15-20 minutes or until golden and toasted. Cool.

2. Blanch the zucchini whole in salted water. Shock in an ice bath until cool enough to handle.

3. Quarter zucchini lengthwise and then into one inch pieces.

4. Place zucchini between paper towels to dry.

5. Sauté zucchini in oil and season with salt and pepper.

6. Combine all of the ingredients and adjust seasoning to taste. Serve room temp.

Serves 2-4.

 

Cherry Clafoutis

 

2 Tablespoon all-purpose flour

5 Tablespoons granular sugar

½ cup cream

½ cup whole milk

4 whole eggs

 

1 cup red cherries, pitted

 

Preheat oven to 350ºF.

preparing the custard:

1. Whisk together flour and sugar.

2. Add a little bit of the milk to the flour/sugar mix to form a smooth paste.

3. Add remaining milk, cream and eggs, whisk until smooth.

filling & baking the clafoutis:

1. Butter an eight inch baking dish and dust with sugar.

2. Arrange pitted cherries in the bottom and gently pour in the custard as to not disturbe the cherries too much.

3. Bake clafoutis for 20-25 minutes or until custard has puffed and browned.

Serve at room temperature with a dusting of confectioner’s sugar if you desire.

Serves 2-4.

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