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Archive for the ‘quinoa’ Category

tabouli made with quinoa [traditionally made with wheat bulgar] is so great. i would be hard pressed to find a single dish that had more fiber and nutritional value for your fork- full. quinoa is very high in protein and complex amino acids for a vegetarian source, and parsley and raw garlic are two of the best foods you can eat.

measure 1 cup of quinoa into a pan with 2 cups of water and 1/2 t of sea salt. cover and let simmer, 10-15 minutes, until the water has been absorbed. let rest. while it is still a bit warm, squeeze the juice of one lemon into the quinoa. add one large bunch of chopped italian, flat- leaf parsley, chopped tomatoes [this time of year, the smaller ones have way better flavor], and about 1/4 cup of good olive oil. press 2-3 cloves of garlic through a press, chopping off the garlic as it is extruded in 1/16″ increments with a sharp, but disposable, knife [don’t use a good knife metal on metal]. taste and adjust seasoning if needed.

i have made this with wild rice before. i try not to eat too much wheat because of it’s inflammatory effect, and quinoa has a much better nutritional profile. i never get tired of parsley, garlic, and olive oil.

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a “frenched” or “french cut” chop is a rib chop that comes from the lean, loin area of the pig and is trimmed so that the chop remains on a rib bone; not unlike a lamb chop from a rack of lamb. in fact, you can ask your butcher to do a whole rack of pork rib roast [you would be hard pressed to just stumble across one in the store prepared this way]. because this cut is so lean, it is great grilled hot and fast, and not overcooked. the interior temperature should be 160 degrees to be safe. the alternative is to braise this cut in the oven in liquid until it is well cooked, soft, and practically falling off the bone. always use a piece of meat with the bone in if you can, it takes longer to cook [if you are grilling or pan- frying], but has much more flavor.

brown the chops on high heat in vegetable oil in a heavy, oven- proof pan; i really like the enameled steel, like le creuset. a couple tips for browning: heat the skillet before you add oil, let the oil heat well before adding the meat, have the meat at room temperature if possible, and don’t let the chops touch in the pan.

once the chops are well browned on both sides, add stock enough to come to the top of the chops. many people completely drown the meat in liquid, which is fine, but i like the brown, rich finish the meat has when it’s not totally immersed; there is plenty of liquid in the pot to braise it until tender.

season with salt, pepper, rubbed sage, and thyme. i added dried, pitted cherries and about 2 T of a very syrupy balsamic vinegar. put the lid on and cook in a preheated 325 degree oven until tender. don’t even crack the lid until it’s been at least an hour or an hour and a half. you can do it longer at 300 degrees, also, if you have the time; the slower the better.

serve the chop with the liquid and cherries spooned over the top. you could reduce or thicken the liquid, but i don’t like thickened pork gravy. i don’t know why.

red quinoa is gorgeous and has a rich, lentil- like flavor. it’s so good with meat.

saute a large, minced shallot in about 2 T of olive oil. when the shallot starts to become translucent, add a cup of the red quinoa. stir it for a few minutes so it gets toasty. add 2 cups of stock [or water], salt, and pepper [unless the stock is well- seasoned] and simmer until the liquid is absorbed. leave the lid on for another few minutes to allow the excess water to be absorbed.

add 1 T of butter and 1/2 cup chopped italian, flat leaf parsley.

quinoa has a very high protein content, is high in fiber, and is easily digested. for more about quinoa:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quinoa

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