We’ve been wanting to try quinoa (pronounced Keen-Wa) for sometime now, but it took a trip down to Wild Oats all the way across town to actually find it. But for this flavorful recipe, the trip was well worth it. The curry and peppers are deliciously spicy, but the cooling textures and flavors of the mango and mint perfectly compliment the heat. Plus, quinoa is really good for you (which makes you wonder why it isn’t more readily available). Anyways, if you can find it, I definitely recommend giving this one a try!
Quinoa with Mango and Curried Yogurt
Makes 6 side dish or 4 main dish servings. Recipe from Epicurious.
1/3 cup plain yogurt
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
2 teaspoons curry powder
1 teaspoon finely grated peeled fresh ginger
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable or peanut oil
1 1/3 cups quinoa (7 1/2 oz)*
1 lb firm-ripe mango, peeled, pitted, and cut into 1/2-inch chunks (2 cups)
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 fresh jalapeÃ±o chile, seeded (if desired for less heat) and minced
1/3 cup chopped fresh mint
1/2 cup salted roasted peanuts (2 1/2 oz), chopped
Whisk together yogurt, lime juice, curry powder, ginger, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Add oil in a slow stream, whisking until combined.
Rinse quinoa in a bowl using 5 changes of water, rubbing grains and letting them settle before pouring off water (if quinoa does not settle, drain in a large sieve after each rinsing).
Cook quinoa in a 4- to 5-quart pot of boiling salted water 10 minutes. Drain in a large sieve and rinse under cold running water.
Set sieve with quinoa over a saucepan containing 1 1/2 inches boiling water (sieve should not touch water) and steam quinoa, covered with a kitchen towel and lid, until fluffy and dry, 10 to 12 minutes. Toss quinoa with curried yogurt and remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Serve warm or at room temperature.
A quick, refreshing dinner that is surprisingly filling (even Taylor, with his neverending stomach, couldn’t finish his portion). This would be good with salmon as well, but we like tuna for its cheapness factor. :)
Tuna Nicoise Salad
Makes 4 servings. Recipe from Everyday Food (with adjustments).
salt and freshly ground black pepper
4-5 red new potatoes
8 ounces green beans, trimmed
1 can solid tuna in water
1-2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 heads Boston lettuce
4 plum tomatoes
3 large eggs, hard-cooked
1 medium red onion
1 jar/tin anvhocy fillets, drained (completely optional)
1/4 cup kalamata olives
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/4 cup olive oil
salt and fresh ground pepper
In medium bowl, whisk the lemon juice, mustard, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and a pinch of pepper until combined. Whisking constantly, add the olive oil in a steady stream; whisk until thickened and creamy.
In a 5-quart pot, bring 1/2 inch water to a boil; add salt and the potatoes. Cover and cook, turning occasionally, until tender, about 14-16 minutes.
With a slotted spoon, transfer the potatoes to a bowl. Season with salt, pepper, and other spices if desired (paprika is always good!). Set aside to cool.
Add the green beans to the pot of boiling water. Cover and cook, turning occasionally, 4-6 minutes. Remove with slotted spoon and rinse with cool water. Set aside.
Break up tuna into a small bowl. Add olive oil, lemon juice (to taste), and season with salt and pepper.
Tear lettuce into pieces, quarter the potatoes and tomatoes, peel and quarter the eggs, and thinly slice the onion. Arrange on a large platter along with green beans, tuna, olives, and anchovies. Serve with the dressing.
Cilantro and Kiwi? What the…?
No. Seriously. Try it. It’s amazing.
It’s like salsa. But bright green. And spicy. And slightly sweet. And delicious.
We saved the leftovers and ate it on chips the next day.
Mom… you have to make this. I know you’ll like this one.
Mahi-Mahi with Fresh Cilantro & Kiwi Chutney
Makes 2 servings. Recipe from Bon Appetit.
1 cup (packed) chopped fresh cilantro
1 large kiwi, peeled, cubed
1/4 cup canned unsweetened coconut milk
1 large garlic clove, peeled
2 teaspoons chopped jalapeño chile
2 6- to 7-ounce mahi-mahi fillets
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Coarsely puree first 5 ingredients in processor. Season chutney with salt and pepper. Sprinkle fish with salt, pepper, and cumin. Heat oil in medium skillet over medium heat. Add fish. Saute until just opaque in center, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer to plates; top with chutney.
We’ve done the Thai curries. We’ve done them darned good. But we were ready for a change. So when we saw this vegetable Indian curry in Bon Appetit, we had to try it.
Unfortunately, our Okra went bad before we made it. We have never had Okra, and were both looking forward to it. We were not, however, looking forward to moldy okra. Maybe next time.
We’d also peel the eggplant next time, and try cooking it differently. The skin was tough and the flesh was too bitter. We ended up picking out all the pieces of eggplant and eating the rest of it. If anyone here has a tip for non-bitter eggplant, please share!
If you do choose to make this, chances are you’ll need to run down to your friendly neighborhood international food store to get many of the ingredients. We somehow managed to find curry leaves (which oddly smell like burnt rubber), used what we needed and froze the rest for next time. The Black Mustard and Fenugreek you’ll also need to find. If you want to save yourself some time, pick up some “ghee”, which is basically browned clarified butter. If not, you’ll have to clarify your own, simply by melting the butter and scooping off all the white solids that rise to the top and sink to the bottom.
If I haven’t scared you with the complexity of this recipe yet… you really should try it! It’s darned good (sans bitter eggplant, of course!)
Coconut Vegetable Curry
Makes 6 servings. Recipe from Bon Appetit.
5 tablespoons Clarified Butter, divided
12 pearl onions, blanched 1 minute, peeled
10 fresh okra pods
6 Indian eggplants (each about 3 inches long) or 4 Asian eggplants, trimmed, each quartered lengthwise 2 large carrots (about 10 ounces), peeled, cut on diagonal into 1/4-inch-thick ovals
1 1/2 pounds tomatoes, cored, cubed
5 tablespoons Clarified Butter
1 pound white onions, chopped
1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
1 large garlic clove, chopped
2 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh or frozen curry leaves* (about 16 leaves)
1 1/2 teaspoons black mustard seeds**
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon fenugreek seeds***
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt 3 1/2 cups canned unsweetened coconut milk (preferably organic)
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
Heat 1 tablespoon butter in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions; sautÃ© until golden, about 2 minutes. Reduce heat to low and sautÃ© until onions are just tender, about 8 minutes. Transfer onions to bowl. Heat 1 tablespoon butter in same skillet over medium-high heat. Add okra; sautÃ© until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Add okra to bowl with onions. Heat 1 tablespoon butter in same skillet over medium-high heat. Add eggplants; sprinkle with salt and pepper. SautÃ© eggplants until brown on cut surfaces and just tender, about 6 minutes. Add eggplant to onions. Melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter in same skillet. Add carrots. SautÃ© until carrots begin to soften, about 3 minutes. Add tomatoes and stir to blend; add to vegetable mixture in bowl. Reserve skillet for sauce.
Heat butter in reserved skillet over medium-high heat. Add chopped onions and sautÃ© until golden, about 14 minutes. Reduce heat to medium. Add ginger and garlic; sautÃ© 1 minute. Add curry leaves, mustard seeds, turmeric, fenugreek, and cayenne; sautÃ© 1 minute. Add vegetable mixture and 1Â§ teaspoons salt. Add coconut milk and bring to simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer uncovered until vegetables are just tender, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes. Mix in lime juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Transfer curry to bowl. Serve over basmati rice.