Posts Tagged RICE

Pan-Seared Scallops

Pan-Seared Sea ScallopsSeafood is something Susan and I don’t have an opportunity to enjoy nearly enough. That’s because our kids think it’s something exotic (unless we’re talking about Tuna Melts). I love most fish, but I especially love shellfish. Scallops may be expensive, but they are so versatile and so delicious that the price doesn’t seem to matter much.

Although most people don’t understand this, there’s a difference between regular sea scallops and what they call “dry” sea scallops. The dry version is much easier to sear in a skillet, although this dish can be made with either version. So, my recommendation is that you don’t shy away simply because you cannot find “dry” scallops. Just be sure to rinse the scallops and pat them dry before pan searing them.

Depending upon where you buy your scallops, you may have to remove the muscle. I usually buy mine at my local grocer, and the muscle is already removed.

This is a great dish that comfortably serves three. I’m sure you will absolutely love it.

Ingredients

1.5 lbs “dry” sea scallops

2 tbsp Canola oil

6 tbsp unsalted butter, divided

1/2 cup dry white wine

3 tbsp fresh thyme

sea salt and fresh-ground black pepper to taste

2 tbsp fresh lemon juice

1.5 cups Basmati rice

2 cups low-sodium chicken broth

1 cup water

Sea salt and fresh-ground black pepper (to taste)

Directions

Heat a skillet on medium-high. Add the 2 tbsp Canola oil. When heated, add 2 tbsp of the butter. Once melted and bubbling, add the scallops in a single layer. Season with salt and pepper. Sear on one side for 2-3 minutes. Turn each one and cook the other side for 2-3 minutes, or until the scallops become translucent. You can check this by looking at the sides of the scallops. Once done, remove the scallops to a plate and cover with aluminum foil. Place them in a warmed oven to keep warm.

While you are cooking the scallops, you should be cooking the rice. Add the 2 cups of chicken broth, one cup of water and the 1.5 cups of rice. Bring to a boil and lower the heat to medium-low. Cook until the rice is done and the water is absorbed.

Once you have removed the scallops from the skillet, add the wine, the lemon juice and the thyme. Cook for about 3 minutes. Add the 4 tbsp butter one tablespoon at a time. Cook until it is slightly reduced. If you feel you need more wine, please feel free to add it.

When the rice is done, divide it into three plates. Place the scallops on top of the rice, then pour the sauce on top of the scallops and rice.

Again, I cannot emphasize enough that this type of dish isn’t an exact science. The idea is to have the plain cooked rice and the scallops on top, with the sauce poured over the whole shebang. It is simply delicious.

 

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Forbidden Black Rice Salad

Black-RiceChinese Forbidden Black Rice is awesome. It’s short-grain, so the consistency is perfect for this salad. However, I have to tell you that it is not easily found in a supermarket. I buy mine at an all-natural grocer. It costs about $6 for a pound, but it’s well worth the investment. There is no substitute for this, so do not use the Black Japonica Rice that you can find at the supermarket. This rice truly is “black,” not purplish.

The recipe calls for roasted, diced butternut squash. The one thing you do not want to do is cook this until it is mush. You want to put it in the oven in a single layer, making sure to turn it and brown it on each side. Taste test it to be sure it will hold up when you toss the salad.

The rice isn’t the only thing that makes the salad great. The very simple dressing is just plain delicious. No additional spices are needed.

Ingredients

2 cups forbidden rice

3.5 cups water

pinch of salt

1 lb roasted, diced butternut squash

1.5 cups snow peas, blanched and cooled

1/2 cup diced red pepper

1/2 cup diced yellow pepper

1/2 cup diced orange pepper

6 scallions, sliced

6 tbsp Tamari

9 tbsp sesame oil (or 6 tbsp sesame oil and 3 tbsp hot chili sesame oil if you like a little heat)

sea salt and fresh-ground black pepper to taste

Directions

Bring rice, water and a pinch of salt to a boil. Cover and lower heat. Simmer for 30 minutes.

While the rice is cooking, bake the butternut squash (see note above), and allow to cool. Bring another pot of water to a boil, toss in the snow peas for no more than a minute or two, drain and rinse under cold water. The idea here is to make them a bit “pliable” if you will.

When the rice is done, drain it and put it into your serving bowl. Whisk together the Tamari and sesame oil. Add it to the rice while it is still a bit warm.

After the rice has cooled, add the peppers, snow peas, scallions, and butternut squash. Mix together. Add salt and pepper to taste. Not only is it absolutely delicious, but it’s a pretty attractive salad as well!

 

 

 

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Spicy Indian Dal

DahlHere’s another of those great Indian recipes. I love this stuff. When I was a kid, my family ate lentils all the time. I used to turn my nose up at lentils because I had no idea what they were or how good they truly are. To top it all off, they’re also really good for you.

Well, lentils are the main ingredient in this great dish, and it doesn’t matter what lentils you use…orange, red, green…whatever. Dahl can be used as a side dish as part of an Indian feast, or you can eat it with Pappadum or white rice. By the way, Patak makes a great cook-to-eat Pappadum that you can fry up yourself.

Ingredients

16 oz lentils

8 tbsp Canola oil

3/4 cup chopped tomatoes

1.5 cups chopped onion

3 Jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped

3 tbsp minced garlic

1 tbsp cumin

2 tbsp garam masala

1 tsp cardamom

1.5 tbsp curry powder (Madras, red or hot)

1 tbsp salt

1 tsp ground black pepper

1 tbsp sugar

2 tbsp ginger paste

1 tbsp unseasoned rice vinegar

1 tbsp turmeric

8 cups low-sodium chicken stock

Directions

In a large pot, heat the oil. Then, add the onions and cook until they are translucent. Do not brown.

Then, add the lentils, Jalapenos, garlic, cumin, garam masala, cardamom, salt, black pepper, sugar, ginger paste, curry powder, and turmeric. Cook for about 2 minutes until the herbs and spices meld together. Add the chopped tomatoes, and deglaze the pan with the rice vinegar.

Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to simmer, and cook until the lentils become tender (about 20-30 minutes), stirring occasionally.

Taste the Dal and adjust the seasonings if need be.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Mattar Paneer

matter paneer2Moving onto Indian food here. Loosely translated, this is peas and cheese. It’s delicious and makes a great accompaniment to any curry dish. If you’re a vegetarian, this is great with Basmati rice.

If you’re a masochist, you can go to Whole Foods Market (or Whole Paycheck Market, as I like to call it) and spend crazy amounts of money to buy eight skimpy ounces of Paneer cheese. Or you can make it yourself for, literally, a fraction of the cost. It’s not brain surgery. It’s pretty simple. So, I suggest you check out this link and make it yourself!

The recipe also calls for Garam Masala, which is a combination of a bunch of different spices. Of course, you can always make it yourself but, frankly, you can also buy it all made. That’s what I do. I’m a purist…to a point.

Ingredients

20 oz of Paneer cheese, cubed

2 cups frozen peas

6 tbsp oil

1/2 tbsp mustard seed

1 tsp cumin seed

2 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp paprika

1 large onion, chopped

1/4 tsp ginger paste

2 tbsp minced garlic

3 large tomatoes, chopped

1/2 tsp sugar

sea salt (to taste)

1 tsp garam masala

1 tsp chili powder

1/2 tsp turmeric

1 tsp coriander

1/4 cup tomato sauce

4 tbsp fresh, chopped cilantro

1 tbsp cornstarch

3 tbsp water

Directions

The first thing you want to do is fry the cheese. Add 3 tbsp of oil to a skillet and fry the cheese in a single layer until browned on all sides. Remove and put on a paper towel-lined dish. Set aside. Then, mix the cornstarch and water and set aside.

In a separate pan, heat 3 tbsp oil. Add the mustard and cumin seeds. Cook until they turn color and begin to “pop.”

Now, add the onions, ginger and garlic. Cook until the onions soften (but do not brown). Then, add tomatoes, salt, and sugar and cook until tomatoes soften. Once the tomatoes have softened, add the garam masala, chili powder, turmeric, coriander, cumin and paprika. Stir to mix.

Add the tomato sauce and stir, then add the peas. Cook the mixture until the peas are just tender. Do not worry if it appears that the dish is “soupy” or “watery.” That is what the cornstarch mixture is for.

Add the paneer and cook over medium heat for about 2-3 minutes until the paneer absorbs the flavor. Add the cornstarch mixture to thicken.

Move to a serving dish and garnish with the chopped cilantro.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Good Karma’s Absurdly Delicious Slow-Cooked Beef Brisket

For this recipe, you need about a 4 lb. beef brisket (and you cannot substitute corned beef brisket either). Visit your local butcher or call your supermarket (which is what I do) to order yours in advance if brisket is not readily available. The key to this dish is slow cooking.

It also calls for two cups of dark, brewed coffee. Forget Dunkin’ Donuts and forget supermarket brand coffees. For this recipe, you need Starbucks Gold Coast, Italian Roast or Sumatra. Nothing else will do.

Ingredients

1 4-lb. beef brisket

1 large Vidalia onion (coarsely cut)

8 cloves of garlic (cut into fourths)

2 tablespoons of chili powder

2 tablespoons of cumin

2 tablespoons of coriander

2 tablespoons of freshly ground black pepper

2 teaspoons of sea salt

3 tbsp. olive oil

2 tbsp. sambal oelek

2 bottles of Magic Hat No. 8 Beer

2 cups of malt or apple cider vinegar

2 cups of dark coffee

1 can of tomato puree

1 can of chopped tomatoes

Directions

A pasta pan is the right attitude for this dish. Place the olive oil, a handful of the onions and several hunks of garlic in the pan to get the process going. While things are heating up, make a rub with 1 tbsp. each of the cumin, coriander, chili powder, black pepper, and 1 tsp. of the salt. Rub each side of the brisket with a bit of olive oil and spread the rub over both sides.

Once the oil is fairly hot and you can smell the onions and garlic, place the brisket in the pan and brown nicely on both sides. Everything gets easier from here. Remove the brisket and add the beer, vinegar, brewed coffee, tomato puree and chopped tomatoes. Then add the balance of the spices (coriander, cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper). Add the 2 tbsp. of sambal oelek, as well as the rest of the garlic and onions. Stir.

Place the brisket back in the liquid and allow it to come to a boil, then turn to low and allow it to cook for a minimum of six hours. It is important that you taste what you are cooking the brisket in and adjust the spices to your liking. There is no right and wrong here. Personally, I love garlic. Prior to browning my brisket, I actually poke holes in it and place additional cloves of garlic in the holes. It all depends upon what you like.

When done, it’s quite possible that the meat will be hard to cut. It may just fall apart. This is a good thing.

Drain the fat and oil off the remaining liquid and cook down to make a sauce. You can also add a tablespoon of cornstarch mixed with water to hasten the process. It’s great to serve this dish with yellow rice, placing the beef on top and covering the entire thing with the sauce.

Even people who claim to “hate” beef will devour this dish.

 

 

 

 

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