September 25, 2008

ROUND EIGHT: Green and White Risotto

I enjoy naming my recipes by the colors in them. :) Anyway, since Jamie is still in India and I actually had time to cook and wanted an excuse to use my new fancy camera, I decided to start a new round. As usual, I took a general idea and went with it, almost entirely without measuring. :)

Ingredients (or some approximation thereof):
3 Tbsp olive oil
1-2 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp salt
2 small or 1 large clove(s) garlic, minced
1/2 medium sweet onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 cup rice (I did measure this!)
2 glasses of water with about 1 tablespoon (or less) of soy sauce mixed in each
white wine (I used Savignon Blanc, no idea how much though - I just poured it in until I stopped)
4-5 white bella mushrooms, sliced
handful fresh parsley, chopped
1 sheet nori seaweed, roasted and chopped (just to add something healthy)
sage to taste
coriander to taste
nutmeg to taste
pepper to taste

Heat oils and salt in wok or heavy-bottomed pan, add garlic and onions and saute until onions soften. Add peppers and celery. Sample the wine.
As peppers begin to soften, add rice and toss to coat the rice with the oil. Saute and allow the rice to begin to absorb the oil, stirring frequently. Better double-check that wine; sample again just to be sure it's good.
Add 1/2 glass water/soy sauce mixture and stir. Add the rest of the glass after about a minute or so and continue simmering, stirring frequently. Add wine, mushrooms, half of the chopped parsley, and seasonings.
The rice will need to cook another 15-20 min, so add water/soy sauce as needed throughout this cooking time and stir every couple of minutes. Go ahead, have another glass, you've got time.
Shortly before serving, stir in the nori and remaining parsley.
Serve with remaining white wine (if any).

September 5, 2008

Round Seven Rebuttal - Black Bean Soup and Red Rice

First, let me say thanks for allowing me to be a guest foodie while Jamie's away. Second, let me say that I didn't really measure anything when I created these recipes, so you'll have to bear with me if it's not 100% accurate. :)

For a little while i wasn't sure what I was going to contribute, but then I remembered that I love black bean soup. And I made a fantastic mess in the process. Yum. So here goes:

Black Bean Soup:
1/2 onion
1 clove garlic
2-3 Tbsp olive oil
1 habanero pepper, finely chopped
juice from 1.5 square inches of fresh ginger
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 tsp dill
1 tsp cumin
1 can beans
water as needed
1/2 large green bell pepper
juice of 1/2 lime
salt and pepper to taste
cilantro to garnish

Sautee onion and garlic in olive oil, add habanero and sautee until softened. Add juice from ginger (I press it in my garlic press to extract the juice), carrots, spices, salt/pepper, and water. Allow this to simmer for a moment before adding the beans and continue simmering 20-30 minutes. At the last moment add the bell pepper and lime juice. Serve with a dollop of plain yogurt and cilantro.

Red Rice:
1/2 onion
1 clove garlic
2-3 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp cayenne
2 tsp chili powder
2 tsp cumin
1/4 C tomato paste
1/2 green bell pepper
2 tomatoes, chopped
1.5 C long-grain white rice (I used basmati)
juice of 1/2 lime
salt/pepper to taste
cilantro to garnish

Sautee onions and garlic in olive oil then add spices. Heat the spices through and then add in the rice, tomato paste, and just a little water to thin out the paste. Sautee the rice for 10-15 min, then add the bell pepper and the equivalent of one tomato chopped. Add salt and water to cook rice (the water should be one kuckle-length above the surface of the rice), cover and allow it to boil. As soon as the mixture is boiling, turn off the heat and keep covered until rice is finished. add the remaining tomato, lime juice, and cilantro when ready to serve.

September 1, 2008

Round Seven Rebuttal - Black Beans, Corn and Quinoa

I have picked up some decidedly hippie-ish characteristics since moving to Gainesville, including, but not limited to: yoga, keeping my AC set on a balmy 80 degrees, and buying bulk grains from the local hippie-mart. It is this last habit that inspired this variation on Susan's black beans and rice.

For those of you who have never cooked quinoa, I'll tell ya - it's weird stuff. It's like the secret love-child of rice and couscous. It's a variety of Chenopodium, which, if I recall correctly from grad school, was one of the first grains domesticated in Central and South America, a staple before maize (or taosinte, to be a complete nerd about it). In any case, it's crazy nutritious and you should try it.


1 onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 t ground coriander
1/2 t ground cumin
1/2 t paprika
1/4 t cayenne pepper
1 1/2 c water
3/4 c quinoa
1 can black beans
1 can corn
1 tomato
juice of half a lime
Sour cream

Saute the onion, bell pepper, and garlic in a teaspoon of olive oil until veggies are tender. Add spices and cook with vegetables for a couple minutes. Add water and quinoa and bring to a boil. Cover the pot, reduce heat to med-low and simmer for 20 minutes.

The quinoa will have absorbed the liquid and poofed up a bit - a little curlie-cue will have sprouted from each grain. Add the black beans, corn, tomato, and lime juice. Salt and pepper to taste and serve.

I hesitated before garnishing with sour cream, it seemed like it might be a weird combination. Then I remembered that sour cream is AWESOME and flung a dollop on top of the quinoa and veggies. Turned out to be a good move.

Let me know if you try this!