Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Farro Waldorf Salad

I made Enlightened Cooking's recipe for a mayo-less Waldorf salad for dinner last night and it was as delicious as it was easy to make. I went ahead and topped some spinach with the salad since I hadn't eaten any greens that day, but ended up preferring it on it's own with just the baked salmon on top. I prepared Camilla's recipe as written, only using one Honey Crisp apple instead of two...seemed like plenty with just the one. Oh and I also subbed toasted walnuts for the pecans that I didn't have. The salad kept well overnight with no browning of the apple.

Whole Foods has pearled farro in their bulk section, and durn if I only bought one cups worth! Will definitely be needing to stock it in my pantry from now on.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Lentil Picadillo with Mango

I like heat (on my tongue heat, not Texas summer heat), and I like olives, therefore, my lentil picadillo had to have both of those added to it in the form of cayenne pepper and Spanish green olives. Other than that, I don't think I changed much else from the original adaptation, other than lessening the amount of dried thyme and adding a little more liquid...

This is a great weeknight meal that comes together very quickly if you have a whole grain already cooked and ready to go in the freezer. For us last night, that happened to be brown rice, but you could pair this with any other whole grain...I'm sure quinoa would be great.
I used French green lentils instead of the standard brown or green, because I like that their texture holds up well after cooking.

Lentil Picadillo with Mango:
(Adapted from Eats Well with Others...who adapted a recipe for meaty picadillo from Simply Recipes)

1.5 cups French green lentils
~1 tsp kosher salt
one red onion, sliced very thinly, vertically.
~1 Tbs. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp dried oregano (I like to use Greek oregano...not as pungent as the Mexican)
a pinch of dried thyme
cayenne pepper to taste, optional (I used about 1/2 tsp)
1 cup chunky tomato-based salsa
a good handful of pimento stuffed Spanish olives, halved
1 large mango or 2 small mangoes, peeled pitted and cubed (or if you have a MONSTER of a mango like I did, 1/2 of that!)
2 tbsp sliced almonds, toasted
2 tbsp cilantro leaves
salt and pepper to taste

Sort your lentils and wash them thoroughly.
Add lentils to a 3qt. saucepan and cover with at least 2 inches of filtered water.
Heat on high until water starts to boil, then add about 1 tsp kosher salt and reduce to a simmer, cooking uncovered for about 20 minutes.
Remove pot from heat, cover and let sit for another 5 minutes.
Drain lentils, but reserve some of the cooking water...about a cups worth.

While the lentils are cooking, heat olive oil in a non-stick skillet over medium heat.
Salt them lightly and cook for about 10 minutes or until soft and golden.
Add garlic, and spices through cayenne pepper, if using.
Cook another 2 minutes then add cooked lentils, salsa, olives, diced mango, and about 1/2 cup+ of reserved lentil cooking water.
Simmer until these last additions are heated through, then remove from heat.
Check for seasoning...adding salt and black pepper as needed.

Serve atop cooked grain of your choice, or even a bed of spinach, then garnish with cilantro and toasted almonds. We also topped with some chopped avocado.

Hatch Chile Chicken Stew

I've made this twice now, and have almost used up my frozen supply of roasted hatch chiles...will be so sad to see them gone. Still pretending it's Fall around here...
This is a great stew, and even though I was too lazy to post the first time I made it, The Monster made me write down what went into it...he wanted be sure he'd get to eat it again. :-)

Hatch Chili Chicken Stew:

1+ lb organic boneless, skinless chicken thighs, patted dry, trimmed of fat and cut into 2-3 pieces each
2-3 Tbs whole spelt flour (or sub another flour)
1.5 tsp each salt and black pepper
1 tsp ground cumin
a few good shakes of garlic powder
~2 Tb olive oil
1/2 large onion, chopped
3/4 bottle of beer (first time I used Dogfish ale and the second time I used a Real Ale Oktoberfest lager)
5 cloves garlic, chopped
1 Qt. reduced salt chicken broth
~1.5 cups chopped roasted, peeled and seeded hatch chiles (I used a mix of hot and mild chiles)
~4 medium small potatoes, quartered (I used purple potatoes this time, but the first time I made this with 1 can of white beans, drained and rinsed...just use whatever strikes your fancy)
1 ears worth of fresh, corn cut off the cob
~1/4 of a large head of green cabbage, sliced thinly
handful of chopped cilantro (ok, so I was out of this the second time I made it...oops)
squeeze of lime
grated pepper jack cheese, if desired (reallllly good...ate it with this the next day)
salt and pepper to taste

Add 2+ Tb spelt flour, salt, pepper, cumin and garlic powder to a gallon sized Ziplock bag.
Dredge chicken by adding in several batches to the flour mixture and shaking well.
Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in a Dutch oven, and sear chicken for 5 min total, turning mid-way.
Remove chicken from the pot and set aside.
Add the chopped onion to the pot with a touch more oil and saute for about 5 min.
You might want to add a little beer to deglaze and keep the onions and flour residue from burning.
Add in chopped garlic and cook for 1 min more.
Add in about 3/4 of a bottle of beer, cook on high for about 2 minutes, then add 1 Qt. chicken broth, the seared chicken, the quartered potatoes (if using beans instead, wait 10 minutes then add) and the diced hot and mild hatch chiles, bring to a simmer then cook covered for 10 min.

After 10 minutes, add in green cabbage and the corn (If using white beans instead of potatoes add now), cover and simmer another 10 minutes.

Remove from heat and toss in a handful of chopped cilantro and a squeeze of lime juice...adjust salt and pepper if necessary. Top individual bowls with grated pepper-jack cheese if desired.