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Archive for the ‘Mains’ Category

coconut curry

I made this meal for friends last week and enjoyed it for lunch for a couple of days afterwards.  Many curries have a complex mixture of spices behind them, but not this one; instead it has a nice clean flavor and lovely delicate fragrance from the lemongrass. Still the curry is warming and soothing and contains enough heat to clear your head, but not overwhelm your pallet.

lemongrass, ginger and garlic

cooking them

I like to make my own coconut milk because the flavor and texture is so much lighter than the canned versions. I use dried organic coconut, because it’s easier to find than fresh organic coconuts are here in New York.  If you have fresh available then by all means blend some up. If you want to use canned coconut milk, I would use one-third water, as it can be very rich and heavy.

The whole meal ended up with a great Thai flavor. If I had had Kefir lime leaves, I would have definitely added them, although on second thought, I didn’t miss them. I had some limes on hand to squeeze over each portion but at the last minute decided that it was perfect as is.

Since I wanted to make the curry a bit more special than an every day meal, I sautéed some red peppers and stirred them in at the end, definitely not necessary but it added a lovely bust of color.

lunch from above

One last thing…you could make this with or with out the chickpeas or add any kind of cooked bean you have on hand. I have made a delicious version with French lentils too. Please don’t be put off by the length of this recipe, it really is quite easy to make and a sure crowd pleaser!

small bowl of curry

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stuffed summer squash

stuffed squash with pesto infused quinoa and roasted cherry tomatoes

I have made these lovely little stuffed squash a couple of times over the summer to rave reviews. This is a great way to take advantage of any shape of summer squash you may find at the market or have growing in your garden. I loved stuffing the round, 8-ball and avocado squash as the larger ones are a perfect main course size, but large patty pan also work well and you can use more small squash per person if that’s what you have on hand.

beautiful summer squash and a purple pepper

I hesitated to post the recipe because I haven’t measured the amounts of quinoa, tomatoes and pesto needed to fill squash – it does really depend upon what size your squash are. I found everyone was happy to have left over components anyway, so I’ll do my best. But, please think of this recipe as more of a guide to the last of summer’s abundance.

cherry tomatoes

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chickpea tagine

chickpea tagine with quinoa and labne

Tagine is a spicy North African stew that is traditionally cooked in a tall, conical ceramic dish. Here I have substituted a wide skillet, but any good pot will do. What’s important is adding a nice blend of aromatic spices and balancing the heat to your taste. You can make it with any combination of beans or vegetables, and add olives, preserved lemons or dried fruits to create your own fragrant and delicious tagine.

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beet barley risotto

beet whole barley risotto with wilted beet greens

I’ve been thinking about making a barley risotto for most of winter and since it’s Valentine’s Day soon, I thought it was a good time to make it with beets.  This dish is something healthy and beautiful to make for someone in your life you love. (more…)

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gomoku

Gomoku is often called a five vegetable Japanese rice stew; but, I feel the word stew is misleading as it isn’t really stew-like. I thought maybe I could call my version a pilaf but that word doesn’t explain what it is well either.  Pilaf doesn’t conjure up the deeply warming and nourishing properties that this dish beholds. (more…)

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peanut vegetable curry with brown rice noodles

This is one of those dishes that turned out perfectly without any tinkering or finishing touches; a meal you can’t stop eating because it takes at a whole bowl’s worth to decipher how the myriad flavors and textures play off one other so well. (more…)

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Ratatouille

ratatouille

ratatouille

It is the perfect time of year to make Ratatouille, most of the market tomatoes need to be cooked, there are abundant red peppers, eggplants of all shapes and sizes and buttery zucchini everywhere, plus all the fresh herbs you need to simmer this beautiful mix of veggies into a fragrant, rich and succulent dish. (more…)

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