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Friday, April 30, 2010

Stuffed Peppers Risotto

This was really yummy! And a super easy, quick way to prepare the peppers!


1/2 cup uncooked Arborio or long grain white rice
1-1/4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
4 small or 2 large sweet peppers
Salt and ground black pepper
3 oz. Parmesan or Romano cheese
1 cup 1-inch pieces asparagus or fresh broccoli florets
1 cup cubed cooked chicken
2 tsp. snipped fresh tarragon or oregano or 1/2 tsp. dried tarragon or oregano, crushed
1/4 cup whipping cream
1/4 cup pine nuts or chopped walnuts, toasted, if desired


For filling, in a 2-quart saucepan combine rice and broth; bring to boiling. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, cut tops off small peppers, or halve large peppers lengthwise. Remove membranes and seeds. In a 4-quart Dutch oven immerse peppers in boiling water oven for 3 minutes. Remove; drain, cut sides down, on paper towels. Place in a serving dish cut side up. Sprinkle lightly with salt and black pepper; set aside.
With a vegetable peeler, shave 1 ounce of the Parmesan in thin strips; set aside. Finely shred or grate the remaining Parmesan; set aside. Stir asparagus or broccoli, chicken, and herb into rice. Cover and cook 5 minutes more. Stir in whipping cream, shredded or grated cheese, and nuts. Spoon filling into peppers. Top with shaved cheese. Makes 4 servings.

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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Thai Coconut Curry REMIX

Since I seem to be the only one posting, and I do rotate my recipes on a regular basis, I made this again because its so good... I didn't have sweet potato, but i put a carrot sliced lengthwise and topped it with chives.

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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Moroccan Couscous

I love Moroccan Couscous. It is one dish i go completely nuts for, but had never tried to make it. It's actually like a stew with morrocan spices, served over couscous with hot sauce. Pretty basic, but exploding flavor! The best part is, you can play around with the ingredients.
This made 6 servings
4 skinless chicken thighs
4 merguez sausages
2 coarsely chopped bell peppers
2 coarsely chopped zucchini
1 chopped onion
2 chopped medium tomatoes
1 can garbanzo beans, drained
2 tbsp ras el hanout spice mix
1 cube dehydrated beef broth
2 cups water
1 bunch cilantro
1 3/4 cup cooked thin grained couscous
1. In the crock pot put everything except the couscous, sausages and cilantro and cook for 6-8 hours on low.
2. An hour before serving, grill the sausages (if you're using them) in a frying pan.
3. Serve over couscous sprinkled with chopped cilantro and harissa sauce.

Merguez sausages are hard to find in the US, but they are not absolutely necessary for this dish. The point is to have at least 2 different meats. I used chicken, but use pieces of lamb, goat, and beef as well. For the veggies, the traditional way is to use carrots and turnips, too, but I didn't have any. I was very happy with the way mine came out!

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Sunday, April 11, 2010

Saucisson, Radishes, and Boudin

I went to the farmer's market today... I couldn't help myself.. I had to post the local food that non-French think French are so wierd for! This first picture is the Saucisson (French Salami) that I got for 6 for 10€. Here are the flavors from left to right:
Duck, Wild Boar, Bull, Ostrich, Hot Chile, and Deer or Stag
Radishes... I love these radishes! They are not the same type as the American round fat ones, and don't taste the same. I put a little spread (country crock style) and sprinkled a bit of salt.. delicious nutritious hor d'oeuvres. Expensive, though. for the little plate you see behind my hand, 2€. I'm going to grow my own.
Another wonder of French cuisine.. Boudin Noir (blood sausage). It was recently the foire aux boudins (blood sausage fair) and so many butchers were exposing their home made boudins. I had to have a taste, and I can say I've never tasted better Boudin than this! It didn't have an odd irony aftertaste like the kind you buy from the grocery store. If you forget what it's made of...
And accompany it with home fries or mashed potatoes, it melts in your mouth and explodes with flavor! Very good! I was surprised. Also, for 1/2 kg (for 6 portions) I only paid 4€, which is a better deal than you can get at a grocery store!
Vive the local Farmer's Market!!

This weekend I didn't cook much, but I planted my own cilantro, parsley, basil, thyme, rosemary, mint, and cayenne peppers in the garden. I hope something will grow out of all that!

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Saturday, April 3, 2010

Cauliflower au Gratin

This is my mother's recipe that I grew up eating, and since I was recently craving cauliflower, I decided to try it. It is also the first time I've used my pressure cooker as a steamer, which is rather amazing and fast. Steamed vegetables are much healthier than boiled, because they keep all their nutrients inside them instead of letting them out into the water they are cooked in and that you throw out.
1 head of cauliflower
7-8 peeled potatoes
2 1/2 cups Béchamel sauce
shredded swiss
1. Steam or boil your potatoes and cauliflower. Do this however you want. I used the little basket with a bit of water in my pressure cooker. I cooked the potatoes for 5 minutes, and then I added the cauliflower for 5 minutes. If you don't have a pressure cooker or a vegetable steamer, boil your potatoes on the stove, and steam your cauliflower in a bowl of water in the microwave.
2. Make your Béchamel. Don't forget to season it well with salt and pepper, a handful of shredded swiss cheese, and maybe a little fresh parsley.
3. In a baking dish, put your cooked potatoes and cauliflower, cut into pieces, and pour the béchamel sauce so everything is nicely coated.
4. Top with more shredded cheese, and pop into the oven at 380F for 40 minutes.
Serve as a dish or side dish with pork chops or whatever you want. I had some fig saucisson I had to finish (forget it, you will never find such a thing in the US), but the next day I did it with a pork cutlet..mmmm.

This makes a lot. I froze a portion. It also gives you gas, but it's very good.

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