Wednesday, June 11, 2008

June 11th, 2008

Okay we have finally had some lovely weather here so that means salads and BBQs. I have posted before about how to do the corn on the BBQ, so I won't do that again, although my friend Fiona at Cottage Small holder has come up with a yummy idea I want to try for my next BBQ. She posted on her blog about doing some stuffed vegetables and I don't see why you couldn't do them and then cover in foil and put on the BBQ. So going to give that a go next BBQ we have.
I have seen this ingredient here and there in different cooking magazines and food blogs so I had to try it. It is a grain that you cook very similar to cous cous and Bulghar wheat. Only this one has a neat curlyque.

First you need to rinse it well in cold water. Now this isn't very easy as the grains are really small.

I have adapted this recipe from Fine Cooking magazine.
1 1/2 cups quinoa, rinsed well. Place into a sauce pan along with 3 cups water and a pinch of salt. Bring to the boil over high heat. Cover, reduce heat to medium low once it comes to the boil. and simmer until the water is absorbed about 10 to 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork and then spread onto a shallow plate or baking sheet to cool.
When cool, fluff again and transfer to a large bowl.
To make the salad:
1 1/2 cups finely diced tomato, you can deseed if you like, but personally I prefer the seeds.
1 cup finely chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
1 cup finely diced cucumber
1/2 cup thinly sliced spring onions or chopped onion
Mix well with the Quinoa in the bowl.
To make the dressing:
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, juice of 1 whole lemon or more to taste(I would include the zest next time too and maybe some lime zest and juice), 1 teaspoon ground cumin, 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon and 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh mint. Salt and pepper to taste. Mix together and toss with the salad. Let the flavours mingle for 2 hours before serving or over night. Adjust seasoings to taste. I also added a bit of dried oregano.
This was nice and refreshing for a change to a lettuce salad. I will be trying different recipes using this grain again.

Here I served it with Pork medallions cooked in a creamy onion mustard sauce with Butterbean mash and steamed asparagus and some cherry tomatoes. Very filling! But very Yummy!!!
I also made a plum ginger cake but we were too stuffed to even have a piece of it.
But here is how I did the cake.
Plum Ginger Cake
Makes one 9 inch square cake.
Preheat ove to 160C. Prepare your cake pan, by greasing with butter and dusting with flour.
Take 100 g softened butter and mix with 100 g caster sugar. Beat in 2 eggs one at a time. Mix together 100 g self raising flour, 1 tsp baking powder. Sift the dry ingredients into the egg mixture. I also added about a teaspoon or so of chopped fresh peeled ginger. Mix well and then place in baking tin. Bake for 10 minutes and then top with this mixture....
4 small plums sliced, 1 tablespoon of flour, 3 tablespoons of brow sugar and about 1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger. Mix together and then drop onto the part bake cake. Back into the oven for about 20 minutes or so until the cake tests done with a toothpick. I made a quick little icing to drizzle over the cooled cake. Melt about a teaspoon or so of butter in a jug mix well with some icing sugar and then thin with some milk to desired consistency. Drizzle over cake.
This is lovely served with vanilla ice cream.

Grilled Goats Cheese Stuffed Peppers

Take two long red peppers and slice a bit open so you can take out the seeds and membrane. Leave the stem on. Rub with olive oil and place some goats cheese slices inside. Drizzle with a little olive oil, balsamic vinegar and place under the grill. Grill till cheese is bubbly and peppers are al dente. Sprinkle with some pine nuts and drizzle with some pesto. Serve with some grilled ciabatta and fresh salad leaves.

Like I said we have been having quick salad types of meals. Hope you enjoy!!!


Proud Italian Cook said...

Pat, all great ideas for summer. I really like quinoa too,I remember the first time I made it I guess I forgot to rinse it and just poured it in the pot, it was terrible! You are right to say that you really have to rinse it!

Pat said...

Thanks Marie, This is the first I had fixed it and it is lovely. I did read that it needs rinsing really well.

Erin said...

I keep seeing Quinoa recipes, too, so I just bought some the other day. Still no idea what I'll do with it, but this sounds like a fresh summer salad idea.

Pat said...

Erin, It was yummy, Make sure to rinse it well. And if you like couscous you will like this too.

Cynthia said...

A friend of mine recently sent me some quinoa and I am definitely motivated by what you made to try it.

Pat said...

Cynthia,It is a nice grain to use. I think you will enjoy it.

Cottage Smallholder said...

Hi Pat

We have an unopened pack if quinoa in the larder. Now I know what to do with it! Sounds delicious. Thanks for sharing.