Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Middle Eastern Rice with Turkey and Beans

Middle Eastern Rice with
Black Beans and Garbanzo Beans

The original recipe is posted on http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Middle-Eastern-Rice-with-Black-Beans-and-Chickpeas/Detail.aspx. After reading 190+ positive reviews, I decided to give this recipe a try. The original recipe posted for 1 quart of chicken broth for 1 cup of basmati rice which was questionable. Either I reduced the broth as most reviewers did or increase the quantity of rice. Since I like my rice dry rather than wet, I decided to increase the quantity of rice. While the original recipe is delicious as written, I decided to add in other spices to give more of an authentic flavor I'm accustomed to tasting when I eat at our favorite Middle Eastern restaurant. This is a very simple healthy recipe, very aromatic and budget-friendly. This recipe also makes an enormous quantity, but I don't mind. I just don't have to cook for a few days. I'm thinking of even replacing one can of black beans for one can of lentils the next time I make this dish, which will be soon. This recipe can be made a day in advance and probably be great served as a party buffet side dish
as well.

For the Rice
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 cups brown basmati rice. washed well and drained
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cayenne or to taste
1 teaspoon salt
Two 14-ounce cans Swanson brand 33% less-sodium chicken broth
AND add enough cold water to measure 5 cups

For the Ground Turkey
1 small onion, finely chopped (about 4 to 5 ounces)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
One 1.25-pound package of ground lean turkey

Two 15.5-ounce cans garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
Two 15.5-ounce cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro (0.7 ounce)
1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted (optional)

Cooking the rice: heat about 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat until hot, but not smoking. Stir in garlic and cook for about 30 seconds or until it starts to turn brown. Stir in the rice, cumin, coriander, cloves, cinnamon, salt and pepper. Continue to cook and stir for about 3 to 5 minutes, adding a little more oil if necessary until rice starts to get toasty. Add the chicken broth/water. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low heat and cook for 45 minutes or all liquid is absorbed and rice is cooked.

Cooking the turkey: Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat until hot, but not smoking Add the onions. Cook and stir until the onions starts to turn brown on the edges, about 5 minutes. Add the cumin, coriander, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and pepper and continue to cook for 30 seconds or until fragrant. Add the turkey and continue to cook, breaking up the turkey to small pieces. Continue to cook until turkey becomes browned.

Add the garbanzo beans and black beans to the turkey and cook until thoroughly combined and beans are heated through. Remove from heat. Add the hot rice and cilantro. Gently mix everything together. Transfer to a nice platter or casserole dish. Sprinkle with pine nuts.

Yields 8 servings or 12 to 16 side dish servings

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Steamed Egg Custard Dessert

Steamed Egg Custard Dessert

Unlike traditional baked custard or flan, steamed egg custard is light and silky smooth. To achieve the silky smooth texture, the custard is strained through a fine sieve before steaming. The temperature of the water is very important. The water must reach a boiling hot temperature; then the heat is reduced to low so that the water will have very little bubbling activity while the custard is steaming. Covering the custard cups with plastic wrap during the steaming process is also important so that the custard will not puff up like a souffle. I tend to crave for this style of egg custard from my childhood memory. Sometimes I eat this egg custard for a quick nourishing breakfast before my workout at the gym.

4 large eggs (about 7.2 to 7.7 ounces)
1/2 cup organic evaporated cane juice (3.5 ounces)

2-1/2 tablespoons 100% maple syrup (2.6 ounces)
2 cups reduced fat milk (16 ounces)

Nuk eggs by emerging eggs in very hot tap water for about 1 minute.

Heat milk in the microwave for 1:30 minutes at high power or until hot, but
not boiling.

In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, evaporated cane juice and maple syrup until blended. Gradually add the hot
milk to the eggs and whisk until blended and evaporated cane juice is dissolved. Strain custard through a fine sieve into a large measuring cup or large pitcher with a pourable spout. Distribute the custard among 6 custard cups or ramekins (about 4.7 to 4.8 ounces per cup). Cover each cup with plastic wrap. I like to use the "stretch-tite" brand plastic food wrap.

In a large, deep pot with a lid, fill the pot with 1 inch of water. Place a steamer rack at the bottom of pot. Bring water to a boil. Lower heat to low (simmering water with very little gentle bubbles) and place the custard cups on steamer rack. Can steam in
2 batches if all 6 custard cups cannot fit in the pot at one time. Cover pot with lid and steam 13 to 14 minutes. Custard will be set and slightly jiggly in the center, but will firm up as the custard cools. Let custard cool to room turemperature, about
2 hours. Do not remove the plastic wrap while custard is cooling to prevent custard from shrinkage on the sides and forming a skin on top. Can adjust plastic wrap if the plastic is concaving into the custard during cooling. Store custard in the refrigerator; recover with clean plastic wrap.

Custard can be eaten room temperature or chilled.

Yields 6 servings
About 189 calories per serving

Friday, April 23, 2010

Ground Turkey with Peas

Ground Turkey with PeasMurghi Ka Keema

This recipe is adapted from Madhur Jaffrey's Quick and Easy Indian Cooking. This dish is quick and easy to prepare, hence the title of this book. While a pot of brown rice was cooking for 45 minutes, I was preparing the ingredients for this recipe. By the time the rice was done cooking, this dish was already cooked. I had extra time to cook 3 eggs, over-easy and wash most of the dishes before sitting down to dinner. I will definitely make this dish again, especially on nights when I don't know what to cook and want to cook something healthy, fast, and budget-friendly. The peas can be substituted with lima beans, green beans, corn or garbanzo beans.

3 tablespoons olive oil (0.7 ounce)
1-inch stick cinnamon

4 cardamom pods
2 bay leaves
1 small onion, finely chopped (4 to 5.3 ounces)
3 large cloves garlic, finely minced (0.5 ounce)
2 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger (0.4 ounce)
One 1.25-pound package lean ground lean turkey or ground chicken

1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1-1/2 teaspoons store-bought garam masala
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper or to taste
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1-3/4 cup frozen peas (7 ounces)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (0.8 ounce)

Heat a large skillet on medium-high heat until hot, but not smoking. Add the oil to the hot skillet. Tilt the skillet so the oil collects to one side of the pan. Add the cinnamon stick, cardamon pods, and bay leaves to the oil. "Fry" for a few seconds or until cardamon pods starts to pop. Lay the skillet flat down on the burner. Add the onion. Stir and fry until the onion pieces turn brown at the edges, about 1-1/2 to 2 minutes. Add the garlic and stir for a few seconds. Add the ginger and stir for another few seconds. Add the ground turkey. Increase heat to high heat; stir and fry until the turkey is cooked through and broken up into small pieces, aobut 4 to 5 minutes. Lower heat back to medium-high heat and add the turmeric, garam masala, cayenne pepper, salt and black pepper. Stir and fry for a few seconds and then add the peas and lemon juice. Continue to cook for another 2 to 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Discard the cinnamon stick, cardamom pods and bay leaves before serving.

Serve with brown basmati rice.

Yields 3 to 4 servings

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Roasted Garbanzo Beans and Grape Tomatoes

Roasted Garbanzo Beans and
Grape Tomatoes with
Smoked Paprika

The original recipe is from Bon Appetit posted on http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Roast-Chicken-Breasts-with-Garbanzo-Beans-Tomatoes-and-Paprika-242113. This is a great recipe which I have made a few times already, but I also love eating the beans and tomatoes all on its own with brown rice. It's so healthy and the flavors are so complex with the smoked paprika, cumin and cilantro. So today, I decided to roast the garbanzo beans and tomatoes without the chicken and it is equally as delicious! If you can't find smoked paprika, substitute with one chipotle pepper in adobo sauce (canned). Either one will give a nice smoky flavor to the dish, only the chipotle pepper will make this dish spicy. I have tried using both kinds and I don't mind using either one.

1/4 cup olive oil (1.7 ounces)
4 large clove garlic, finely minced (0.6 ounce)
1 tablespoon smoked paprika OR 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce
1 teaspoon ground cumin
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
Two 15.5-ounce cans garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
One 16-ounce package whole grape tomatoes
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro (0.7 ounce)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees and position rack in the center of the oven.

In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, garlic, smoked paprika, cumin, salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly until well blended.

In a separate large bowl, combine the garbanzo beans and tomatoes. Add the

olive oil mixture and cilantro. Toss everything together with a spatula until well combined. Transfer to a large rimmed baking sheet and spread beans and tomatoes out in one layer.

Bake for 20 minutes. Great eaten with cooked quinoa, couscous, brown rice, or

whole-wheat orzo pasta.

Yields 2 to 4 servings