Posts Tagged ‘orzo’

spicy apricot sausage paella

In culinary experiments, dinner, easy weeknight meals, ethnic food, tapas on 06.11.11 at 10:44 am

homemade paella, oh yes. :) some might say that food is a cultural experience, and i totally embraced it that evening. cooking dinner past nine. chatting it up with a good friend. listening to some lively tunes. my own little kitchen fiesta. :) totally reminded me of good times & good food while traveling through spain during my first european backpacking adventures after university. ah, the memories…

a wave of nostalgia came over me at the local farmers’ market on the weekend. i found this smoked spicy mexican chorizo at the butcher’s counter and it inspired me to cook homemade paella for the first time. another happy culinary experiment!

prep the paella:
– 1 bunch scallions or green onion (remove bottom rooted stems, diced)
– 1 ring of smoked spicy mexican chorizo sausage (sliced rounds)
– 1 heirloom tomato (rough chop)
– 2 cups crimini mushrooms (washed well, sliced)
– 4 fresh apricots (pitted, sliced)

paella is a traditional dish from valencia in east coastal spain. there many variations of ingredients in paella, but in its most authentic form, according to wikipedia, paella is cooked over an open fire and infused with flavours of orange and pine cones. since cooking in a paellera (traditional paella pan) over an open fire isn’t really an option for many of us, the happy alternative is cooking paella in a wok stove-top with flavours of apples, apricots & fresh tarragon. ah, the joys of urban living.

wok it up:
– heat up 1.5 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil (evo0) in large wok on medium to high heat

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grilled pistachio mahi mahi & pineapple rice

In culinary experiments, dinner, easy weeknight meals, leftovers, lunch, vegetarian on 06.03.11 at 9:04 pm

it all started with the coconut-flavoured m&m’s… my buddy raj recently got back from hawaii and brought back some chocolate from the island — and apparently some tropical culinary inspiration! (and to answer your question — no, there aren’t any coconut m&m’s in this mahi mahi recipe. although that could be an interesting twist. haha)

so i found some frozen fillets at the grocery store and thought the mahi mahi would make for a yummy yummy culinary experiment. i’ve eaten mahi mahi before while traveling the westcoast, but this was my first try at cooking this whitefish at home. here’s my tropical-inspired, i-wish-i-was-in-maui mahi mahi dish… aloha! :)

mahi mahi marinade:
whisk together the following ingredients in large prep bowl:
– extra-virgin olive oil (evoo)
– dash of sea salt
– pinch of cayenne pepper
– ground black peppercorns
– 1/2 cup crushed pistachios (deshelled, crushed w/ mortar & pestle)

– place 4 thawed fillets of mahi mahi in marinade, using a pastry brush to cover both sides evenly

grill ‘em up:
– heat up indoor grill for 5min (or follow the instructions for your particular model of indoor grill.)
– place marinated mahi mahi fillets (encrusted with pistachios) on indoor grill & close the grill-press, so both sides will cook at the same time
– grill for approx 7-8min until fillets are cooked through
– remove fillets from grill & set aside (covered).

(tip: you may need to grill the fillets two at a time, depending on the size of grill.)

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mackerel orzo smokestack

In brunch, culinary experiments, dinner, easy weeknight meals, lunch, vegetarian on 05.23.11 at 8:25 pm

there’s something about stacked food that feels a little gourmet… and the great thing is that it’s easier than you think. :)

i’m a newbie when it comes mackerel. i recently found some smoked mackerel fillets at a surprisingly cheap price from the fish vendor at the local farmers’ market. so it wasn’t a difficult decision to bring home some smoked mackerel for another culinary experiment. the salty taste of the smoked mackerel balances well with the sweetness of baby organic carrots and the peppery flavour of fresh watercress. read on, fellow foodies, to see how this ‘smokestack’ came to be…

the orzo:
– boil 4 cups water in large pot
– add 1.5 cups uncooked orzo to boiling water
– cook for approx 10-12 minutes until orzo is plump & tender (do not overcook)
– drain well and rinse off starchy water. set orzo aside.

prep fish & veggies:
– 2 fillets of smoked mackerel (remove skin & flake)
– 1/2 cup baby organic carrots – julienne (think: long, thin matchsticks)
– set aside

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