Sweet and Spicy Grilled Chicken

sweet spicy grilled chicken platter

What is summer without grilling? And what’s better than sweet and spicy grilled food on a summer’s day? This recipe for sweet and spicy grilled chicken gets it’s sweetness from honey and its spice from cayenne pepper – so you can easily control how much heat you want.  It’s a quick and easy marinade to make and the chicken only needs 15 minutes of marinating time.

sweet spicy grilled chicken marinade

The marinade is also used as a glaze for the grilled chicken.  It’s made with honey, lime juice, mustard, ketchup. EVOO, ginger, garlic and cayenne pepper.  This recipe makes about 2/3 cup of the marinade for which half is used to marinate the chicken and the rest is used as a glaze after the chicken has been cooked.  The lime juice in the marinade gives it an extra twang. Be sure not to marinade the chicken too long as it will break down the protein in way that leaves the chicken rubbery, even on the grill. About 15 minutes of marinating time is sufficient to flavor the chicken. This recipe makes enough for 2 pounds of chicken, but it can easily be doubled.

sweet spicy grilled chicken on grill

Cayenne pepper provides the spice and this recipe calls for a lot of it – a half-tablespoon.  If you prefer less heat use a teaspoon and if you prefer just a hint of heat, use a half-teaspoon. Grilled pineapple is a great accompaniment to this chicken, especially when made with the full amount of spice. For a great summer picnic, see the sweet and spicy grilled chicken sandwich balanced with grilled pineapple and sweet basil leaves.

sweet spicy grilled chicken plate

Sweet and Spicy Grilled Chicken

Ingredients:

2 lbs chicken boneless skinless breasts – sliced lengthwise into 1/4″ thickness

For the marinade and glazing sauce:

2 tablespoons EVOO

Juice of one lime or 3 tablespoons of lime juice

3 tablespoons honey

1 tablespoon ketchup

1 teaspoon mustard

1 tablespoon of grated ginger

2 garlic cloves grated

1/2 tablespoon cayenne pepper (if you prefer less heat then use 1 teaspoon or a half a teaspoon)

Grilled pineapple (optional garnish)

Slice chicken breasts lengthwise into 3/8″ thickness. Mix all ingredients of the marinade together.  It’ll make about 2/3 cup.  Marinate chicken in half of the marinade (1/3 cup) for 15 minutes, reserve remaining marinade.   Grill chicken on medium-high heat for 7-8 minutes on each side.  Brush cooked chicken with remaining unused marinade.  Serve with grilled pineapple as a garnish.

Serves 4-6

Seared Duck Breasts with Blueberry Port

duck with blueberry port

Blueberries are my favorite fruit. You can always find them in my refrigerator when they are in season. I eat them mostly as is but in this recipe, I cook them down to release the sugar and flavor in a port wine sauce that works wonderfully with seared duck breasts.

This recipe for seared duck breasts with blueberry port sauce is a great dish that looks as impressive to serve as it is easy to make. You should be able to buy duck breasts at your local butcher. I use Peking duck breasts but you can easily substitute Muscovy duck breasts, if you prefer. The duck breasts cook up pretty quickly with a sear on the stovetop and a quick finish in the oven to serve the duck medium-rare, so it is still pink and flavorful.

seared duck breasts

The key to searing the duck is to have a very hot pan before the duck breasts are added skin side down. To prepare the duck, cut 3-4 slits into the skins of the duck breasts on a 45° angle, then salt and pepper both sides of the breast and then place them skin-side down into the dry hot pan for 5 minutes. Turn the breasts and cook for 3 minutes on the other side, then place the skillet into the preheated oven for 5 minutes for medium-rare.

While duck is a fatty bird, seared duck breasts are not too bad, as most if the fat os cooked off while cooking and the meat plumps up. You can easily cut around the fatty skin once the duck has been cooked. Do keep the skin on for cooking, as it flavors the breasts and is great for the sear. The sauce is made separately and combined with the duck breasts on the plate. Cauliflower mash is a great side dish to accompany the duck and the blueberry port sauce.

seared duckbreasts blueberry sauce

One finely diced shallot sautéed in extra virgin olive oil balances the sweetness of the port wine and blueberries to make the sauce savory and a great complement to the duck breasts. One cup of port wine, one cup of fresh blueberries plus 2 tablespoons of pomegranate molasses are added to the shallot to make the sauce. Simmer the sauce for about 25 minutes with some light stirring. The sauce is not very thick and but thick enough to coat a spoon when inserted.

To serve, slice the breasts cross-wise on a diagonal. Spoon some sauce onto individual plates, then fan the duck slices on top of the sauce.

Seared Duck Breasts with Blueberry Port Sauce

Ingredients:

1 shallot finely chopped

1/2 tablespoon EVOO

1 cup port

1 cup blueberries

2 tablespoonspomegranate molasses

2 duck breasts, about 6 ounces each

Salt and pepper

Make the sauce first. Finely chop one shallot and add it to a small (2 quart) saucepan with a half tablespoon of EVOO and sauté 2 minutes. Then add 1 cup of port wine and 1 cup of blueberries and 2 tablespoons of pomegranate molasses. Cook sauce, stirring occasionally for 25 minutes. The sauce will not be very thick, but it will coast a spoon when inserted.

As the sauce is cooking, prepare duck. Pre-heat oven to 350° and place an ovenproof skillet on the stovetop and heat. Using a paring knife, cut 3-4 slits cross-wise on a diagonal (45° angle) into the skins of the duck breasts. Salt and pepper both sides of the duck breasts and add to the hot skillet skin-side down. Cook for 5 minutes. Then turn the breasts over and cook for 3 minutes, then place the skillet into the preheated oven and roast the breasts for 5 minutes for medium-rare.

To serve, slice the breasts cross-wise on a diagonal. Spoon some sauce onto individual plates, then fan the duck slices on top of the sauce and top with extra blueberries. Serve with cauliflower mash (optional).

Serves 2

 

 

 

 

 

Sweet and Spicy Grilled Chicken Sandwich with Pineapple and Basil

sweet spicy grilled chicken sandwich with basil and grilled pineapple

This sweet and spicy grilled chicken sandwich with pineapple and basil is made for a summer picnic. The sweet and spicy marinade is perfectly complemented by slices of grilled pineapple, fresh sweet basil leaves and a slice of red onion. It’s great served at room temperature so you can grill the chicken early in the day and have it on a sandwich later on.

sweet and spicy grilled chicken sandwich

To make the sandwich, make the sweet and spicy grilled chicken recipe and grill the pineapple along with it. The basil leaves are the real twist to this sandwich, adding a great sweetness that balances the heat of the cayenne pepper and adding a great flavoring agent to the pineapple. Red onion rounds out the flavor with a bit of crunch and bite.

sweet and spicy grilled chicken sandwich

Sweet and Spicy Grilled Chicken Sandwich with Pineapple and Basil 

2 pounds, Sweet and Spicy Grilled Chicken

1/2 pineapple sliced in half lengthwise and then in thin half moon pieces

1/2 red onion, cut into thin slices enough for 8 sandwiches

12-16 basil leaves

2 sweet baguettes, cut into quarters and sliced in half

To assemble the sandwich: Make chicken. Slice 1/2 pineapple in half lengthwise and in thin half moon pieces (if core is hard cut on edge of core or cut core out of half moon pieces) and grill 3 minutes on each side. Slice 2 sweet baguettes lengthwise. Place chicken brushed with reserved marinade on bottom of baguette. Cut chicken to fit bread as needed. Layer the pieces of grilled pineapple on top, followed by a slices of red onion and topped with enough basil leaves to cover the chicken.  Add the top piece of the baguettes and cut baguettes into quarters.  If you have left over marinade, you can brush it on the bread, but with the chicken and pineapple, you don’t need it as the sandwich is plenty moist.

Makes 8 sandwiches

Einkorn Flour Recipes

Recipes with Einkorn FlourFor anyone who is gluten sensitive, Einkorn flour is the one type of wheat flour that your body might find compatible. According to Dr. William Davis, author of Wheat Belly – Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight and Find your Path Back to Health,wheat is the cause of many health problems such as obesity, fatigue, arthritis, gastrointestinal distress, and cancer. Dr. Davis mentions a wheat available today that is most similar to the wheat of generations ago, without the genetic modifications and therefore without the elevated blood sugar levels.  It is known as Einkorn wheat, which is perfectly fine for gluten-sensitive people.

If you have celiac disease or any allergies to wheat, Einkorn flour is not a good substitute. However for many people with arthritis or other ailments that benefit from a gluten-free diet, ask your doctor, nutritionist, acupuncturist if Einkorn flour is acceptable for your diet and chances are they will say it is.

Einkorn flour recipes can be a bit tough to find, as not many people know about this flour. For most recipes, substituting Einkorn flour for regular flour will be fine, especially if you are using it as a coating for chicken or fish before pan-frying. For baking, sometimes Einkorn flour cannot be substituted for the dough. I tried making my mini cocktail knishes using Einkorn flour or the oil-based dough and the dough was not elastic enough. I tried using it for rugelach cookies where the dough is a cream cheese-based dough and it worked fine.

Try these Einkorn flour recipes:

Soft Shell Crab on Arugula, White Bean and Zucchini Salad

Cod with Lemon Caper Sauce

Judy’s Chicken – Chicken with Mushrooms and Lemon

Wine-Braised Short Ribs

Low-Fat Seafood Bisque

Mini Baked Potato Latkes

Einkorn Flour Flatbreads

Soft Shell Crab on Arugula, White Bean and Zucchini Salad

Soft Shell Crab on Arugula, White Bean and Zucchini Salad

Soft shell crabs are a summer favorite of mine. East coast restaurants all during the summer serve them up deep fried, pan-fried or sautéed, as sandwiches or as main dishes. Here, in San Francisco, the soft shelled are not as prevalent as their Dungeness crab cousin, but you can get them at some specialty fish markets and occasionally you will see it on menus other than the popular spider roll in Sushi restaurants.

Sautéed is my favorite way to eat them because you can really taste the flavor of the crab. If you have never had them, you may need to be forewarned that while the shells are soft, they area bit crunchy to eat. Of course, deep fried in batter covers some of this up more so than the sautéed versions, which are a bit more delicate.

Soft Shell Crab on Arugula, White Bean and Zucchini Salad

This recipe calls for pan-fried soft shell crabs where are placed over a salad of arugula, cannelloni beans and radishes with a lemon vinaigrette dressing and served on top of thinly sliced zucchini ribbons. The zucchini adds a touch of sweetness to the arugula and the lemon dressing provides the right amount of acid for the crab and zucchini.

soft shell crab in pan one side

To make this dish, marinate the beans and radishes in the 2/3 of the dressing and let stand about 20 minutes. I prefer using dried beans and cooking them up before making this dish. The beans taste fresher and they are lower in sodium. Right before you prepare the crabs, thinly slice the zucchini using a vegetable peeler and set aside, then add the arugula to the beans and mix through. Dip the soft shell crabs in the seasoned flour and panfry the crabs 3 minutes on each side. Stand back as the crabs will pop and splatter a bit while the first side is cooking.

soft shell crab in pan 2nd sidea

While the crabs are cooking, line the plates with the zucchini slices and drizzle some of the dressing over the zucchini. Then top with the salad, and place the cooked soft shell crab on top of the salad. Drizzle the remaining dressing over each of the soft shell crabs and serve immediately.

Soft Shell Crab on Arugula, White Bean and Zucchini Salad

Ingredients:

4 soft shell crabs (ask your fish monger to clean them)

1/2 cup einkorn flour

Teaspoon lemon zest

Tablespoon chopped parsley

Salt and pepper

3 tablespoons EVOO

For the dressing:

1/3 cup lemon juice about 3 lemons

1/4 cup EVOO

1.5 tablespoons white wine vinegar

1/4 cup chopped parsley

1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano

Pinch of pepper

2 pinches if kosher salt

For the salad:

1 ½ cups cannelloni beans (freshly cooked or canned)

3 radishes thinly sliced and halved

2 cups arugula

2 zucchini about 1/2 lb shaved using vegetable peeler

Make dressing by adding all ingredients into a bowl and mixing through. Add the cannelloni beans and radishes to a big bowl and mix in 2/3 of the dressing. Let stand for 20-30 minutes. Right before you are ready to make the crabs, slice the zucchini using a vegetable peeler and set the thin zucchini ribbons aside. Add the arugula to the beans and mix through so the dressing coats.

To make the crabs, add the flour to a shallow dish and season it with the teaspoon of lemon zest, tablespoon of chopped parsley and salt and pepper, and mix through. Add the soft shell crabs to coat on both sides with the seasoned flour. You will have flour left over that you can discard. Add 3 tablespoons of EVOO to a pre-heated pan and panfry the soft shell crabs for 3 minutes on each side. While the crabs are cooking, line the plates with the zucchini ribbons and drizzle with a bit of remaining dressing. Add the arugula bean salad on top of the zucchini and then place the soft shell crab on top and drizzle with remaining dressing. Serve immediately.

Serves 2-4

 

 

 

soft shell crab plated 2

Ceviche with Mango

ceviche with mangoOn a hot summer’s day cold ceviche is the perfect lunch or afternoon snack. It’s light, healthy, high-protein and low fat. It’s popular in Mexico, Ecador, Peru and other Latin America countries where white fish, chilies and citrus are a daily part of their diet. It’s the juice of the lime – or lemon – that “cooks” the fish during the marinating process.

You can pretty much use any kind of white fish – mahi mahi, cod, halibut, tilapia. For this recipe, I use cod, as I like the firmness and taste of this fish. Serrano chilies and mango balance out the citrus with some heat and sweetness. Corn and red bell pepper add some texture to this dish that is great eaten as is or on a bed of lettuce or with tortilla chips – baked of course.

ceviche with mango

Make the Leche de Tigre, which is the Peruvian term for ceviche marinade. This recipe calls for the juice of eight limes, garlic cloves, cilantro, and Serrano chili peppers seeded, pureed together in a blender, then poured over the fish pieces. Red onion is added to the mixture then covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated for three and a half hours.

About halfway into “cooking,” add the corn and red bell pepper to the fish and turn the fish in to bowl as you mix it all through and refrigerate for the remaining hour and a half. When ready to serve, dice the mango and add to the fish and serve. This recipe is not that spicy. If you want extra spice, when you add the mango, add a sliced Serrano chili pepper to the mix as well.

Ceviche with Mango

Ingredients:

2 Serrano chilies seeded and cut into 1 inch pieces

Juice of 8 limes – about 3/4 cup

2 garlic cloves, sliced

½ cup cilantro

1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt

1 lb cod, cut into small pieces about half an inch

About ½ of a red onion, thinly sliced, about – 1/4″ in length

½ the kernels of one cob of corn, cooked

3/4 red bell pepper, thinly sliced into ½” pieces

1 mango, diced

1 Serrano chili, sliced – optional

Add the first five ingredients to a blender and puree to make the Leche de Tigre. Add fish to a glass bowl and pour the Leche de Tigre over it. Marinade should cover fish. Add the red onion and mix through. Cover fish with plastic wrap directly on the fish.   Refrigerate for three and a half hours. After the first hour and a half, add the cooked corn and red pepper. Mix through turning the fish in the marinade. Apply a new sheet of plastic wrap directly on the fish and refrigerate for another hour and a half. When you are ready to serve, dice the mango and add it to the ceviche and serve. If you want extra spice, when you add the mango, add a sliced Serrano chili pepper with the mango.

Serves 4 for lunch; 8 for snack or appetizer

Low-Fat Seafood Bisque

low fat seafood bisque

I spent much of my 20s in living in Manhattan and spending weekends in the summer on Fire Island.   Fire Island is a 13-mile span of beach off of Long Island and it’s basically two blocks wide surrounded by ocean and bay, and there are no cars. It’s a beach lover’s paradise. You get there by ferry and as soon as you get to the ferry terminal, you can smell the sea and already begin to be in weekend mode.

There’s a seafood shack at the ferry terminal in Bay Shore called Nicky’s that makes the best clam chowder and lobster bisque that I have ever had. As the summer approaches I always think of their chowder and bisque even though I live thousands of miles away. The only downside of really good clam chowder – we’re talking New England style – and lobster bisque is the high content of cream and fat. So, I set out to see if I could create a seafood bisque that is thick and hearty, has plenty of clam influence, and is low fat.

low-fat seafood bisqueI use a white russet potato that cooks in the soup before being pureed with the other ingredients to help give the bisque some texture and heartiness. And at the end I add just 2 tablespoons of cream, which having tasted the soup without it, could actually be considered optional. This bisque is high in favor. It doesn’t have the creaminess but it does have a thick consistency, which comes from puréeing the seafood, leeks, celery and potato. With hardly any fat per serving, it’s a great recipe for summer bisque.

The first step in making this bisque is to make the stock. I use three 8-oz bottles of clam juice and 5 cups of water to which I add the shells of the shrimp wrapped in cheesecloth for easy, clean removal after about 15 minutes of simmering. Then to this stock I add the clams and cook them until they open, about 8-10 minutes. When the clams are done, remove them from the shells, draining any liquid into the stock and reserve the clams and discard the shells. It is good to note that this bisque is heavy on clams. If you prefer a less clammy taste, then use a half pound less clams and a half a pound more of the scallops or shrimp.

low fat seafood bisque

Once the broth is made, sauté the leeks and celery in one tablespoon of oil and one tablespoon of butter in a Dutch oven, until the vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes.  As leeks and celery cook, peel and dice the potato.  Add garlic, salt, pepper, paprika and saffron to celery leek mixtures and cook 2 more minutes. Then add the flour and cook 2 minutes before adding the stock, tomato paste, bay leaves, sherry, and potato. Cook 30 minutes.

 

In a sauté pan, add remaining tablespoon of butter and cook the shrimp 2 minutes per side and remove from pan.  Add 3/4 of shrimp to soup and cut the remaining shrimp in pieces and set aside.  To the sauté pan, add the scallops and cook 2-3 minutes, then add the sherry and deglaze the pan. Add ¾ of the scallops plus any juices in the pan to the soup and reserve the rest of the scallops.  Add 3/4 of the clams to soup and cut the remaining 1/4 in pieces and set aside. Purée the soup using an immersion blender or a regular blender. For extra creaminess you may want to do both, first the immersion blender, then add the soup to a regular blender. Add the soup back to pot and heat through slightly. Add the two tablespoons of cream add the reserved seafood and serve.

Low-Fat Seafood Bisque

Ingredients:

1 lb shrimp in shell , peeled deveined shells reserved

1/2 lb bay scallops

2 lbs little neck clams

1 large leek sliced

2 celery stalks, diced

1 tablespoon EVOO

2 tablespoons butter

2 bay leaves

3 8oz bottles clam juice

3 garlic cloves sliced

2 tablespoons Einkorn flour or rice flour or regular flour

2 teaspoons paprika

5 cups water

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1/4 teaspoon saffron

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1 teaspoon kosher salt

3 tablespoons of sherry

2 tablespoons of heavy cream

Make stock:  Add clam juice plus 5 cups water, and shells in cheese cloth and simmer 15 minutes. Disregard shrimp shells squeezing liquid out if cheesecloth. Add clams and cook until fully open about 8-10 minutes. Disregard any clams that are not open. Takes clams out of shell, draining any liquid into stock. Disregard shells. and reserve clams for later.

To a Dutch oven, sauté leeks and celery in one tablespoon of and one tablespoon of butter until the leeks are soft, for about 10 minutes,.  As leeks and celery cook, peel and dice potato.  Add garlic, salt and pepper, and saffron to celery leek mixture and cook 2 more minutes. Add flour and cook 2 minutes.  Add stock, tomato paste, bay leaves, sherry, potato, paprika and cook covered for 30 minutes.

In a sauté pan, add remaining tablespoon of butter and cook the shrimp 2 minutes per side and remove from pan.  Add 3/4 of shrimp to stock and cut the remaining shrimp in pieces and set aside.  Add scallops to the pan and cook 2-3 minutes. Add the sherry and deglaze the pan. Add ¾ of the scallops plus any juices in the pan to the soup and reserve the rest of the scallops. Add ¾ of the clams to soup and cut the remaining clams in pieces and set aside. Purée the soup using an immersion blender or a regular blender.  Add the pureed soup back to the Dutch oven and add the cream and reserved seafood. Mix through and serve.

Serves 8

Roasted Cauliflower Quinoa Salad with Artichokes

Roasted Cauliflower Quinoa Salad with ArtichokesThis quinoa salad is light and lemony and a great side dish. It’s perfect for spring or summer barbecues when you need some good vegetable side dishes.  Roasting the cauliflower brings out the nutty flavor which complements the quinoa and the toasted pine nuts.  I use white quinoa for this recipe because I like how it blends in color with the cauliflower and artichokes; the red onion and parsley offer the hints of color and flavor. The lemony dressing brings the flavors together with a nice acidic punch.

cauliflower roastedTo roast the cauliflower, slice it very thin and season then roast it with olive oil and some salt and pepper. While the cauliflower is roasting, cook the quinoa and slice the artichokes, onion and parsley and add them to a large bowl big enough to hold the rest of the ingredients.  Add lemon juice, remaining oil and vinegar and seasoning to the artichokes.  Add the cooked quinoa, cauliflower and toasted pine nuts.  Mix all ingredients through. Chill for at least 2 hours so the flavors mesh.

Roasted Cauliflower Quinoa Salad with Artichokes

Ingredients:

1 head of cauliflower sliced thinly, and into small pies

1 cup of quinoa to yield about 2 cups of cooked quinoa

2 cups water

5 tablespoons EVOO

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 14 oz. can of artichoke hearts sliced

¾ cup diced red onion

¾ cup chopped parsley

Juice and zest of 2 lemons (yielding about 1/3 cup of lemon juice)

½ cup pine nuts, toasted

2 teaspoons Kosher salt

½ teaspoon cracked black pepper

¾ teaspoon ground cumin

Thinly slice the cauliflower, slice it very thin and into small pieces and season it with salt, pepper and 3 tablespoons of olive oil and roast on a foil-lined pan for 25 minutes in a 400° oven. While the cauliflower is roasting, cook the quinoa in water in a covered pot for about 15 minutes, until cooked through. Add the artichokes, onion and parsley to a large bowl big enough to hold the rest of the ingredients. Add lemon juice and zest, remaining oil, vinegar, 1 teaspoon of salt, pepper and cumin to the bowl and mix through. When the quinoa is cooked add it to the bowl, then add the cauliflower, cutting the pieces as needed. Add the remaining teaspoon of salt and mix all ingredients through.  Toast the pine nuts then mix them through. Chill at least 2 hours so the flavors mesh.

Serves 6-8 as a side dish

 

 

Wild Rice Salad with Zucchini and Pecans

wild rice salad 2Wild rice is one of those great grains that is too often overlooked.  It has a great nutty flavor and a bit chewier than other rice and is good eaten as hot dish as well as cold. Wild rice is a “good” carbohydrate; it has fewer calories per serving than brown rice, higher protein levels and a lower glycemic load.  When cooked to it’s fullest, wild rice grains “pop” and the grains are no longer the thin black grains that often appear in mixed rice dishes, but rather become a heartier, plumper grain and lighter in color.

The key lies in letting the rice cook a long time with a lot of liquid. I use chicken stock but you can easily use vegetable stock or water to cook the rice.  I also add the liquids in stages to gauge how the rice is cooking.  Different pots and different flame levels affect how the rice cooks and how much exact liquid you will need, so I start with 2 cups of liquid for 1 cup of rice and then add a half a cup at a time at the end.  The total is about 3 cups of liquid and it takes about an hour and a half to cook. It freezes well after it has been cooked so if it becomes one of your favorites, you can make it when you have the time and freeze it.  I like it as a side dish to Judy’s Chicken, as it mixes with the mushroom lemon sauce quite well.

wild rice 2

In this recipe, the wild rice is served cold as a salad with zucchini, lima beans, roasted red peppers, corn, pecans, sunflower seeds and scallions – a great dish for spring/summer barbecues.  It’s a good hearty salad for those who are gluten free and vegetarian or vegan if you cook the rice with water or vegetable stock. The zucchini is blanched for about a minute to a minute and a half to bring out the sweetness.  It’s cooked al dente so be careful not to over cook or it will be too soft to stand up to the heartiness of the rice. The corn and lima beans are blanched for about a minute; and the pecans and pine nuts are toasted.  The dressing is very light – orange juice , red wine vinegar, olive oil, mustard, salt and pepper – and just enough is added to coat the ingredients and bring out the flavors. You can use almost any mix of vegetables and nuts that you like.  Dried currants or canned mandarins can also be added if you want to add a sweeter tang to the salad.

Wild Rice Salad with Zucchini and Pecans

Ingredients:

1 cup wild rice

3 cups stock or water

½ lb zucchini – about 2 med-large zucchinis sliced lengthwise, blanched, then diced

½ cup chopped roasted red peppers

½ cup Lima beans, blanched for 1 minute

1 ear of corn, kernels sliced off cob and blanched for 1 minute

½ cup sliced scallions

½ cup pecans toasted

¼ cup sunflower seeds toasted

Dressing:

3 tablespoons orange juice

1½ tablespoons EVOO

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 teaspoon country grain mustard

Salt and pepper to taste

Add 2 cups of stock and 1 cup of wild rice to a pot and bring to a boil and simmer covered until the liquid has absorbed, about 1 hour.  Then add ½ more stock and simmer covered for about 15 minutes.  If rice is still not plump, add ½ cup more stock and simmer covered for another 15 minutes.

While the rice is cooking, slice the zucchini lengthwise and blanch in boiling water for about 1½ minutes until al dente.  Make sure not to overcook and that the zucchini is not soft. Remove zucchini and add corn kernels and lima beans for 1 minute. Dice the blanched zucchini, then add to a bowl along with the corn and lima beans. Dice roasted peppers and scallions and add to the bowl.

Make dressing by mixing together all the ingredients and then add to the vegetables. Toast pecans and sunflower seeds and set aside. When rice is cooked add to the bowl with vegetables, then add the nuts and mix through. Add salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate until chilled before serving, about 2 hours.

Serves about 8-10 as a side dish

Savoy Cabbage with Pineapple and Jalapeños

Savoy Cabbage with Pineapple and JalapenosThis is a sweet and spicy salad that is good as a side dish accompaniment with grilled fish or fish tacos.  It also goes well as a side for the Flank Steak with Pepper Lime Cilantro Marinade dish. It’s light and refreshing with a bite.  The base is Savoy cabbage – a crinkly, crisp, light leaf cabbage.   Pineapple makes this salad a bit like a salsa and the red jalapeño peppers add color and punch. The recipe calls for 1-2 jalapeños depending on how spicy you want it to be.  Avocado adds a bit of cooling to the jalapeños, though you can make this salad with or without the avocado. If you do add avocado, add it at the end right before serving.  The dressing has no fat; it’s simply 3 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar balances well with the pineapple juice, cilantro and jalapeños. Add all ingredients, except the avocado, to a bowl and let it sit for 20-30 minutes before serving so the flavors all mesh.  Then add avocado at the end and mix through.

Savoy Cabbage with Pineapple and Jalapenos Savoy Cabbage with Pineapple and Jalapeños

2 cups sliced Savoy cabbage

1.5 cups diced pineapple

1-2 red jalapeño peppers, sliced

1 avocado, diced (optional)

½ cup sliced scallions

¼ cup chopped cilantro

3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

Salt and pepper to taste

Add all ingredients, except the avocado, to a bowl and mix through.  Let it sit for 20-30 minutes before serving to give time for the flavors to mesh. Add avocado, if using, right be fore serving and mix through.

Serves 4-6