Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Case of Curry Fried Rice and Long-grain Rice

Curry Fried Rice

3 rounded tsps (for 3 cups) vegetable bouillon powder
1/8 cup boiling water
1 cup chopped onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup chopped red pepper
1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
1 tbsp canola oil
2 rounded tsps curry powder
2 tbsps soya sauce
2 eggs, beaten
1 recipe Long-grain Rice (see below), reheated in the microwave
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Dissolve the vegetable bouillon powder in the boiling water. Stir-fry the onion, garlic, and red pepper in the two oils. Add the curry powder, soya sauce, and the vegetable bouillon mixture. Stir-fry for 1 min. then push to the side in order to scramble the eggs, separating the eggs into bite-size pieces. Now stir in the rice with the fresh cilantro. Serves 4.

Long-grain Rice

3 cups water
1-1/2 cups long-grain rice

Bring the water and salt to taste to a boil. Add the rice, cover, return to a boil, and simmer for 17 min. Serves 4.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

The Case of Green Basil

Black Currant Bay herb farmer/market vendor Al (haven't got his last name yet) looks like a former body builder, but probably built his impressive frame working his farm. He wears a white cowboy hat every time I see him, and this last time, he drawled out, "Ma'am, most cut herbs you keep in plastic in the fridge. Basil is the only herb you store stems down in a glass of water at room temperature – just like a bouquet." Thanks Al!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Case of Penne in a Pesto Sauce with Red Onion and Grape Tomatoes

To swirl garlic, pine nuts, Parmesan and fresh basil through its blades for pesto, my blender demands too much oil. Maybe a food processor is more efficient – don't have one – you tell me. Anyway...instead I mince by hand. It's not hard. Really. And it's oh so satisfying to toss hot penne rigate with homemade pesto, red onions for crunch, and grape tomatoes for their burst of sweetness. 

Notice in this recipe I forgo my usual practice of using half whole-wheat penne rigate/half regular penne rigate. A health sacrifice so as not to muddy my basil green palette.

Penne in a Pesto Sauce with Red Onion and Grape Tomatoes

4 cups penne rigate
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups loosely packed fresh basil, minced
1/4 cup pine nuts, minced
1/4 cup olive oil
I cup thinly sliced red onion
1 cup grape tomatoes, the larger ones halved

Cook the penne rigate. In the meantime, stir together the Parmesan, garlic, fresh basil, pine nuts and olive oil. Salt to taste. Drain the pasta and toss with the red onion, grape tomatoes, and pesto. Serves 4.

Monday, August 1, 2011

The Case of Penne with Grape Tomatoes Greek Olives Green Onions and Parmesan

My sister, Anne, was visiting Karl and me in our apartment above Beautiful Things, and it was a hot, humid, summer evening, just like it's going to be again this evening...almost too hot to move...

     "You know what I enjoy?" I said, pushing my middle finger against my thumb in preparation. "Pinging bugs off window screens from inside."
     "You enjoy that," confirmed Anne.
     "Yes. Think how bugs must feel when they find themselves fired out into open space." I flicked my finger and sent one rocketing off the kitchen screen.
     Anne looked at me as levelly as possible with one slightly crossed eye.
     "Really, you should try it sometime," I said. "It's therapeutic – safely indulging pent up wickedness."
     "As liberating as that may be," she acknowledged, "here's hoping it's not genetic."
     Wisely, Karl said nothing at all.
Penne with Grape Tomatoes Greek Olives Green Onions and Parmesan

2 cups whole-wheat penne rigate
2 cups penne rigate
1 cup water
2 rounded tsps (for 2 cups) vegetable bouillon powder
2 cups grape tomatoes
3/4 cup Greek olives, pitted
2 green onions, chopped
1/3 cup grated Parmesan

Cook the penne rigate (add the whole-wheat penne rigate to the pot first, bring back to a boil and cook for 1 min. before adding the regular penne rigate). Just before the pasta is al dente, bring the water and vegetable bouillon powder to a boil. Add the grape tomatoes, bring back to a boil, then turn off the heat. Drain the pasta and toss in the tomato mixture with the olives, green onions, and Parmesan. Plate, and grind pepper on top to taste. Serves 4.