Showing posts with label chewy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label chewy. Show all posts

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Red Camargue and Wild Rice Salad with Tuna #SundaySupper

This easy, healthy Red Camargue and wild rice salad is made with red Camargue and wild rice, yellow peppers and avocado. Serve it on your favorite mixed greens, topped with well-seasoned seared fresh tuna. It's light and refreshing but makes a satisfyingly filling meal.

All too often when I think of rice and dinner, it’s usually basmati or risotto that springs to mind. But occasionally, when my protein is unusual, like spice-encrusted tuna, something with more verve and bite is needed.

Always on the lookout for new and unusual starches, I brought home a bag of red Camargue and wild rice mix from my local Spinney’s grocery store the other day. Wild rice, I’m familiar with but I had never heard of red Camargue. Turns out that it is a new breed (type? species? variety?) of rice that is being cultivated in the south of France in an area called, not surprisingly, Camargue.

A little quick research reveals that the Camargue region of Provence grows a wide variety of rice, of which the red is only one, and it produces 75 percent of all the rice grown in France. Who knew? What I do know is that its nutty flavor and chewy texture make a beautiful rice salad. Add some greens and spice-encrusted seared tuna to make it into a meal.

This week my Sunday Supper friends are sharing summer dinner salads, salads that make a full meal. Since it's so hot in Dubai during the summer, we eat dinner salads a lot. We call them fancy salads and, in addition to the vegetables and greens, they must contain three more things: cheese, nuts and fruit. Occasionally meat is added, usually something off the grill like chicken or beef. This red Camargue and Wild Rice Salad with Tuna doesn't fulfill those standards of fancy salad, but it sure is pretty and delicious.

NOTE on cooking red Camargue and wild rice: I’ve learned from experience that colored rice, in general, needs a much longer cooking time than white rice, so I cooked this stuff in a big pot of salted boiling water, much as you would pasta, checking a grain or two periodically after 20 minutes, until the rice reached an acceptable cooked, yet still chewy, texture, which took closer to 30 or 35 minutes. Then I turned the fire off, strained off the water and put the rice back in the hot pot with the lid tightly closed for another 10-15 minutes.

For the salad:
1 1/2 cups cooked rice mix (about 4 1/2 oz or 125g before cooking)
2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
Small handful green onion tops
Small handful cilantro or fresh coriander
1/2 small yellow bell pepper or capsicum
Sea salt
Black pepper
Mixed greens of your choice
1 ripe avocado, plus extra to serve, if desired

For the tuna:
2 tuna steaks – about 9 oz or 255g each
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
1 teaspoon fennel
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon mixed peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 tablespoons whole grain mustard
2 tablespoons olive oil – plus more for the frying pan

Cook your rice mix as described above or according to your package instructions. Set aside to cool.

Roughly chop your green onion tops and cilantro. Cut your bell pepper into small, skinny strips.

Put your balsamic vinegar and olive oil in a bowl big enough to hold the whole salad. Add in the bell pepper slices and a good pinch of sea salt and a good couple of grinds of fresh black pepper.  Mix well.

Once the cooked rice is cool, add it to the bowl.

Add in the onion tops and cilantro and give the whole thing a good stir. Set aside and get on with the tuna.

Lay your tuna steaks out between paper towels to dry.

Use a mortar and pestle to grind the spices finely.

The pink is Himalayan sea salt.  Use any sea salt you have. 

Mix the whole grain mustard thoroughly with the olive oil.

Spread half of the mustard mixture on one side of the tuna steaks and then sprinkle with half of the spice mix.

Put the tuna on a piece of cling film, which will make it easier for you to flip it over into the frying pan.  Repeat the seasoning on the other side, first mustard, then spices.

Heat a non-stick frying pan until it is very hot and then drizzle in a little olive oil.  Cook one side of the tuna for just a couple of minutes before turning it to the other side.

Watch the side of the tuna and you can see the cooked part coming up.  You want to leave a good amount of pink still in the middle.

Sear the other side for just a minute or two and then remove from the pan and allow to rest for a few minutes.

Slice into thin pieces with a serrated knife, using a sawing motion so you don't mash the tuna.

Right before serving, peel and chop your avocado and fold it into the salad.

This tasty rice salad makes a full meal, heaped on some leafy greens with extra avocado, if desired, and topped with the fresh spice-encrusted tuna steak.

Do you love serving dinner salads when it's hot outside too? You are going to want to pin each of these Sunday Supper Summer Dinner Salad recipes. Summer is nigh!

Many thanks to our event manager, Em, and our event host Christie from A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures for all of their behind-the-scenes work!

Sunday Supper Summer Dinner Salad Recipes

Brilliant Beef Salads

Choice Chicken Salads

Superb Seafood Salads

Vibrant Veggie Salads

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on Twitter every Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7 p.m. ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat.

To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.

  Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Pin it!  


Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Yin Yang Cookies #CreativeCookieExchange

Fudgy dark cookie on one side with chewy oatmeal cookie on the other side, these two halves complete or more importantly, complement each other. 

This month’s Creative Cookie Exchange theme is love and hearts which started me thinking about what love really is, I mean, beyond the heady first rush and tumble of quick emotions, all the highs and lows that are often the hallmarks of young relationships. I’m talking about the comfortable love that settles in, where you can complete each other’s sentences and anticipate each other’s needs, and still thoroughly enjoy spending time together, laughing, traveling, playing. And that brought to mind yin and yang, the Taoist concept of two halves that together complete wholeness.

I’m not sure that’s something two people can ever truly accomplish, but let me just put it out there that this year, in just a couple of short months, my husband and I will celebrate 30 years of marriage and 32 years of laughing, traveling and playing together. Of raising babies to young women of whom we are most proud, moving about the planet making homes in six of the seven continents and sharing the joy of life with friends and family too numerous to count. We have been so blessed.

Since we are both flawed human beings (Ain't nobody perfect folks!) still growing and learning about each other and life, I will never complete him and he may never complete me. After this many years of experience, I believe that complementing each other seems a much more worthwhile goal anyway. Together, we make a pretty solid team. Just like these cookies. These aren’t traditional cookies for Valentine’s Day but bake them for someone you love anyway.

And just because everyone's thinking it anyway, this scene:

Note: Start early in the day to allow chilling time for the two doughs.

Ingredients for about 3 dozen cookies
For the yin:
1/2 cup, firmly packed, or 100g brown sugar
3/4 cup or 150g granulated sugar
1/3 cup or 75g butter, softened
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup or 125g flour
3/4 cup or 75g unsweetened extra dark cocoa
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon double-acting baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

For the yang:
1 cup or 200g granulated sugar
1/2 cup or 115g butter, softened
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups or 156g flour
1 teaspoon double-acting baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup or 95g uncooked quick rolled oats

To decorate: handful each white and semi-sweet chocolate chips
Useful tool: 5 in or 13cm length of stiff wire for marking where to cut the cookie dough

For the yin dough:
Cream your butter with the two sugars.

Add in the egg and vanilla extract and beat again.

Sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt into the mixing bowl. Mix well until thoroughly combined.

Roll into a thick log about 2 inches or 5cm in diameter and cover tightly with cling film. Put the dough log in the refrigerator to chill for at least an hour.

For the yang dough:
Cream your butter with the sugar.

Add in the egg and vanilla extract and beat again.

Sift in your flour, baking powder and salt and mix well.

Add in the oats and keep mixing until thoroughly combined.

Roll into a thick log about 2 inches or 5cm in diameter and cover tightly with cling film. Put the dough log in the refrigerator to chill for at least an hour.

Try to get your logs the same approximate size

While the dough is chilling, bend your wire around the neck of a bottle, first one way and then the other, to make a tool the approximate outline of the division between the yin and yang.

Once the dough is well chilled, preheat your oven to 350°F or 180°C. Prepare your cookie sheet by greasing it with non-stick spray or lining it with parchment paper or a silicone liner.

Putting the two together 
Slice your two cookie dough logs into even slices. Use your wire tool to press down on the slices to mark where to cut them into two. You can, of course, do this free hand. But the pieces might not match up as neatly.

Use the tip of a sharp knife to cut each slice apart. Fit them back together, one half light, the other half dark, pressing gently to make them one on the prepared cookie sheet.

Decorate each with one white and one dark chocolate chip.

Bake in your preheated oven for about 12-15 minutes or until just done for chewy cookies.

Leave to cool for a few minutes in the pan, then remove them to a wire rack to cool completely.


These would also be pretty cool for Chinese New Year, another holiday coming upon us shortly. Many thanks to Deepti of Bakingyummies for handling the hosting responsibilities this month!

Check out all the other interpretations of love and hearts from my fellow Creative Cookie Exchange bakers this month.

We get together once a month to bake cookies with a common theme or ingredient so Creative Cookie Exchange is a great resource for cookie recipes. Be sure to check out our Pinterest Board and our monthly posts at The Spiced Life). We post the first Tuesday after the 15th of each month!


Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Mulled Wine Fruit Gums #ChristmasWeek #Giveaway

For fans of those chewy little candies called wine gums, this is a Christmas version, full of the spicy flavors of mulled wine with cloves and cinnamon and nutmeg along with apple, pear, orange and lemon. Bonus: Your house smells divine as the fruit cooks down.

Welcome to Day Three of Christmas Week. This event is hosted by Kim of Cravings of a Lunatic and Susan of The Girl in the Little Red Kitchen. We hope to inspire you to break out those holiday sprinkles and get your bake on! Today, I'm stepping outside my comfort zone to make chewy wine gums and I hope you'll join me! Make sure to scroll down to the bottom of this post to enter the great giveaway from our sponsors. It's a doozy because one lucky winner takes ALL!

This recipe is based on one from the current Jamie magazine (Issue 54, December 2014) but can also be found online here. I didn't want actual bits of fruit in mine so I changed up the method. If you want bits of apple and pear in yours, do not add the sugar until after the fruit has broken down. I took a quick shot, holding the finish gum, before cutting into squares, up to the light and look how pretty the color is.

Vegetable oil or non-stick spray, for greasing pan
1 1/3 lbs or 600g apples
10 1/2 oz or 300g pears
2 1/4 cups or 530ml red wine
1 cup or 240ml orange juice
Juice of 1 lemon (about 4 tablespoons total, divided)
2 cinnamon sticks
1 tablespoon ground nutmeg
1 tablespoon whole cloves
2 star anise
3 1/2 cups or 700g golden granulated sugar
4 tablespoons liquid pectin

Plus 1 cup or 225g white finely granulated sugar, for dusting

Lightly grease an 8x8 in or 20x20cm tin and line it with cling film, making sure to come all the way up the sides. I sprayed more non-stick spray on the inside of the cling film as well.

Measure your wine, orange juice and half the lemon juice into a heavy bottomed pot, along with the spices. Peel, core and roughly chop your apples and pears and put them directly into the wine pot.

Add in the golden caster sugar and cook over a medium high heat for about 35-45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Do keep an eye on it so it doesn’t boil over.

Strain the solids out of the pot with a heavy, heatproof sieve. Allow to drain completely, using a spoon or spatula to squeeze all the thick syrupy juice out.

Return the liquid to the pot and add the remaining lemon juice and the liquid pectin.

Boil over a medium heat until a candy thermometer reaches 240°F or 115°C or test for doneness by dropping a scant 1/2 teaspoon slowly into a glass of cold water. The syrup should form a ball as it hits the water. If it doesn’t, give it a few more minutes on the stove and try again with a fresh glass of cold water.

Pour the mixture into your prepared tin and leave to cool.

Once it’s cool, cover the surface with another piece of cling film and leave to set for at least 12 hours or overnight.

When you are ready to cut the squares apart, put your white sugar in a platter or pan with sides and tip the gum square into the sugar.

Coat it liberally with the sugar then use a greased knife or scissors to cut the squares, tossing the pieces in the sugar as you go along. I found that the scissors worked better than the knife, no matter how liberally I greased it.

As they are made, transfer the sugarcoated squares to a sheet of parchment sprinkled with a little of the sugar. This will give you more room to work at the cutting and coating.

Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.


Needing more sweet treats for Christmas? Have a look at today’s wonderful link list for inspiration:

Many thanks to our Christmas Week sponsors! 
Anolon is donating a 5-piece Bakeware Set. Swing by their Facebook Page to show them some love. We also have Ball supplying us with 4 sets of Jars in their gorgeous Green Heritage Color. Swing by their Ball Canning and Recipes Facebook Page to say hello. Plus cookies and brownie brittle and loads of beautiful cookbooks! Make sure to scroll on down to enter the giveaway!

Giveaway Prizes include:
Plus 1 Copy of each of these cookbooks:
Please be aware before you enter that prizes will only be shipped to US addresses. One winner takes all!

Disclaimer: Christmas Week participants received no compensation or gifts from our sponsors. Cookbook links are Amazon affiliate links.


Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Jammy Gooseberry Oatmeal Cookies #CreativeCookieExchange

Sticky gooseberry jam makes these oatmeal cookies even chewier. And everyone knows that a chewy oatmeal cookie is the best oatmeal cookie. 

This month’s Creative Cookie Exchange challenge was to use produce that we each have in abundance, wherever we are living right now. The UAE still grows a few things this time of year like okra and eggplant but I just didn’t see using either of those in a cookie. I decided to be adventurous and try a fruit that I had never cooked or baked with before, gooseberries, which are abundant in the United Kingdom this time of year, and are brought in to the UAE in prodigious quantities, at least in my local supermarket. A little research revealed that most gooseberries are too sour to eat uncooked without added sugar, so jam seemed like the logical answer. I’ll share the jam recipe at some point, but meanwhile, feel free to use whatever jam you’ve got handy for these great cookies. Something marmalade-ly with little chunks of fruit would get you closest to the taste of these made with my tartly sweet gooseberry jam.


I’d also like to point out that, despite their stickiness, clean up was a breeze thanks to my new silicone mats, a gift of the folks at Kitchen Executive Chef who are trying to spread the word about their great new product. Unfortunately, the mats are out of stock at Amazon right now but, according to a post on their Facebook page, they will be back in stock in just a few weeks.

For the cookie dough:
1/2 cup (firmly packed) or 100g brown sugar
1/3 cup or 70g granulated sugar
1/2 cup or 115g butter, softened
1/4 cup or 80g gooseberry or your favorite jam
1 egg
1 tablespoon milk
1 cup or 125g flour
1/2  teaspoon baking soda
1/2  teaspoon double-acting baking powder
1/2  teaspoon salt
1 cup or 100g uncooked quick rolled oats

For topping: 1/2 cup or 160g gooseberry or your favorite jam

Cream your butter with the two sugars then add in the jam and mix well.

Now add in the egg and milk and mix again.

Add in the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt and beat until smooth.

Add in the oats and beat until well mixed.  Chill the dough for half an hour in the refrigerator.

When you are ready to bake, preheat your oven to 350°F or 180°C degrees and grease a cookie sheet or line it with a silicone mat.

Drop one tablespoon scoopful at least two or even three inches apart on your prepared cookie sheet. These cookies are going to spread out.

Dip your thumb in some water and press an indentation in the top of the scoop.

Spoon in a half a teaspoon or so of the jam.

Bake 8-10 minutes, or until light brown.  For chewy cookies, do not over bake!

These are fabulous with a cold glass of milk. Enjoy!

Check out all the fabulous recipes my Creative Cookie Exchange friends have made with summer's bounty!

The Creative Cookie Exchange theme this month is Creative Uses for Summer's Bounty! If you are a blogger and want to join in the fun, contact Laura via email (thespicedlife AT gmail DOT com) and she will get you added to our Facebook group where we coordinate events.

You can also use us as a great resource for cookie recipes. Be sure to check out our Pinterest Board and our monthly posts. You will be able to find them the first Tuesday after the 15th of each month!