Showing posts with label coriander. Show all posts
Showing posts with label coriander. Show all posts

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Moroccan-style Lentil Chickpea Stew

This dish is traditionally made with ground or minced lamb and is a favorite in Moroccan cuisine and in our house too. But, if I’m honest, I prefer my version substituting lentils for the lamb. The onions, lime and all the spices make this a bright and deliciously warming stew to serve over rice or couscous.

This week my Sunday Supper family is sharing veggie main dishes, making vegetables the star attraction of our supper table. This is the perfect time to share my adaption of a favorite recipe, this lentil and chickpea stew. Just take a look at that list of ingredients! There's so much flavor that you will not miss the meat, I can assure you. Do give it a try! If you are looking to add more veggie-centric meals to your family menu, make sure to scroll down to the check out the link list of our 30 delicious dishes.

This is adapted from a recipe on My Recipes.

1 cup or 210g green (preferably French Puy) lentils
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra drizzle for serving
2 large onions, peeled (13 3/4 oz or 390g)
1 large carrot, peeled (5 oz or 140g by weight)
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon cayenne or to taste (I added a whole teaspoon.)
2 cups vegetable stock from cubes or homemade if you are so inclined
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 1/2 tablespoons lime zest
1/4 teaspoon salt or to taste (This is going to depend on the saltiness of your stock.)
1 (15 1/2-ounce can) chickpeas
Small bunch cilantro plus extra for garnish, if desired
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

Note: I’ve given the weights of my onions and carrot to give you an idea of size. Don’t get too hung up on this. A little more carrot or a little less onion and it’s all going to be just fine.

Cook 1 cup or 210g green lentils in a small pot with ample water to cover, until tender. This only takes about 20 minutes so keep an eye on the pot and add more water if necessary. Drain and set aside.

Make up vegetable broth, set aside. Drain and rinse the can of chickpeas. Zest your lime and then juice it.

Cut your carrot up on the diagonal and slice your onions vertically into strips rather than rings. Measure out all your spices. Chop the cilantro.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat then add the olive oil to the pan. Add onion and carrot to pan; sauté for a few minutes.

Add cumin, cinnamon, coriander, and pepper; sauté 30 seconds, stirring constantly.

Add cooked lentils, tomato paste, grated lemon rind, 1/4 teaspoon salt and chickpeas, then pour in the vegetable stock.

Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for about 10-15 minutes or until mixture thickens.

Remove from heat and give the pan a little drizzle of olive oil, then stir in cilantro and lime juice.

(If you aren’t serving right away, wait to reheat then add the cilantro and lime juice just before serving.)

Sprinkle on a little extra cilantro for color, if desired.

This dish is perfect served with couscous or rice.


Many thanks to our Sunday Supper hosts this week, D.B. from Crazy Foodie Stunts. I know this meant he had to work through the holiday weekend so let me just say, you rock, D.B.! Hope your Thanksgiving was fabulous!

Veggie Mains

Veggie Snacks and Sweets


Thursday, August 22, 2013

Seared Spice-encrusted Tuna Steaks

There’s just something about Sunday Brunch that’s special.  The dressing up, the champagne, the extravagant variety of choices, and most especially, the occasion.   Because if you are going to Sunday Brunch, there is probably a reason.  Even if it is just to celebrate summer!  When we were living in Kuala Lumpur, one of our favorite brunches was at the Westin hotel.  Along with the generous buffet where we could help ourselves, the wait staff also delivered delicious morsels to our table, all afternoon.  Plus Champagne.

One such morsel was tuna, coated in spices and seared till it was golden on the outside but still vibrantly pink on the inside.  The last time we were there, I examined it closely, tasting bite after bite, purely for research, you understand. And this is my best approximation of that lovely dish.  You can serve it alone, tapas style, in which case, drizzle it with some good olive oil in the serving dish, or on a bed of greens and rice salad on a small plate for a starter, or in a larger bowl for a complete meal. 

2 tuna steaks – about 9 oz or 255g each

For the spice mix
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

For the wet coating
2 tablespoons whole grain mustard
2 tablespoons olive oil – plus more for the frying pan

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.


Sunday, May 6, 2012

Tabouli - Middle East Meal, Part 2

Bulgur wheat, fresh herbs and tomatoes in a garlicky vinaigrette, tabouli is the perfect salad to bring for potlucks or picnics because it can be made ahead and travels well.

I’ve mentioned before that we lived in Abu Dhabi for a couple of years, way back when.  And that is where we first ate shawarmas and falafel and hummus.  (A freshly fried falafel is a tender-inside, crispy-outside bite of toothsome heaven.  As we would wait for the shawarma guy to build our sandwiches, the falafel guy would hand us each one to eat while we waited – on the house.  As you can imagine we went back often!)  But I honestly don’t remember tabouli from those times.   I know that seems crazy and I must have eaten it – how could I not? – but I just don’t remember. My earliest memory of tabouli is from Macaé, Brazil.   

Anyone who has ever lived in a little oilfield town knows how close friends can get. We become like family. We are each others’ entertainment and we help raise each others’ children. This expat life is full of the joy of newcomers being welcomed into the family and the sadness of departing friends wrenched away from our tight circle.

In Macaé, one of the members of that circle was my friend, Jenny.  The mother of two daughters very close to the ages of my girls, we spent a lot of time together. She was raised in Jerusalem, in a family of Greek heritage so I believe she spoke Greek as well as Arabic, Portuguese and impeccable English. Possibly other languages. She is very smart.

Jenny taught me how to make tabouli and I am forever grateful. She said that back home, all the women in the family would get together and make massive amounts of tabouli together. It was a social event.Sounds like my kind of good time!  Now that I live only a two-hour flight from Jenny’s current home, I hope to get to see her again soon. Meanwhile I just think of her fondly whenever I make tabouli. Even after all these years.
For the salad: 
3/4 cup or 130g bulgur wheat
1 bunch green onions
1 very large bunch of cilantro (coriander) or flat leafed parsley or a mixture of the two (If my memory serves, Jenny’s husband wasn’t fond of cilantro so she used all parsley.  Parsley is not my favorite so I tend to use all cilantro.  You can mix and match as you see fit.)
1 large bunch of fresh mint
About 13 oz or 375g tomatoes

For the dressing: 
3 tablespoons or 45ml fresh lime or lemon juice
1-2 cloves garlic
Sea salt
Black pepper
6 tablespoons or 90ml olive oil

In metal or heatproof bowl, cover your bulgur wheat with 1 1/2 cups of boiling water and cover the bowl with a bit of cling film.  Set aside.

Chop your green onions finely and set aside.

Pick the mint leaves off the stalks and cut most of the stalks off of the cilantro/parsley.  (The tender, narrow stalks near the leaves are fine to leave in.) Wash the herbs several times and dry in a salad spinner or a dry dishcloth. 

Chop them thoroughly, rocking your big knife back and forth on a cutting board. 

Cut the tomatoes in half and cut out and discard the inner core.  Squeeze out the seeds and discard them.  Chop the tomatoes into little pieces. 

Once the bulgur wheat has absorbed all of the water it can, drain it in a strainer and push down on the top to get rid of any excess water.   Put it in a big salad bowl with plenty of room to stir. 

Add in the green onions and squeeze them into the warm bulgur wheat with your hands.  Jenny said it helps the onions release their flavor into the wheat. Or something like that.  Just do it. You do not argue with the wisdom of Greek mothers.

Next add in the tomatoes and then the herbs.  Stir well. 

Mince your garlic cloves and add them to a bowl with the fresh lime juice and about a 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt (or to taste) and a few generous grinds of fresh black pepper. 

Add in the olive oil and whisk until the dressing is thoroughly mixed. 

Pour this over your salad and stir well and you are ready to eat!  

This tabouli gets better and better as it sits so you can make it ahead without any problems.  It is the only salad I have been known to eat for a day or two after.  Sometimes three, if it lasts that long.


Looking for parts one and three of the Middle East meal?

Monday, October 3, 2011

Arepas with Pulled Pork and Black Bean Corn Salsa

What inspires you to cook?  For me, it can be something as simple and as fleeting as a Facebook mention by a friend of a meal she is eating.  Sometime this summer, my friend and former college roommate, Susi, went to Miami with her beautiful daughter.  She posted a photo of an arepa with pulled pork in a restaurant and it looked so delicious that her meal has been in the back of my mind ever since.  She has probably not given it a second thought!  I just went back to find the photo, only to discover that she had shredded chicken in her arepa!  But never mind.  I made pulled pork!  Because that’s what I’ve been dreaming about for weeks.

Ingredients for four stuffed arepas with leftover pork and two generous servings of salsa. Everything can be easily doubled or trebled, if your crockpot is big enough.

For the pork:
2 pieces of pork shoulder – 1/2 kilo or about a pound total
1 large yellow onion
6 cloves of garlic
Sea salt
Black pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin

Mash the garlic with the side of a knife and then chop coarsely.

Slice your onion thickly and place them in the bottom of a slow cooker or crockpot. 

Put the pork on top of the onion and season with salt, pepper and cumin.

Scatter the garlic around and fill the basin with enough water to come halfway up the pork.

Put on the lid and cook on high for five to six hours.

Take the lid off and use the pork and onions to rub the lovely brown stuff off of the sides of the crockpot.  

Use two forks to shred the pork.  Check the seasoning and add more salt if necessary.

For the arepas:
1 cup or 150g of Harina P.A.N.
1 1/4 cups or 295ml lukewarm water
1/2 teaspoon salt

Add the salt to the Harina P.A.N. and pour this into a bowl with the water and stir until it is completely absorbed and makes a soft dough.

Tip it out on the counter top and knead a few times. Divide your dough into four equal pieces.

Make a circle of each about three inches in diameter. Preheat your oven to 350°F or 180°C.

Place on a hot griddle and brown both sides.  (Mine scorched a bit, as you can see. I think my fire was too high so be careful to keep it on a medium flame. Despite the color, they didn’t taste burnt at all though.)

Bake in the pre-heated oven for 15-20 minutes.

For the salsa:
1/2 cob of boiled corn
1/2 small purple onion
2 small hot chilies
1 cup or 170g of cooked black beans
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
Sea salt
Small bunch of fresh cilantro or coriander 

Holding the stems, split the chilies down the middle and then chop them finely.

Slice the onion very thinly and then cut across to create tiny little pieces.

Add lime juice to the chilies and onion and leave them to marinate for at least 10 minutes. This takes the sharpness out of the onion and helps tame the heat of the chilies.

Finely chop the stems of the cilantro and add to the bowl, reserving the leaves for later.

Slice the corn off the cob, break the kernels apart and add to the bowl.  Mix thoroughly.

Add the black beans and mix again. Salt to taste.

Chop the coriander leaves roughly and add right before serving.

To serve all:  Slit the arepas and, using a slotted spoon, stuff them with the pork mixture. Add some extra hot sauce, if desired.  Each person gets two arepas and a good serving of salsa.