Friday, March 12, 2010

More from Store

An ingredient on our shelves might be 'pearled spelt' or quinoa, but as each ends up (once cooked) similar to pearl barley, all could be used in the following dishes. If none of the above, then just use a risotto or Paella (or any other short-grain) rice. Have a feeling these next two recipe might have been given before, but as they use store-cupboard ingredients, fit into the 'use-up' challenge, so worth another mention.

This first dish used dried mushrooms (another 'need to find a use for') and the vegetable stock could be made from a storecupboard cube. Ideally use the cheese as given, but in none to hand, then use left-over hard cheese from the fridge which also grates up finely.

Grain and Mushroom Risotto: serves 4
8 oz (225g) pearled spelt or other grain (see above)
2 oz (50g) dried porcini mushrooms
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 onion, finely sliced
1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
4 oz (100g) closed cup mushrooms, thickly sliced
4 fl oz (100ml) white wine
1.75 pints (1 ltr) hot vegetable stock
1 tblsp creme fraiche or cream cheese
salt and pepper
grated Parmesan cheese
Put the spelt (or other grain) in a bowl and cover with cold water. Put the porcini mushrooms in another bowl and cover with 4 fl oz (100ml) boiling water. Leave both to stand for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, put the oil in a large frying pan and cook the onions gently for 5 minutes, adding the garlic at the end, then add the sliced mushrooms and cook for a further 2 minutes. Drain the grain and add to the pan with the wine. Simmer until practically all the liquid as been absorbed/evaporated.
Drain the porcini mushrooms and their soaking water to the pan, and simmer until most of the liquid has again evaporated, then keep adding the stock, a cup at a time, until all the liquid has been absorbed/evaporated, and the grain is tender (takes about 20 minutes ). Stir in the creme fraiche, add seasoning to taste, and serve with Parmesan.

The last recipe today uses more storecupboard lovelies, as well as herbs from the windowsill and a few fresh salad 'fruits' that we often find need using up. Although the original recipe called for this to be served with chargrilled turkey, it would eat equally as well with fish, burgers, cold meats, canned tuna, or even on its own. Normally, bulgar wheat or couscous is used when making tabbouleh, this time quinoa is the chosen grain. As with most grains of this type, when cooked as per instructions, we could adapt this dish according to which grain we wish to use up.
Instead of parsley and mint, use parsley and coriander.

Quinoa Tabbouleh with Tahini dressing: serves 4
8 oz (225g) quinoa
1 pint (300ml) water
half cucumber, cut into small chunks
8 cherry tomatoes, cut into quarters
3 spring onions, finely sliced
handful each fresh parsley and mint, finely chopped
1 tblsp olive oil
1 tblsp lemon juice
salt and pepper
2 tblsp tahini
2 tblsp Greek yogurt
juice half a lemon
1 small garlic clove, peeled and crushed
1 tsp runny honey
3 tblsp water
Put the quinoa into a saucepan and pour over the water, cover and bring to the boil. Simmer for about 20 minutes until the water has been absorbed (as we cook rice). Turn off the heat but leave the lid on and leave for 10 minutes if you wish the quinoa to be more tender.
Otherwise remove lid and leave to cool whilst preparing the salad.
Put the cucumber, tomatoes, spring onions, and herbs into a bowl, pouring over the olive oil and lemon juice, adding seasoning to taste. Mix well then add the quinoa and toss together.
Make the dressing by mixing together the tahini, yogurt, lemon juice, garlic and honey, with the water and use this to pour over grilled meats served with the tabbouleh. Or just drizzle some over the tabbouleh if eaten alone.