Hye Thyme Cafe: April 2011

Welcome to the Hy
e Thyme Cafe. Although not all of my recipes are Armenian, the name is a little nod to my Armenian grandmother who is no longer with us. The Hye refers to all things related to her homeland, and she represents all things food-related to me, so the two just seemed to go together. I can't even claim that my Armenian recipes are truly Armenian, since Greece, Turkey, Armenia, Lebanon, Syria, and even Egypt share so many foods that they've all sort of morphed into one over thousands of years.

Whether you like to cook, bake, have never done either, or just like to play with your food...come on in and join me! :)


Friday, April 29, 2011

Chicken Chow Mein

Chicken Chow Mein : Hye Thyme Cafe

I know, poor plating choice for a photo op...light food on white rice on a white bowl.  What can I say? I have been craving this for a while now, but things turn on a dime in this house, so plans always change. Very glad to finally have a chance to satisfy this particular craving. For some reason, it's one of those things that when I suggest it, gets a lukewarm response, but when I make it, gets scarfed down and thoroughly enjoyed. Maybe it's visual. If you think about it, it looks kinda blah, but when you eat it, it tastes really good?? That's actually why I started adding in a little red pepper - just to break up the color scheme.

This is a super easy dish to make, especially if you cheat and start with a rotisserie chicken. I haven't done that yet (at least not with this dish). I threw a package of boneless, skinless chicken breast halves in a pot with some chicken broth and whatever herbs and veggies looked like they were almost to the point of no return, brought it to a boil, then turned it down to very low until cooked through. I think there was half an onion, a few scallions, some baby carrots, celery, dill, and thyme. I pulled out the chicken and strained the broth to use later for the sauce.


INGREDIENTS :
2c cooked chicken
cooked white rice
chow mein noodles
1 T oil  (I used canola today)
1 pkg celery
1 lg onion
1/2 red bell pepper
water chestnuts, drained
mung bean sprouts
3 T cornstarch
1/4 c water
10 oz chicken broth
1/4 c soy sauce  (I used low sodium)
crushed red pepper flakes 
black pepper

Start your rice, since that will take longer to cook than the chow mein. I used one cup for four servings. We finished the rice, but there is more chow mein, so adjust for however many people you're serving, and how much rice they're likely to want in relation to veggies.

Cut the celery, onion, and chicken into chunks, cutting the red pepper into a smaller dice since you're using less and it's really for color.



Stir the cornstarch into the water to dissolve. You can measure your soy sauce and broth into the same container if you want and just set it aside for the moment. 

Saute the celery, onion, and red pepper until they start to soften, about 5".  

Chicken Chow Mein : Hye Thyme Cafe


Add a few shakes of red pepper flakes if you like, and some black pepper (I wouldn't salt it because of the soy sauce), then add the sprouts, water chestnuts, and chicken. Give the cornstarch mixture another stir to make sure it didn't form any lumps, then pour all of the liquid over the veggies, stirring to coat.


Chicken Chow Mein : Hye Thyme Cafe


Bring it up to a boil just long enough to thicken the sauce and heat the chicken through.

To plate, mound rice in the center of your bowl/plate, then scoop the chicken/veggie mixture over the rice and top with chow mein noodles.


Chicken Chow Mein : Hye Thyme Cafe

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Easter Basket Cheesecakes

Easter Basket Cheesecakes : Hye Thyme Cafe

I realize Easter is over, but maybe this will give someone an idea for next year. A week or so ago, I baked an Apples and Creme Kadayif, and since Easter was coming up, working with the Kadayif dough made me think about the grass that goes in Easter baskets, so it occurred to me to make a nest out of the dough, which I posted as an option for serving up your eggs. I thought it would be cute if each person had a little nest on their salad/bread plate holding their egg. I mentioned in that post that I probably couldn't get away with pre-plating the eggs because of the whole egg war thing and how everyone has to pick their own. Knowing that I needed to make a few desserts, one of which was a cheesecake requested by one of my nephews, my brain wandered in this direction.

I started by making the shells in a muffin pan with large cups. If you live in an area where there is a large population of Armenians, Greeks, Lebanese, etc., you might be able to find the dough in your grocery store next to the Phyllo Dough. Otherwise, your best option is a Middle Eastern bakery or restaurant. Shred one package of dough into a very large bowl, then melt 2 sticks of butter, pour most of it over the dough and rub it in with your fingers. Use the remaining butter to grease your muffin pan.


Put some of the dough into each muffin cup, then set a small ovenproof prep bowl or ramekin in the center of each and fill around it with as much dough as will fit. You don't want it to be too thin, or it will break when you try to get it out of the pan.


Easter Basket Cheesecakes : Hye Thyme Cafe


Set them in the oven at 350, and when the edges start to brown, take the pan out and remove the little bowls. I used a fork to lift one edge, then picked them out with a potholder, but you might want to use a pair of tweezers or pliers - whatever you're comfortable with. You want to start them off with the bowls in place so they don't puff up too much. You want to make sure you have room for your cheesecakes when they're done.

Once the bowls have all been removed, pop the tray back in the oven until they are golden. While they are baking, make a simple syrup of 1c sugar and 1/2 c water. Bring it up to a boil and let it bubble for about one minute to thicken, then remove from the heat. When the nests come out of the oven, spoon some of the syrup over each. Like with Paklava, I like to do this a day ahead of time if I can, so they have a chance to dry out somewhat. I want them to be sweet, but not too sticky.



Easter Basket Cheesecakes : Hye Thyme Cafe

I popped them all out of the pan, washed the pan, then lined each cup with a strip of waxed paper and put them back in. The theory behind that was more about travel than anything since we were supposed to be celebrating Easter elsewhere this year, but you might want to do the same just to shield them until you're ready for them and to keep them together. The strips were so that when I filled them, I would be able to lift them out of the cups without damaging them.

Easter Basket Cheesecakes : Hye Thyme Cafe


Next I baked the cheesecakes in the same prep bowls I used to form the nests. I used someone else's recipe, so I'm not posting that, but because there was more batter than what I needed for these six little cups, I went ahead and made a small Sunflower Cheesecake with the rest (I put the Peeps on backwards - oops). If you don't mind wasting, or have an idea for what to do with the scraps, I'm sure if you have a biscuit cutter to accommodate the space you have in your nest, you could bake a cheesecake in a casserole dish or cake pan and just cut out some rounds. I figured since I wasn't using a spring-form pan and the prep bowls couldn't possibly leak, I'd try baking them in a water bath. I don't have enough cheesecake experience to have noticed if it made a difference, but some say it does. I'm glad the pan I sat them in was a relatively close fit since I wasn't expecting them to float like they did. 

Easter Basket Cheesecakes : Hye Thyme Cafe

OK, so I did all of that early on Saturday, then later that evening, I lined and filled my nests. I started that by making a thin chocolate ganache with 3 oz of milk chocolate and slightly more heavy cream. I brought the cream to a boil, then chopped and poured in the chocolate and stirred until smooth. I brushed a layer of the chocolate on the inside of all the nests, then popped them in the fridge to set. I normally wouldn't do that with Paklava or Kadayif, but I can be inpatient at times and wanted to get to the raspberry layer so I could pop in the cheesecakes.


Easter Basket Cheesecakes : Hye Thyme Cafe

We had some seedless raspberry jam in the fridge, so I scooped some into one of those teeny tiny egg pans you would use to fry a single egg. To give it some body, I added a little confectioner's sugar and a drizzle of heavy cream and heated it just to smooth it all out. You don't want it to be so hot that it melts your chocolate layer, so you might want to let it cool a bit. I scooped some into the bottom of each, then used a pastry brush to coat the inside.

Easter Basket Cheesecakes : Hye Thyme Cafe

Easter Basket Cheesecakes : Hye Thyme Cafe

I didn't want the cheesecakes to just push the raspberry filling down, so I popped the tray back in the fridge for a while to set, then dropped in the cheesecakes. A few of them didn't want to come out of their little bowl, so I ran the bottoms under hot water for a few seconds and they came right out.

Easter Basket Cheesecakes : Hye Thyme Cafe


I set them in the fridge overnight and was going to dress them after dinner, along with a few other desserts. As it turned out, someone needed to leave early, so I kinda rushed to throw them together at the last minute and forgot about the jellybeans. :(  

A friend had turned me on to the marshmallow braids you can find at various dollar stores. That's what I used for the handles, then I stood a chocolate bunny in each, added a mini Cadbury Creme Egg, then Cadbury Mini Chocolate Eggs, Easter M&Ms, Reese's Pieces Eggs (and the missing jellybeans).

Easter Basket Cheesecakes : Hye Thyme Cafe



Easter Basket Cheesecakes : Hye Thyme Cafe

Easter Basket Cheesecakes : Hye Thyme Cafe



Monday, April 25, 2011

Easter Dinner 2011

I'm exhausted tonight for some reason.   Too tired to post anything (brain drain), but I figured I'd at least share what we had for Easter Dinner yesterday. Tomorrow I'll post my Easter Bunny Baskets. I have fun when I get to do goofy stuff like this.  :)



We started off with some Crostini two ways - one had carmelized onion and bleu cheese (ewww). The other had tomatoes, basil, etc. Then there was the standard cheese and crackers...



We started a new tradition a few years back of having Braciole for Easter Dinner. There were a few with a mushroom filling and others with artichokes (that one's mine, all mine!)




Steamed asparagus and the extra tomatoes from the Crostini - tossed with a little salt, pepper, and white balsamic vinegar. Yummm!




I roasted a bulb of garlic in a foil pouch with a little olive oil and made garlic butter to go on the rolls and the mashed potatoes.




We had serious egg issues this year LOL. None of the colors would get vibrant enough, and everything was smudging. All I can think of was not enough vinegar?? Never had that problem before. I don't know about you guys, but coming from an Armenian household, we have egg wars after dinner every year. You each pick and egg and hold it in your fist. One person knocks the tip of theirs against someone else's and it keeps going around.  Whoever ends up with an intact egg (the sole survivor) is said to have good luck for the coming year.  :)



I was in charge of desserts this year. This is a Lemon Thyme Cake I came up with a while back, only instead of baking it in two layers and covering with fondant, I baked it into a bundt and served it with fresh whipped cream and berries.



One holiday request is ALWAYS cheesecake for the guys, so at the last minute, I decided to do the sunflower I had seen before. Would have worked better if we had mini chips. Think they all got used up in pancakes or something. Also would have come out better if I put the PEEPS on the right way! They should be facing in from what I've seen. Oh well. Someone had to leave early, so I dressed the desserts quickly. I was originally thinking I would make a Lemon Snap crust, but either I wasn't looking hard enough, or we're out of Lemon Snaps, so I couldn't decide between vanilla wafers and graham crackers. So what did I do??? A little of everything - vanilla wafers, graham crackers, coconut, lemon zest, orange zest, walnuts, brown sugar and butter. Turned out great!



These were the most fun to make, but again, rushing at the last minute to get dessert on the table before someone had to leave, I oopsed and forgot the jelly beans. Nobody knew the difference, so I guess it doesn't matter. This is the one I'll try to remember to post tomorrow.


In addition to being Easter, yesterday was also the 96th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, so when grace was said before dinner, I made sure we raised a glass to those who passed before us and acknowledged what they went through.

Hope you all had a wonderful Easter.  :)


Sunday, April 24, 2011

!! HAPPY EASTER !!

I spotted the Easter Bunny in my yard earlier. Not sure if he was getting a head start on hiding eggs or if he just wanted to sample my cheesecake??  
I'm not posting anything today - everything is sort of half done right now, so nothing new. Me and the Easter Bunny just wanted to hop in and wish everyone a Happy Easter!!

Don't forget to check my post from yesterday for a Cookbook Giveaway!  :)


 

Friday, April 22, 2011

Cookbook Review and Giveaway

The cookbook in question is The Encyclopedia of Sandwiches: Recipes, History, and Trivia for Everything Between Sliced Bread, by Susan Russo. In addition to being a freelance food writer and cookbook author, Susan can also be found at her popular blog, Food Blogga. The book was published by Quirk Books and distributed by Random House. It was styled by Adam C. Pearson, and photographed by Matt Armendariz of Matt Bites





Do you use a bread box? If so, I would seriously consider keeping this "smaller than a breadbox" treasure right inside for quick reference. With more than 100 recipes provided, from breakfasts to desserts, you will be referring to it frequently! Aside from the "bonus" of listing variations of most recipes, Susan provides recipes for many of the accompaniments as well.

When I first saw Susan's post announcing the April 5 release date and mentioning that Quirk was looking for bloggers interested in reviewing the book, I jumped at the chance. Not  having done any reviews yet, I looked at it as a way to diversify my blog posts. The irony is that with so much at our fingertips on the Internet nowadays, I can't tell you the last time I purchased a cookbook. My logic has been that with pretty much every recipe known to man on the Internet already, why pay for a cookbook?  The Encyclopedia of Sandwiches has me seriously rethinking that. I would have to equate the experience to reading a novel while watching Jeopardy and planning what I'll be making for dinner. There were stories and trivia and photos galore! It was not only interesting and entertaining, but educational.

One of my pet peeves with cookbooks is that many contain limited (or even worse, zero) photographs. If I'm making a recipe for the first time, I would like to know what the end product is supposed to look like. Yet, here we have a book about sandwiches (I'm fairly certain we can all approximate what they should look like assembled), and every last one is beautifully styled and photographed. Because of the size of the book, some of the pictured items appear to be "actual size," making you want to take a bite. Hmmm, maybe the second printing should be scratch and sniff??

I was very excited when it arrived. I closed myself in my room armed with a cup of coffee and pad of sticky notes. I didn't make it past the intro before I started tagging pages! The book sports an Ingredient Index at the front and a Sandwich Index and Conversion Chart at the back. I knew it was going to be interesting when I came across items on the Ingredient Index that I had never heard of ... Kummelweck Rolls, Telera Rolls, Bresaola, etc. Even the detail of turning the slip sheets between sections into slices of toast and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches was a clever touch.  

As you can see, I got a little carried away. These sticky notes are not marking the pages of recipes I want to try (because I want to try them all ... well, not the seafood ones), but rather interesting tidbits, things I want to learn more about, or things that sparked an idea for me.
Each of the recipes is prefaced by a paragraph or two relating snippets about the origin of that particular sandwich, how it was introduced to this country, different twists put on it by various regions, etc. From the sandwich favored by one well-known cartoon character (the Dagwood) to that preferred by the King of Rock and Roll (the Elvis), The Encyclopedia of Sandwiches offers something for everyone.

I did have one bone to pick. Susan chose to include the Bologna Sandwich. That's fine, but it reallllly would have been better suited for the back of the book. She mentioned the famed jingle along with the recipe, so as I was trying to push forward (past p. 23), all I could think was "My bologna has a first name, it's O-S-C-A-R ..."   ;)

Mother's Day is right around the corner. Even setting the recipes aside, this books makes a great read and would be the perfect little something for Mom, so pick up your copy(ies) today!


On to the giveaway ...

The good folks at Quirk Books inadvertently sent me two copies, so with their permission, I am offering up the second copy to one lucky reader.  Your entry options include ...
  1. Become a follower of Hye Thyme Cafe
  2. Like Hye Thyme Cafe on Facebook
  3. Post about this giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter
  4. For fun, as another entry, you can leave the recipe for your favorite sandwich.  Mine is a Smokey Joe - honey mustard on pumpernickel with very thin sliced red onion and smoked turkey, muenster cheese, and lettuce (or sprouts).
Just leave a separate comment for each entry.  A winner will be chosen on April 30 via one of those random number generator doohickeys.  Make sure you include your e-mail or check back to see if you won so we can get in touch.  For the rest of you, the book can be purchased here. 

Winner selected per comment below - PAMELA - Congrats!!  :) 

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

I Hit The Motherload of Blog Awards!!



I received a note today from Jessica at Cajunlicious that she was passing a blog award my way.  Imagine my surprise when I saw it and realized it was seven blog awards!  Actually, that first one says 7 Facts, so maybe it's six awards and a request.  

The Internet is a truly amazing thing.  I'm not that old, but I'm old enough to have been born before the Internet, cell phones, iPads, Twitter, Facebook, all these tools that in some ways serve to isolate people, but in others open them up to a world of knowledge and circles of friends/acquaintances that were unimaginable when I was a kid.  It never ceases to amaze me that there are people on the other side of the globe who are interested in what I'm doing in my kitchen here in central New York.  What a world we live in.  :)

Some of these blogging awards come with no strings/instructions.  Others come with the request that you share them with additional bloggers.  Still others specify that you must include 7 facts about yourself and share the award with 15 bloggers.  I have no idea if there is any significance to those particular numbers, but because these awards have all gotten mashed into one, I've decided to sever them and pass each to a different blogger.  

If you want to stick with the "tradition," go ahead and share seven facts about yourself and pass the award on to 15 others.  I ask only that you share something new with us and pass the award on to at least one other blogger to make their day and expose them to potential new followers (that's an odd term in itself - makes bloggers sound like cult leaders or something lol).

Thanks again to Jessica for thinking of me.  Please be sure to check out her goodies at Cajunlicious!!


Seven Facts About Me:

  1. I have an extra tooth.  The funny thing is that it took about three years for my dentist to notice that when I was a kid.  He started laughing one day while working on me and called his hygienist over to take a look.  I had no idea what was going on.  You're supposed to have four teeth between your eye/cuspid/canine teeth, but I have five on the bottom.  Ummm, so why did it take them so long to notice that??
  2. I am very rarely found without gum in my mouth.  I have no idea why, I have just always liked to chew gum.  I'm currently stuck on (not literally stuck) Orbit White Bubblemint.
  3. I had knee surgery when I was 16 and again at 17.  I'm knock kneed, so my tendons stretched out and don't hold my kneecaps in place correctly - they tend to pop out.  Ewww!  I was supposed to have the left knee done, but because my right knee was still giving me problems, I never bothered.  Popped the left one for the first time on an airplane of all things!  Went to spend Christmas (2009) with my Mom in New Orleans and blew it when I first got on my connecting flight.  Not a great week!
  4. I want a bunny!  Not just cuz it's Easter week.  
  5. I broke down and ordered a Total Gym the other day - someone pointed out a great deal on QVC.  Maybe if it's staring me in the face, it will get me motivated to get off my ample butt!
  6. I have a very twisted sense of humor ... inherited it from my Dad.  My sister got it too.  We're also exceptionally good at laughing at ourselves when the occasion arises (as it so often does).
  7. I do not eat mushrooms, seafood, or any kind of game - lamb is as "wild" as I get, and if I wasn't Armenian and brought up on it, I probably wouldn't eat that either.  As much as I love cooking and baking, I'm a big food wuss!!!  Living in New Orleans for 13 years with alligator, turtle, rabbit, etc. everywhere you went was like torture for me.  LOL


OK, so, along with the 7 Facts, I'm passing the six awards along as follows:
 





Kathleen at Gonna Want Seconds - who likes a good Martini ... and better yet, makes Pilaf!!  :)






Hamov Catering in LA - (Hamov means Delicious in Armenian.  That's how I inadvertently found this blog through Facebook - answering a question from someone else - gotta hook up my fellow Armenians!).  This is a new blog, but the catering business has been in the family for a few generations.





Muna at Munaty Cooking for putting me to shame by making her own Pita Bread.  I've never even thought to try.  I'll have to do something about that - soon!


One of my OG "Beeps," Dajana at Baker's Corner ... Somewhere in my Kitchen, who truly does have a lovely blog.  She could make Spam look beautiful!



Thanks to all of you wonderful ladies for the inspiration you provide.



Apples and Creme Kadayif

Apples and Cream Kadayif : Hye Thyme Cafe


If you have never had Kadayif (Kataifi) before, it's kinda like Paklava (Baklava), only the dough is shredded. I never really understood that premise... Kadayif dough is always referred to as shredded Phyllo, but the texture is completely different. I can only assume that means it's the same ingredients at a different ratio?? Typically, you will see Kadayif one of three ways - with a cheese filling, a cream filling, or the traditional cinnamon/sugar/walnut or pecan mixture you would find in Paklava.  

The first time I made it, I went with Cream Kadayif, and much like going out to a new restaurant and enjoying your meal so much that when you go back, you can't bring yourself to order something new ... I was stuck on the cream filling. To this day, I have never made a cheese or nut Kadayif. I have, however, because of participating in some friendly challenges with a group of buddies, made a lemon version and a pumpkin version. This was my first stab at apple. I figured everyone in our family loves Apple Crisp. The guys tend to stay away from Apple Pie because they don't like crust. Doing it this way satisfies everyone. I get my Kadayif, they get their apple filling without the crust. It's a win/win.

If you have ever wanted to make Paklava but were intimidated by the thought of it (you shouldn't be - it's really not difficult), if you can find Kadayif dough in your area, maybe you could try this first, just to get a feel for it.

I was already knocking around the idea of an Apple Kadayif before receiving some sample Japanese citrus juices from Marx Foods, but since the Kadayif requires a simple syrup, and I do have the juices now, I decided to combine them. I'm also all about the Philadelphia Cooking Creme at the moment [you have to try the Santa Fe blend on broccoli], trying to find ways to use it in place of other ingredients, etc., so I decided to use that as well.

INGREDIENTS :
1/4 c currants (can use more - that's all I had left)
2 T Sudachi juice 
1 t vanilla

3 Granny Smith apples
1 Braeburn apple
1/2 c sugar
1/2 T powdered ginger
2 T Sudachi
1 t vanilla
1 tub Philadelphia Cooking Creme

1 box (1 lb) Kadayif Dough
1 1/2 - 2 sticks butter

1 c sugar
1/2 c water
1 T Sudachi juice


I used the Sudachi juice and this variety of apples because that's what I had on hand. If you don't have access to the Sudachi, you might want to substitute orange juice, or maybe apple cider, or a liqueur. As for the apples, when I do this again, I'm thinking this version lends itself more to individual servings baked in ramekins than a baking dish. I like that the Granny and Braeburn both retained a little bite, both flavor and texture-wise, but it made cutting and plating a little difficult. I would be slicing a row and cut into a chunk of apple that would pull out of that piece and leave a hole. So, unless you decide to use a different apple, that would be softer once baked, I would suggest either going with the ramekins or dicing the apples on the small side. I left mine a little on the chunky side.  

Start by soaking your currants in the Sudachi and vanilla, giving them a chance to plump up while you peel and dice your apples.

When your apples are all diced, toss them with the sugar, ginger, Sudachi, and vanilla, and let them macerate for 30-60", giving them a stir every now and again to coat. If you're at all like me [not always the sharpest tool in the shed], you may have diced your apples into a deep bowl. The problem with that is they are not benefiting from the juicy goodness going on at the bottom of the bowl, so pour them into something shallow!


While your currants are plumping and your apples are macerating, you can turn your attention to the dough.That's another great thing about Kadayif dough; with Phyllo, you have to worry about whether it was frozen, if so, for how long, what the size is, etc. This stuff freezes great, you can use it straight out of the freezer, and it doesn't matter what shape you bake it into!

Here's what it looks like straight out of the box ...



Just use your hands to pull apart the strands. Shred the whole thing into a large bowl, then melt the butter, pour it over the dough and massage it through with your hands to incorporate. The butter will run to the bottom, so flip the dough over if you can without tossing it everywhere, and continue to rub it in.  


Give a casserole dish, baking pan, whatever you want to use, a quick spray of cooking spray (just to be on the safe side-probably not necessary with all that butter), then press half the dough into the bottom.

Turning your attention back to your filling, go ahead and dump the currants into the apples and pour off all the liquid. I always suggest that if you don't want to waste it, you can pour it into a cup of tea. Once most of the liquid is gone, stir the cooking creme into the apple mixture, then scoop it onto the bottom layer of Kadayif dough.


Top the whole thing with the rest of the dough and bake at 350 until golden, about 40".

Apples and Cream Kadayif : Hye Thyme Cafe

Apples and Cream Kadayif : Hye Thyme Cafe













While that's in the oven, bring the sugar, water, and Sudachi to a boil, making sure the sugar has dissolved and it boils for a minute or so to thicken. When the Kadayif is nice and brown, remove it from the oven and pour the syrup over it while still hot. Serve hot or at room temp. I never refrigerate Kadayif for the first day or two, because the syrup hardens. If there is still a little left, I feel obligated to refrigerate it because it does involve a dairy product. Now that I think about it, that's also probably a personal preference since we usually eat it at room temp. I guess if you nuked it for a few seconds, the syrup would heat right up again, so refrigerating wouldn't be an issue? Hmmm, I'm gonna have to try that. In my defense, I haven't killed anyone yet by leaving it out. 😉

Apples and Cream Kadayif : Hye Thyme Cafe



Apples and Cream Kadayif : Hye Thyme Cafe














I have used the Sudachi in a few things already, but I realllllllly liked the whole combination here - the sweetness of the creamy currants and apples balanced against the tartness of the juice and the little bite from the ginger, then the vanilla pulls the whole thing together. Very good if I do say so myself. I was secretly very happy about those apple chunks that were dropping by the wayside as I was cutting and scooping servings into pastry cups. That meant more for me!! 


NOTES:  1) The Sudachi was a free sample provided to me by Marx Foods; 2) If you're wondering why there it a tray under my casserole dish, not having made an apple version before, I was afraid it might bubble over, but it never even came close, so no need to worry about that. 


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Red Quinoa with Pineapple and Sunflower Kernels

Red Quinoa with Pineapple and Sunflower Kernels : Hye Thyme Cafe


This is more the beginning of an idea than an actual recipe, but  I served this with Pineapple and Kabosu Marinated Pork Chops the other night, and we all really enjoyed it. There were so many other flavors going on (ginger, kabosu, chile peppers, etc.) I didn't want to introduce anything else to the mix, so I just added some of the pineapple we were already using, and some sunflower kernels I had leftover from a batch of snack mix and called it a day.

This was my first time trying the red quinoa. I think I actually prefer it over the regular; it has a milder flavor to it. Some brands of the white quinoa have a somewhat soapy taste, even some that don't require rinsing before use. The red would probably be really pretty as a salad with a bunch of different colored veggies - peppers, carrots, etc.

For 4 servings, bring one cup of quinoa to a boil in 2c chicken broth (or water), then turn to low and cover it until all of the liquid has absorbed (15-20"). Fluff with a fork before serving.



Red Quinoa with Pineapple and Sunflower Kernels : Hye Thyme Cafe
 
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