Friday, May 20, 2016

Chick Pea Stew with Moroccan Spices

This stew can easily become a soup ... just add more liquid! This is one of those vegetarian soups or stews that is well loved by vegetarians and meat lovers alike. It's got so much flavor, and is so filling, (theoretically) one will never miss the meat. The chick peas add plenty of protein, so this will not only fill you up, it will keep you feeling filled up for hours to come. This stew was inspired by one of Annie Somerville's recipes in Fields of Greens.

Ingredients:

1 tsp olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
1 can chick peas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
1 can Italian style tomatoes, chopped
2 cups vegetable stock
2 cups chopped potatoes
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
1 cup chopped cauliflower
2 Tbs. chopped Anaheim chilis or pickled jalapenos
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp turmeric
pinch saffron
grinds of sea salt
grinds of black pepper

Directions:  Heat the olive oil in a heavy bottomed soup pot. Add the onion and cook for several minutes, until the onion begins to turn translucent. Add the garlic and ginger, and give a quick stir. Add the drained chick peas, along with the canned tomatoes and their juices. Stir, then add the vegetable stock, along with the potatoes, carrot, peppers, and cauliflower. Bring the stew to a simmer. Add the cinnamon, turmeric, and saffron, then continue cooking until the potatoes are tender. If the stew begins to get too thick and sticks, add some water. Taste for seasoning, adding several grinds of salt and pepper as needed.  Serve.

Serves 4
Stealthy Cooking Tip:  I added a green salad and some bread sticks to round out the meal. When making your salad, think about flavors that will meld well with a Moroccan style meal. I made a mixed green salad with red peppers, carrots, marcona almonds, and blue cheese along with a Meyer lemon dressing, and the two flavors worked well together. 



Thursday, May 12, 2016

Seared Tuna Nicoise Sandwich

This sandwich is very loosely based on nicoise salad. It's got most of the ingredients of the composed salad, sans lettuce. I filled out a meal by adding a lettuce salad, as you can see in the photo.

Ingredients:

for the olive salad:
1/2 cup chopped green and kalamata olives
1/2 cup chopped cauliflower
2 Tbs. chopped pickled red pepper
2 Tbs. chopped pickled jalapeno peppers
2 Tbs. chopped red onion
2 stalks thinly sliced celery
1 Tbs. minced Italian parsley
2 Tbs. red wine vinegar
2 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil

for the tuna:
1 tsp. olive oil
4 slices proscuitto
1 lb ahi tuna

to assemble:
4 slider rolls
1/4 cup blue cheese crumbles (optional)

Directions:
Make the olive salad by combining all of the ingredients. Mix well. Cover and refrigerate. This can be made well ahead of time, as it keeps well in the refrigerator. If you don't eat it up in a day or two, it will keep for several weeks. The recipe is easily doubled.

Heat a large non stick skillet over medium high heat. Add the olive oil and heat until it begins to shimmer. Add the proscuitto, stirring and turning, until it begins to color. Remove the proscuitto to a plate and set aside. Add the tuna to the hot pan and sear on all sides for 1 minute, until it browns nicely. Remove the tuna, slice thinly.

To assemble, toast the slider rolls. Top one half of each roll with 1/4 of the proscuitto and 1/4 of the sliced tuna. Sprinkle some of the blue cheese over the tuna. Mound several tablespoons of the olive salad on the other half of the roll. Serve.

Serves 4

Stealthy Cooking Tip: Another way to serve this is to omit the bun, piling the olive mixture on top of the lettuce, then topping everything with the seared tuna. I've tried this both ways, and it tastes delicious either way.