Pineapple Chicken Couscous Salad

May 25, 2012 § Leave a comment

E: We made this salad totally on a whim. We had some extra pineapple sitting around from an earlier and unpublished recipe, and decided we wanted something with couscous. Joanna loves couscous, but I often find plain couscous is less interesting than even plain pasta. However, warm couscous salads such as this one have no such issues. We loved this! It is one of our favorites and it is a shame it has gone so long unpublished. The mix of flavors here is really excellent: if you are a fan of pineapple you will love it, but I think the pineapple blends so well into the dish as a whole that it is worth a try even if you don’t love it on its own. We used some Mediterranean-inspired parsley and basil to flavor the chicken, which we thought played off nicely with the sweetness of the fruit, but the chicken could be done in a multitude of different ways.

Toss in some peas and, if you are feeling brave, garnish with some sauteéd asparagus and you have yourself a tasty salad, warm or cold.

this was awesome!

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The Veggie-Lover’s Quiche

March 5, 2012 § 2 Comments

J: A couple years back, Erik introduced me to the versatility of the simple quiche.  Of course, I had eaten (and loved!) quiche before, but I suppose it never really occurred to me just how much fun you can have playing with different ingredients and flavors to make a breakfast quiche, dinner quiche, or maybe even dessert quiche if you wanted. (Also, as a side note, quiche is a really fun word.  I always want to pronounce it “kweesh” just for the lulz.)

Anyway, while we were home for the holidays this year, for one of our big meals we decided a quiche would be a perfect side-dish.  And, to have some semblance of being healthy, we decided to add a ton of vegetables to it.  That totally cancels out all the eggs and milk that go into it, right?  …right?

look at all that green!

We decided to make the crust from scratch using a simple pie dough recipe from Joy of Cooking, mostly because I will take any and every opportunity to play with dough, but if you are not so zealous about that — or simply don’t have time — you can do a simple pat-in-the-pan crust or of course buy a premade crust if you like.

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Muttar Paneer

October 2, 2011 § 2 Comments

E: Paneer is something I first tasted in college. I don’t think I really knew what it was until one of my good friends (yes Aditya, if you are reading this, that means you) cooked with it for an Indian dinner we had. Yes it is very dense, and the texture can be a little rubbery, but we are talking about fried cheese here. How could it not be good?

spices, vegetables, and fried cheese . . . who could argue?

So when we saw that Nigella Lawson, the goddess of food, had a recipe for muttar paneer we simply had to try it. From some of the comments it seemed that her version was a bit plain, so we upped the spicing a little bit (and could probably have afforded to go even a little further). But as it stands it was warm if not spicy, and definitely had a good flavor. It isn’t even that hard to make, though frying the paneer can be messy. I tried to fry it dry but wasn’t thinking properly and used a plain skillet, which it subsequently stuck to. Adding some oil helped to fix that problem, but meant getting spattered with grease. I’d tentatively suggest using a non-stick frying pan that you can cover with a grease screen if necessary.

If you can’t find paneer at whatever grocery store you usually go to, and don’t have an Indian grocery store in your area, Whole Foods probably has it. Ours did. If you can’t find it anywhere, you could make this with tofu. It wouldn’t be made with fried cheese (so, you know, why bother?) but the dish would certainly still be tasty. « Read the rest of this entry »

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