Tag Archives: pilaf

Tunisian Couscous Pilaf with Chickpeas, Dates and Almonds

1 Dec

Couscous with Chickpeas. Dates amd AlmondsThis is adapted from a recipe I clipped from the Detroit Free Press. If you have turkey left over from Thanksgiving, consider chopping some into cubes or strips and adding it to this pilaf for a one-dish meal.

This dish has a nice range of flavors, from the sweet dates and almonds to the standard onion and garlic, the exotic combination of cumin, paprika, cinnamon and corinader, and just a hint of heat from the cayenne pepper.

Ingredients:

2 Tbs. olive oil
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. paprika
½ tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. ground coriander
½ tsp. cayenne pepper
3 cups defatted low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
4 Tbs. lemon juice
1 tsp. grated lemon peel
1 can (15 oz.) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 cup chopped, pitted dates
1 box (10 oz.) or 1½ cups couscous
½ tsp. salt or more to taste
¼ cup sliced, unblanched almonds, toasted
Black pepper to taste
1 cup thinly sliced green onions

Directions:

In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, heat the oil. Add the onion and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until lightly browned, about 8 minutes.

Add the garlic, cumin, paprika, cinnamon, coriander and cayenne. Cook, stirring for 1 minute.

Add the broth, lemon juice, lemon peel, chickpeas and dates. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, for 5 minutes.

Add the couscous and salt, stir, then remove from heat and set aside, covered, for 5 minutes. The couscous should absorb all the liquid.

Fluff the couscous with a fork and add additional salt, if desired, and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with the toasted almonds and the green onions.

Serves 8

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Four-Grain Pilaf

24 Feb

Four-Grain Pilaf

Here’s a nice, hearty side dish that combines a lot of different grains for great taste, lots of fiber and an interesting texture.

Ingredients:

1½ Tbs. olive oil
1½ Tbs. margarine
¾ cup chopped onions
2 tsp. minced garlic
2 cups chopped fresh mushrooms
½ cup medium barley
¼ cup wild rice
¼ cup bulgur
¼ cup basmati rice
3 cups chicken or vegetable stock (plus more if needed)

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Put half the margarine and olive oil in a medium skillet and saute the onions over medium-high heat until wilted, about 5 minutes.

Add the garlic and mushrooms and saute 5 minutes longer, tossing, until the mushrooms begin to brown. Scrape the mixture into a small casserole with a lid.

Melt the remaining margarine and the oil in the skillet and add the grains. Saute until the grains begin to brown, about 5 minutes. Pour in the stock and bring to a boil.

Pour the stock and grains into the casserole and mix. Cover and bake for 45 minutes. Check after 30 minutes to make sure the mixture is not drying out. If it is, add a little more stock or water.

Let the casserole sit out of the oven, covered, about 5 minutes before serving.

Serves 6

 

 

Bulgur Pilaf with Leeks, Currants and Pine Nuts

6 Oct

Bulgur pilaf with leeks, currants and pinenutsThis is a good recipe for a holiday meal — or anytime!

We went to Detroit’s Eastern Market on a recent Tuesday and got some beautiful leeks! If you’re not used to cooking with leeks, give them a try. They look like giant scallions and have a similar flavor, but milder.

Lop off the dark green tops, then slice each leek in half lengthwise so you can clean them easily. Run the pieces under running water while you carefully fan out the layers to rinse out any dirt and grit. Dry with a paper towel and lay each half flat to slice.

I wanted to double the recipe for a company meal and discovered I had only one cup of bulgur in my cupboard — and no time to shop. I had a package of “freekah,” another Middle Eastern cracked wheat product, so I used a cup of each. The freekah was delicious, but it imparted a slightly smoky flavor; using bulgur alone would make it a little more bland.

I didn’t have any currants so I used raisins.

This recipe was adapted from one that appeared in the Detroit Free Press, and which originally came from the American Medical Association Family Cookbook by Melanie Barnard and Brooke Dojny.

Ingredients:

2 Tbs. olive oil
2 cups thinly sliced leeks (white and pale green part only – about 2 medium leeks)
2 cups vegetable broth
1¼ cups raw bulgur
¼ cup currants or raisins
2 Tbs. toasted pine nuts (you can get them pre-toasted at Trader Joe)
1 Tbs. lemon juice
Salt and black pepper to taste

Directions:

In a medium saucepan, heat the oil. Add the leeks and 2 Tbs. of the broth and stir to combine. Cover and cook over low heat, stirring frequently, until the leeks soften and start to brown, about 8 minutes.

Add the remaining broth and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the bulgur, cover and simmer over medium heat for 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat, add the currants or raisins, cover and let stand until the liquid is absorbed, about 15 minutes. (If any liquid remains, drain it off.)

Stir the toasted pine nuts and lemon juice into the bulgur with a fork. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.

Serves 6 to 8

Song of India Rice

18 Aug

Song of India RiceI apologize for not posting last week. Those of you who live in Southeastern Michigan will likely guess why. For everyone else, last Monday night our community experienced major flooding due to unprecedented rainfall: 5 to 6 inches in a space of several hours. All the freeways turned into canals. Thousands of basements were flooded, including ours. So we spent most of last week hauling out trash and dealing with the insurance company and the cleanup crew; we didn’t have much time to think about cooking.

We didn’t lose too much stuff, but our lovely rec room is now a wrecked room. They had to tear out the carpeting, bottom two feet of drywall, storage cabinets, bathroom vanity and flooring, all the doors, and more. So we’ll have to re-do the dryall, recarpet, retile, reinstall and paint. It will take many months, I think.

This week I’m back in the saddle, and sharing a wonderful recipe that comes from my friend Marianne Kestenbaum, who now lives in San Antionio. When we worked together in the 1980s in the communications department of the dear departed Sinai Hospital of Detroit, she would often bring this dish to potlucks, where it always got rave reviews. The sheet of paper on which the recipe was typed is faded, stained and yellowed from so much use.

The original recipe calls for “soy grits” which I have never seen in a store. So I substitute bulgur (cracked wheat), which works well. Don’t be afraid of the curry powder if you don’t like spicy food; it adds flavor rather than heat.

Ingredients:

1½ cups white or brown rice, cooked as usual
2 Tbs. soy grits or bulgur
1 Tbs. butter or olive oil
1 Tbs. curry powder
½ cup roasted or dry roasted cashews, coarsely chopped
½ cup raisins
1 onion, sliced
1 tart apple, cored and sliced
Salt and pepper
Plain yogurt (optional)

Directions:

Melt the butter in a large skillet. Add the curry powder and sauté with the onion and apple slices until the onion is soft and translucent.

Add the raisins and cashews and sauté a few minutes longer. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Fold in the cooked rice and continue to cook the mixture for a few minutes until it is heated through.

Serve with plain yogurt if you wish.

Serves 8 as a side dish