Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Minimalist Quinoa and Green Beans

It is Wednesday again and, as promised last week, that means I’m going to test out a recipe from today’s NY Times recipes and let you know how it goes.

I shouldn’t have been surprised to find that today’s Food Section was all about Thanksgiving. We Raisinhaters love the concept of Thanksgiving, after all, it’s a holiday devoted to food and food appreciation. What we’re not so keen on is the actual meal. Its not that we despise turkey, its just that there are so many things that are so much more exciting. So we do our own thing. Last year we had braised short ribs instead of turkey. This year someone very cleverly suggested lamb. Our side dishes are similarly random and, if I have anything to say about it, do not involve any sweet potatoes, and always involve stuffing with sausage.

There were a few of today’s recipes that were simply out of the question. For obvious raisinhating reasons, I was not going to make the Roasted Cauliflower, Raisin, and Anchovy Vinaigrette, and, although it looked scrumptious, the Haitian Turkey was a bit too much food for me and J. Instead, I decided to make Green Beans and Quinoa from Mark Bittman’s column and serve them with some chicken marsala. (Why chicken marsala? I was going to do a roast chicken, sort of turkey-like, but I’ve been craving chicken marsala recently and I think the oven is too filthy for chicken roasting.)

The green beans were easy – I just boiled some water, threw in some washed trimmed beans, and boiled till they got a little tender. I dressed them with the suggested olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. I’m not sure what exactly about these makes them “Greek” but they were crisp, zesty and amazingly easy. Behold...

I also made the Quinoa with Caramelized Onions. I’ve never made quinoa before and it was a pain in the neck to find it. In Whole Foods it is sold in the special plastic tubs (or perhaps in bulk at your non-NYC Whole Foods) near the raisins (gah) and candied ginger and other assorted nuts and whatnot. For this dish, I carmelized the onions with the brown sugar...

But when I added the quinoa and stock and cooked for 15-20 minutes, I was surprised by the result. It definitely wasn't the starchy side dish I had imagined. See, it is mostly onions...

I'm sure you could remedy this easily by adjusting the proportions but it was a-ok this way too. Its also highly likely that I messed something up - I've never made quinoa before and, until this afternoon, didn't even know how to pronounce it (Keen-wah).

And I’d like to close with a little public service message. PLEASE, whatever you do, don’t put raisins in the stuffing this Thanksgiving. Try sausage! How about oysters? Just add more celery. Whatever you do, resist that urge to ruin perfectly lovely stuffing with a bunch of foul shriveled rotten grape bits. Just hold the raisins.

And by the way, those raisins made of cranberries? They’re not fooling me!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

mmmm, stuffing. and you can also go the diversified (raisinless, nytimes circa 2001-approved) three stuffinged turducken approach. but it's not for the faint of heart, i warn you.

1:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When I was a child, I once got a raisin stuck in my nose...

1:39 PM  

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