Saturday, April 27, 2013

Angle Hair Pasta with Seafood and Chorizo

Unable to find  a restaurant here in Astoria that makes a good seafood primavera, my friend and I decided to make it ourselves.    Since he's from Mexico, I thought I’d appeal to his since of taste by adding a little chorizo.   Although I’m not a big fan of monk fish, it is the perfect texture for stews or ragouts.  You can add any fish you like.  I used what was available at my local fish market.  Keep in mind that this recipe is for two people; you may want to increase the the quantity of fish if you are serving more people.  Oh… I must also tell you, the vermicelli was toasted. Sorry I didn’t take any pictures while preparing it… just got a bit tied up in cooking and entertaining.  Actually, you can prepare whatever pasta you like.

Angle Hair Pasta with Seafood and Chorizo

½ pound Monk fish
1/3 pound calamari
1/3 pound shrimp
½ pound New Zealand clams
2 tablespoon olive oil (total)
1/3 cup onions, small dice
1/3 cup red pepper, small
1 tablespoon sliced garlic
1 small link of chorizo dices
¼ teaspoon chili flakes
1 tablespoon fresh oregano or 1 teaspoon dried
½ cup white wine
1 cup of Marinara or tomato sauce
½ cup clam broth
1 tablespoon fresh basil
1 tablespoon fresh parsley
Salt to taste
Angle hair pasta, prepared

Prepare seafood by cutting the monk fish into bit size chunks, cut calamari into ¼ “ rings, peel and devein shrimp. 
Heat a small saute pan with 2 teaspoon olive oil, add monk fish; sear until slight brown
Remove from pan and set aside**
Add about 1 teaspoon more of olive oil to the pan and saute the shrimp;set aside when tender**
In a medium saucepan heat remaining olive oil;
Add onions, peppers and garlic; cook until onions become translucent
Add chorizo, chili flakes and oregano; cook for about five minutes; deglaze pan with white wine
Add clam juice, tomato sauce, calamari and basil; bring to a boil; simmer for about 2 minutes then add remaining fish, and parsley, bring to a boil then allow to simmer for about 3 minutes more.  Season to taste.

Serve over desired pasta immediately

In hindsight, seasoning the shrimp with smoked paprika would have rounded out the flavors more.

** It is not necessary to saute the monk fish and shrimp separately.  I just feel it gives me more control against overcooking the fish but realize adding it directly to the broth remove 1 tablespoon of olive oil from the dish.  It really is up to you.

*** I steam the clams in a little white wine in separate pan, then strain the liquid into the broth as part of the clam broth.  I do this to avoid getting sand from my clams into the sauce. 

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Chicken Plov

If you live in the South, you may call it Purlough or if you live in the West Indies, you may call it Pelau.  Although the name and flavors change from  place to place, few will disagree that the combination of meat, fish and vegetable cooked in rice is a harmonious concoction. Whether its Pilau, Pealla or Plov I am sure you will recognize the similarities. 

I have had the pleasure of enjoying all of these amalgamations and yesterday I made Chicken Plov for friends.  I knew they had never heard of Plov so I was happy to enlighten them.  Plov is from Central Asia where it is typically made with lamb, chicken or beef.  It is sort of a cross between Indian pilau and Spanish paella. I think you’ll like this dish.  The combination of allspice, almond, and raisins work very well together. 
I used chicken thigh meat but if you want to use breast that’s fine too.  Just be careful not to overcook the breast otherwise the dish will be very dry. 

Chicken Plov

1 pound boneless, skinless thigh meat
1 cup chopped onions
1 cup chopped carrots
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin
1 ½ teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon allspice
1 ½ teaspoons salt
¼ teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon saffron threads
¼ cup olive oil
Black pepper to taste
¼ cup raisins
¼ cup chopped/ slivered, toasted almonds
¼ cup chopped scallions
1 ½ cup white rice
3 cups chicken stock


Place chicken in a bowl and season it with ½ teaspoon cumin, ½ teaspoon coriander, ½ teaspoon allspice, ½ teaspoon salt, turmeric, (I actually used 1 teaspoon fresh turmeric)1 tablespoon olive oil and black pepper to taste.
 Place on a sheet pan and bake in the oven for about 20 minutes until chicken is cooked but not dried out. 

While chicken is cooking, heat a medium sauté pan with 1 tablespoon olive oil. When pan is hot but not smoking, add onions, carrots and garlic.  Cook until onions become translucent. 

Add remaining spices along with rice.  Cook, stirring continually for about 2 minutes then add chicken stock. 

Bring rice to a boil; cover and place in the oven for about 20 minutes or until almost all of the liquid has evaporated.  

Once the liquid is almost completely evaporated, remove from the oven and add chicken. 

Place back in the oven for five minutes more. Remove from the oven.The liquid should be completely evaporated and the rice nice and fluffy.  Add the  raisins,almonds and scallions. 

Toss gently and serve.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Quinoa Cakes

It has been a busy week.  Country clubs are starting to reopen and I spent a lot of time on the road.  Typically, I will prepare food on Sunday so that I have something at least partially ready when I get home.  I made quinoa to have with roasted chicken this week but forgot about it.  So today, I’m going to make quinoa cakes with it for dinner. The addition of chickpea flour, cumin and coriander gives them a pleasant Mediterranean flavor.  Chickpea flour is an excellent source of fiber and protein. This just needs a salad and you have a complete meal. Try it out.
Follow the basic recipe for Quinoa as indicated in the February 9, 2013

Quinoa Cakes

Basic Quinoa recipe 
½ cup chickpea flour
1 cup frozen, thawed spinach
¼ cup chopped cilantro
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon olive oil

Combine all ingredients in a bowl

When mixture is well combined, use a 2” biscuit cutter to form cakes

Sear in a small amount of olive oil until brown on each side
Finish in a 350F oven for about 15 minutes

Serve with a salad