Strawberry Quinoa Balsamic Salad

On February 18, 2015, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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“That’s the worst!  I will never ever eat that again in my whole life!”

Famous last words from my soon to be 9 year old son.  Oscar, our other child, didn’t like it either.  So this was a complete fail if you are going to try it on kids or at least my kids. Maybe you’ll have better luck than we did at the dinner table. Fortunately, they had some “peace noodles” from Annie’s Organics. Oh well, we tried.

What they rejected my wife and I enjoyed.  This is light, summer dish made for a great tasting main course with some rustic bread we picked up from the South Pasadena Farmers Market. You can use this recipe for lunch, dinner and probably even breakfast. The combination of strawberries, cucumbers and spinach made for a light but filling meal.

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Combine it with some mozzarella cheese and you have an excellent way to enjoy quinoa, that is if you’re older than 10 and don’t think quinoa is the yuckiest thing on the planet.

The adventurous might also want to experiment with the dressing.  The recipe is a simple honey balsamic vinegar dressing.  A citrus based dressing would work will too and is something I will try next time when I make this again.  Considering it’s 80 degrees in Los Angeles in February, I won’t have to wait until summer…

Full Recipe: [Strawberry Quinoa Balsamic Salad]

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Orzo Pasta Salad with Lemon, Cucumber and Feta

On April 6, 2014, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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It’s summer again in Los Angeles.  After a cooling spell of a week in the 60s, we are back to 80 degree weather in April.  So what better time to bring out a recipe my wife found on Pinterest she has wanted to try.  The combination of fresh lemon juice, cucumbers and one of my favorite pastas, Orzo, it was an attractive choice for our lazy Sunday afternoon.

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The best part is this dish is simple to make. There is no cooking, unless you consider boiling water and putting pasta in for 6-8 minutes cooking then I guess it has some minor cooking.

I used a sheep and goat cheese feta I bought at Whole Foods that added a nice creaminess to the dish, yet it was firm enough to not melt into the warm pasta when added to the bowl. Of course, any feta will do.

If you are looking for a great dish to impress at a potluck this dish is sure to meet the need.

Full recipe at Fork Knife Swoon blog: [Lemony Orzo Pasta Salad with Cucumber and Feta]

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Hainanese Chicken Rice

On May 20, 2012, in Featured, Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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Ever buy an ingredient at an ethnic market that you have no idea what to do with?  For me this would include Caribbean Banana Catchup from the Jamaican market and Yeo’s Hainanese Chili Sauce.

Hainanese Chicken is a Singaporean fragrant chicken and ginger and garlic rice dish that comes with a chili and ginger dipping sauce. I adapted this version from The Steamy Kitchen blog that uses a whole stuffed chicken and makes the sauce fresh.

Hainanese Chicken Rice
Serves 4

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 cucumber
1 bunch green onions
2 cups jasmin rice
2 cups broth, from poached chicken
3 garlic cloves, finely diced
4 teaspoons ginger, finely diced
1/4 cup cilantro, finely chopped
1 bottle of Hainanese Chili Sauce

Fill a 4 quarter pot halfway with water and add several pieces of green onion, about half of green onion bunch, sliced into 2 inch strips.  Add 2 teaspoons of diced ginger and the raw chicken breasts and let the pot come to a boil.  Boil the chicken for about 12-15 minutes.

Meanwhile rinse the rice several times and then add it to a bowl and fill with water until barely covering the rice with water. Let that sit for 10 minutes.  Drain the rice. Now heat a pot on medium heat and add the olive oil, garlic, and remaining 2 teaspoons of ginger. Saute for a couple minutes, but do not burn.  Add the rinsed rice and cook with ginger and garlic for about a minute to mix the flavors.  Now add 2 cups of broth from the poached chicken.  Bring it to a boil and then simmer and cover for 15 minutes.

Slice the cucumber into thin moons and dice the cilantro.  Finely chop the rest of the green onion and pour some chili sauce into small bowls for dipping.

Once the rice is done, plate the dish by adding a generous scoop of rice to each plate.  Slice the chicken into large chunks.  Line cucumbers along rice and sprinkle the cilantro and green onion on top.  Serve with chili sauce for dipping.

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