I must admit that with every occasion where I eat quinoa I find myself liking it more and more. Not only are the health benefits fantastic, the taste and texture are actually crave-worthy. When you add raisins and crunchy pistachios, it’s a textural heaven.
I originally made this to go along with some grilled lamb this summer. Our dinner guest, who declares that she HATES Quinoa, gamely took a wee spoonful and tried it at least. We loved it, thereby proving who actually has taste. LOL
I am posting it now because it would make an amazing stuffing for an acorn squash cut in half. I know people are searching for away to use up this year's bumper squash crop . . . here you go ...
It makes a lot - we used the leftovers in salads and finally as a filling for wraps. All were tasty!
Quinoa With Pistachios
1 1/2 cups quinoa, soaked in filtered water for 4 hours to overnight Sea salt 1/3 cup golden raisins 1/3 cup raw pistachios
Drain quinoa and rinse well. Drain again and place in a 2-quart saucepan.
Add 1 3/4 cups filtered water, a large pinch of salt, and golden raisins. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 15 minutes. Let quinoa stand for 5 to 10 minutes until liquid is absorbed.
Last week I noticed that the apples we had picked last month were going soft and needed to be used up. It seemed as if pie was on order.
Then I saw a blog post on the Smitten Kitchen blog for something called a slab pie. She RAVED about slab pies. I did a quick google search and discovered legion of slab pie fans out there. Somehow I had never heard of them.
Clearly I was under a rock.
I decided to go with a simpler version - one with a pecan crumble topping rather than a second layer of pastry.
This pie is a little different from the norm for several reasons. It’s baked on a sheet pan instead of in a pie plate, it’s got a delicious crumble topping, featuring pecans, and it feeds a crowd without the work of making several pies at once. It’s like an apple pie, tart and crisp all in one.
If you’re not feeding a crowd you can always freeze the extras between parchment paper and just take out as many as you need at a time, to thaw. Ididn't bother with this - instead I brought the leftovers to work where they were snapped up in 5 minutes!
High praise, that.
Apple Slab Pie with Crumb Topping
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour 3/4 teaspoon salt 2/3 cup cold butter, cut into small cubes 8 – 10 tablespoons cold water 2/3 cup sugar 1/3 cup all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 3 1/2 pounds tart apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced (or 10 cups sliced) 1 cup quick-cooking oats 1 cup packed brown sugar 1/2 cup all-purpose flour 1/2 cup cold butter, cut into cubes 1/2 cup pecans, roughly chopped
Combine flour and salt in a large bowl. Toss in the butter cubes and, using your fingers, quickly break up the clumps, rubbing together with flour, until the butter is in pea sized amounts and mixture resembles coarse crumbs (or cut in with a pastry blender). Sprinkle water over flour mixture 1 tablespoons at a time; gently toss with a fork, until all of the flour mixture is moistened. Gently knead the dough just until a ball forms.
Roll out the dough to approximately a 17×12 inch rectangle, on a large piece of lightly floured parchment paper. Transfer to a 15x10x1 inch baking pan. Patch any corners that don’t reach the edges of the pan, with any overhanging dough. Roll edges under and press down onto the rim of the baking sheet. Trim off excess parchment paper. Refrigerate while you make filling.
Toss together all ingredient, in a large bowl, until apples are evenly coated. Pour into dough-lined pan, spreading evenly. Refrigerate while you make the crumb topping.
Stir together oats, brown sugar, and flour until well combined. Using your fingers, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in chopped pecans. Sprinkle evenly over apple filling.
Bake at 375ºF for 45-60 minutes, until filling is bubbly near the centre and crust is browned. Allow to cool slightly before serving.
Once completely cool, cover and keep at room temperature for 24 hours or refrigerate for up to 3 days (bring up to room temperature to serve). Freeze for longer storage.
When mom was preparing to leave for her visit to Cape Breton she asked me what I would like. Without thinking I suggested a bottle of whiskey from Glenora Distillery. Glenora is the only single-malt whiskey (you can’t call it “Scotch” unless it’s made in Scotland) distillery in North America. And it was fascinating!
Glenora Distillery was founded here, near Mabou, because of the water. The water comes down off the highlands in a good sized stream but they have to pump it into a holding pond so they have the 2,000 gallons they need to mash the barley. The mash process is much the same as beer, temperature is held at about 160 F and paddles mix the mash while a pump recirculates it so the finer particles aggregate on the bottom to form a filter. The liquid from the mash, now called “wort,” is cooled while it is pumped into 3 different wooden fermentation vessels that look like huge hot tubs…but 12 feet deep.
Once the liquor is in the first still, it is distilled and ends up with an alcohol content of somewhere in the 25 – 30%. It is transferred to the second still where the results are in the 60 – 65% range. This distillate is stored in the “spirit safe.” Traditionally, this was locked and only excise agent (the “revenuer,” in southern moonshine parlance) had a key. He would ascertain the volume and the “proof” which determined the tax the producer owed. In this, more trusting, environment, the distillery reports its own figures.
From there, the liquor is filtered into casks which are sealed, marked with the date and a number, and moved to the warehouse. These casks are stored in uncontrolled conditions for at least 10 years. At the end of 10 years, the casks may be opened and the whiskey bottled. They may also continue in storage, with the mellowing process continuing for up to 19 years. Although some single malts are aged longer, the chance of improving in taste is diminished while the chance of degradation of flavor is increased.
Lots of attention paid to this whiskey.
The bottle she brought me was the 15 year old bottling called 'Battle of the Glen'. It was released in 2009 after the Supreme Court of Canada delivered its judgement dismissing the application of the Scotch Whisky Association for leave to appeal in its unsuccessful campaign to oppose the trade-mark registration of Glen Breton, Glenora's flagship single malt. That decision finally terminated seven years of litigation by the Scotch Whisky Association, involving four levels of appeal in the Trade-marks Opposition Board and the courts.
A rare dissolution of gold - at break of dawn, the first brushing of the sun upon the snow-covered lakes of the Bras d’Or;
Subtle, summer-cut applewood, with undertones of Highland honey;
Taking by surprise, come the waves of malt, powerful, but without overbearing, then a complex orchard of flavour;
Rich, almost lubricious mouthfeel, The malt withdraws into heat, resolving into the warm caress of an enduring companion, Peat character is very subtle - rather wisps of hardwood smoke, evoking memories of autumn leaves;
The play between lightness of the whisky and the strength of the malt is a work of harmony…..and mystery….…
A Single Malt worthy of the campaign commemorated by this Special Edition.
We have taken advantage of the warm fall we've been having and taking every opportunity to fire up the grill. I have also been using up the stuff in the freezer - remember awhile ago when I found ground turkey on sale for .99/lb? This recipe allowed me to satisfy my urge to grill and helped to clean out the freezer. A double win.
I found this recipes on anew blog (well, new to me) LaaLoosh which features low calorie and low-fat recipes. This is a lighter lighter version of the kebabs you might find in the middle east, and the results are pretty fantastic. The ground turkey meat is incredibly flavorful, and the cucumber yogurt dip is the perfect complement.
Because you use ground turkey instead of the usual ground beef or lamb, the results are also low fat coming in at 230 calories and 5 g of fat per serving.
Grilled Middle Eastern Turkey Kebabs with Cucumber Yoghurt Dip
1lb extra lean ground turkey 1/4 cup Kalamata olive juice 1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs 1/4 cup reduced fat feta cheese 1/4 cup liquid egg substitute 4 garlic cloves, minced 1 tbsp oregano 1 tsp paprika 1/4 cup fresh parsley, minced Salt and pepper to taste 1 cup plain, non-fat Greek yogurt 1/2 cup reduced fat feta cheese 1 cup cucumber, very finely diced 3 garlic cloves, minced 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes Juice from ½ a lemon Salt and pepper to taste
Start by making the yogurt dip. Combine all dip ingredients in a small bowl, and set aside.
Now make the kebabs by combining all the remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Using your hands, mix well.
Let the meat sit for about 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.
Preheat grill to medium high heat. Form the meat onto 8 skewers.
Place skewers onto grill. Don’t flip or move them until the bottom side is cooked; the meat will easily release from the grill when it’s ready. If you force it too soon, the kebab will break apart.
When ready, gently flip over using a spatula. Cook until desired level of done-ness is reached. Remove from grill and let rest about 5 minutes before serving.
Divide yogurt dipping sauce into 4 small bowls and serve with kebabs.
We left the snow behind and headed to California for a long weekend of fun. We shoppedm toured wineries, tasted olive oil, met up with good friends, and ate some wonderful food. I can't wait for slow bowl 2009.