A delicious meal from a few weeks ago and some other stuff

First thing’s first: a satisfying meal I made early this summer with green pea couscous, a thyme roasted tomato, some creamy humus, and an awesome seared fennel dish with radishes, olives, red onion, feta cheese, raisins, fresh parsley and lemon juice. I served this with a nigella seed pita bread, which is so good. I need to learn how to make different breads…

I’m currently listening to Michael Pollan, of The Omnivore’s Dilemma fame on Heritage Radio Network, a great radio station that focuses on “the full breadth of the food industry.” Their shows hosts range from chefs, to critics, to farmers, to influential food and agriculture advocates; it’s amazing.
Check it out: http://www.heritageradionetwork.com/

A bit of culture:

Last night I watched the Polanski film Carnage. The film is based on a play that was written by the writer Yasmina Reza, who also co-wrote the screenplay with Polanski.

I was going to add a link to the trailer but I think it reveals too much. It’s better to watch it without any knowledge of what the movie is about. The acting and script are phenomenal. It might not pack quite the punch it would like to, but it’s nonetheless a well developed satire about 2 deliriously entertaining couples trying to arrive at a mutual understanding over a violent even that took place between their sons. I, personally, was mesmerized by the unfolding action and the actors. Jodie Foster in particular is a knock out. It’s fun, short and unlike anything I’ve watched recently.

Protein rich salad with Gizzards(optional ;) )

Lunch!

Ingredients:

Mixed salad greens: ideally something peppery and bitter
Sliced cherry tomatoes: seasoned with capers, salt and pepper, thinly sliced onions and olive oil
Boiled and butter and fresh rosemary sauteed cauliflower pieces
Large Parmesan slices: the bigger the better!
Toasted almonds
Boiled quinoa
Hard boiled egg

Option: thinly sliced confit gizzard. I highly recommend this but they’re not always easy to find, so an alternative of confit duck legs, sauteed chicken livers, braised lamb would work. A rich, full flavored and aromatic meat is best; especially if you find some nice bitter greens like dandelion leaves…

Vinaigrette:
Teaspoon dijon mustard
A bit of fresh thyme
About a tbls of sherry vinegar
About a tbls of olive oil
About 2 tbls of sunflower seed oil

This is a fresh but nutrient rich salad. Even without the meat, there’s more than enough protein in here to please your appetite. I’ve been exercising a lot lately and am looking for simple and fresher alternatives to heavier foods. This was a perfect lunch.

Gizzards:
Part of the digestive system in fowl, it’s an organ that’s not very common but seriously tasty. For those who’ve never tried it, the confit gizzards that I added to my salad bore no organ flavor that might dissuade some from enjoying them. There was none of that metallic and farmy flavor that’s sometimes found in kidneys and livers. They’re a richly flavored meat that’s nicely textured. Explore!

Picture taken from Paprikahead site. Thanks.

Simple navy bean veggie salad

navy beans, sage, tomatoes, leeks, capers, olive oil,

*The radicchio was not yet added in this picture.

Here’s a quick salad recipe that I made last night. We ate it with some leftovers.

Here’s the ingredient list:

Navy beans
tomatoes
capers
sage
leeks
radicchio
olive oil
sherry vinegar
bay leaf

I put the beans in water when I woke up yesterday morning and let them soak for the day. I gave myself about an hour to cook them in simmering salted water in which I added a large bay leaf and a sun dried tomato for additional flavor.

I thinly sliced the whites of leeks and gently fried them in olive oil. When slightly golden I took them out and added sliced radicchio that I cooked and then added to a small amount of salted boiling water with about a tbls of sherry vinegar.

I added fresh sage to the frying pan, using the oil that was leftover and let the herb cook and develop a bit of crispness. When almost ready I added a small quantity of capers to the pan and sauteed them for a moment with the sage before adding both to the beans that were now ready.

I gently squeezed out the boiling liquid from the radicchio and added them to the beans. To finish it off, I seasoned it with salt and pepper and liberally added a high quality olive oil I only use occasionally. I also sprinkled a touch of lemon juice.

The whole thing was surprisingly delicious!

With a bit of organizing I quickly and simply made a healthy and cheap dish that is easy to refrigerate and yummy.