Archive for ‘Garnish’

May 21, 2012

Unexpected Savory | Cumin Granola

Sometimes texture can be just as important to a dish as flavor. It’s harder to enjoy something that’s just a bowl of mush.  Ok, aside from perhaps enjoying a whole dinner of say, mashed potatoes with copious amounts of butter or oodles of macaroni and cheese.  I have those days, too.  But sometimes there are some things that need a little crunch.

Enter this delicious and surprising garnish for a ho-hum dinner in need of some oomph.  Consider moderating the spices based on your dish.  I think a curry granola or a chile scented granola would be equally tasty.  And if you’re local to Columbus, stop by North Market Spices to pick up one of their many spice blends (which are amazing) to use.

Savory Cumin Granola

1 c rolled oats

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March 10, 2012

Quick Deliciousness | Walnut Aillade

ImageThis is the most marvelous thing to put on top of pasta, fish, crispy duck breasts, wild rice.  Oh goodness.  It’s good on anything.  I’m planning on putting it on top of some eggs and cream cheese and bagels from The Bagel Tree tomorrow morning.

It is many times like this that I feel very much like Nigella Lawson in the final few shots of her television program, greedily going through the fridge, late at night, slathering spicy spreads on whatever it is that she cooked that day.  But you know, the woman really knows how to cobble together a bite.

And I do, too, if I do say so myself.

This little spread will work wonderfully on lots of things.  And it comes together with just a few ingredients and a fast whiz in the food processor.  Moments, really.

Walnut Aillade, makes enough to sauce a dinner for three or four, plus a bit for late night slathering of snacks

1/2 c walnuts

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April 14, 2011

Chickpea Pangrattato | Gluten-Free Italian “Breadcrumbs”

I’ll admit a lack of comprehensive knowledge of  Celiac Disease, although some of my blogger friends suffer from it.  I know it is a terrible thing, leading to a lot of pain if you ingest gluten, which is in practically everything these days, due to cross contamination.  I can only imagine how hard it is to be as careful as you must while still loving food in all it’s glory.

I had a happy accident in the kitchen here recently, which lead me to this tasty discovery of a lovely, crunchy, garlicky substitute for one of my most favorite of Italian toppings: pangrattato.   It is a poor person’s substitute for Parmesan: usually leftover bread crumbs, toasted up in olive oil along with some garlic, salt and perhaps a smidge of chopped parsley.

Pangrattato, and now this clever mimic,  is heavenly sprinkled over (equally gluten-free) risotto.  I vow to make it a replacement topping for the cracker crumbs my Grandmother would fry in copious amounts of butter and smother cauliflower.  I am dreaming up ways to use it.  It is now protein, instead of carb, and one ingredient to the many that are in commercially produced breadcrumbs.  And to be honest, it makes me feel just a little smug with the chef-iness of it all.  A nice perk.

For a quick version, in a food processor, finely chop cooked, drained chickpeas, until they are the size of, you guessed it, breadcrumbs.  In a medium saute pan, add a tablespoon or two of good olive oil and a smashed clove of garlic.  Heat until shimmery.  Add the chickpeas and a bit of salt.  Fry for four to five minutes until a deep golden brown.  Drain on a paper towel-lined plate.  Allow to cool, then add in a tablespoon or less of chopped parsley and mix.  Top with roasted vegetables, risotto or anything you can dream up.

Playlist included Lovers in Japan, by Coldplay.

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