Monday, December 22, 2008

Recipe de jour

Something new for your holiday buffet?

I was standing in dry storage at the restaurant the other day brainstorming side dishes for our daily salmon presentation and the first three items I found that interested me were almost empty. There were barely any black lentils, only a handful of wild rice, and a quart container of white beans. Then I decided on a what we’ve been calling a ‘multi-grain pilaf’ and the end product is quite tasty. After adding white rice and red quinoa to the mix there was a good balance of heft and fluff, of bite and chew, and an earthy character that no single ingredient posses alone.

At the restaurant this procedure is easy. I grab five pots, put a cup of each in the pots, top with water, throw them on five burners, and as each finishes it gets dumped into a bowl that goes into the walk-in cooler for proper cooling. This does seem quite unpractical for the home cook so I’ve adapted the following recipe to make this great tasting dish a little easier. I do suggest sharing this as it’s difficult to not make a large batch.

From the grocery:
1 8-10 oz can cooked white beans, drained
1 cup each wild rice, white rice, black lentils and quinoa
water, divided
1 large yellow onion diced
4 cloves garlic
2 red bell peppers diced
1/4 pound butter

Using only two pots, in one pot add lentils and about 4 cups water, once this comes to a boil add the wild rice and cover cooking on low until tender, about 20 min. In another slightly larger pot Sauteed onion, garlic, and peppers in butter until beginning to caramelize then add white rice and 4 cups of water, bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 10 min, then add quina and cook another 10 minutes until tender. Finally mix everything together with the canned beans, season with salt and pepper. On a note about the liquid, some of the water can be switched out with chicken stock. Also, if either pot needs more water that is perfect since it’s easier to add than to take away.

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