Tomorrow, friends are returning from a 3-week trip to Brazil. I figured after too much cachaÃ§a and fejioda, they’d appreciate something healthy in their fridge. So lucky me, I cooked for 6 today: us, our friends and their two kids.
Using the cauliflower from the market, I made a quinoa salad, which lends itself to infinite variations. For the uninitiated, quinoa is a fabulous pseudocereal that provides complete protein. The following recipe is great on a bed of greens for a light dinner or goes well with grilled sausages, as it lends a virtuous component.
2 c. quinoa, toasted
2 c. low-sodium veg or chix broth
2 c. water
1/4 c. olive oil
1 small red onion, diced
1 head cauliflower, cut into small florets
juice from 1 lemon
1/4 c. apple cider vinegar
1/2 c. roasted red peppers, diced
1/4 c. minced parsley
1 c. pinenuts, toasted
8 oz. ricotta salata or feta, diced
salt & pepper to taste
Bring quinoa, stock, and water to a gentle boil. Stir occasionally until all liquid is absorbed. Dump the quinoa into a large salad bowl and let cool to room temperature. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in sautÃ© pan and add onion until softened. Remove from heat and add onions to salad bowl. Using the same pan, sautÃ© cauliflower until just starting to brown. Add lemon juice, then cover until florets are cooked but still have some crunch. Add cauliflower and remaining ingredients to quinoa and onions, toss well with salad tongs or two large spoons. Serve at room temp or chilled. Makes approximately 8 servings.
Boneless skinless chicken breasts were on sale at Dominick’s, and while I usually buy meat from Whole Foods or Bari, I went for the Xtreme Pack at $1.99 a pound. From Epicurious, I found a recipe for Chicken Breasts ProvenÃ§al. Okay, I typed in “chicken breast” and “olives” because that’s what I had on hand and this was one of the first good-sounding recipes that popped up. I subbed a can of San Marzano tomatoes and used up the rest of my garlic scapes from the previous week’s farmer’s market run. By more or less doubling the recipe, we all have plenty of chicken to go around.
Finally, I reached way back into the recipe archives and made my Grandma Gattie’s Hot Milk Cake. A simple yet delicious family staple that can be made into layers, cupcakes, mini loaves, etc. Today I opted for a fluted tube pan. A while back a friend pointed out that when the cake gets a bit stale, it can be toasted, spread with jam, and called, “Breakfast.”
Grandma Gattie’s Hot Milk Cake
2 c. sugar
2 t. pure vanilla extract
2 c. flour
2 t. baking powder
1 t. kosher salt
4 oz. unsalted butter (that’s 1 stick, people)
1 c. whole milk or heavy cream
Using a stand mixer fitted with the beater (or a hand mixer), beat the eggs and sugar at high speed until thick and pale yellow. Mix in the vanilla. In a small pan on the stove or in a glass measuring cup in the microwave, heat the milk and butter until the butter is completely melted.Sift together the flour, powder, and salt into a small bowl. Switch to the paddle attachment and add the dry mixture to the egg mixture. Beat well. Add the hot milk mixture and slooowly beat in. Give it a good beating, then pour into a greased, floured pan. Bake at 325F until tester comes out clean. Let cool, then wrap and store on the counter. Can be frozen.