30th September 2015
As I mentioned in an earlier post, my husband I really love pickling leftover vegetables. Rather than having to throw them away, pickling preserves the vegetables to be used for many more months. Plus the flavors they develop become more complex.
Most recently Koen pickled our leftover carrots with dried peppers and other spices using Bon Appetit’s Moroccan style recipe. They were finally ready to be eaten, so we wanted to choose a dish that would pair well with the carrots. I decided on Green Kitchen Stories Moroccan Quinoa Salad. This is one of my favorite salads and I knew the carrots would fit perfectly. So many delicious flavors – the garlicky marinated zucchini and eggplant with the crunch of green onions, the soft avocado, and the warm, spiced quinoa topped with fresh mint and cilantro. Mmm!
- 1 1/4 pound baby or medium sized carrots, trimmed
- Peel from one lemon, in strips
- 4 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 4 dried hot chiles
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons coarse kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons coriander seeds, cracked
- 2 teaspoons cumin seeds, cracked
- Pack carrots vertically into 1-quart jar, cutting spears to fit. If you have thick carrots, you can slice them lengthwise.
- Add lemon peel, garlic, and chiles, spilling some chile seeds into jar.
- Mix 1 1/2 cups water, vinegar, sugar, salt, coriander, and cumin in medium saucepan. Bring to boil, stirring until sugar and salt dissolve, then boil 3 minutes.
- Pour hot brine over carrots, adding all spices to jar.
- Cool, then cover jar tightly and chill at least 1 week before opening. Keep refrigerated.
Moroccan Quinoa Salad, serves 4
- 1 zucchini, cut in thin slices
- 1 eggplant , cut in thin slices
- Olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 1/2 cup quinoa
- 1 tbsp cinnamon
- 1 lemon
- 2 bunches mint leaves
- 1 bunch cilantro/coriander
- 2 avocados, cut into 1 inch squares
- 4 small spring onions, chopped
- Start by making the marinated vegetables. Spread out the zucchini and eggplant slices on a bbq, in a grill pan or in the oven, a couple of minutes on each side. Put them in a bowl, drizzle olive oil, garlic and salt over them and set aside.
- Cook the quinoa according to the package but add one tbsp cinnamon in the water. When it’s done cooking, rinse and set aside to cool off. Squeeze the juice from half a lemon and add five tbsp of olive oil into the quinoa. Chop half of the mint leaves and half of the cilantro, throw them in the quinoa and toss it around until everything is mixed.
- Serve in bowls together with the marinated vegetables, avocado, spring onions, the rest of the mint and cilantro and the pickled carrots.
20th September 2015
I love a good bánh mì. When my husband and I were in New York City a couple of years ago, we went crazy trying all the different restaurants and determining our favorites. Unfortunately once we were back in Antwerp it was impossible to find. So what to do? Make your own! Now the Bánh Mì is becoming more popular in Antwerp and you can find it throughout the city, but we still enjoy making them at home.
So what is a bánh mì? Bánh mì is Vietnamese for bread. More specifically it refers to single serving size baguettes, introduced when the French colonized Vietnam. The bánh mì sandwich is a fusion of French and Vietnamese kitchens. You have the baguettes, mayonnaise, pâté, and jalapeños from France combined with the Vietnamese flavors of cilantro, cucumbers, and pickled carrots and daikon radishes. Yum!
This recipe comes from Food 52.
Caramelized Pork Bánh
- 1 pound pork tenderloin
- 3 tablespoons fish sauce
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 green onion, sliced thinly
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 4 baguettes (I bought a really long one from the bakery and sliced it into 4 serving sizes)
- Pickled carrots and radishes (see below)
- Sliced chili peppers
- Pâté (optional)
- Cut tenderloin across the grain of the meat into ½ inch pieces. Flatten each piece to an even ¼ inch between two pieces of saran wrap using a meat pounder, rolling pin, or large bottle.
- Mix ingredients from fish sauce to black pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning – it should be sweet and savory so add more soy, salt, or sesame oil as you like. Add marinade to the meat and use your hands or large spoon to make sure all pieces of meat are coated in marinade. Marinate for 10-30 minutes.
- You can cook the pork on the grill outdoors (best) or indoors using a grill pan or cast iron pan, something that you can get very hot. Heat grill or grill pan to high and turn on that vent fan! Add vegetable oil to meat and stir to coat. Sear first side of meat until very dark brown on one side, then flip and sear on the second side. Be careful not to overcook it. The meat is thin so it cooks quickly, one or two minutes on each side.
- To assemble sandwiches, slice baguette and spread mayonnaise on one side, pâté on the other. Add meat, pickled vegetables, cilantro and peppers. Enjoy!
Pickled Carrots and Radishes
- 1/4 pound carrots, peeled
- 1 bunch of radishes
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- Slice carrots and radishes into thin slices. Mix all ingredients together. Taste for seasoning. Let stand as little as an hour or up to overnight. They keep for several days.