Tuesday, January 1, 2013

GF Egyptian Pilaf w/ Spice Seared Grouper!

Boy, April must be the month of love, because I have been feeling it over here! Today, one of my mom’s friends brought me an absolutely gorgeous bouquet of tulips! I mean, how sweet is that!?! And what a way to brighten a “sicky’s ” day! So, thank you so much! They truly lifted my spirits:)
beautiful tulips!! what a wonderful surprise!
And thennnn, another one of my mom’s friends, who is a great chef, shared a delicious recipe with me, that I made for dinner tonight! I have been simply overwhelmed with the degree that people show they care!
onions, zucchini and carrots, oh my!
So what is this delicious dish? Well, it is an Egyptian Quinoa Pilaf with Zucchini and Carrots. She cooked this recipe when she helped teach at the Midwest Culinary Institute this past week, and was generous enough to pass it along!
fresh cilantro and mint make this dish a 10!
Here’s what you need:
1 cup of quinoa
2 cups veg stock
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 zucchini, sliced into 4 slices, lengthwise
3 carrots, sliced in half, lengthwise
4 or 5 green onions, sliced
1 clove of garlic, grated
1/2 cup — or more — of raisins
big handful of spinach
fresh cilantro, chopped
fresh mint, chopped
Egyptian Pilaf goodness:)
Heat a grill pan until its super hot. Toss your sliced zucchini and carrots with 1 tsp EVOO, salt and pepper. Then, grill them on the grill pan for about 1-2 minutes per side for the zucchini and 2-3 minutes per side for the carrots. You just want to take away their raw flavor. Next, cook your quinoa on the stove, according to package directions — but add your spices to the veg stock that it is cooking in. While it’s cooking, chop your cooled, grilled veggies into little bite size pieces. After your quinoa finishes cooking, but before you “fluff it”, add your spinach and raisins, and cover for a minute or so, to wilt the spinach and plump the raisins. Then, fluff in your spinach, raisins, and grated garlic. When those are combined, fluff in your zucchini and carrots.  Adjust the seasonings — I added about 1 tsp of salt. Serve, garnished with cilantro and mint! Yum!
check out the gorgeous grill marks on the carrot!
With this delicious pilaf, I made spice-crusted grouper that I pan-seared. I took my fillets and crusted them in 1 1/2 tsps of cumin and coriander. Looking back, I wouldn’t use this particular spice combination, as it was a bit too bold, but it was still really good. I mean, anything from Lobsta Bakes is going to be amazing, simply because it is wild, ocean-caught, and SO unbelievably fresh! So, after I put the crust on both sides of the fish, I seared it in a non-stick skillet with 1 1/2 tsp EVOO, for about 4 or 5 minutes per side. Delish!
spice crusted grouper!
This meal was so delicious! Thank you so much, L, for sharing this fantastic recipe with me! This pilaf was outstanding because of the wonderful flavors, textures, and colors! First, the flavors: All my mom kept saying was, “Wow! There’s so much flavor going on here!” My parents loved it. There was a deep and complex spice profile, with the warm cumin and slightly sweet cinnamon. Then, there was the subtle backdrop of garlic, accented with a little bite from the onion. The raisins gave a beautiful, intense sweetness, and grilling the veggies provided a delightful, underlying smokey flavor! This was all rounded out by the fresh cilantro, and cool mint!
fantastic textures, flavors, and colors!
Finally, the textures were awesome! The raisins were chewy and sticky, while the veggies were crunchy — but not raw! Finally, the quinoa would *pop* in your mouth, making a delectable dish!
Another gorgeous day in April. Great friends, great basketball games, great food…and happy tummies!
I love my grill pan. It's non stick, and is such a convenient tool, letting you grill all year round! Here's the one I use:

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