What's for Dinner Wednesday? March 22, 2017 16:38

Yummy fast recipesI've said many times that one of the most annoying chores I face on a regular basis is figuring out what to make for dinner. With that in mind, I will try to post regular recipes that are taste-tested and approved by my clan. Today's recipes are Rice with Cauliflower and Pomegranate and Chick Peas with Garlic and a Bunch of Other Stuff (TM).  Both of these recipes come from the "Complete Mediterranean Cookbook". The impetus for making these the first time was to use up a bunch of stuff in my fridge and pantry (with the exception of the pomegranate, which I had to go buy because I don't just have those laying around). I threw in a bunch of spinach that was sitting in our rotter (aka, the vegetable bin) because I didn't want to have to pitch it and I felt like I should give my kids some kind of vegetable. Speaking of my kids, they truly loved these dishes. I was a bit amazed but who am I to question the little victories?

Spiced Basmati Rice with Cauliflower and Pomegranate

1 head cauliflower cut into 3/4" florets

1/4 cup olive oil

salt and pepper

1/2 t ground cumin

1 onion, chopped (pro tip: swim goggles)

1 1/2 cups basmati rice

4 cloves of garlic, minced (I've been known to use garlic paste. So sue me)

1/2 t cinnamon

1/2 turmeric

2 1/4 cups water (I use veggie broth if I have any)

1/2 pomegranate seeds

2 T chopped cilantro (critical IMO, but I know others hate it)

2 T chopped mint

1. Adjust the oven rack to the lowest position and heat oven to 475 (forewarned, we set off the smoke alarm). Toss cauliflower with 2 T of oil, 1/2 t salt, 1/2 t pepper, and 1/4 t cumin. Arrange cauliflower in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast until just tender, about 10-15 minutes. Set aside.

2. Heat remaining 2 T of oil in a large saucepan. Add onion and 1/4 t salt and cook until softened, about 5-7 minutes. Add rice, garlic, cinnamon, turmeric, and remaining 1/4 t cumin and cook, stirring frequently for about 3 minutes.

3. Stir in water (or broth) and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer gently for about 16-18 minutes.

4. Off heat, lay a clean dish towel underneath the lid of the rice and let it sit for 10 minutes. Why? I have no idea. Add roasted cauliflower and fluff gently. Transfer to a serving platter (first time for everything) and sprinkle with pomegranate, cilantro (yum) and mint. 

Chickpeas with Garlic and Parsley (plus some spinach which I threw in for good measure)

1/4 cup olive oil

4 garlic cloves, sliced thin (confession: mine were not)

1/8 t red pepper flakes

1 onion, chopped fine

salt and pepper

2 (15 oz) cans chickpeas, rinsed

1 cup veggie or chicken broth

2 T fresh minced parsley

2 t lemon juice

big handful of spinach 

1. Cook 3 T of olive oil, garlic and pepper flakes in a large skillet over medium heat, stirring frequently for about 3 minutes. Stir in onion and 1/4 t salt and cook until onions are softened about 5-7 minutes. Stir in chickpeas, spinach, and broth and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and cook until chickpeas are heated through and spinach wilts into nothing about 7 minutes. and continue to cook until nearly all liquid has evaporated about 3 minutes. 

2, Uncover, increase heat to high and continue to cook until nearly all liquid has evaporated about 3 minutes.  Off heat stir in parsley and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with remaining 1 T olive oil.

Dig in. Let me know if you try it.