Mack's Corner

This Week

This week 01-06-15 Cooking 220 - 2 pans, 2 burners, 20 minutes - Living Well - Mediterranean Diet:

New Year's Resolution: Don't eat anything for a month to make up for being a pig for the last 2 weeks OR Start eating salad every day. I like the 2nd way better, but just salad can get boring, so you need stuff to make it interesting... Always,always add some nuts. Almond, Pecans, Walnuts, Just a small hand full every day will add years to your life. Everything else is up to you. But here's some ideas: Grains, Black rice, Quinos, Barley, Jasmine Rice.. etc, Cheese: Feta, Blue, Sharp cheddar... etc, Yogurt: Plain.. Use it like sour cream or salad dressing, Variety of Vingars: There are a million vinegars and with the exception of 40 year old Balsamic they are all pretty cheap., Use Lemon juice instead of vinegar ..Olive Oil, Grape seed oil, both are good for you.. Twice a week pan fry(in olive oil) a piece of salmon and add that to you salad. Throw a poached/fried egg on top every once in a while. Make croutons(slice bread, olive oil and salt on top, bake till brown=easy). In your salad dressing use the rule: Hot, Sour, Salty, Sweet in balance.. Change your dressing any way you want but keep these four things in balance and it will always be good. Here's some recipes, some sound kinda crazy, but you get the idea: Make your salads interesting and you'll never think about having dessert. Fill up on good stuff that tastes good, not good stuff that you have to choke down. That's not eating , that's painful. Eating is fun, interesting, nourishing.

Quinoa Salad with Pickled Radishes and Feta

1 cup red wine vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
4 medium radishes, very thinly sliced
1/2 pound thin green beans
1 cup quinoa, rinsed
1 large English cucumber—halved lengthwise, seeded and cut into 1/4-inch dice
3 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
6 ounces Greek feta cheese, thinly sliced

In a small saucepan, bring the red wine vinegar to a simmer with the sugar. Remove from the heat and add the radish slices. Let stand until cool, about 1 hour.

Meanwhile, in a large saucepan of salted boiling water, blanch the green beans until they are crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Drain and rinse the beans under cold water until cool. Pat the beans dry and cut them into 1 1/2-inch lengths.

In a medium saucepan, bring 1 3/4 cups of water to a boil. Add the quinoa, cover and simmer over low heat until all of the water has been absorbed, about 12 minutes. Uncover and let stand until cool, about 10 minutes.

In a medium bowl, toss the cucumber with 1/2 tablespoon of the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. In a large bowl, toss the quinoa with the parsley, lemon juice and the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil; season with salt and pepper. Drain the radishes and add them to the quinoa, along with the beans, cucumber and feta. Toss well and serve.


Chicken-and-Rice Salad with Pesto Yogurt Dressing

1 1/2 cups long-grain rice
3/4 cup plain yogurt
1/2 cup store-bought or homemade pesto
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
1 roasted chicken, bones and skin removed (about 1 pound meat), meat torn into bite-size pieces (about 3 cups)

Bring a medium pot of boiling, salted water to a boil. Stir in the rice and boil until just done, 10 to 12 minutes. Drain. Rinse with cold water and drain thoroughly.

In a large serving bowl, whisk together the yogurt, pesto, salt, and pepper. Add the chicken and the rice and toss to combine.


Pearled Barley Salad with Apples, Pomegranate Seeds and Pine Nuts

1/3 cup pine nuts, preferably from Italy (2 ounces)
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 small shallot, minced (2 tablespoons)
Salt and freshly ground pepper
4 cups Thyme-Scented Pearled Barley
1 large tart apple, such as Honeycrisp, cored and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 cup pomegranate seeds (from 1 pomegranate)
1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley

Preheat the oven to 350°. Spread the pine nuts in a pie plate and toast until golden, about 5 minutes. Let cool.

In a bowl, whisk the oil with the vinegar and shallot and season with salt and pepper. Add the Thyme-Scented Pearled Barley, pine nuts, apple, pomegranate seeds and parsley; toss before serving.


Recipes from my life

I listen to a lot of Books on I was listening to "Recipes from my life" by Pat Conroy. He also wrote The Prince of Tides, The Great Santini, The Water is Wide (Conrack was the movie).. In this book he tells stories about his life. In one story his second wife is about to enter law school and she tells him "From now on you are in charge of cooking all the meals for the family!" He doesn't know how to cook anything, but now it's his job. He goes to a bookstore where he knows the owner and asked him to suggest a good cookbook. He tells Pat that he heard that this guy Escoffier is a pretty good cook and sells him his book. Escoffier is the father of French cooking, one of the great chefs in the history of the world. His cookbook has 3000 recipes, each numbered, starting from the most basic thing to very complex. So chicken stock might be number 22 and pasta dough might be 104, so chicken noodle soup will call for you to make 22 and 104 and then other things.. all recipes assume you know what you're doing. So one recipe might say 23,245,56, and 134. But then you get to 134 and see that it calls for 57,43 and 12..  So Pat is not making meatloaf for dinner .. He's making roast chicken with red wine sauce and braised mushrooms.. He's making Croque Madame with Mornay sauce. Boudin Blanc..   Might as well start at the top! ...  In another story he tells about the first book he had published by a publisher. A friend  told him he needed an agent to get his book published and that there was this guy in New York who was supposed to be the best. Pat called him and to his surprise got to actually talk to him. The agent agreed to look at his book and told Pat to send it to him typed by Friday. This was on Wednesday. The only copy of the book "The Water is Wide" was hand written on lined paper. Pat can't type! .. All excited he starts calling everybody he knows who can type and starts giving out pages of his book. These are all friends doing their best to make Pat look good. When the pages come back some are typed on onion skin paper, some are typed on typing paper, some are typed on personal stationary..  Some in pica, some script, some bold, some italic ... all pages from each person numbered starting at 1. The story stays the same all the way through the book but the paper and the font change every 5 to 10 pages and the page numbers start over..  The agent said it was the cutest thing he had ever seen, but don't ever do it again!!!  

God's like that: We've got the book. God gave us everything we need to know in the Bible from very simple to very complex. Some things call for you to know the first part to understand the 41st part.  The fun thing is that he lets us present it any way we want. Some people by what they do, some by what they say, some by what they write..  We also get to start at page one because it's how God changed our lives… Page 1 is wherever you start..  the story is the same, but it looks really different from each person 


Posted by Mack Oates at 12:00 AM