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Sweet Saffron Pilaf with Currants and Nuts

June 29th, 2007 | 10 Comments »

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Sweet Saffron Pilaf with Nuts and Currants

1 ¼ c. basmati rice
2 ½ c. water
¼ t. saffron threads
1 T. milk or cream
1/8 c. canola oil or ghee
A 2-inch cinnamon stick
10 green cardamom pods, pounded in a bowl or pestle to open the shells
A 1-ince piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
¼ c. dried currants
¼ c. chopped roasted almonds
¼ c. pistachios, shelled and chopped
¼ c. sugar

Combine rice and water in medium bowl and soak for 20 minutes. Drain, reserving water, and set rice aside.
Gently crush saffron threads in small bowl with back of spoon. Stir in milk and mix gently. Set aside.
Combine oil or ghee, cinnamon stick, cardamom and ginger in medium, heavy bottom pan (with a cover) over medium high heat, stir and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add in currants and nuts and cook, stirring often, for 2-3 minutes. Add rice, stir to coat and cook for 1-3 minutes. Pour in reserved water, stir and bring to a high simmer, reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 15 minutes. Uncover and sprinkle rice evenly with sugar, then drizzle saffron/milk mix over the top. Cover pan again, and on very low heat, cook for 5 minutes. Turn off heat and allow rice to rest 10-15 minutes. Serve hot garnished with fresh toasted nuts if desired.

Pasta with Lemon Wine Sauce

June 27th, 2007 | 2 Comments »

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Pasta with Lemon Wine Sauce

1# cooked pasta, drained, reserving cooking water
1 package grape tomatoes, quartered
2 large tomatoes, deseeded and chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 bunches broccoli, trimmed
3 sausage links, chopped (i used a tomato basil chicken sausage)
1 cup dry white wine
Juice of one lemon
Zest of one lemon
Grated cheese for garnish

In large skillet, heat oil of choice and add broccoli, stir fry quickly until bright green. Add about 1/3 c. water to pan and cover. Allow to steam for five minutes. Remove broccoli to bowl and cover. In same pan, add sausage and brown for 5-10 minutes. Remove. Add a splash of oil to pan and place chopped regular tomatoes in pan. Cook until they have broken down, maybe 3-5 minutes. Pour in wine, add garlic and 1 tablespoon of zest and bring to a simmer; cook until reduced by half. Have pasta, sausage and broccoli ready in large pan or bowl. Add quartered grape tomatoes to skillet and about a half cup of reserved cooking water; stir quickly to incorporate then pour over pasta mixture. Toss gently. Stir in a tablespoon or two of lemon juice and a little more zest (to taste). Season with salt and pepper.