duck-shaped pain


28 March 2006
Completely invented food.

So, I made dinner. I made two recipes that I thought up today while I sat in meetings. They don't really go together that well, but they were both pretty good. Measurements listed reflect the on-the-fly nature of these recipes.

Spicy Tomato Chicken

I had two chicken leg quarters (by far my favorite cut of the chicken to cook) in my fridge, and I roasted then at 350 degrees for 45 minutes, coated with the following spice paste:

  • 1 tablespoon ras al-hanout (a Moroccan spice mixture: I bought mine in a small bottle at Cost Plus), plus some more to sprinkle on the chicken
  • 2 tablespoons double-concentrated tomato paste (the kind that comes in a tube with a picture of a contented Italian tomato on the front)
  • enough olive oil to combine the two into a paste (I used some blood-orange olive oil I bought in San Francisco last year, but the orange flavor wasn't particularly strong, so plain olive oil would probably be fine)

Smear on the chicken. Sprinkle a bit of salt, pepper, and some more ras al-hanout on the top.

I served it with some coconut quinoa, which I know doesn't go. Sort-of Southeast Asian flavors (combined with a South American pseudo-grain) don't always complement kind-of Mediterranean/North African flavors. But it tasted pretty good, anyway.

Coconut Lime Quinoa

  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 1 cup light coconut milk
  • zest and juice of one lime
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, diced
  • 1/2 cup red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 teaspoon or more grated ginger
  • 1/2 a serrano chile, diced (optional)
  • cumin seed, a tad
  • ground coriander, a tad
  • some chopped cilantro

Combine coconut milk, lime juice and water in a bowl, set aside. In a medium saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, saute until onion is translucent. Add cumin and coriander, cook 30 seconds, then add bell pepper, ginger, and the serrano chile. Cook 2-3 minutes, stirring often so ginger does not stick to bottom.

Add quinoa, and stir. Toast quinoa for a few minutes, then add coconut milk mixture. Bring to a boil briefly, then cover pan, and reduce heat to low. Cook for 13-17 minutes, checking occasionally to see how quinoa is doing -- it tends to absorb its cooking liquid all of a sudden, so it's fairly necessary to check on it. When the quinoa has absorbed most of its liquid, add cilantro and lime zest. Remove from heat, let sit a few minutes. Enjoy.

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