Minding our Ps and Qs
We have been away for a few weeks celebrating the holiday- but we are now back and are ready to kick off a new year of cooking and blogging.
To spice things up a bit - we have decided to start the new year by trying new ingredients. We each made a list of foods we wanted to try and we are going to incorporate those ingredients into our upcoming menus. For the first menu of the new year we have used Pomegranate and Quinoa - both ingredients we had never cooked with. Quinoa is a pseudograin; it is prepared and eaten much like grains but is not actually a grass. Most commercially available quinoa comes from South America, but it can be grown as a crop in the southern US as well. Pomegranate is a fruit native to the Mediterranean, but is now cultivated in many regions of the world. In the northern hemisphere, pomegranate is available from September through January. Our pomegranate came with a pamphlet of instructions - which was quite helpful in extracting out the seeds.
Our first course was a salad- rather simple, yet delicious and sophisticated. The salad consisted of baby greens, pomegranate seeds and feta cheese. A homemade vinaigrette topped off the salad.
Our main dish was adventurous (even by our standards). I had an interesting dish while traveling over the holidays and we tried to recreate it here. The dish was a chickpea and quinoa cake and I think we did an awesome job of making it at home. We made a red pepper coulis as a base with quinoa and chickpea cakes on top. We added roasted red peppers and roasted onions then topped it off with goat cheese.
Of course we had a desert to finish things off. This week we had banana cupcakes with amaretto icing topped with toasted almonds.