Friday, September 12, 2008

Recipe: Israeli Couscous Infused with Chanterelles....

A follow-up of a related post:

~ Israeli Couscous Infused with Chanterelles.... ~

by Blanche IP

Serves 4

1 ¼ cups Israeli couscous*
1 ½ cups water or chicken broth
2 tbs unsalted butter
6 ounces Golden Chanterelles or other types of mushrooms
3 tbs herb infused extra virgin olive oil**
½ lb boneless chicken thighs – with or without skin, cut into bite size pieces

2 tbs soy sauce
1 ts sugar
1 tbs rice wine (optional)
1 ½ cup shelled edamame beans – frozen***

Salt and pepper to taste
Grated Pecorino Romano cheese to serve (optional)


1. Marinate chicken thigh pieces in soy sauce, sugar and rice wine for 30 mins.

2. Clean chanterelles by lightly wiping them with a damp paper towel. Hand tear chanterelles into bite size pieces.

3. In an iron skillet or pan, dry sauté chanterelle without oil in high heat until the mushrooms begin to brown lightly and sweat. Set them aside in a bowl.

4. In the same skillet over high heat, add 1 tbs of butter with 1 tbs herb infused olive oil. Sauté the chicken pieces until brown on all sides and fully cooked (if skin is left on, sauté skin side down first – will keep chicken more juicy and flavourful). Remove from skillet and set pieces aside in a bowl. Keep the skillet un-washed as the brown bits aka ‘fond’ will be one of the flavouring agents for the dish.

5. In a 2 quart pot over high heat, add remaining butter and toast the Israeli couscous for 5 minutes. Add the water or broth and stir. Cover pan with lid until the content comes to a boil. Lower the heat to medium and allow it to simmer for 30-40 mins or until al-dente with pot partly covered. Stir occasionally.

6. Place edamame in a microwave-safe bowl and heat until steaming. Add them along with chicken pieces and remaining herb infused olive oil into pot with cooked couscous. Stir gently, and add salt and pepper to taste.

7. Heat the skillet with fond over high heat. Gently fold chanterelles into the couscous and transfer mixture into the hot skillet. Allow the mixture to stand in hot skillet for 5 minutes before serving.

8. Present it with sprig of rosemary or thyme, and serve with grated Pecorino Romano cheese and a lightly dressed arugula salad....

* If you have a Trader Joes near by, their Harvest Grains Blend is an excellent substitution. It is a mixture of Israeli couscous, orzo, baby garbanzo beans and red quinoa. This savoury deliciousness can be cooked in 15 minutes.

** My Herb Infused Extra Virgin Olive Oil consists of garlic (finely chopped and sauté in oil till brown and crisp), mixture of dried herbs (any kind to your liking), and lots of chopped sun-dried tomato. The herb mixture is allowed to infuse in extra virgin olive oil for at least 2 weeks prior use. Both the oil and the herb mixture were used in this recipe.

*** For the best results, package of frozen salted edamame pod
s should be used. The package should first be defrosted and pods would then be shelled to retrieve the
plump edamame beans within.

....and of course, nothing gets better than a meal that has a bittersweet ending....though my dear friend and I decided to begin with excellent Canadian Vidal ice wine and crème brûlée....


Israeli Couscous Infused with Chanterelles.... on Foodista

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Mambo Jambo....MAMONCILLO! A little tangy taste from the tropics....

Haymarket has done it again....discovered another species of fruit, foreign to most, but friends to Central and
South Americans....introducing the Mamoncillo....

I was not intrigue by them at first, since they have a strong resemblance to the green olive *something I have yet to learn to appreciate after many trials....which included the dirty martini of course....heh....but after having seen them in 2 consecutive visits to Haymarket, my reservation was overrun by my curiosity. I observed and picked the worker whom appeared to be most approachable....from my shopping experience at Haymarket, sometimes that's a necessity for a successful inquiry =P

And indeed, it was a success! I was granted a brief description and a public demonstration on how to savour this treat. With the free demo, he earned his business....half pound of it....and without hesitation, I withdrew a single emerald gem from my bag. The feeling of its skin on mine was oddly familiar. It was very much like a Longan....a fruit from Southeast Asia....only softer and more waxy. My instinct was to peel the mamoncillo like a longan (Southeast Asians out there should know what I mean), and the creamy orange plump flesh slipped out without an effort. I popped it into my mouth and attempted to take a didn't take long for me to realise that I was supposed to suck the pulp that encased the stone of the fruit. Don't let the fullness of the flesh fool you....the stone itself practically occupied ~95% of the volume within its shell, and the slippery pulp was a challenge for my tongue to undress....but I was not easy discourage, as it was simply delicious! The tangy, juicy membrane was refreshing, followed by the intense sweetness with floral accent, and unlike other fruits, it had a long finishing. Although this fruit is genetically related to the lychee, it took me a while before I can brainstorm a food that masks the textual was yet another fruit from Asia, 黄皮, or the Clausena lansium.

Enough said, I will leave you with an interesting fact.
According to Caribbean folk wisdom (especially in Jamaica), girls learn the art of kissing by eating the sweet flesh of this fruit, also it is said that if a girl finds two seeds then they'll have twins!


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