Posts tagged ‘Coconut’

April 12, 2011

Refreshing Papaya Millet Salad

I had half a papaya left from the other day and needed to find a way to use it. I liked the quinoa salad that I had made so much that I decided to revisit it, while making a few minor changes.

I thought coconut would be a great addition, as well as dried figs. I just looooove their distinctive crunch and thought they would work well with the papaya seeds.

Also, this time, I chose to use millet instead of quinoa and I made a nice bed of arugula to lay everything on.

All good calls! This one was equally good, if not better than the last. On a side note, I find millet to be a lot more satisfying than quinoa when it comes to filling me up. For some reason, quinoa just doesn’t seem to ever get that done. I could eat a whole cup to myself and still feel somewhat unsatisfied… whereas I don’t think I could eat a half cup of millet (well, ok, except maybe for warm cereal, but that, I can never get too much of, so it doesn’t count!)

Ingredients
(serves 3-4)

Millet (this needs to be cold, so you might want to cook it the night before)

  • 1 cup millet
  • 2 cups water
  • ½ tsp salt

Salad

  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • ½ papaya, peeled, seeded and diced (save the seeds!!!)
  • 25g roasted pecans, chopped
  • 25g raw pumpkin seeds
  • 20g unsweetened grated coconut
  • 4-5 dried figs, chopped
  • ¼ cup fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 20 mint leaves, chopped
  • 125g arugula leaves

Dressing

  • Seeds form half papaya (keep a few teaspoons to garnish)
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • The juice and zest of ½ lemon
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp mustard
  • 1 tbsp liquid honey
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2-3 tbsp water
  • Pinch hot pepper flakes

Instructions

  • Rinse millet thoroughly in a fine mesh strainer. Put millet, salt and water in small saucepan and bring to boil.  Reduce heat, cover and simmer until all water is absorbed, about 10-15 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes then remove lid and fluff with a fork. Allow to cool for a little while then refrigerate until cold, at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.
  • Mix all the ingredients of the salad in a large mixing bowl, except arugula. Set aside.
  • In a small food processor, purée all the ingredients of the dressing and mix into reserved salad. Stir to combine.
  • Arrange the arugula leaves in the plates. Lay cold millet on top of arugula, creating a nest for papaya salad. Mound papaya on top of cold millet and garnish with whole papaya seeds if desired.

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March 7, 2011

Coconut Crusted Pangasius Fillet

I have to confess, I actually let out a loud moan when I finally put my camera down and took the first bite from that plate. THIS is one of the best pieces of fish I have ever had. And pangasius is now officially way high on my list of favorite fish. Probably in the top 5. I just love its firm yet tender flesh and its subtle flavor, which can be married to just about anything. It worked absolutely beautifully with hazelnuts, and even better with coconut. So don’t be surprised if you see it make a regular appearance on this blog!

I got the inspiration for tonight’s dish here.  However, I didn’t really follow the recipe. In fact, I more or less used yesterday’s chicken fingers’ breading, except I mixed all the ingredients together (i.e. 2 parts coconuts to half a part corn starch, pinch of cayenne, salt and pepper to taste) and I lightly coated my fish fillet after dredging it in egg white. I’d say I used 1/8 cup coconut mixture.

Then, for the mango salsa, well… first off, it calls for CILANTRO!!! Need I tell you I left that one out? I used flat parsley instead. And I didn’t have a red pepper… so I used a small thai pepper. In fact, my recipe went something like this:

  • 1 mango, cut into small cubes
  • the green part of a green onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 thin slice red onion, finely chopped
  • 2-3 tbsp flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 small red thai pepper, finely chopped
  • the juice of not quite half a lime
  • 1 tsp cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp liquid honey
  • salt and pepper to taste

Simply mix all the ingredients together and let the flavors mingle while you make the fish.

All in all, this was an incredibly tasty dish, one that I would have over and over again and wouldn’t ever tire. Seriously. I came that close from shedding a tear. It was that good. I’ll definitely keep this one in mind for the summer. PERFECT summer dish.  Positively, absolutely!

March 7, 2011

Cayenne Coconut Chicken Tenders

It looks like, much to my dismay, I’m having a really hard time capturing the appetizingness of chicken fingers. It’s too bad because they are something I absolutely love and, of course, I wish I was able to capture food that I love appropriately. Why is it that when I look at other people’s photos of chicken fingers, my brain goes “yum this looks so good”; then when I try snapping my own photos, they always end up looking like cafeteria food? Is there a special trick or skill that one has to learn that applies specifically to that particular food item? Or is there a “Chicken fingers photo snapping for dummies”, maybe? Then I would definitely have to read it! Or maybe I need to make chicken fingers more often and keep practicing…

Anyway, yesterday’s photos were so bad, I decided to show you a picture of the little family gathering we had instead. I just couldn’t leave the dish out altogether and not post about it, for it was very good and extremely worthy of getting an entry. Besides, I am supposed to log everything I cook, good or bad, aren’t I? At least, that’s the deal I remember making with myself! But trust me, it’s way easier to show a meal that wasn’t all that good but still presents itself decently in picture than it is to present a meal that was actually very good but doesn’t look too appealing on the screen!

Allright, I’ll show you what I mean, but promise not to laugh! There…

I really had a craving for coconut, so I searched the web for a decent coconut crusted chicken fingers recipe. I finally decided on that one (I liked the picture!), but of course, adapted it to make it a tad healthier. Deep frying was out of the question, I oven baked instead. Also, I used unsweetened coconut instead of the sweetened one the recipe calls for. Oh, and also, I used chicken breasts instead of tenders, which I marinated in buttermilk and then cut into strips. Not that this does anything to make the dish healthier, it’s just easier on my wallet!

What I did is I took the breasts and put them in a shallow glass dish, covered them with buttermilk and added a generous pinch of cayenne pepper as well as a less generous pinch of cumin, plus a little bit of salt. I tossed the chicken around a few times to make sure it was well coated and the spices were well incorporated, then in the refrigerator it went for about 6 hours. I then cut the breasts into strips, dredged the strips in corn starch, egg white and coconut like the recipe says, lined them on a baking sheet, sprinkled with a little bit of olive oil and cooked them in a 400 degree oven for about 20 minutes. They turned out really great, I wouldn’t change anything taste or texture wise, but next time, I will make sure to line my baking sheet with parchment paper, for these tend to stick and I had a hard time, one, removing them from the sheet without breaking them and two, cleaning said sheet afterwards!

The sides dishes that I had decided to serve were pineapple chutney and spicy coleslaw, but the kids requested I also make oven baked fries… so I, being the cool mom that I am, accepted their request! I think the whole thing was a winning combination, and made for a very agreeable meal in very agreeable company. Now as of today, I start cooking for one again…

Here are the recipes for the chutney and coleslaw.

Pineapple Chutney

  • Half a pineapple, in bite size pieces
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 5 or 6 small sweet peppers, sliced
  • 2 celery ribs, sliced
  • 2 tbsp ginger, chopped
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp liquid honey
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • ½ cup of water
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • Salt, pepper to taste

Instructions

  • ­Cook the onions, peppers, ginger and celery over medium heat, until tender, about 5 minutes.
  • ­Add pineapple along with the rest of the ingredients and simmer for about 10-15 minutes, until pineapple is cooked and liquid has evaporated.

Spicy Coleslaw

  • 1½ pound green cabbage, shredded
  • 2 raw beets, peeled and grated

Dressing

  • ¼ cup low fat plain yogurt
  • 3 tbsp buttermilk
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1½ tbsp liquid honey
  • 1 tbsp hot Dijon mustard

Instructions

  • Mix all ingredients of the dressing together and add cabbage. Stir to combine.
  • Add grated beets without stirring. Leave in the refrigerator to marinate for at least 2 hours.
  • When ready to serve, stir lightly just to incorporate beets.