Sunday, June 19, 2011

Best Dinner in a Long Time :-)

I know I've mentioned it in this blog before, but I really like everyday Food magazine.  One of the things I've noticed recently is that the recipes often ignore the American idea that every meal needs a meat, a carb, and maybe a vegetable.  The majority of the dinners are instead light and fresh and leave you feeling satisfied but not heavy/over-full.

Tonight for dinner, I made 2 recipes from the magazine.  I was excited about them when cooking, but also curbed my enthusiasm because sometimes meals aren't as awesome as they look in pictures/sound in recipes.  Luckily, this one was.  This was our favorite dinner that I've made at home for a long time.

Unfortunately, our camera was low on batteries, so I only got one picture of each and didn't get to try a few angles/lighting settings to make them look as awesome as they tasted...  We had two "entrees" and I thought for a while about serving them in sequence, but due to timing, I served them simultaneously instead.  We had:

Green Bean Salad with garbanzo beans, heirloom cherry tomatoes, red onion, and lemon/olive oil dressing.  It was a pretty recipe in the magazine, but subbing a mix of purple/red/yellow/green/orange heirloom cherry tomatoes for the standard red ones made it so visually appealing and also amazingly delicious!

Recipe in brief:  Cook 1-1.5 lbs green beans until "tender-crisp" -- about 4 minutes in boiling water.  Meanwhile, whisk the juice of 1 lemon, about 2/3 of a lemon worth of lemon zest, and 2 Tb EVOO.  Add 1 can of drained/rinsed chick peas, 1/4 of a red onion slivered, and 1 pint quartered/halved cherry tomatoes (heirloom preferred).  Stir.  Plate drained green beans, top with tomato mixture, and sprinkle with Feta cheese.

The magazine advertises the green bean salad as an entree on its own (and it certainly could have been one) but I had some leftover coconut milk in the fridge that I wanted to finish.  I used it in a Coconut Curry Clam recipe (originally mussels, but the store only had clams).  Joe wasn't too excited about it initially when he read the recipe, but we ended up fighting over the last few clams and then eating the broth/sauce like soup!  It was very rich, so we ended up with leftovers that I'll be VERY excited to serve over rice later this week!

Recipe in brief:  Melt 1 Tb of unsalted butter over medium heat.  Add 1 Tb fresh minced ginger and 2 cloves of crushed garlic.  Add 1/2 to 1 can of unsweetened lowfat coconut milk (depending on # of clams) and increase heat to medium high.  Whisk in 2-3 Tb of green curry paste.  Add 2-3 dozen clams (or mussels) cover, and cook til open.  Squeeze the juice of 1 lime over the mixture and top with about 1/4 cup of chopped cilantro.

Such a yummy dinner!  And we're very excited about our leftover Green Bean Salad for lunch tomorrow!  (Yes, me the non-leftover eater, is looking forward to both of these leftovers!!)