Sunday, September 5, 2010

Quinoa Cakes, Bacon-Wrapped Scallops, Stuffed Pork Chops and Wheat Berry Pilaf

I love days when I can play in the kitchen.
Quinoa Cakes with Ham, Onion and Chard
1 1/4 cups quinoa
5 tablespoons olive oil
2 onions, halved and thinly sliced
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
2 bunches Swiss chard,ribs discarded and leaves coarsely chopped
1/4 pound deli ham, cut into 1/4-inch-thick strips
Salt and pepper
3/4 cup panko
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 eggs
In a saucepan of boiling salted water, cook the quinoa until tender, about 20 minutes; drain and let cool.
Meanwhile, in a skillet, heat 3 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat; add the onions and thyme and cook until the onions are softened and golden, about 25 minutes. Stir in the chard and ham; season with salt and pepper. Increase the heat to medium-high and cook, stirring, until the greens are wilted, Remove from heat but keep warm.
Place 1/2 cup panko in a shallow bowl. In a different bowl, combine the cooled quinoa, cheese, eggs, remaining 1/4 cup panko and season to with salt and pepper; shape the mixture into twelve patties.
Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Working in 3 batches, coat the patties with panko, place in the pan and cook, turning once, until golden-brown, about 8 minutes. Top each cake with the ham-chard mixture and serve immediately.

Bacon Wrapped Sea Scallops Wrapped in a Port Reduction
For Port reduction
2 cups Port
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons whole black peppercorns
2 fresh mint leaves, torn into bits
For scallops
6 thin slices bacon, cut into thirds
18 sea scallops
For Port reduction:
Bring Port, sugar, peppercorns, and mint to a simmer in a saucepan over low heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Simmer over moderately low heat until sauce
is thickened and reduced to about 1/2 cup, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a bowl
and cool to warm.
Cook scallops:
Wrap each scallop in a piece of bacon. Secure with a toothpick. secure. Broil until the scallops are cooked through.Transfer to a plate and serve with Port reduction for dipping.

Mushroom Wheat Berry Pilaf
2 teaspoons roasted garlic oil
1 1/2 cups onion, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon butter
1 pound shiitake mushrooms, sliced (or any kind)
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/4 cup red wine
1/4 cup chicken broth
1 1/2 cups cooked wheat berries
1 1/2 cups leftover, cooked rice
1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary leaves, chopped
Pepper and additional salt
Heat oil in large saute pan over low heat. Add onions and salt and cook until soft but not browned about 10 minutes. Increase heat to medium. Add butter, mushrooms, and soy sauce, and cook until mushrooms release their liquid about 5-10 minutes depending on the type of mushrooms you use. Add wine and chicken broth and simmer 5 minutes, until wine begins to evaporate. Add wheat berries, rice, thyme, rosemary, and to heat through. Adjust seasoning, to taste.

Pork Chops Stuffed with Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto
2 double cut pork chops, bone in, 2 inch pocket cut in the side
4 tablespoons sun-dried tomato pesto - I used a purchased Sun-Dried & Roma Tomato Dip with Cabernet that I had in the fridge. If it wasn't there I would have made my own.
1 tablespoon Tim Love's Wild Game Rub
Sprinkle the pork chops with the Wild Game Rub. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Stuff each pork chop with 2 tablespoons pesto. Grill until cooked through about 6 minutes per side.
Serve the pork chops on a bed of pilaf.

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