Monday, July 11, 2016

Scenes from My Pantry: Tabbouleh Summer Salad

Tabbouleh is a Middle Eastern salad traditionally made with parsley, mint, tomatoes, bulgur (cracked wheat) lemon juice and olive oil.   Like the spelling of Tabbouleh or  Taboule, or Tabouli, the variations are endless.  Traditional Lebanese and Israeli versions are focused squarely on the herbs, and the bulgur is meant only to be a garnish. 

My version adheres to the general principles of good tabbouleh, but like my personality I rarely follow the rules.  However, there is a cardinal rule in Tabbouleh which cannot be broken no matter what part of the world you prepare and enjoy this salad. The ingredients must absolutely be FRESH.

Let's start with the parsley. You are going to need a lot.  Mint?  You will need quite a bit too. Oh yeah, I use a lot of bulgur too, and chopped cucumbers, so get ready to break the rules.  No matter how you prepare this salad, its refreshing, healthy and delicious. You can serve it as vegetarian entree or simply as a side dish.




Tabbouleh Summer Salad
Serves 4-6

Ingredients:
2 cups bulgur (cracked wheat), pre-soaked.
3 cups parsley, finely chopped
1/2 cup fresh mint, finely chopped
1/2 white onion, or 3 scallions, finely chopped
1 large cucumber, seeded and finely chopped
3 medium ripe (firm) tomatoes, seeded, and finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Directions:
Pre-soak bulgur: Place 1 cup bulgur in a bowl.  Pour 1 cup boiling water over bulgur and let stand for an hour ( Yields: 2 cups of bulgur)

In a large bowl mix all the ingredients together, except for the lemon juice and olive oil. Gently toss to mix the ingredients.

Add lemon juice and olive oil. Gently blend again. Cover and chill for at least hour to allow the flavors to develop.

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Monday, July 4, 2016

Savoring the Season: Grilled Spiced Corn with Bacon


Growing-up there was only one way to eat sweet fresh corn and that was boiled.  My corn on the cob was always dressed the same.  A corn holder for each side, a pat of butter, salt and pepper.   I spent a lifetime eating corn without the slightest of variance.  Why? because it was good, it felt right and it never occurred to me it could be even better.

Do you know how to take fresh sweet summer corn and have a peak experience eating it?   Kick it up, spice it up and grill it up! Put some char on those kernels!  You will never eat corn the same way again.



Grilled Spiced Corn with Bacon
Serves 4
Recipe from All Recipes


Ingredients:
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1-1/2 teaspoons olive oil
4 ears corn, husks and silks removed
4 slices bacon  (thinly sliced)

Directions:
1.  Preheat an outdoor grill to medium-high heat  (375 F to 450 F)

2.  Stir together chili powder, coriander, cumin, oregano, and oil in a small bowl.  Rub mixture over corn.  Wrap each ear of corn in a bacon slice so that the bacon goes from one end of the ear to the other, without covering the whole ear.  Wrap corn in heavy-duty foil or a double layer of regular foil.

3.  Grill until bacon is cooked (it won't be crisp) and corn is piping hot, 20 to 25 minutes.  For crisp bacon, carefully remove corn from foil and grill it directly on grate for about 2 minutes more.

Enjoy!




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