Golden Scale Award

Golden Scale Award

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Q is for Quail and Quinoa Pilaf


Quail is a collective name for several mid sized birds. Even the Bobwhite qualifies as a quail and this iBrown_Quails a bird well known to those living in the Southern States. Sometimes they would start calling under our bedroom window at night and drive us potty. Many of the common larger quail are raised for the table and are considered something of a delicacy as are their eggs which are pretty small. I personally have never eaten them but I know my parents did at least once if not more. They are also hunted in season. Such a little bird, seems a tad unfair somehow. In 2007 the US produced 40 million quail. We used to know a guy in the Carolinas who’s name was Bob White. His house was called Quail’s Nest.

This is a recipe for quinoa which has become a very popular grain these days and I have used quite a bit. Quinoa is pronounced Kinwa. I could, of course, have given you a recipe for Quail eggs and caviar.

Quinoa Pilaf in Lettuce Cups

 Quinoa-Pilaf-in-Lettuce-CupsFood Network, UK

  • 350 ml water
  • 8 oz. quinoa, picked and rinsed well (the red kind is prettier, but either the red or the white is fine)
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1 medium red onion, finely Technique: Chop To cut large ingredients or dishes into smaller chunks using a sharp knife. You can chop using a serrated blade fitted inside your food processor.
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tbs pine nuts
  • 2 tbs chopped dried cherries
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 grapefruit, zested, plus 2 tbs juice
  • 1 head Boston lettuce, leaves separated


1) Bring the water and quinoa to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until quinoa is cooked and curly white germ shows, about 20 minutes.
2) Meanwhile, warm the olive oil in large skillet over medium heat. When the oil is shimmering, add the onion and spices, and sauté until the onion has softened and the spices are very fragrant.
3) Stir in the pine nuts and fruit and sauté for 1 to 2 minutes.
4) Add the cooked quinoa (all the water should have been absorbed) to the skillet. Stir in the grapefruit zest and grapefruit juice. Taste and season with salt, pepper, to taste. Allow to sit off the heat for 10 minutes so the flavours seep into the quinoa.

Serve in lettuce cups.

Have a great weekend
Jo (2)

Friday, April 18, 2014

P is for Puffins and Pierogis

Today being Good Friday, I wish all my friends a Happy Easter.

I’ve alwaysPuffins loved Puffins although I don’t think I have ever seen one, maybe in a zoo, but I don’t remember. Atlantic Puffins spend most of their life at sea, returning to land only once a year to breed. About 60% of the world’s puffins breed along Iceland’s coast. There are three species, the Tufted, Horned and Atlantic Puffin. Apparently their beaks which make them so distinctive are actually only coloured like this during mating season and they shed their bright colours afterwards. When they fly they beat their wings up to 400 times per minute, that is a lot of work. They feed by diving.

I love pierogis but have never actually made them myself. I have certain friends who specialise in them. However, when I came across this recipe I thought it looked delicious and maybe I will have a go.

Potato-Cheese Pierogi With Sauerkraut

Potato-Cheese Pierogi With Sauerkraut

WebMD Recipe from

Potatoes mashed with sautéed onions and sauerkraut makes a flavourful filling in these yummy pierogi. We used whole-wheat pastry flour for added fiber and substituted extra-virgin olive oil for margarine or butter. Pierogi freeze beautifully, so make a large batch if you like.

2 1/2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour, (see Tip)
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2  large eggs
1-1 1/4 cups warm water
1 pound russet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
1 1/2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1  medium onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup low-fat cottage cheese
2 cups sauerkraut, rinsed and chopped
1/2 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
5 tablespoons water
Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish
  1. To prepare dough: Whisk whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour and 2 teaspoons salt in a large bowl. Whisk 1/3 cup oil and eggs in a small bowl. Add to the dry ingredients along with 1 cup warm water and stir to combine. Add more water, 1 tablespoon at a time, stirring, until a soft, slightly sticky dough forms. Knead a couple of times in the bowl. Shape into 3 disks, wrap each in plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour.
  2. To prepare filling: Place potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil and cook until very tender, 15 to 17 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, heat 1 1/2 teaspoons oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and beginning to brown, about 5 minutes.
  4. When the potatoes are done, drain well and return to the pan. Mash the potatoes with cottage cheese, then stir in the onion, sauerkraut, Cheddar, 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper.
  5. To prepare pierogi: Put a large pot of water on to boil. Coat 1 large baking sheet with cooking spray; place next to the stove. Very generously dust 2 more large baking sheets with flour.
  6. Place a small bowl of water and the pierogi filling near your work area. Roll out one disk of dough on a well-floured surface until it’s about 1/16 inch thick (an approximate 16-by-20-inch oval). Using a 3 1/2-inch round cutter, cut out dough. Cover the dough scraps with a clean kitchen towel. Moisten the edges of each round with water. Place a level tablespoon of the filling in the center of each round. Fold the dough over the filling and press the edges (the pierogi will be very full); crimp with a fork to seal completely. Place on a floured baking sheet. Repeat this process with the two remaining disks of dough. Then repeat with the dough scraps, rerolling them as needed to make enough pierogi to use up all the filling (48-50 total). Discard any remaining dough.
  7. Cook the pierogi in 5 batches in the boiling water until they float to the top. Transfer with a slotted spoon to the baking sheet coated with cooking spray, letting water drain off from the spoon before transferring them.
  8. Preheat oven to 200°F.
  9. Heat 1 tablespoon each oil and water in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add 8 to 10 pierogi and cook until browned on both sides, 6 to 10 minutes total. Transfer to a baking sheet and keep warm in the oven while you prepare the rest. Add 8 to 10 more pierogi to the pan, drizzle in 1 tablespoon each oil and water and shake the pan to loosen the pierogi. Cook until browned on both sides; reduce the heat as necessary to prevent overbrowning. Repeat with the remaining pierogi, oil and water.
  10. Serve sprinkled with parsley, if desired.
Tip: Whole-wheat pastry flour is milled from soft wheat. It contains less gluten-forming potential than regular whole-wheat flour and helps ensure a tender result in delicate baked goods while providing the nutritional benefits of whole grains. Find it at large supermarkets and natural-foods stores.

Have a great day