We had guests coming for lunch. Danielle and Kevin Immerman are visiting NZ (from their home in Singapore) and they are on the relative run…we were lucky enough to be on their schedule. So we had lunch at home. Family and friends, can’t get much better than that.
Of course Cous Cous is a Pasta so it is a good entry for Presto Pasta Nights
This week hosted by Michelle at Italian Mama Chef.
Have a look at both of these sites for some dozens of ways to cook pasta. Great fun
As I have mentioned previously, Joyce brought me a bottle of Dinosaur Bar-B-Que Mojito Marinade from Rocherster NY. Yes I know… not the spice capital of the world but nevertheless you can buy this delicious marinade in the stores in that town. It is Cuban, citrusy, garlicky and delicious,
The owners of this Rochester restaurant, John Stage and Nancy Radke, have made this, their signature marinade, it's good enough to bottle and sell, plus they have been kind enough to put the recipe on the web.
So here it courtesy of Dinosaur Bar-B-Que Restaurant.
N.B I noticed that on the bottle, they had vinegar as an ingredient, so I added 1 teaspoon and it just gave it an extra lift.
1/4 cup chopped garlic
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 cups fresh orange juice
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
1/2 cup olive oil
4 teaspoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon black pepper
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
Added extra - 1 large teaspoon white wine vinegar
Mix together the garlic, onions, orange juice, and lime juice in a bowl.
Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan till just smoking.
Now cover up your arms and put some potholder mitts on your hands because you're about to do something that is contrary to good cooking practice but produces great flavor release.
Slide the contents of the bowl into the hot oil — be very careful because the liquid will splatter.
Simmer for 5-10 minutes to soften the onions and garlic.
Season the marinade with the rest of the ingredients.
Pour everything into a blender or food processor and pulse 3 times to combine.
Taste for flavour
Pour into a plastic container and cool to room temperature; then cover and refrigerate.
Mojito Marinade keeps for up to 2 weeks.
I put it back into the original bottle.
In the freezer were 2 large Free range chickens.
Thaw, wash, dry.
Into a oven bag
Liberally douse with marinade
Into 190C oven about an hour.
Open the bag empty out into the oven dish
Baste the Chicken with all of the lovely juices
Back into the oven to brown about 5-10 minutes.
Melt 1 tablespoon butter
Add 1 tablespoon flour
Make a roux
Add 1 cup of the juice (and keep the rest for an excellent chicken stock)
Cook till thickened
Check seasoning and adjust of necessary
Break up the chicken
Coat the pieces with the sauce
The Marinade has citrus flavours, garlic, coriander leaves
Flavours of Cuba.
Sounds like Cuban and Moroccan would go well together.
Let’s accompany the chicken with Cous Cos.
Got this idea from Mrs Garten The Barefoot Contessa
I added Zest of an orange to marry with the marinade
And some rocket leaves for colour and bit extra bite.
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
3/4 cup chopped shallots
3 cups Homemade Chicken Stock or canned broth
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 cups couscous
1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
1/4 cup currants
Zest of 1 orange
2 handfuls rocket
Melt the butter in a large saute pan,
Add the shallots and cook for 3 minutes over medium heat.
Add the chicken stock, salt and pepper, raise the heat to high and bring the stock to a boil. Off the heat and add the couscous. Cover the pan and let it sit for 10 minutes.
Add the pine nuts, currants,orange zest and rocket to the couscous, stir and serve.
A superb Lemon Yogurt Cake
Using oil instead of butter, soaked in lemon syrup and glazed with a lemon icing.
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
1 1/3 cups sugar, divided
3 extra-large eggs
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
For the glaze:
1 cup confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
Preheat the oven to 170C
Grease an 8 1/2 by 4 1/4 by 2 1/2-inch loaf pan.
Line the bottom with parchment paper.
Grease and flour the pan.
Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt into 1 bowl.
In another bowl, whisk together the yogurt, 1 cup sugar, the eggs, lemon zest, and vanilla.
Slowly whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.
With a rubber spatula, fold the vegetable oil into the batter, making sure it's all incorporated.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 50 minutes,
(Test after 40 minutes)
or until a cake tester placed in the center of the loaf comes out clean.
Meanwhile, cook the 1/3 cup lemon juice and remaining 1/3 cup sugar in a small pan until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is clear.
When the cake is done, allow it to cool in the pan for 10 minutes.
Carefully place on a baking rack over a sheet pan.
While the cake is still warm,
pour the lemon-sugar mixture over the cake and allow it to soak in.
For the glaze, combine the confectioners' sugar and lemon juice and pour over the cake.
An excellent lunch.
The guests left and Joyce and I drove over to Helen's house.
Girls on Tour, Helen, Lana, Joyce, Julia, Sara, Michelle and Me
Off to see... "Girls on Tour"
Diana Krall. Melody Gardot and Madelaine Peroux.
All performing at the Villa Maria Vineyard in South Auckland.
It was a beautiful night.
We piled into a minivan taxi, compete with a picnic. Very exciting.
It's a great venue. A natural amphitheater as these vineyards tend to be.
And the bonus, you can buy excellent wine.
We all need wine with out concerts.
First was Melody
Picnic time, thank you Ms Lana
The sun went down the stars came out and so did Diana.
Heaven, we're in Heaven.
It was a wonderful. Can't get much better than that.
And the icing on the cake, so to speak, was another wonderful day.
First leftover couscous and chicken turned into little cakes, drizzled with Mojito Sauce for lunch.
Then off to The Juice Cabana Bar, to watch Josh Leys perform.
The family were there as well
An excellent finale to the weekend.