Posted by: webbhouston | November 15, 2008

Sunday Morning Picnic

Tomorrow is our picnic at Discovery Green. With the Houston Baby Wearers in celebration of International Babywearing Week.

I am looking for good picnic recipes. I think I am going to make these two things as side dishes. I dont have many ideas for main dishes or desserts.. but this is a start I guess.

Rice noodle salad with lemon tofu

Ingredients
3 tbsp light soy sauce
1 lemon, grated rind and juice only
2 bird’s-eye red chillies, thinly sliced
300g/10½oz packet of firm tofu, cubed
200g/7oz fine rice noodles
100g/4oz mangetout, halved lengthways
bunch of radishes, thinly sliced
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
1 tsp toasted sesame seeds
handful fresh coriander leaves

Method
1. In a large bowl, mix together the soy sauce, lemon rind and juice, chillies and two tablespoons of water.
2. Add the tofu cubes and leave to marinate for at least 30 minutes.
3. Place the noodles in a large bowl, cover with boiling water and set aside for five minutes or so. Drain and cool under running water.
4. Toss together the cooled noodles, mangetout, radishes, red onion and sesame seeds (to toast the sesame seeds, place them in a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat and cook them, stirring, for a couple of minutes until lightly browned).
5. Gently stir in the tofu and marinade and divide between bowls. Scatter over the coriander leaves and serve.

p.s. Coriander leaves are actually cilantro.

Couscous with spring vegetables

Ingredients
For the couscous
500g/1lb 2oz couscous
½-1 tsp salt
6 tbsp mild extra virgin olive oil
For the broth
1 litre/1¾ pints vegetable stock
400g/14oz young broad beans (shelled weight), or frozen, defrosted
250g/9oz spring onions, trimmed and sliced
400g/14oz frozen artichoke bottoms or baby artichokes, quartered (optional)
salt and freshly ground black pepper
400g/14oz young peas (shelled weight), or frozen petit pois, defrosted
large handful chopped flatleaf parsley
large handful chopped coriander
handful chopped mint

Method
1. Put the couscous into a wide ovenproof dish, add 600ml/1 pint of warm, salted water, made with ½-1 teaspoon of salt, stirring vigorously so that the water is absorbed evenly. After about 10 minutes, when the couscous has become plump and almost tender, add three tablespoons of olive oil and rub the couscous between your hands to air it and break up any lumps. This can be done in advance and the couscous then heated through for 20-30 minutes before serving in an oven preheated to 200C/400F/Gas 6 until it is steaming hot.
2. For the broth, bring the stock to boiling point, then add the broad beans, spring onions and artichokes and cook for ten minutes or until tender. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
3. Add the peas and cook for two minutes more or until tender. Stir in the herbs just before you are ready to serve.
4. Before serving, fluff up the couscous with a fork, breaking up any lumps in it, and stir in the remaining olive oil. Arrange the vegetables on top of the couscous and pass the broth around in a bowl for everyone to help themselves.

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