Thursday, March 07, 2013

I'm a WIZARD, a GENIUS, with an electric skillet!

I am still doing a lot of pondering and debating and comparison shopping for a new range, but in the meantime, I am still making do with a microwave, crock pot and electric skillet. So imagine how pleased I was with myself when I managed to make THIS fabulously tasty (and quite healthful) dinner tonight, all in the electric skillet!

First, I bought a package of 10 or 12 chicken thighs (the leftovers make an awesome chicken salad!), and I marinated them overnight with enough olive oil to coat, the juice of a whole lemon (I threw the rinds in, too, for good measure), a few cracked garlic cloves, and two tablespoons of an Ethiopian berbere spice mix that I found at my local co-op. Then I just sauteed them in the electric skillet until the skin was browned all over and the juices ran clear. Easy-peasy!

Next, I made a wonderful wild rice, walnut and broccoli salad from a recipe in The New York Times by Martha Rose Shulman, originally from her cookbook, The Very Best of Recipes for Health. This is a perfect recipe for winter--it's nutty, lemony, delicious, and so good for you to boot! The leftovers are yummy cold, but the flavors really stand out if you serve it warm.

Skillet Wild Rice, Walnut, and Broccoli Salad
(Source: Martha Rose Shulman via The New York Times)
Yield: Serves 6

3 1/2 cups water, vegetable stock or chicken stock
salt to taste
1 cup wild rice
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar or champagne vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 small garlic clove, finely minced or puréed
1/4 cup walnut oil (I just used 1/2 cup EVOO total, as I did not have walnut oil) 
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 pound broccoli crowns, broken into small florets
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs such as chives, dill, tarragon, marjoram
1/4 cup shelled walnuts (I doubled this!)      
Freshly ground pepper to taste
1. In a medium saucepan, bring 3 1/2 cups stock or water to boil. Add salt to taste and the wild rice. When the water returns to the boil, reduce the heat, cover and simmer 40 to 45 minutes, until the rice is tender and has begun to splay. Drain and transfer to a wide, heavy skillet.
2. Make the dressing while the rice is cooking. Whisk together the lemon juice, vinegar, salt, mustard, and the garlic. Whisk in the oils, taste and adjust seasonings. Set aside.
3. Steam the broccoli until just tender, about 4 minutes. Transfer to the pan with the rice. Add the dressing and the nuts and heat through, stirring. Add freshly ground pepper and just before serving stir in the parsley and other chopped herbs. Serve warm.
Advance preparation: Both the cooked wild rice and the steamed broccoli will keep for three days in the refrigerator. But combine everything with the dressing right before serving, or the broccoli's bright green color will fade.      

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