Thai Curry Cornish hens with couscous

The finished cornish hens on couscous with the curry sauce

The finished cornish hens on couscous with the curry sauce

While at work today, I penned an ingredient list for what I think is the perfect fusion of Thai and Indian cuisines.  This marinade makes enough for two cornish hens.  The cayenne pepper lends a little kick and the peanut butter and coconut milk provide the perfect foundation for the curry powder.  A bold and delicious dish. Serve the hens on top of couscous that has been flavored with a little of the marinade, butter, salt and pepper. 

1 can light or full fat coconut milk (not cream of coconut)

3 tablespoons smooth peanut butter

3 teaspoons curry powder

Salt and pepper

1/2 teaspoon dried ginger

Splash of rice wine vinegar

Dash of cayenne pepper

5-6 sprigs of cilantro

Whirl all ingredients in the blender and place in a small saucepan.  Heat over low flame until just up to the simmer and turn off the heat.  Let cool. 

Take 2 cornish hens and remove the backbones with kitchen shears and lay flat. Make a few slit in the drumsticks of each hen.  Pour about half the marinade on them and place in the fridge for about an hour. Just pour it out. Do not cross contaminate the marinade.  Keep marinade warm on the side. This will be your sauce to pour on the hens and for dipping too!

Preheat the grill to high and grill the cornish hens for about 8-10 minutes on each side, until the juices run clear when pierced.  While hens are on the grill make the couscous.

Couscous:

1 cup of couscous

1 cup of water

3 tablespoons of the marinade

1 tablespoon butter

Salt and pepper

1/2 cup frozen peas

Bring the water, the butter, the marinade, the seasoning and the peas to a boil in a saucepan. As soon as it comes to a boil, stir in the couscous.  Take off the heat and leave for 10 minutes.  Fluff with fork and season with salt and pepper.  A nice variation would be to add 1/2 cup of currants to the liquid and then 1/2 cup of pistacios or almond slices to the finished couscous (for some crunch).

Place the couscous on a platter and place the hens on top.  Drizzle remaining marinade over top of hens and serve. Serves 4

The simplest Chicken Curry

NOTE: If you want to turn this sauce into a Simple Chicken Curry, double the marinade recipe and add some warm chicken broth (maybe a half cup) to loosen it. Grill or broil some chicken pieces (cut pieces from one chicken) and add them into the curry sauce and simmer for a few minutes. Or, in the alternative, take boneless chicken breast (enough to be coated nicely with all that delicious sauce) and cut into pieces, sautee in olive oil until tender and done, and place in the warm sauce to warm through. Garnish with some chopped cilantro and serve with plain basmati rice and warm naan.

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Arugula and potato salad

 

 

This arugula and potato salad is so easy and it came up in the most serendipitous of ways. My friend Rick Patt and I attended an early meeting yesterday and he casually asked me if I wanted some fresh chard from his garden. Well being on the cleanse I of course said yes.  Fresh vegetables are in season and given that I’ve gone vegan for three weeks, I was thrilled to get vegetables that are completely organic. Much to my surprise, Rick supplied me with swiss chard, fresh baby carrots, bibb lettuce and fresh arugula.  I went home with a white metal bowl (you know the kind) brimming with fresh vegetables, almost giddy with excitement. The only thing missing as I walked through the front door was the wide brimmed hat, and a knife, and perhaps a few sweat beads from being in the garden.  But since the garden wasn’t mine, I was spared the accesories and simply enjoyed the bounty!

That afternoon, after I finished washing the vegetables and greens my Food and Wine arrived.  And in it, a recipe for potato and arugula salad!  The idea is that the hot potatoes wilt the greens. No mayo here.  Just a simple vinegraitte dressing. A few tweaks from me, and the above resulted. In that this recipe is so easy, here it is in narrative form!

Toss about 2 pounds of potatoes cut into 1 inch chunks with olive oil, salt, pepper, turmeric and some curry powder. Roast in a 400 degree oven until crispy (45 min).  Do this in a large non stick skillet for super fast clean up.  In the meanwhile, place about 4 cups of cut arugula (cut the bunches in half) in a large bowl. 

Then, make up your favorite vinegraitte.  Given that I used turmeric and curry in the potatoes I made a simple mustard vinegraitte (the mustard playing off the curry powder and turmeric).  To the mustard, I added sherry vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper. I also added a splash of soy to the dressing for another dimension of sweet and salty.

When the potatoes are ready (after about 45 min in the oven), pour them over the greens (right out of the oven hot as they are) and add the dressing.  Toss. You’ll see that theat of the potatoes will slowly wilt the greens. Season with salt and pepper and serve.  So delicious.  I could have eaten the entire plateful! Enjoy!