Recipe Week Two
Sunday, January 17, 2010
Well I fell off the wagon a bit in the whole grains and vegetables department, but I did manage to come in just under the wire with an actual whole grain and vegetable meal on Saturday.
This recipe is from a great cookbook called Vegetarian Planet, which I can’t recommend highly enough — everything I’ve made from it is really good. It isn’t specifically designed to be cheap, but most of the recipes are straightforward and rely on basic ingredients, so the result is a collection of mostly inexpensive yet generally interesting meals.
The recipe calls for grilled vegetables, but offers roasted vegetables as an alternative. Given that it’s January, I went with the roasted vegetables.
I did the cheapest alternative (onions, carrots, mushrooms) because I’m that kind of a gal, but I think next time I’ll splurge for the red pepper. I think it would be better. The curry I have is from Penzey’s and it is HOT. But good. I actually cut the recipe in half because sometimes I can only take so much curry, and I didn’t want to be stuck with leftovers I couldn’t bring myself to eat.
The recipe is interesting in that it has you cook the millet in a skillet (hello, paging Dr. Seuss!), which actually worked better than cooking in a pot, which is what I had been doing. It’s been getting all mushed together when I’ve cooked it in a pot. Doing it this way let it stay separated, and adding the peanuts made the texture better and more interesting. I think it would be very good in this recipe cooked with some orange juice and/or orange zest.
I read somewhere that toasting millet before cooking makes a difference, so I’ve been doing that but I haven’t been able to tell if it’s made a difference. I think I might need to cook it again without toasting to see if I can tell what, if anything, is different about it.
I didn’t get the cilantro because it’s too early in the month and I didn’t want to get cocky. Sometimes Compare has super cheap cilantro (3 for $1!) in which case I would have gotten it, but I was at Whole Foods and I didn’t even check to see how much it was. If it’s closer to $2 than $1, I don’t usually get it. If it’s around a dollar, it depends on what I’m making and how things have been going in my life.
I think this dish would be better with cilantro, but it was fine without it.
I think this was a winner, and I would definitely make it again. I was going to try to figure out the total cost but I really need to set up a spreadsheet so I can include spices and oils, so I don’t have an exact number for you right now. In general I’m pretty sure it came in well under $2.
Peanut Millet with Curried Vegetables
1-2/3 cups water
1-1/2 tsp salt, plus more to taste
1 cup hulled millet
6 Tbsp olive oil
3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp orange juice
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbsp minced fresh ginger
2 Tbsp curry powder
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp fresh-ground black pepper, plus more to taste
1 Tbsp honey
3 of the following vegetables: 1 red onion, quartered; 2 carrots, sliced lenghtwise (for grilling) or sliced in rounds (for roasting); 1/2 of a 1-pound eggplant, sliced in 1/2-inch-thick rounds; 1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into narrow strips; 8 large white button mushrooms, cut in half, or 1 large portobello mushroom, sliced into 1/2-inch-thick strips
1/2 cup chopped dry-roasted, unsalted peanuts
1 Tbsp minced cilantro
1. In a large skillet over medium heat, heat the water with 1 teaspoon salt until the water comes to a boil. Add the millet, and bring to aboil again. Cover the pan, and turn down the heat. Cook the millet for 30 minutes over low heat, then turn off the heat and keep the pan covered.
[FOR GRILLED VEGETABLES
2. While the millet is cooking, heat a grill over medium-hot fire.]
3. In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, vinegar, orange juice, garlic, ginger, curry powder, cinnamon, black pepper, honey, and 1/2 tsp salt. Place all of the vegetables in a large bowl, and pour the marinade over them. Toss well with your hands. (The vegetables can sit for up to 24 hours in this marinade; just cover and refrigerate them.)
FOR GRILLED VEGETABLES
4. Place the vegetables on the grill, and salt and pepper them well. Grill the carrots and onion on the coolest part of the grill for 10 minutes or so, turning them periodically. Grill the eggplant, pepper, and mushrooms for about 3 minutes per side.
FOR ROASTED VEGETABLES
4. Place the marinated vegetables in a large baking dish, and roast them in a preheated 400 oven until the vegetables are tender, about 1/2 hour.
5. Stir the peanuts into the warm millet. Spoon the millet onto plates, then distribute the grilled vegetables on top. Spoon the remaining marinade over the vegetables, sprinkle with cilantro, and serve.