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Black Bean and Tomato Quinoa



The quinoa gives this recipe a lovely chewy texture, and the lime and cilantro add a freshy fresh taste. When you prepare the quinoa, they'll plump up and burst out of their little shells (don't be surprised by the little sprouts).


Black Bean and Tomato Quinoa


2 teaspoons grated lime zest
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup quinoa
1 (14- to 15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
2 medium tomatoes, diced
4 scallions, chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro


Whisk together lime zest and juice, butter, oil, sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4teaspoon pepper in a large bowl.

Wash quinoa in 3 changes of cold water in a bowl, draining in a sieve each time.

Cook quinoa in a medium pot of boiling salted water (1 tablespoon salt for 2 quarts water), uncovered, until almost tender, about 10 minutes. Drain in sieve, then set sieve in same pot with 1 inch of simmering water (water should not touch bottom of sieve). Cover quinoa with a folded kitchen towel, then cover sieve with a lid (don't worry if lid doesn't fit tightly) and steam over medium heat until tender, fluffy, and dry, about 10 minutes. Remove pot from heat and remove lid. Let stand, still covered with towel, 5 minutes.

Add quinoa to dressing and toss until dressing is absorbed, then stir in remaining ingredients and salt and pepper to taste.


Makes 4 side dish servings.


Gourmet, July 2007.

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Rainy Day Fish Stew



One of the rainy days last week put me in mood for a soup. The grocery had a sale on Tilapia, so I relied on a fish stew that has been a favorite recipe for years. The recipe changes every time it's made, but is always serious comfort food. This is the latest version I could decipher from the scribblings in our recipe journal.

Rainy Day Fish Stew

6 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
4 large garlic cloves, chopped
2 cups chopped fresh tomato or 14 oz can of diced tomato, depending on the season
8 oz clam juice
Juice from 1/2 lemon
2/3 cup white wine
1 1/2 lb white fish fillets (tilapia, halibut, cod, sole, sea bass, etc.) cut into 2 inch pieces
Touch of dry oregano, thyme, pepper
Splash of Tabasco
3 tblsp tomato paste (We sometimes use "Italian Style" tomato paste and skip adding oregano and thyme)
1 large potato, diced rather small
One bunch of fresh flat-leaf Italian parsley, roughly chopped

Heat oil in a large heavy pot. Add the onions and garlic and saute for 4 minutes. Add half of the chopped parsley and stir for 2 minutes. Add tomato and tomato paste, then cook for 2 more minutes.

Add clam juice, lemon juice, white wine, oregano, thyme, pepper and potato. Simmer until potato is cooked through. Add fish and simmer until fish is just falling apart. Ladle into bowls and finish with generous amounts of fresh parsley.

The leftover wine goes well with dinner and stew would not be nearly as delicious without a loaf of crusty bread to eat with it. Our bread, of course, usually comes from Corbo's bakery in Little Italy.



Original recipe from Elise's father.

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