June menu spicy and easy
Wow! It sure has been hot lately (to say the least). Let’s try a simple menu for this month that is light, refreshing, yet very creative. This menu for six could be used for entertaining or just a nice meal for an adventurous family.
n Tangy Cheese-Stuffed Quail or Cornish Game Hens with Mango Chile Salsa
n Gourmet Greens with Serrano Balsamic Vinaigrette
n Arroz Verde (Green Rice) D Fusion Style
Tangy Cheese-Stuffed Quail or Cornish Game Hens with Mango Chili Salsa
1/4 pound goat cheese
1/4 pound gorgonzola cheese
2 T. chopped cilantro
2 medium garlic cloves, minced
1 large shallot, minced
6 quail or Cornish Game Hens
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Combine the cheeses in a mixing bowl and beat with a spoon until well blended. Mix in chopped cilantro, garlic and shallot. Form into six balls and place one inside each quail or Cornish game hen cavity. Place them on a baking sheet or bake them in the oven for 20 minutes, then place them under a broiler until golden brown. Hold in a warm oven (200 degrees) until finished with other menu items.
While the quail or Cornish game hens cook, prepare the green rice (Arroz Verde).
2 large poblano chilies, roasted and peeled
1/4 bunch cilantro, chopped
2 cloves garlic
2 serrano chilies, chopped with seeds
2 cups water or chicken stock
11/2 T. butter
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 T. canola oil
1 small onion (Maui sweet, Vidalia or Mayan)
1/4 cup jasmine rice
Blend the poblanos, cilantro, garlic and serrano chili in a food processor or blender. Combine with the water or stock, butter and salt in a large saucepan. Bring to a soft boil.
Heat the oil in a skillet and saute the onion and rice until golden brown. Add to the pan of flavored stock and stir thoroughly. Cook and simmer until the rice is tender and has absorbed all of the liquid.
Now prepare the Mango Chile Salsa.
Mango Chile Salsa
2 medium ripe mangoes, peeled, seeded and diced (about 2 cups)
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1 small sweet onion, (Vidalia or Maui sweet), diced
2 roma tomatoes, diced
1 serrano chili, seeded and diced finely
Dash EACH sugar and coarse kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper
Lime juice to taste
Combine all ingredients and adjust to taste.
At this point, the quail or Cornish game hens should be out of the oven or holding in it. The rice should be finished cooking. So now assemble the gourmet green salad with Serrano Balsamic Vinaigrette.
Serrano Balsamic Vinaigrette
Makes 11/4 cups
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
3 serrano chilies, finely chopped
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 cup olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Mix the vinegar, chilies and garlic. Whisk in the oil and season with the salt and pepper. Generously toss gourmet greens with serrano balsamic vinaigrette to lightly coat.
Place a handful of gourmet greens on each plate like a nest and spoon salsa into them. Sprinkle 1 pint fresh raspberries or blueberries evenly on plates. Mold the rice in a 4-ounce container and invert it onto the side of plates (pack it tightly). Place quail or Cornish game hen on salsa. Then drizzle the plate with the serrano chili vinaigrette. Enjoy your meal!
Here’s another tip. For a really easy dinner: Grill 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts until just done. Make Mango Salsa one day ahead. Serve chicken breasts on the mango salsa; garnish creatively.
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Remember to visit us on June 21 for the Taste of Downtown. Enjoy the summer!
Molly Gingell owns Molly’s Gourmet Catering, take-out and cooking school at 220 W. John St. in Carson City.