Saturday, April 14, 2012

You Say Coriander, I Say Cilantro!



     I love to flip through all kinds of cookbooks and check out recipes from lots of different sources.  When I come across recipes from British cooks, I am charmed by their use of the words "brilliant", "lovely", and "fantastic".  A couple Sundays ago, I was trying to figure out what to make for dinner.  I was dreaming of making a recipe I had torn out of an old House Beautiful magazine that was part of a review of a Sarah Raven cookbook, but I couldn’t find the clipping.  In my mind, I could see the yummy picture of grilled chicken stuffed into pita bread along with a cilantro studded yogurt sauce.  After looking everywhere I could have stuffed the article excerpt, I turned to the internet.  I googled away and after a while found the recipe I remembered - on an August 17th, 2010 post of www.telegraph.co.uk  (The Daily Telegraph online).  However, it didn’t mention cilantro anywhere.  Instead, it called for a bunch of coriander. Since I had my heart set on cilantro, I went ahead and made it with cilantro.  I also added in some ground coriander, ground cumin, and some ground cardamom because in the back of my mind, I knew that one of those things equaled fresh coriander!  After the dinner rush was over, I sat down at the computer again and figured out that in the UK, cilantro is known as coriander.  Whatever it’s called, I love it!  Below is the Sarah Raven recipe with my modifications as well as a recipe for chimichurri sauce from David Dworshak, executive chef of Carnivale in Chicago.  As a final tribute to my fondness for cilantro there is also a South Beach Diet inspired recipe for Chicken with Cilantro Lime Guacamole.

Chicken Souvlaki with Cilantro modified from Sarah Raven

First:                                                                                              
(Optional)  Put about 12 wooden
 skewers in water and let them soak
 while following the rest of the recipe
Rinse and pat dry 4 chicken breasts. 
 Cut the chickenbreast into pieces
 ableto be grilled or threaded on
to the wooden skewers mentioned
 above.

Then In a bowl mix together:
¼ cup chopped cilantro

2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small jalapeno, diced                                  

¼ cup of lemon juice (1 lemon)

½ teaspoon ground cardamom

½ teaspoon ground cumin

½ teaspoon ground coriander

½ teaspoon turmeric                                                           

1 cup of plain nonfat yogurt

¼ cup of olive oil

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon pepper

Next:
      Place the chicken pieces in the bowl and gently stir to cover each one with the yogurt/spice mixture.  Allow this to marinate for about a half hour.  Remove the chicken from the bowl, shaking the excess mixture off and either use the skewers while cooking them or place the pieces directly on the grill. When the chicken is done (no longer pink inside), serve them on top of a green salad (or in some warm pita bread as Sarah Raven does).  Top the chicken with the sauce below.

Sauce to Serve with the Chicken:
1 cup plain nonfat yogurt

½ a large cucumber, peeled, seeded, and diced

¼ cup chopped cilantro

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon pepper


My Take on David Dworshak’s Chimichurri Sauce from Carnivale in Chicago

1 cup fresh parsley leaves
1 cup fresh cilantro leaves                                          

 1 teaspoon dried oregano

½ cup olive oil

4 cloves garlic, put through a press

1/4 cup red onion, diced

1/4 cup red pepper, diced

¼ cup red wine vinegar

4 small jalapeno peppers, seeded and diced

 Throw everything into a food processor and blend just until herbs are roughly chopped. (You don’t want herbs to be completely pureed)

Store in refrigerator until ready to use.  Serve on top of grilled steak. 


“Mexican” Chicken with Cilantro Lime Guacamole


4 chicken breasts, rinsed and patted dry

2 limes

2 teaspoons salt

2 cloves garlic, put through a press
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
1 small onion, finely diced

¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro

4 sliced green onions

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 avocados

Combine 1 ½ teaspoons of the salt with the garlic to make a paste.  Rub this paste over both sides of the chicken breasts.  Sprinkle the diced onion over the chicken.  Juice the two limes.  Set 1/3 cup of the juice aside.  Sprinkle the remaining juice over the chicken.  Let the chicken sit for at least 10 minutes.  Meanwhile, combine the  1/3 cup lime juice, the remaining ½ teaspoon salt, the cilantro, green onions, and olive oil.  Peel, pit, and mash the avocados.   Stir in 3 tablespoons of the cilantro/lime mixture to the mashed avocados.  Set aside.  Grill or broil the chicken.  Before serving, drizzle each piece of chicken with the remaining cilantro/lime mixture and top with a dollop of the cilantro line guacamole.

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