Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Me and My Bulgur and Chickpeas Salad

I'm back in the game! After a few kitchen blunders last week, I was thrilled to make a tasty dish for Sunday night's dinner. I took a recipe for bulgur and chickpeas with preserved-lemon vinaigrette and tailored the ingredients to fit my taste. It was fantastic. With fresh squeezed lemon juice and paprika, this salad has great summer flavors with a kick and is the perfect side to any grilled meat or fish.

This past Saturday night, I had myself a fine time in downtown Memphis courteousy of Flying Fish, the Peabody Hotel, Bardog Tavern and good friends. Flying Fish is a fun place to go for fried seafood. They have THE BEST fish tacos. I salivate just thinking about that fresh pico de gallo, cole slaw and fried talapia. And I never fail to order a side of their red beans and rice. After dinner, Stewart and I headed to the Peabody Hotel for cocktails in the lobby. In my mid-twenties and at roughly $13 a drink, it's not a regular occurrence for me (but always fun on occasion). The lobby of the Peabody is a great place to sit, relax and people watch. From there we headed to Bardog Tavern. Bardog is one of my favorite places downtown to go for drinks, and their food is really good as well. Try the sliders next time you're there.

I've recently found myself borderline obsessed with Twitter and podcasts. My favorite podcasts at the moment are TedTalks, This American Life, HBR IdeaCast and CoffeeBreak French. I love having all of this information at my fingertips, and there are so many great resources online to learn from. I have a half an hour commute to and from work, so it's a good way for me to unwind.

For today's beat, I'm going with "Me and My Bobby McGee". One of the greatest female artists of the late 60s, Janis Joplin's voice is unmistakable and has a unique raw tone to it. There's a lot of texture and depth to her voice, just like the ingredients in this salad. Both are fun, original and sure to liven up your cooking experience.

Bon Appetit!

Bulgur and Chickpeas Salad:

1 cup vegetable stock
1 cup coarse grind bulgur wheat

1 1/2 cups canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1/2 red onion, chopped

1 tbsp dried parsley
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp grated lemon zest
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp ground coriander
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

In a small saucepan, bring the vegetable stock to a boil. Place the bulgar in a large, heatproof bowl and pour in the boiling stock. Cover and let stand for 15 minutes, until liquid is completely absorbed.

Add the chickpeas, onion, parsley, salt and pepper. Stir to combine.

In a small bowl, combine the lemon juice, garlic, lemon zest, cumin, paprika and ground coriander. Whisk in the olive oil until emulsified.

Pour the vinaigrette over the salad and toss gently to mix; coat evenly. Serve immediately.

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