This months Paper Chef is being hosted by one of the most creative and heatwarmingly outrageous foodies I know of, Bellytimber.
When I read the ingredients, I couldn't envision what it was I could put together. Cashews, yoghurt (as opposed to yogurt),Quinoa (pronouced 'keen wa'), I had no idea what that was let alone how to pronouce it and 'Baby' something (use your imagination). I almost decided to not participate until I did a little research into that 'quinoa' ingredient and then it hit me. This has to be some vegetarian influenced dish. Not I, a die hard meat eater. Thus I thought about that baby ingredient- how about 'Baby Back Ribs'?
I found the 'quinoa' in my local organic foods market and rest of the ingredients were picked up from Smart and Final. Now how was I going to put them together? It all just sort of fell in place.
Quinoa with Cashews
Cilantro and Hot Pepper Flavored Yogurt Sauce
Curry, Cilantro and Garlic Flavored Yogurt Sauce
Baby Back Ribs
The Baby Back Ribs were first marinaded in apple cider just because I had some left in the refrigerator. After about 2 hours I rubbed them with a cajun seasoning mixture and put in a 350 degree oven to cook.
I diced a bell pepper, 4-5 green onions, a cayenne pepper and lots of garlic. I previously bought this "tube" of cilantro paste and finally had a reason to also use it.
I took a cup of yogurt unflavored and placed in a mixing bowl. To this I added about 2 tbsp green onions, 1 tbsp of the cilantro paste and the diced red cayenne pepper. These ingredients were combined and set in the refrigerator.
With so much yogurt left in the tub I purchased, I once again took 1 cup and placed in another mixing bowl. To this bowl I added 2 tbsp green onions, 1 tbsp cilantro paste and 2 tsp of curry powder. This was also set in the refrigerator until ready for use.
The Quinoa was rinsed in a sieve with cold water and set to drain. After it had drained, I added it to a dry cast iron skillet to toast. After about 5 minutes, it was dry and toasty. I then sauteed in a sauce pan the bell pepper and remaining green onion in about 2 tbsp of olive oil. I had 1 1/2 cups of quinoa so I added 2 parts water to the sauce pan (3 cups) and added the quinoa. This came to a boil and then I lowered the heat to medium, covered the pan and simmered it for about 20 minutes (though the directions said 15 minutes, it was still too wet). When it was done, I added 1/2 cup half and whole cashews and combined.
After hte Baby Back Ribs were done, I let them set for about 15 minutes and then cut into riblets.
My initial intent was that the riblets would be dipped in the yogurt sauce and eaten. However, these sauces were also very good when combined with the quinoa. G and I found we preferred the Curry, Cilantro and Garlic flavored sauce over the Cilantro and Hot Pepper Flavored Yogurt Sauce.
This actually turned out to be a very good meal. The yogurt sauces made the meal.