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Saturday, May 10, 2014

Pardon me, would you have any Grey Poupon?

This item is a pantry staple that I always try to keep at least two different varieties of on hand at all times.  Sure, it's great between two slices of bread, but this versatile condiment is so much more.  If you haven't guessed already, I'm talking about the humble, but mighty mustard.*  I've been on a mustard kick lately and have been using it a lot in my dishes to add complexity and brightness. Perfect for any spring dinner.

*I'm talking about the good stuff here people (Dijon, whole grain, etc.), not the yellow or sticky sweet honey goop, which in my opinion should be banned from society.  My favorite?  Grey Poupon's Country Dijon which is a nice mix between Dijon and whole grain.

Quinoa Cakes with Smoked Salmon
1-1/4 cups cooked quinoa
2 eggs
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
1 TBS green garlic, minced (you can use garlic cloves or scallions if you can't find)
1 TBS fresh dill, finely chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

For the sauce:
1 TBS whole grain mustard
Juice of half a lemon
1 heaping TBS fresh dill, finely chopped
3 TBS olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

To serve:
3 OZ smoked salmon
More fresh dill for garnish

Bagels and lox are strictly brunch fare around here, but swapping the the bagel for a quinoa cake and the cream cheese for mustard sauce makes smoked salmon much more dinner-appropriate.  OK, you can easily enjoy these for brunch too.  Plus, you can make the quinoa cakes a day or two before hand.  Just brown in a frying pan before serving.  Super simple, and so fancy-looking.

Combine the first five ingredients in a large bowl.  Season with salt and pepper.  Form into six patties (it helps to wet your hands here).  Drizzle with some olive oil and bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown.

To prepare the sauce, mix mustard, lemon juice, and dill in a small bowl.  Slowly whisk in olive oil until combined.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.

When ready to serve top each quinoa cake with salmon and a drizzle of mustard sauce.  Garnish with more dill.

Quinoa Stuffed 'Shrooms with Mustard Shallot Dressing
For the dressing:
1 TBS whole grain mustard
1 TBS Dijon mustard
2 TBS sherry vinegar
1 shallot, minced
1/4 cup olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

4 portobello mushroom caps
Olive oil
1 TBS green garlic, minced
1 small zucchini, diced
1 cup cooked quinoa
2 TBS parsley, chopped plus more for garnish
Salt and pepper to taste
3 OZ goat cheese

I make a large batch of this dressing and bring into work to dress-up my take-out salads, because who knows what's in those pre-packaged dressings!  But don't limit this flavor-packed vinaigrette to just chilled greens, it also works fabulously with roasted portobello mushrooms stuffed with quinoa and goat cheese.

For the dressing, Whisk together the mustards, vinegar, and shallot until combined.  Slowly whisk in oil until combined.  Season with salt and pepper.

Remove stems from mushrooms caps.  Drizzle with olive oil and roast at 450 degrees for 15 minutes, or just before they start to collapse.

Heat more olive oil in a saut√© pan over medium heat.  Add green garlic and zucchini.  Cook until zucchini begins to brown and soften.  Stir in quinoa and parsley.  Season with salt and pepper.

When the mushrooms are ready, remove from the oven and top with the quinoa mixture.  Add a few crumbles of goat cheese to each and put back into the oven until cheese starts to melt.  To serve, drizzle the dressing over each and garnish with a few sprigs of parsley.

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The Hungry Yuppies, Annie and Rich, are a young couple from CT who are self-proclaimed foodies. Annie is the chef, and Rich is her willing taste tester. Juggling a full time job in the city wasn't going to get in the way of Annie's love for cooking. It's about eating well whether you have just 30 minutes on a Monday night, or all day on a rainy Sunday.