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Saturday, September 25, 2010

Stuffed Balsamic Quail

Stuffed Balsamic Quail
I am still a vegetarian, don't freak out lol. However, I love cooking and my passion for cooking will not set up limits to what I can and want to cook. I cook meat and according to those who eat what I make, I get the seasoning perfectly even though I do not taste while I cook. The only time I taste something is either marinades, "safe" sauces or meatless stuffing and veggies. Many vegetarians will appeal to my statement but to which his own. Everyone has their own reasons to what they do or want to consume and I respect that. I don't impose my vegetarianism on others-I simply defend vegetarianism against tyrants who believe we eat nothing more but salads or tofu (which I find utterly boring and not at all exciting; tofu is bland when you run out of ways to cook it and salads get tiresome.) I enjoy my soy products, fresh veggies, dairy and grain products.

Anyways, I had so many frozen quails in my freezer and since I hate leaving meat or anything in the freezer for so long, I decided to make a quail dinner for my omnivorous family. This is the dish I concocted up: quails, deboned and marinated in a spicy and tangy balsamic marinade. After that, the quails are stuffed with a mixture of grated carrots, broccoli and cooked quinoa grains. The quails are closed up by tooth picks and a mixture of melted butter and paprika are brushed onto the birds. Quails are cooked by broiling. Cooked quails are removed and let to rest while an assembly of baked potato slices and sauteed pea sprouts are laid on a dish. Bird tops off the vegetables and a ladle of quail gravy (made from juices of the quail as well as broth of the bird bones) goes on top. Freshly cracked black peppers finishes the dish.

Stuffed Balsamic Quail

Marinade
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp chili powder
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp paprika
1/2 cup water

Mix all ingredients together in a measuring cup.
Place 4-6 deboned quails into a shallow bowl and pour marinade over the birds. Marinate for 30 minutes in the fridge.

Stuffing
1 cup quinoa
1/2 cup chopped broccoli florets
1/4 cup grated carrots
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp turmeric
2 tsp salt
2tsp grounded black pepper
1 clove minced garlic

Combine together until well incorporated. After the quails are done marinating, stuff the quails with the stuffing. Be generous!! Close up all openings with toothpicks and tie legs together with kitchen thread or twine. Place on a baking sheet. Brush with melted butter and 2 tsp paprika powder. Cook in an oven of 250 degrees Celsius for 30-35 minutes, re-brushing the quails every 10 minutes to avoid drying. Quails are done when they are golden brown.

Potatoes
2 big yellow potatoes or 6 baby potatoes, sliced
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp salt

Toss potatoes with other ingredients and broil on a greased baking dish at 275 degrees Celsius until potatoes are tender.

Sauteed Pea Sprouts
3 cups of pea sprouts or 2 cups baby spinach
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
2 tbsp butter

Place sprouts in a small skillet and saute with salt and pepper. Once sprouts begin to wilt add in tbsp butter and stir until butter is melted. Set aside.

Gravy
Boil the quail bones and juices. Remove bones and season to taste with salt and pepper. Add in 1 tsp thyme and 2 tsp onion powder. Whisk in a mixture of 1/4 water and 2 tbsp cornstarch to thicken gravy. Set aside.

Assemble potatoes on the plate and place sprouts on top, to create a nest effect. Remove strings and toothpicks from bird and place on "nest." Ladle over the hot gravy and top with freshly cracked pepper.
Enjoy!!
 Serving this dish with white wine is fantastico!

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