That was good!: Teacher Appreciation Luncheon recipes

Posted by mbowman - 14 February, 2012

The other day we had parent-teacher conferences and the Randolph Parent Association provided a fabulous teacher appreciation luncheon.

One parent said, "We can't thank the teachers enough for all that they do for our children. Thus having an opportunity to 'break bread' with them is much appreciated. Best regards to you and all the teachers and staff at Randolph."

We appreciate you sharing your time and cooking talents with the faculty and staff here at Randolph. It was delicious!

Every time we have a luncheon,  I get requests for recipes. My colleague, Rebecca, suggested I share these first three that I received on the School's blog, that way everyone has access to them. If you have one to share, or a request for one, or a question, you can leave a message in the comments.

Wendy Yang's Orzo Pasta Salad with Sesame Dressing
1 pound uncooked orzo pasta
1 Tablespoon sesame oil
3 cups shredded carrots
2 cups golden raisins or dried cranberries
1 cup unsalted sunflower seeds or pine nuts, lightly toasted (bake at 250°F until lightly browned)

Sesame dressing
1 teaspoon salt
¼ cup corn oil
2 Tablespoons sesame oil
½ cup rice vinegar or cider vinegar
½ teaspoon grated orange rind
1 teaspoon soy sauce
2-4 Tablespoons thinly sliced scallions
1 teaspoon minced ginger
½ teaspoon minced garlic
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
1 teaspoon pepper
1 Tablespoon sugar
2 Tablespoons minced fresh coriander or parsley

Cook the orzo in rapidly boiling salted water until tender, 8-10 minutes. Drain and cool under cool water. Let it rest for a few minutes. Toss with 1 Tablespoon sesame oil. Cool completely. Add dressing and refrigerate overnight. Just before serving, mix in carrots, raisins, and seeds.

King Ranch Chicken Mac and Cheese
Kelly Rock shared this dish from the cover of the January 2012 Southern Living Magazine.
"I doubled it for the luncheon, but a single recipe is very generous, considering it states 6 servings."

Heike Childs' Quinoa and Black Bean Salad
Quinoa, though technically a seed in the herb category, has traditionally been considered a valuable member of the grain family. A sacred source of strength for the ancient Incas, it is enjoying as a new popularity in the United States.

The secret of the success of this salad is the steaming of the quinoa. (The traditional cooking method for quinoa, boiling it in a measured amount of water, does not produce the light, fluffy texture that works so well in a salad.) This dish provides a complete protein and can stand alone as a luncheon or light supper entrée.

In an effort to avoid most typical food allergens or concerns, this dish is free of wheat, peanuts, fat, sugar and soy.

Quinoa salad
1½ cup quinoa, raw
1½ cup black beans, cooked, rinsed
1½ Tbsp red-wine vinegar
1½ cup corn, cooked
3/4 cup bell pepper, finely chopped
2 jalapeño chilies, pickled, seeded, & chopped
¼ cup cilantro, fresh, chopped
¼ cup parsley, fresh, chopped
Salt and pepper

Dressing
5 Tbsp lime juice, fresh
1 tsp salt
1¼ tsp cumin, ground
½ cup water
¼ tsp xanthan gum
(Note: The xanthan gum and water can be replaced with ⅓ cup olive oil.)
¼ tsp paprika
¼ tsp onion powder
½ tsp mustard powder

In a bowl, wash quinoa in at least 5 changes of cold water, rubbing grains and letting them settle before pouring off most of the water. In other words, wash until water runs clear and drain in a large, fine sieve. In a saucepan of salted boiling water, cook quinoa 10 minutes. Drain quinoa in sieve and rinse under cold water.

Set sieve with quinoa over a covered saucepan filled with at least 1 inch of boiling water (quinoa should not touch water) and steam until fluffy and dry, about 15 minutes. Check water level in pot occasionally, adding water if necessary. Remove and transfer quinoa to a large bowl and let cool.

In second bowl, toss beans with vinegar and salt and pepper to taste. Add corn, bell pepper, jalapeños, cilantro and parsley and toss well.

Dressing
In a blender, whisk together lime juice, spices, and water. With blender running add xanthan gum in a stream. Blend for 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Drizzle dressing over salad and toss well.
Salad should be made 1 day ahead and chilled, covered.
Bring salad to room temperature before serving.

Topics: community, family, food, Lower School, Middle School, parents, teachers, traditions, Upper School


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