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Saturday, March 14, 2015

Squash gnudi! So easy with great results!

I tried out this recipe for squash gnudi.  The original recipe called for Butternut Squash but I had Kuri Squash.  So easy and so yummy!

Squash Gnudi
 
1  squash, about 3 lb. (baked and scooped out of shell)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
1 tsp. fine sea salt
Freshly ground white pepper, to taste
2 cups flour, sifted
8 Tbs unsalted butter, browned
10 fresh sage leaves (to taste)
1 Tbs. kosher salt
1/3 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese 

 Pass the baked squash through a ricer or mash well.  When cooled, add beaten eggs and seasonings and mix well.  Sift flour into squash mixture and stir until well incorporated.  Add enough flour to make a light sticky batter.  Chill at least one hour.

Set a pot of salted water to boil.  Brown butter in another pan and add fresh sage leaves toward the end.  Turn butter off until gnudi is ready.  When water boils, drop gnudi into gently boiling water with a small spoon.  When the gnudi floats, scoop out of water, drain and add to hot butter. Let coat gnudi and plate.  Top with grated cheese.

Enjoy!

Charge up the BBQ's! Burger time on CBC's Weekend Morning Show!

I presented this burger for CBC's Weekend Morning Show with host Terry MacLeod.  Have fun with how you do your burgers.  This is topped with a soft egg, Pineapple Thoren and served on a toasted naan bread with Dijon Mustard and a yoghurt tahini sauce.

Enjoy!



 Halal Beef and Lamb Burgers (Halal Beef and ground lamb are available at Millad’s on Notre Dame)

1 lb ground beef
1 lb ground lamb
2 eggs (I loved to use Nature’s Farm eggs)
2 tbs Ras el Hanout (Available at Pollock’s Hardware Coop or through Chef Karen at the Farmer’s Market)
1/2 tsp salt

Mix all ingredients well and form into patties at desired size.  Freeze or prepare for the BBQ.  Enjoy with your favourite toppings.  Today’s will be options of yoghurt tahini sauce, pineapple chutney, Dijon mustard, and soft fried or poached egg, served on toasted Naan bread.

Enjoy!

Pineapple Thoren

1 yellow onion, chopped
1 green chill, chopped
2-3 stem curry leaves (available fresh at Dino’s Grocery Mart on Notre Dame)
1/2 cup finely chopped unsweetened coconut
1 pineapple, peeled, cored and chopped
1 tbs mustard seeds
2-3 tbs olive oil or coconut oil
1 tbs brown sugar
splash of vinegar
1/2 tsp turmeric
salt, to taste


Heat oil in pot over medium high heat and add mustard seeds.  When the seeds begin to pop, add the chopped onion, chilies, curry leaves and coconut.  Cook until onions are soft and translucent.  Add pineapple, brown sugar, vinegar, turmeric and salt.  Cook until much of the liquid has evaporated.  I often add an additional drizzle of coconut oil for taste.

Enjoy!

Friday, February 27, 2015

Russian Lamb Shashlik and Georgian Eggplant with pomegranate Walnut paste on CBC's Weekend Morning Show

Today, on CBC's Weekend Morning Show with host Terry MacLeod, you can bring March in like a lamb with this traditional Russian Lamb Shashlik dish served with Georgian eggplant with Pomegranate Walnuts.

The recipes are both quite versatile as the marinade or the paste can be used for a wide variety of dishes.  Making pastes with herbs and nuts is very typical of foods from Georgia, Caucasus and Black Sea regions.  In fact, I have often served the pomegranate walnut paste with lamb.

Beautiful Halal lamb can be purchased at Millad's Supermarket on Notre Dame.  Try with fresh baked bread.

 Russian Lamb Shashlik 

1/2 lamb shoulder (2 lbs) (boned out and cubed or sliced)
2 medium onions, blended
6 cloves garlic, blended
4 bay leaves
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup water
juice of 1/2 lemon (2 tsp)
1 tbsp black pepper
1 tbsp oregano
1 tsp sea salt

Blend all but the lamb and place in a good seal-able bag.  Place cubed or sliced lamb and make sure that it is all incorporated around the meat.  Refrigerate for 1-3 days.

Skewer and grill, traditionally, over coals.  Grill as you can.  Let meat rest and serve with tomatoes, onions, flat bread, or Georgian pomegranate walnut eggplant.

Can also use marinade on chicken, beef or pork.




Georgian Eggplant Rolls with Garlic-Walnut Paste & Pomegranate (badrijani nigvzit)

Ingredients:
2 large globe eggplants (or 6-8 medium-sized long eggplants)
2 cups walnut pieces (use almonds if allergies, tahini if nut allergies)
4 garlic cloves
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons ground fenugreek
2 teaspoons ground coriander
pinch of ground turmeric
1/2 cup each packed cilantro and parsley leaves (optional)
dash of red chile powder to taste
seeds of 1 pomegranate
salt and pepper to taste
olive oil
Optional:  Use Pomegranate molasses (aka, syrup, dressing, etc.)

*can use baby eggplants, Japanese long, globe, etc.

Method:
Wash the eggplants, cut off the ends and slice into thin strips with skin still on. If you’re using large globe eggplants, cut each in half lengthwise, then again. Each slice should be about 1/4 inch thick (too thick and they won’t roast properly). Sprinkle with salt and let sit for half an hour to draw out the moisture from the eggplants.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Rinse the eggplants, brush with oil and place on a baking sheet. Roast about 15-20 minutes, flip, coat with more oil if necessary and continue roasting until the strips are nicely browned, slightly crispy on the outside, warm and soft on the inside, but not burnt. Be careful: the skins can burn easily and the eggplant can dry out. This step can also be done on a grill.

Meanwhile, grind the walnuts in a food processor. You want a coarse grind, but not mush. Then add remaining ingredients except pomegranate seeds and purée. Some recipes also call for a teaspoon of ground marigold, but I didn’t have any. Add more water if necessary. You want a thick but spreadable paste that holds together.

Let the eggplant strips cool. Then spread a hearty tablespoon of walnut mixture onto each strip and roll snugly so each strip holds together with the paste inside. Place on a platter and sprinkle with pomegranate seeds.

Enjoy!

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Valentine's Day on CBC's Weekend Morning Show - Fair Trade Chocolate Creams and Lobster with Almond Tarator

This morning, after the 8:30AM news, I presented the following dishes for Valentine's Day treats on CBC's Weekend Morning Show with host Terry MacLeod


1. Nova Scotia Lobster Tails with Almond Tarator
4 small - medium Nova Scotia Lobster Tails
Prepare Almond Tarator in advance.  Recipe follows.
Cut defrosted Lobster tails down the middle and loosen meat.  Drizzle olive oil over tails.  Place over high heat of BBQ or under broiler and cook until the shell is red all over.  Open shell and spoon Almond Tarator over lobster meat.  Serve immediately.

Almond Tarator
9 oz Almonds
3 cloves garlic
sea salt
juice of one lemon
3 tbs champagne vinegar
1 tbs honey
4 egg yolks
2 1/4 cups good olive oil
3-5 oz lukewarm water
freshly ground black pepper

Pulse the almonds in a food processor.  Crush the garlic with salt and add to the almonds with lemon juice, vinegar, honey and egg yolk until smooth and creamy.  Drizzle in half of the oil, and alternate with the water.  Slowly drizzle in the remaining olive oil until a thick, creamy mayonnaise.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Use as a dip, mezze or cover a fish fillet and bake.

2. Chocolate Creams

6-7 oz dark Callebaut Chocolate
2 cups milk
6 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar

Melt chocolate in a bain-marie (stainless steel bowl over pot of boiling water) with 1 tbs. Milk. Make the quantity of milk up to 2 cups and bring high heat. Beat 6 egg yolks with sugar until the mixture turns white. Slowly add the chocolate flavoured milk, beating it in quickly. Divide the mixture between at least 6 ramekins placed in a baking dish that will be filled with simmering water (another bain-marie). Bake at 375º F for about 25 minutes. Remove the ramekins from the bain-marie and leave to cool before putting them in the refrigerator to set.

Pavlova (optional to serve with creams)


4 extra-large egg whites, at room temperature
Pinch kosher salt
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 180ºF.
Place a sheet of parchment paper on a sheet pan. Draw a 9-inch circle on the
paper, using a 9-inch plate as a guide, then turn the paper over so the circle is on
the reverse side. (This way you won't get a pencil mark on the meringue.)
Place the egg whites and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk
attachment. Beat the egg whites on high speed until firm, about 1 minute. With
the mixer still on high, slowly add the sugar and beat until it makes firm, shiny
peaks, about 2 minutes.
Remove the bowl from the mixer, sift the cornstarch onto the beaten egg whites,
add the vinegar and vanilla, and fold in lightly with a rubber spatula. Pile the
meringue into the middle of the circle on the parchment paper and smooth it
within the circle, making a rough disk. Bake for 1 1/2 hours. Turn off the oven,
keep the door closed, and allow the meringue to cool completely in the oven,
about 1 hour. It will be crisp on the outside and soft on the inside.
Invert the meringue disk onto a plate and spread the top completely with
sweetened whipped cream.

Enjoy!

Monday, February 09, 2015

Manitoba Hydro Bldg. Market! This Thursday, Feb. 12th

I'll be selling my Moroccan spice blend, Ras el Hanout and my Turkish spice blend, Turkish Baharat, at the Manitoba Hydro Building this Thursday from 10AM - 3PM!

New products each week!  Look for Tomato chutney, Tea Masala, and more throughout the market season.




Saturday, January 31, 2015

Superbowl snacks on CBC's Weekend Morning Show!

 This morning I had the pleasure of presenting the following dishes for CBC's Weekend Morning Show, on the theme of tomorrow's Superbowl.  Host Terry MacLeod also makes chowder with mussels but PEI is not in the Superbowl.  :)


Seattle Seahawks Coffee wings
2 lbs chicken wings & drumettes, frenched*
1 cup strongly brewed coffee, cooled
1 cup of water
1 bay leaf
2 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon espresso grounds
1 Tablespoon ground black pepper
2¼ tsp spanish paprika
1½ tsp garlic powder
1½ tsp dried thyme
1½ tsp dried Oregano
1 tsp ground sage
½ tsp. cayenne
2 Tablespoon maple syrup*  Optional:  Trim chicken wings & drumettes of excess fat. I prefer them "Frenched" which just means removing the excess cartilage & skin from the 'handle' of the drumette. It is easy to do with a small sharp nice, but not necessary.
Optional:  Trim chicken wings & drumettes of excess fat. Frenched which just means removing the excess cartilage & skin from the 'handle' of the drumette. It is easy to do with a small sharp nice, but not necessary.
Place wings in a bowl and add brewed coffee, water, 2 tablespoons of salt and bay leaf. Cover and marinate in the fridge for 6 hours to overnight.
Mix remaining ingredients, except maple syrup, in a small bowl. Adjust seasonings as preferred (i.e. more or less heat)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Drain and rinse wings. Pat dry with paper towel. Toss lightly in spice mixture ensuring wings are evenly coated.
Arrange wings on baking rack (with lined drip pan underneath) and cook for 15 minutes.
Baste lightly with maple syrup and then cook an additional 10 minutes.
Baste a second time lightly with maple syrup and then broil for an additional 3 -5 minutes to caramelize sugars.

New England Clam Chowder (Recipe courtesy of Emeril Lagasse, 2001)

Ingredients

8 pounds small quahogs or large cherrystone clams, scrubbed and rinsed, opened clams discarded
4 slices bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cups finely chopped yellow onions
1 cup finely chopped celery
1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
6 sprigs fresh thyme leaves
2 bay leaves
3 cups 1/2-inch cubed, peeled potatoes, about 1 1/4 pounds
2 cups heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Salt
6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 1 1/2-teaspoon pieces
1/4 cup minced parsley leaves
1/4 cup finely chopped chives or green onions

Directions

In a large stockpot bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Add clams, cover and cook for 5 minutes. Uncover, quickly stir clams with a wooden spoon. Cover and cook 5 to 10 minutes longer (this will depend on the type and size of clams you are using), or until most of the clams are opened.
OR
Use clam juice from bottles, your own stock (fish or chicken) and drain tins of whole clams for broth.

Transfer the clams to a large bowl or baking dish and strain the broth twice through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl, being careful to strain out the sand. (You should have about 6 cups of clam broth. If not, add enough water to bring the volume up to 6 cups.) When the clams are cool enough to handle, remove them from their shells and chop into 1/2-inch pieces. Set clams and broth aside.

In a large heavy pot cook the bacon until crisp and the fat is rendered. Pour off all bacon fat except 2 tablespoons. Add the butter, onions and celery and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, thyme and bay leaves, and cook until the vegetables are thoroughly wilted, about 3 minutes, being careful not to brown. Add the potatoes and reserved clam broth, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat, cover, and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the broth thickens slightly and the potatoes are very tender. (If you like a thicker broth, mash some of the potatoes against the side of the pot with a wooden spoon.) Remove from the heat, stir in clams and heavy cream and season with pepper and salt, if necessary.

Set aside for 1 hour, covered, to allow the flavors to marry. Place the pot over low heat, and slowly reheat, being careful not to bring to the boil. Serve hot, garnished with 1 or 2 pats of butter, parsley and chives.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Turkish Beef and Bean comfort stew on CBC's Weekend Morning Show

Tomorrow on CBC's Weekend Morning Show with Host Terry MacLeod I will be presenting this Turkish Beef and Bean dish, Etli Kuru Fasülye.

Turkish Beef with Beans (Etli Kuru Fasülye)

2-4 lbs beef (inside or outside round, chuck, etc.), cubed
2 cups cooked pinto beans (can also use white navy beans or black eyed beans)
1 globe eggplant, cubed and roasted
1 tin unsalted chopped tomatoes (use fresh in season!)
1-1/2 cups dry red wine
1 large onion, thinly sliced
4-6 cloves garlic, minced
2-4 tbs olive oil
1 tbs black pepper
1 tbs dried oregano
2 tbs Turkish Baharat (optional but fuller flavour if used)*
½ tsp smoked paprika (hot or sweet optional)
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ - 1 tsp dried chili flakes (to taste)
Salt, to taste

*Available at Pollock's Hardware Coop.

Sauté onion on medium heat in a large pot with the olive oil until translucent and starting to caramelize.  Turn up heat to medium high and add cubed beef with minced garlic to brown.  At this point, I like to add the cinnamon and oregano as well as other spices to put flavour into the meat and remove the smell of blood.

When the meat has browned, add the roasted, cubed eggplant.  This will add a rich and smoky flavour to the dish.  Add remaining spices, tomatoes and cooked beans.  In Turkey, the ratio of beans to beef is much higher than Canadian expectations so you may use a lot more beans to this dish as well. 

Add red wine and season with salt.  Let simmer for up to an hour or a few hours in a slow cooker.

Serve as a main dish or as you would serve chili. 

Afiyet olsun  (Enjoy your meal!)

Sunday, January 04, 2015

Warming Soups on CBC's Weekend Morning Show


Yesterday on CBC's Weekend Morning Show with guest host Laurie Hoogstraten, I presented the following two warming, rich and healthy soups for winter.  The first, Dhal, is a traditional lentil soup that you can make thick or thin, according to taste.  The second, made with my Ras el Hanout spice blend, is also up to your tastes.

Soup is something from which you should demand great flavours.  It is so easy to prepare stocks or broths from what you have on hand already in most kitchens and then you control the salt and fat.  Both of these soups freeze well to have on hand or for lunches (regarding some New Year's Resolutions to bring your own healthy lunches to work).  Depending on the quantities and ingredients, each lunch can cost between $0.10 - $0.50.  Compare to buying lunch every day ($10 - $20!)

Dhal

2 cups red lentils
1 medium onion, diced
1 inch ginger, grated
3-4 cloves garlic, grated
2 tbs curry spice blend
2-3 tbs olive or vegetable oil
2-3 tomatoes, diced
1 cup spinach leaves
~ 4-6 cups water
~ 1 cup yoghurt
salt, to taste
optional, 1 tbs brown sugar to round out taste and cut acid

In a larger pot, bring lentils and water to a boil. In a separate pan, heat oil and sauté onion until translucent. Add spice blend and cook until softened. Add ginger and garlic and be careful not to burn. When the water in the lentil pot is boiling, add hot onions and spices to the pot and stir. Simmer and add vegetables. Bring to a gentle boil. Stir in yoghurt and test for salt.

Enjoy!

Kitchen offerings soup (aka, what do you have on hand?)
 I made a vegan soup with my Moroccan spice blend, Ras el Hanout.  It is spicy and has red cabbage, parsnips, tomatoes, carrots, porcini mushrooms, and squash.

1-2 onions, sliced
1-2 tbs olive oil
2-4 tbs Ras el Hanout
1 Kabocha squash, in large dice (depending on the squash, you can leave the skin on!)
3 parsnips, in coin slice
1/2 red cabbage, cored and fine slice (use green if you don't wish a dark red colour of soup)
3-4 carrots, in coin slice
a few cauliflower flowerets, rough chop
small amount dried porcinis, crumbled
stock or water, to cover for a thick broth
salt and pepper, to taste

Sauté onions in olive oil in large stock pot.  When translucent or caramelized, add ras el hanout and cook until soft over medium heat.  Add vegetables and stir to incorporate.  Add stock and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer until vegetables are soft.  Season to taste.

Enjoy!