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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Kung pao chicken















Kung Pao Chicken gets its pow from Sichuan peppercorns.
JENNIFER BAIN/TORONTO STAR

In Stir-Frying to the Sky's Edge, Grace Young says her favourite
version of this popular dish has a dark, rich sauce with an
undertone of heat and the aromatic flavour of chilies and
Sichuan peppercorns.

To roast Sichuan peppercorns, put tehm in a dry wok.  Remove
tiny stems.  Cook over medium-low heat 3 to 5 minutes until
fragrant.  Cool slightly before grinding.

1 lb (450 g) boneless, skinless chicken thigh
       or breast, cut in 3/4-inch (2-cm) cubes
2 tbsp (30 mL) minced ginger
1 tbsp (15 mL) minced garlic
2-1/2 tsp (12 mL) cornstarch
1 tsp (5 mL) soy sauce
1 tsp (5 mL) + 1 tbsp (15 mL) Shao Hsing rice wine or dry sherry
2 tsp (10 mL) granulated sugar, divided
3/4 tsp (4 mL) salt, divided
1 tsp (5 mL) cold water
2 tbsp (30 mL) chicken broth
1 tbsp (15 mL) Chinkiang or balsamic vinegar
1 tsp (5 mL) dark soy sauce
1 tsp (5 mL) sesame oil
2 tbsp (30 mL) peanut oil
4 or 8 dried red chili peppers, snipped on one end (keep seeds inside)
1/2 tsp (2 mL) Sichuan peppercorns, roasted, ground
1 large red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch (2.5-cm) squares
3/4 cup (185 mL) unsalted, roasted peanuts
1/2 cup (125 mL) minced green onions
Steamed rice for serving (optional)

In medium bowl, combine chicken, ginger, garlic, cornstarch, soy
sauce, 1 tsp (5 mL) rice wine or sherry, 1 tsp (5 mL) sugar, 1/2 tsp
(2 mL) salt and water. Stir to combine.

In small bowl, combine broth, vinegar, dark soy sauce, sesame oil
and remaining 1 tbsp (15 mL) rice wine or sherry.

Heat 14-inch (36-cm) flat-bottomed wok over high heat until bead
of water vaporizes within 2 seconds of contact. Swirl in 1 tbsp
(15 mL) peanut oil. Add chilies and Sichuan pepper. Stir-fry 15 seconds
or until chilies just begin to smoke. Push to side of wok. Carefully add
chicken; spread evenly in one layer. Cook undisturbed, 1 minute,
letting chicken begin to sear. Then stir-fry 1 minute or until chicken is
lightly browned but not cooked through.

Swirl remaining 1 tbsp. peanut oil into wok. Add bell peppers.
Stir-fry 1 minute or until peppers being to soften. Swirl broth mixture
into wok; stir-fry 1 minute or until chicken is just cooked through.
Add peanuts and onions. Sprinkle on remaining 1 tsp (5 mL) sugar
and remaining 1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt. Stir-fry 30 seconds or until onions
are bright green.

If desired, serve with rice.

Makes 2 to 4 servings.

Star-tested by Jennifer Bain.
jbain@thestar.ca

Live pad thai



















Published On Thu Mar 27 2008
Recipes from Live Organic Bar on Dupont Street.
INGREDIENTS
GADO GADO SAUCE:
1 cup water
1-1/2 cups raw almond butter
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
3 tbsp finely diced onion
3 tbsp minced garlic
1-1/2 tbsp peeled minced ginger
1/4 tsp cayenne
3 tbsp agave syrup
1 tsp sea salt

SPICY CASHEWS:
1 cup raw cashews
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/8 tsp cayenne

PAD THAI:
1 daikon radish or lo bok, peeled (about 2 pounds or 900 g)
3 medium zucchini, peeled (about 2 1/2 pounds or 1.1 kg)
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 cup bean sprouts
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1-1/2 julienned red peppers
75 grams (about 3 oz) enoki mushrooms
Thai basil for garnish

DIRECTIONS

For gado gado sauce, whisk water and almond butter in medium bowl
2 minutes until light and airy. Add lemon, onion, garlic, ginger, cayenne,
syrup and salt. Whisk to incorporate. Makes about 3 cups.

For spicy chaews, toss raw nuts with olive oil, salt and cayenne.
Set aside for garnish.

For pad Thai, cut ends off daikon and clamp in spiralizer. Crank
handle until radish is carved down to cylindrical nub. Repeat with zucchini.

Combine the vegetable "noodles" with sauce and cilantro in large bowl,
turning to coat with hands.

Divide sauced noodles among 6 serving bowls, mounding in centre.
Add spicy cashews, garnish with bean sprouts, tomatoes, red peppers,
mushrooms, cilantro and Thai basil.

Makes 6 servings.

Star-tested by Kim Honey.

Ginger Peach Smoothie

1 cup boiling water
1 piece (2 inches) fresh ginger, peeled and crushed
1/4 cup honey
2 peaches, peeled, pitted and chopped
1 pint peach sorbet
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

In small bowl, combine water and ginger. Stir in honey;
cool. Remove and discard ginger. Set mixture aside.

In blender or food processor container, combine
peaches, sorbet and lime juice. Process while adding
honey-ginger mixture in a slow, steady stream;
process until smooth. Makes 4 servings.

Nutrition information per serving (1/4 of recipe): calories 216; total fat 1g;
cholesterol 0 mg; sodium 3 mg; total carbohydrate 56 g; dietary fiber 1g;
protein 0 g; calories from fat 1%

Honey Chai Latte

16 whole allspice berries
16 whole green cardamom pods OR 1/2 teaspoonground cardamom
6 whole black peppercorns
2 cinnamon sticks (2 inch pieces)
1 slice (1/4 inch thick) fresh ginger OR 1 teaspoon ground ginger
2-1/2 cups water
2 teaspoons Darjeeling or other black tea leaves
2 tablespoons honey
2 cups hot low-fat milk

Coarsely grind whole spices separately in mortar
and pestle or together in electric grinder. In medium
saucepan combine ground spices, ginger and water.
Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer for 25 minutes.
Add loose tea leaves and continue to simmer for 3
minutes (longer simmering will make the concentrate
bitter). Remove from heat; strain through fine mesh
strainer or cheesecloth into medium bowl. Add
honey and stir to dissolve. Set aside until ready to
serve. To serve, stir chai concentrate into hot milk.
Makes 4 servings.

Tip:  Chai concentrate may be prepared in advance and
stored, covered, at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.
For single serving of latte, stir 1/2 cup chai concentrate into
1/2 cup hot milk.

Nutrition information per serving (1/4 of recipe): calories 18; total fat 1 g;
cholesterol 5 mg; sodium 67 mg; total carbohydrate 15 g; dietary fiber 0 g;
protein 4 g; calories from fat 14%

Chai is a traditional Indian-inspired tea with a
blend of spices.  Cinnamon, cardamom, cloves
and black peppercorns are melded together
with black tea, honey and milk to produce an
exotic beverage.  Both clover and sourwood
honeys have slightly spicy aromas which work
well in this recipe.

The World of Honey

Honeys differ in characteristic depending upon
which blossoms the honey bees visit in search of
nectar. Each floral source of nectar contributes
something different in terms of color, form and
flavor. Honey colors can range from pale, almost
water-white to rich, dark amber brown. As a
general rule, light colored honeys are milder in
taste and dark colored honeys have flavors that
are more robust. The National Honey Board’s
Honey Locator on www.honey.com can help you
find your favorite varietal honey.

Liquid honey is the most common form of honey
found in stores across the country. Free of any wax
or visible crystals, it is extracted from the comb by
spinning, straining or other means. This form of
honey is especially convenient for cooking and
adding to drinks. It is the form found in the
traditional honey squeeze bear bottle.

Whipped honey is finely crystallized so that it
remains creamy and spreadable. While all honey
will crystallize in time, the crystallization of whipped
honey is controlled so that at room temperature it
can be spread like butter on toast, biscuits or bagels.

Comb honey is honey at its most natural – still in
the honey bees’ wax comb. Both the comb and the
honey that it contains are edible.

The unique flavors of honey make it a perfect beverage
sweetner. Whether you need a quick pick-me-up,
a cooling summer refresher, a relaxing hot winter
beverage or a drink to share with friends, honey will
sweeten your life.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Curried chickpea stew















Published On Fri Sep 16 2011

With little more than a can of chickpeas and a can of stewed
tomatoes you can have this for dinner.

JENNIFER BAIN/TORONTO STAR
It doesn't get much easier than this nutritious vegetarian stew from
the Guelph Student Cookbook.  Feel free to jack up or alter the spices.

19-oz (540-mL) can chickpeas, rinsed, drained
29-oz (796-mL) can stewed or diced tomatoes with liquid
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp (10 mL) each: curry powder, ground cumin
1/2 tsp (2 mL) red pepper flakes, or to taste
Juice of 1 lime
Steamed rice for serving (optional)

In medium saucepan, combine chickpeas, tomatoes with liquid, bell
pepper, onion, garlic, curry, cumin, red pepper flakes and lime juice.
Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium; cover Simmer
15 minutes until vegetables are tender.

Serve over rice, if desired.

Makes 4 servings.

Star-tested by Jennifer Bain
jbain@thestar.ca

Fire-roasted hot chili



















Published On Fri Jan 30 2009

Adapted from a recipe by Mike Callagham, this chili is fiery thanks
to his home-smoked chipotles and habaneros.

Smoked habaneros are hard to fine commercially; but dried ones.
use a coffee/spice grinder to pulverize dried chilies, sold in Hispanic
supermarket; snap off the stem ends first

Toast cumin seeds in a small skillet on medium heat until they are
lightly browned and fragrant.  The original recipe is made in a slow
cooker, but it's easy to switch to the oven.  You can  use a baster to
suck the fat off the dippings.

Callaghen says the bourbon draws flavour out of the tomatoes.
You can use any kind of whiskey.  Adjust the heat by playing with
the habaneros; one tablespoon makes this chili very hot.

INGREDIENTS
1 lb (450 g) each: ground beef, ground pork, ground turkey
2 tbsp olive oil
2 onions, diced (about 2 cups)
2 green bell peppers, cut in 1/4-inch dice (about 2 cups)
1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley
4 tbsp cumin seeds, toasted, ground
2 cups each: beef stock, tomato sauce
19 oz (540 mL) can each: red kidney beans, pinto beans, rinsed, drained
1/2 cup finely diced roasted red pepper
2 tbsp granulated garlic
2 tbsp paprika
2 tbsp ancho chili powder
2 tbsp coarsely ground, smoked, dried chipotle chilies (about 3)
1 tbsp ground, dried habaneros (about 6)
1 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tbsp kosher salt
1 tsp freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup bourbon

DIRECTIONS
Brown meat in dutch oven on medium heat, about 8 minutes. Drain,
reserving drippings. Set aside.

Heat oil in same pan on medium heat. Add onions. Cook, stirring,
until soften, about 2 minutes. Add green peppers. Cook, stirring,
until softened, about 3 minutes.

Stir in half the parsley and half the cumin.

Remove fat from reserved drippings and discard. Pour drippings into pan.

Add stock, tomato sauce, beans, roasted red pepper, garlic, paprika,
ancho powder, ground chipotles and habaneros, cocoa powder, salt
and pepper. Bring to simmer on medium-high heat.

Pour into slow cooker set on high. Bring to boil, up to 2 hours, then
switch to low and simmer to cook a total of 4 hours. Or cover tightly
and place in preheated 175F oven on rack just below centre.
Simmer for 4 hours.

Stir in bourbon. Stir in remaining parsley and cumin. Cover and
simmer for 30 minutes.

Makes 14 cups, or 8 to 12 servings.

 Star-tested by Susan Sampson.

ssampson@thestar.ca

Frosty Honey Latte

1/4 cup boiling water

2 tablespoons instant coffee granules
1/4 cup honey
3/4 cup cold water
1 cinnamon stick or vanilla bean (2-inch piece)
1 quart low-fat milk
Ice cubes

Dissolve coffee granules in boiling water; stir in
honey. Add cold water and cinnamon stick; stir
to mix. Store in refrigerator until ready to use.

To make latte, fill tall glass with ice cubes; stir in
1/4 cup of coffee-honey concentrate. Fill glass
with milk; stir to mix. Makes 4 servings.

Honey Hot Chocolate

1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 cups hot low-fat milk

In small saucepan, combine honey and cocoa and
water; mix well. Cook over low heat 5 minutes or
until mixture is slightly thickened. Remove from
heat; stir in vanilla. Set aside until ready to serve.
To serve, stir chocolate mixture into hot milk.

Makes 4 servings.

Tip: Chocolate syrup may be prepared in advance and
stored, covered, at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.
For single serving of hot chocolate, stir 1/4 cup chocolate
syrup into 3/4 cup hot milk.

Frozen Honey Hot Chocolate:
Prepare syrup as directed. Stir in 3 cups cold milk;
mix well. Pour into ice cube trays; cover with plastic
wrap. Freeze at least 6 hours or up to 1 week. Remove
cubes to food processor container; process until
mixture is smooth. Serve in chilled glasses with spoons.

Makes 4 servings.

Honey Strawberry Tea Cooler

1 pint fresh strawberries, stemmed and cleaned
1/4 cup honey
1 can (6 ounces) frozen orange juice concentrate
2 cups brewed green tea, cooled

In a blender or food processor container, combine
strawberries and honey; process until smooth. Add
orange juice concentrate; process until well blended.
Stir into cooled tea. Serve over ice.

Makes 4 servings..

Nutrition information per serving (1/4 of recipe): calories 169;
total fat <1 g;cholesterol 0 mg; sodium 6 mg; total carbohydrate
42 g; dietary fiber 3 g;protein 2 g; calories from fat <1%

Numerous medical studies point to green tea's
antioxidant and medicinal properties. Try this
fruity combination with a perfumed honey like
orange blossom or blueberry.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Cheese curd grilled cheese














Published On Tue Oct 18 2011

At Joe Beef in Montreal, this sandwich is spread with
the restaurant's signature "chicken glace mayo" (made
with reduced chicken stock), but beef bouillon is a decent
substitute.  This isn't in the restaurant's new cookbook,
but it's adapted from a Joe Beef recipe that appeared in
October's Food and Wine.  Cheese curds are chunks of
just-made cheese that haven't been pressed into a shape.
Use standard supemarket (not artisan) bacon.

1/2 beef bouillon cube, well crumbled
     or 1 tsp (5 mL) Bovril liquid beef bouillon
1/4 cup (60 mL) mayonnaise
2 tsp (10 mL) Sriracha (Asian hot sauce)
Kosher salt + freshly ground pepper
1 tbsp (15 mL) vegetable oil
1 medium yellow onion, halved, thinly sliced
2 tsp (10 mL) cider vinegar
8 to 12 thin slices bacon
2 tbsp (30 mL) unsalted butter, at room temperature
8 thick-cut slices white sandwich bread
1/2 lb (225 g) sharp orange cheddar, thinly sliced
1 cup (250 mL) white cheddar cheese curds

In small bowl using fork, mash crumbled bouillon, if using, or add Bovril.
Whisk in mayonnaise and Sriracha. Season with salt and pepper.
Refrigerate, covered, until ready to use.

In medium skillet, heat oil over medium. Add onion. Cook, stirring,
until soft and golden, about 10 minutes. Stir in vinegar. Season with
salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, in large skillet, cook bacon over medium until crisp,
about 3 minutes per side. Drain on paper towels.

Butter bread slices on 1 side. Spread other side of 4 slices with
spicy mayo.  Top with equal portions onions, cheddar, curds and
bacon. Close sandwiches, buttered sides out.

On non-stick griddle over moderate heat, or in batches in large
non-stick skillet over medium heat, grill until crisp, about 4 minutes
per side. (While cooking, flatten well with spatula or place heavy
weight on sandwiches.)  Let rest 2 minutes before slicing in half.

Makes 4.

Star-tested by Jennifer Bain
jbain@thestar.ca

Chef’s Showcase: Moroccan chickpea and vegetable stew














Published On Sat Feb 12 2011

This Moroccan-inspired, vegan stew relies on root veg
and chickpeas, it's served at the restaurant with purple rice,
raw cherry tomatoes and green onion, but doesn't need
these embellishments.

DAVID COOPER/TORONTO STAR
When Stephen Gardner becomes a vegetarian at 17, learning
how to cook was par for the coarse.

"When you're a vegetarian, the interest is there already,"
he says, "You really get into the concept of food."

The London native went to culinary school at Fanshawa
Collage then moved to Toronto, where there were better
opportunities for a vegetarian chef.  After working at the
Renainssance Chef in the Annex for a few years, he decided
to switch over to "regular restaurants."

Back then, cooks at vegetarian restaurants had no strong
skills at the level," he says.  "I wanted to learn."

Gardner worked at a number of restaurants including a stint at
Lotus under renowned chef Susur Lee.  In 1991, he started a
casual bistro in Kensington Market called Kensington Restaurant.
After it burned down two years later, Gardner opened Taro Grill,
which became an instant hit on Queen St. W.

"I think it took off because of the club (Left Bank) across the
street.  Everyone in th lineup would look into our giant window."

Gardner sold Taro in 1999, changed gears and opened Fressen,
Toronto's first upmarket vegen restaurant.  Returned to
kensington Market in 2005, he started Urban Herbivore, a
casual vegan cafe at 64 Oxford St.

This year is a busy one for Gardner.  He recently opened a
second Urban Herbivore in Little Portugal at 967 Collage St.,
and in June, he begins work on a third in the Eaton Centre's
revamped north food court, part of its $120 million renovation
project.  Hanging his shingle in the city's busiest tourist attraction
doesn't faze the laidback chef.

"I'm always up for a new challenge."


2 tbsp (30 mL) olive oil
1 small yellow onion, diced
1 rib celery, sliced on bias
1 medium carrot, peeled, sliced into rounds
2 tbsp (30 mL) finely chopped garlic
1/4 cup (60 mL) finely chopped, peeled ginger
1-1/2 tsp (7 mL) whole cumin seeds
3/4 tsp (4 mL) whole caraway seeds
1/4 tsp (1 mL) ground cloves
2 lb (900 g) sweet potatoes, peeled, cut into 3/4-inch (2-cm) chunks
3/4 lb (340 g) celery root, peeled, cut into 3/4-inch (2-cm) chunks
19-oz (540-mL) can chickpeas, drained, rinsed
28-oz (796-mL) can diced tomatoes
1/4 cup (60 mL) soy sauce
1 cup (250 mL) water
Salt + ground black pepper to taste
Chopped cilantro for garnish

In large pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions, celery and carrot.
Cook, stirring, 7 minutes. Reduce to medium-low. Add garlic and
ginger. Cook, stirring, 2 minutes. Add cumin, caraway and cloves;
cook 1 minute. Add sweet potatoes, celery root, chickpeas, tomatoes
with juices, soy sauce and water.  Raise heat to high. When mixture
starts bubbling, cover and reduce heat to maintain gentle simmer.
Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender, 30 minutes.
Season with salt and pepper.

Ladle stew into warmed bowls. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve.

Makes 6 to 8 servings.
.
Star-tested by Eric Vellend.
eric.vellend@gmail.com

Australia − Lamb Shank Pie

4−6 Lamb shanks (chopped in half)
1 large carrot
1 parsnip
2 tomatoes
6 oz. veal/chicken stock
2 tablespoons tomato paste
juice and grated rind of 1 lemon
pinch of sugar
2 tablespoons parsley
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
1 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
seasoned flour(for dusting)
1 onion
1 stick of celery
1 cup red wine
2 tablespoons basil
2 cups mashed potatoes

Dust the shanks in flour and brown them in butter and oil in a
heavy skillet or fry pan.  Put the cooked shanks in a saucepan,
cover with water, wine, and tomato paste and cook ever so gently
for about 90 min or until meat starts to soften (you may have to
add a little more water or wine.)

In the meantime, saute the vegetables (roughly chopped) with
the garlic in the same frying pan; you may have to add a little
more oil. After a couple of minutes add the tomatoes (roughly
chopped), lemon juice and rind. Cook gently for another few minutes.

Transfer partly cooked lamb shanks into a casserole dish. Skim
off any fat formed during cooking. Add the cooked vegetables,
mix lightly, add the fresh herbs, spoon mashed potatoes on top
and finish cooking in a pre-heated 190 degree oven for about
30 minutes. Serve piping hot with crusty bread.

Greece − Baklavas

Filling:
1 pound walnuts, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon

P astry:
1 pound phyllo pastry
6 oz. unsalted butter, melted

Syrup:
1/2 pound sugar
10 oz. water
2 cinnamon sticks
2 teaspoons lemon juice
some lemon peel
2 tablespoons honey
Mix all the filling ingredients in a bowl.

Liberally butter the base and sides of an elongated or round baking
dish.
Measure the length of the phyllo against the baking dish roughly
and, allowing 1 inch extra approximately for shrinkage, cut to length
with a sharp knife. Brush each layer of phyllo with melted butter and
spread over the base of the container as evenly as possible. Once you
have used 5 layers of pastry, sprinkle a thin layer of filling all over
the surface and add 3 more layers. Sprinkle a thin layer of filling and
place 2 more sheets of phyllo on top.

Sprinkle on all the remaining filling, spreading it evenly, and cover
with 7−8 more layers of phyllo, brushing individually with butter.
Fold any excess pastry on either of the sides with the filling and
brush it with butter. Brush the top layer liberally with butter in order
to get it crisp and golden. Trim any excess pastry with a small sharp
knife, keeping in mind that it will also shrink.

Cut the top layers of phyllo carefully, either diagonally into diamond
shapes or straight, which will result in square or elongated pieces.

Be careful not to cut right down to the base, but only the top layers.
This is done in order to make cutting and lifting the pieces out, once
it is cooked, much easier and efficient. Using the tips of four fingers,
sprinkle drops of water all over the surface and cook it in a preheated
oven at 375F for 15 minutes; lower the heat to 350F and cook for a
further 20 minutes. In the meantime, prepare the syrup.

Place all the syrup ingredients, apart from the honey, in a saucepan
and stir to dissolve the sugar. Simmer for 6−8 minutes, add the
honey and simmer for a further 5 minutes until it thickens slightly.
Let the baklava cool down then pour the hot but not boiling syrup
slowly all over, through a strainer.

Let it stand and absorb the syrup. Cut and serve.

Greece − Souvlaki

1 lemon, juiced
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 teaspoon dried oregano
3 cloves garlic, crushed
4 pounds boneless pork tenderloin
2 green peppers, cut into 1 inch squares
2 yellow onions, cut into 1 inch squares
Tzaziki (recipe follows)

In a large plastic or glass bowl, mix together lemon juice,
olive oil, soy sauce, oregano, and garlic. Add pork, onions,
and green pepper; stir to coat. Cover, and refrigerate for
2 to 3 hours.

Preheat grill for medium high heat. Slide pork, pepper, and
onion onto skewers. When a fine gray ash covers the coals,
begin grilling the kabobs. Cook about 10 to 15 minutes total;
turn the skewers frequently.

Serve on pita bread withTzaziki spooned on top.

Tzaziki
2 cups plain full fat yogurt
2 teaspoons pureed very fresh garlic
1 teaspoon salt
2 cucumbers, peeled, seeded and grated
   on large holes of grater
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons olive oil
Fresh mint leaves, for garnish

Drain yogurt for 1 hour in a cheesecloth−lined strainer
to remove some of its water. In a bowl, combine the
yogurt, garlic and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Sprinkle the
remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt over the grated
cucumber and drain, 10 to 15 minutes, to extract
excess water. Add drained cucumber to yogurt, along
with pepper, and mix well. Cover and refrigerate until
chilled, about 1 hour. Drizzle with olive oil and garnish
with mint leaves.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Green tostadas














Published On Tue Dec 27 2011

This Green Tostada mimics the colors of the Mexican flag.
ANDREW FRANCIS WALLACE/TORONTO STAR

"This is simple to make and lovely to eat," says chef
Francisco Alejandri of this Tostada Verde. "We have
the color of the Mexican flag -- green, white and red."
 He uses habaneros for his guacamole because he doesn't
like the serranos we have here.  You'll find guajillos, crema
and queso fresco in Latin American grocery stores.  The
only (distant) substitute for the fresh cheese would be a
buffalo mozzarella.

Guajillo Sauce:
2 roma (plum) tomatoes
5 dried guajillo chili peppers
3 tbsp (45 mL) diced white onion
1 small clove garlic, chopped
2 tbsp (30 mL) water
2-1/2 tsp (12 mL) white vinegar
1/4 tsp (1 mL) kosher salt

Guacamole:
2 habanero (scotch bonnet) chili peppers (any colour),
      thinly sliced with seeds, or to taste
16 stems cilantro, ends trimmed 2 inches (5 cm)
2 cloves garlic
Flesh from 2 avocados
Juice of 2 limes
Kosher salt to taste

Tostadas:
4 corn tortillas
Canola oil for frying
Kosher salt for sprinkling
4 slices (about 1/2 inch/1 cm thick) queso fresco (Spanish fresh cheese)
2 roma (plum) tomatoes, trimmed, halved, very thinly sliced
Crema fresca or sour cream or crème fraiche for drizzling

For Guajillo Sauce, place tomatoes in baking dish. Broil in oven
preheated to high 8 minutes. Turn with tongs. Broil 8 minutes or
until starting to soften and brown.

Wipe chilies with damp cloth. Stem. Using kitchen scissors, cut in
half to open, discard most of membrane and seeds. (It’s okay if
a few remain.)

Heat large, non-stick skillet over medium high. Add chilies. Toast,
flipping with tongs and reducing heat to medium as needed, until
dark and crisp, about 5 to 8 minutes. Discard any burned seeds,

Transfer chilies to food processor. Pulse 12 times. Add tomatoes,
onion and garlic. Process into thick purée. Scrape into bowl. Stir in
water, vinegar and salt. Refrigerate, covered, at least 30 minutes.
Makes about 1 cup (250 mL).

For guacamole, in mortar, combine habanero and cilantro. Using
microplane rasp, grate garlic into mortar. Using pestle, mash into
paste. Add avocado. Mash well, leaving a few small chunks. Add
lime juice.  Season with salt. Mix well.

For tostadas, using kitchen scissors, snip 1-inch (2.5-cm) deep
cuts every 2 inches (5 cm) along tortillas.

Fill large, non-stick skillet with about 1/2-inch (1 cm) oil. Heat over
medium until hot but not burning (350F/180C if using deep fry
thermometer). Add tortillas, in batches if needed. Fry, flipping and
pushing into oil with tongs, until golden and just crisp. Remove to drain
on paper towels. Sprinkle immediately with salt.

To assemble tostadas, place each fried tortilla on a plate. Top with
equal portions guacamole. Lay 1 slice queso fresco on each. Top
each piece of cheese with slices from 1/2 tomato. Drizzle everything
with creme or sour cream or creme fraiche.  Spoon about
1-1/2 tbsp (22 mL) Guajillo Sauce across centre of each tostada.
(Reserve remaining Guajillo Sauce for another use up to 1 week
in fridge.)

Eat carefully by hand, or using fork.

Makes 4.

Kimchi fried rice














Published On Tue Jun 21 2011

Gimchi Bokkeum Bap (Kimchi Fried Rice) is the perfect
meal when you have leftover kimchi and leftover rice.  The
meal is optional.  From Quick and Easy Korean Cooking by
Cecilia Hae-Jin Lee.  Kimchi is usually made with fermented
shrimp or fish (anchovy) sauce.  I go to T and T Supermarket
for the anchovy sauce version made by Kimchi Canada
Farm in Newmarket.

1 tbsp (15 mL) vegetable oil
1 small yellow onion, chopped
4 oz (115 g) boneless pork, beef or chicken, cut in small pieces (optional)
1 tbsp (15 mL) each: butter, Asian sesame oil
3 cups (750 mL) cold, cooked white rice (preferably short grain)
2 green onions, chopped
1 cup (250 mL) cabbage kimchi, chopped, with its liquid

Heat oil in large skillet or wok over high. Add yellow onion and meat
if using. Cook until onion is browned and meat is cooked through,
about 5 minutes. Add butter and oil, then rice. Cook, stirring, until
warmed through and soft, about 3 minutes. Add green onions and
kimchi with its liquid. Cook until onions are limp but still retain colour,
about 2 minutes.

Makes 2 large or 4 small servings.

Star-tested by  Jennifer Bain
jbain@thestar.ca

Denmark − Hasselnodlagkage

9 egg yolks
2/3 cup sugar
3/4 cup blanched almonds −− ground
3/4 cup hazelnuts −− ground
9 egg whites
1/4 cup cherry brandy
1/4 cup raspberry jam
1 pint whipping cream
24 whole hazelnuts
Powdered sugar

Beat the egg yolks until thick. Add the sugar and beat. Add the ground
nuts and mix well. Beat the egg whites until stiff. Fold into the yolk
mixture.

Bake in 2 well--buttered layer--cake tins in a preheated moderate oven
350F until the top of the cake springs back quickly when you touch it.

Remove from oven and let cool.
Cover the top of each layer with half of the liqueur, then with a thin
layer of the raspberry jam. Place one cake on top of the other.
Whip the cream and spread over top. Place whole hazelnuts here and
there on the torte. Dust the top with powdered sugar.

France − Foie de Veau au Sauternes

2 medium onions [about 8 ounces total],
    ends cut flat, peeled, cut in half lengthwise
1 3/4 sticks unsalted butter [7 ounces], cut into 14 pieces
2 small carrots [about 4 ounces total], peeled, cut to fit the feed
     tube vertically
3 plum tomatoes [about 9 ounces total], quartered and seeded
3 1/2 pounds fresh spinach, washed, stems removed
1 cup veal stock, preferably homemade
1/2 cup Sauternes
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 slices calf's liver [about 5 ounces each], trimmed

Slice the onions thin, and saute in 2 tablespoons butter over low
heat until the onions begin to exude their liquid, about 5 minutes.
Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are golden and
very soft, about 25 minutes more.

For flower--like carrot slices, make 5 evenly--spaced lengthwise cuts
on each carrot piece with a fruit and vegetable stripper; slice them
into very thin rounds. Reserve.

Coursely chop the tomatoes. Reserve.

Bring a large pot of water to the boil, add the spinach and cook for
2 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold running water until cool
enough to handle. Squeeze the spinach to remove all the liquid.
Pulse the spinach, in a food processor until finely chopped, about 6 times.

Add the onions and process until smooth, about 1 minute. Reserve.

To make the sauce, bring the stock, Sauternes and chopped tomatoes
to the boil in a medium skillet. Cook until reduced by one−third, about
9 minutes. Strain into a small saucepan, pressing on the tomatoes to
exude all their liquid: there should be about l/2 cup. Set the skillet aside.
Whisk 8 tablespoons of the butter, one piece at a time, into the reduced
liquid, over low heat. Season to taste and keep warm.

Add 2 tablespoons butter to the skillet used to reduce the sauce. Add
the spinach mixture and season to taste. Keep warm, stirring occasionally.

Season the liver with salt and pepper. Cook 3 slices in 2 tablespoons
butter over medium high heat until golden brown on the outside but still
pink on the inside, about 2 minutes on each side. Remove to a plate
and cover loosely with foil to keep warm. Cook the remaining liver,
adding more butter as necessary.

Meanwhile, blanch the carrot slices in boiling water until just tender,
about 2 minutes. Drain.

Fill a pastry bag fitted with a l/2−inch star tip with the spinach
mixture. Pipe some spinach around the inner rim of 6 individual serving
plates. Cut each piece of liver diagonally into 3/4 inch wide slices and
arrange spoke−fashion on each plate. Spoon an equal amount of the
sauce on each serving and garnish with the carrot slices.

France − Poulet aux Morilles

1 ounce dried morel mushrooms
l cup hot milk
l frying chicken, cut into 8 serving pieces
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon all−purpose flour
l/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1 1/2 cups dry white wine
2 tablespoons Cognac
l cup Creme Fraiche
Beurre manie (1 tablespoon all−purpose flour mixed with
1 tablespoon unsalted butter)
Salt and freshly ground white pepper
2 cups hot cooked rice

Creme Fraiche
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup sour cream

Whisk the cream and sour cream together in a mixing bowl. Cover
with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature until thickened,
about 8 hours. Put a filter in a coffee filter top or line a
strainer with a double thickness of paper towels and set over a
bowl. Scrape in the thickened cream.

Let drain in the refrigerator, covered with plastic wrap, until
very thick, at least 12 hours or up to 24 hours. Spoon the cream
into a covered container and refrigerate. Creme Fraiche will keep
in the refrigerator for 1 week.

Cover the morels with the hot milk and let them soak for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, pat the chicken pieces dry with paper towels. Heat the
oil and butter together in a skillet or saute pan large enough to
hold the chicken in one layer without crowding. Cook the chicken
pieces over medium−high heat until golden brown on both sides,
about 10 minutes altogether. Transfer the chicken to a plate. Reserve.

Strain the morel soaking liquid through a sieve lined with dampened
cheesecloth. Squeeze the mushrooms with your fingers to force out
as much liquid as possible. Reserve. Discard the cheesecloth with
the sediment and set the liquid aside.

Rinse the mushrooms under cold running water to remove any grit.
Drain and squeeze dry. Cook them over medium−low heat in the fat
remaining in the skillet for about 4 minutes, stirring often.
Discard all the fat from the skillet.

Return the chicken pieces in one layer to the skillet, adding any
juices from the plate. Sprinkle with the flour and thyme and turn
the pieces to coat. Pour in the wine, bring to the boil, cover and
simmer for 15 minutes, turning the chicken once. Uncover the pan
and simmer until the chicken is fork−tender, about 15 minutes more.

To make the sauce, first remove the chicken and mushrooms with a
slotted spoon to a bowl and cover loosely to keep warm. Degrease
the pan juices. Whisk in the Cognac, mushroom liquid and Creme
Fraiche. Cook, whisking, over low heat until smooth. The sauce
should be just thick enough to coat a spoon. If necessary, whisk
in the beurre manie, 1 teaspoon at a time, to thicken the sauce.
Season to taste.

Return the chicken, mushrooms and any liquid in the bowl to the pan.
Stir to coat the pieces with the sauce and heat through. Do not let
boil. Spoon chicken and mushrooms onto a serving dish and serve
with cooked rice

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Chef’s Showcase: Roasted pumpkin risotto














Published On Sat Oct 22 2011

From Winchester Kitchen and Bar, roasted pumpkin
risotto with spinach and pumpkin seeds.

Keith Beaty/Toronto Star

Eric Vellend Special to the Star

Binh An Nguyen's family fled Vietnam in 1979 on a fishing
boat when he was only 10 months old.  They came to Canada
via Malaysia and settled in Oshawa.  He grew up on his mother's
home cooking, but when dad was in charge of dinner it was
often spaghetti.

"It's the go-to easy dad meal, "he says. "But I got to see
two different cultures:  Vietnamese and North American."

Nguyen studied geography at Carleton University and became
an operations analyst at an investment bank, but the white
collar world didn't agree with him.  Having put himself through
school working as a dishwasher, he decided to give professional
cooking a shot.

After training at George Brown Chef School followed by a
year at Monsoon, an upscale Pan Asian restaurant downtown,
Nguyen found himself at the Spoke Club in 2008, where he
would spend three formative years under chef Ren Mercer.
"Ren showed me a lot," says the 33-year-old. "We made
everything from scratch: charcuterie, bread, pasta.  We
utilized everything.  Nothing was wasted."

In February of this year, Nguyen was hired by Winchester
Kitchen and Bar to execute a menu created by consulting
chef Daniel Hadida.  Hadida moved on, leaving Nguyen
in full command of the Cabbagetown resto-lounge.  He has
since put his stamp on the new menu with autumnal dishes
like roasted pumpkin risotto garnished with pumpkin seeds.

"I see fall as a very comfort food driven season where
dishes speak to a familiarity and evoke an emotional
response."

Nguyen prefers dense, sweet kabocha squash for
this recipe, but says you can substitute acorn squash.

2 kabocha squash (about 2 lb/900 g each)
4 tbsp (60 mL) olive oil
Large pinch nutmeg
Kosher salt + ground white pepper to taste
6 cups (1.5 L) vegetable stock
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups (500 mL) Arborio rice
1 cup (250 mL) dry white wine
2 cups (500 mL) packed baby spinach leaves
1/4 cup (60 mL) each: freshly grated Parmesan, toasted pumpkin seeds
Parmesan shavings for garnish

With cleaver or heavy knife, cut 1 squash into quarters. Remove and
discard seeds. Toss squash with 1 tbsp (15 mL) oil, nutmeg, salt and
pepper. Place on baking tray, flesh side up. Roast in preheated 400F
(200C) oven until fork tender, 30 to 40 minutes.  Remove and cool.
Scoop flesh into food processor, discarding skins. Purée until smooth.
Set aside.

Peel, seed and cut remaining squash into 1/2-inch (1-cm) cubes. In large
pot of boiled, salted water, cook until tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Carefully
drain.  Lay on baking tray to cool. Set aside.

Place vegetable stock in medium pot. Season with salt. Keep hot
over low heat.

In large, heavy bottom pot, heat remaining 3 tbsp (45 mL) oil over
medium. Add onion and garlic. Cook, stirring, until translucent, 3 minutes.
Add rice. Cook, stirring, 2 minutes. Add wine. Cook, stirring constantly,
until absorbed. Stir in squash purée.

Add 1 cup (250 mL) hot stock. Cook, stirring constantly, until
absorbed. Repeat adding stock in 1-cup (250-mL) increments and
stirring until stock is finished and rice al dente, 18 to 20 minutes in
total. Stir in diced squash near end just to heat through. Remove
from heat. Stir in 2/3 spinach and grated Parmesan. Season with salt
and pepper.  Pour risotto onto warm serving platter or bowl. Garnish
with pumpkin seeds, remaining spinach and Parmesan shavings.

Makes 4 to 6 servings..

Star-tested by Eric Vellend
eric.vellend@gmail.com

Spanakopita Pie (Spinach and Feta Pie)














Published On Wed Mar 4 2009
Spanakopita pie -- layers of phyllo wrapped around a
spinach and feta mixture -- makes a great vegetarian meal.

DAVID COOPER / TORONTO STAR

Most people outside of Greece think of Spanakopita as a
triangular hors d'oeuvre.  But when it's formed into a pie and
cut into squares, it makes an excellent vegetarian entree.
Serve it with a dollop of plain yogurt.

INGREDIENTS
2 lb (900 g) spinach leaves, washed, tough stems discarded
1 cup water
2 tbsp olive oil
2 bunches green onions, sliced
Salt + freshly ground pepper to taste
1/2 cup chopped dill
1/2 lb (225 g) feta cheese, crumbled
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
8 sheets phyllo pastry
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted

DIRECTIONS
Put half the spinach and half the water in a large pot. Cover and place
over high heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until wilted. Drain in colander.
Repeat with remaining spinach and water.

When spinach is cool enough to handle, squeeze out excess moisture.
Set aside.

In large skillet, heat oil on medium-high. Add onions and cook until
wilted, about two minutes.  Add spinach. Season with salt and pepper.
Cook, stirring, just to dry out spinach, one to two minutes. Remove
from heat and cool.

In large bowl, stir together spinach mixture, dill, feta and eggs.

With scissors, cut phyllo in half to yield 9-by-13-inch sheets. Stack
and cover with damp kitchen towel.

Brush 9-by-13-inch baking dish with butter. Lay one sheet in dish and
brush with butter. Top with another sheet and brush with butter. Repeat
until half the phyllo is used up. Top with spinach mixture. Spread evenly
with rubber spatula. Top with phyllo sheet and brush with butter.
Repeat until phyllo is used up.

With sharp knife, score top into eight portions.

Bake on middle rack of preheated 350F oven until top is golden
brown, 45 to 50 minutes.

To serve, cut through score marks with serrated knife and remove
portions with cake server.

Makes eight servings.

Star-tested by Eric Vellend

Bulgaria − Tarator

2 cucumbers, peeled and chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
4 cups plain yoghurt
1/2 cup water
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons dill, chopped
toasted almond slices, for garnishing

In a blender, puree cucumber and garlic, pulsing the blades to
liquefy the chopped cubes. Toss in the dill, salt, water, and yoghurt
and mix well. Refrigerate at least 2 hours.

When ready to serve, ladle into bowls and sprinkle with toasted
almonds

Canada − Cheddar Cheese Soup

3 cups milk
1 cup chicken broth
6 slices bacon, diced
1/4 cup finely diced red onion
1/4 cup finely diced celery
1/4 cup chopped scallion
3 Tablespoons all−purpose flour
2 cups shredded Canadian white cheddar cheese
1/2 teaspoon Tabasco sauce, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
12 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, or to taste
Snipped fresh chives or minced scallions for garnish

In a 2--quart saucepan, heat the milk and the chicken broth
over medium--low heat. Meanwhile, in a 4 or 5 quart Dutch oven,
cook the bacon, stirring, over medium heat for about 5 minutes, or
until lightly browned.  Add the red onion, celery, and scallion and cook,
stirring, until the onion has softened, about 5 minutes. Add the flour and
cook, stirring constantly, for 3 minutes.

Remove the Dutch oven from the heat, add the heated milk mixture,
and whisk until well blended. Return to the heat and cook, whisking
constantly, until the mixture comes to a boil. Boil for 1 minute, or
until thickened.

Remove the Dutch oven from the heat and stir in the cheese, Tabasco
sauce, salt, and pepper until the cheese is melted and the soup is
smooth. Serve the soup hot, garnished with chives.

Italy − Basic Italian Bread

Biga:
1/2 Teaspoon Active Dry Yeast
1 Cup Lukewarm water
2 Cups Unbleached, All−purpose Flour

Mix the yeast and water together, and then slowly start adding
the flour, mixing well. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit at
room temperature for up to 6 hours. Refrigerate overnight.

Bread:
2 Cups Warm Water (about 90 degrees F.)
1 Pkg. Active Dry Yeast
5−6 Cups All−purpose, Unbleached Flour
2 Ts. Salt

Place the water in a large bowl, sprinkle the yeast overtop and
mix well. Let sit 10 minutes until bubbly. Add the biga, flour,
and salt and stir with a wooden spoon (or mix with your hands)
until everything is mixed. The dough will be fairly wet and
sticky at this point. Cover and let stand in a warm spot for
about 1 to 1 1/2 hours until doubled in volume.

Punch down the dough, folding it over on itself two or three
times, cover and let rise once more until doubled, about 1 hour.
If you choose, you could refrigerate your dough at this time and
leave it overnight to prepare the next day.

Turn out your dough onto a floured baking sheet, and without
overworking it too much, shape into one large or two smaller
round or oval shaped loaves, using as much extra flour as needed
to keep it from sticking. Slash across the tops of the loaves
with a serrated knife or razor just prior to baking.

Preheat the oven to 350F and place a casserole dish with boiling
water on the lower oven rack. Bake your bread 30 minutes, turn
the baking sheet around, and reduce the heat to 300F and bake
for another 30−45 minutes. At this point your bread should be
golden brown and should sound hollow when you tap the bottom.
Allow the bread to cool to room temperature and serve.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Eggplant börek













Published On Wed Jul 15 2009


Flaky phyllo pastry makes a delicious wrapped for an eggplant
filling Borek, a savory phyllo pastry, dates back to the Ottomon
Empire.

Because the filling is soft, folding these borek into squares
requires a delicate touch.  Don't fret if a side tears; the eggs
will set the filling before too much oozes out.

3 lb (1-1/2 kg) eggplant (about 3)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp dried chili flakes
1 cup chopped canned tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato paste
1/2 cup each: chopped flat-leaf parsley, chopped cilantro
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
12 sheets phyllo pastry
6 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1 egg yolk
1 tsp milk
Salt + freshly ground pepper to taste

Prick eggplants with fork and place in roating pan. Bake in preheated
400F oven, flipping once, until very soft, about 1 hour. Split each open
with knife. Let sit until cool enough to handle. Remove and discard
peels and stems. Chop flesh and place in sieve over bowl. Press with
spoon to remove excess moisture.  Set aside.

In large skillet, heat oil on medium-high. Add onion and cook, stirring,
for 2 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and cook until golden, about 3
minutes. Stir in garlic and chili flakes; cook 1 minute. Add tomatoes
and tomato paste. Raise heat to medium-high. Cook, stirring, about 2
minutes. Stir in eggplant; cook until excess moisture has evaporated,
about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and cool.

Transfer eggplant mixture to large bowl.  Stir in parsley, cilantro and
eggs. Set aside.

Divide eggplant filling mixture into 6 equal portions.

Cover phyllo with damp kitchen towel. Lay 1 phllo sheet on counter
with shorter end toward you.  Brush with butter. Place another sheet
on top; brush with butter. Place 4-inch square of filling at bottom of
sheet, with 4 inches of space on three sides. Fold pastry away from
you over filling. Fold right side of pastry over filling. Fold filling away
from you. Fold left side of pastry over filling. Fold filling away from
you to form neat package. Place it seam-side down on a parchment-
lined baking tray. Repeat with remaining phyllo and filling.

Mix yolk and milk. Brush on phyllo packets.

Bake on upper rack in preheated 350F oven until golden brown,
35 to 40 minutes.  Cool 10 minutes before serving.

Makes 6.

Star-tested by Eric Vellend
eric.vellend@gmail.com

Jacket potatoes with baked beans & cheddar

Published On Tue Mar 22 2011














The British have raised baked potatoes (jacket potatoes) to
an art form.  Whether you prick your potatoes, rub them in
salt or give them an oily sheen is a matter of persoal preference.
you can use any canned baked beans (or homemade if you
prefer).  Many havve pork or molasses.  I buy Amy's Organic
and Eden Organic.  Both are vegetarian and not too sweet,

4 medium baking potatoes, such as russet (each about 10 oz/285 g)
Fine or coarse salt (optional)
Extra-virgin olive oil (optional)
14-oz (398-mL) can baked beans (about 1-1/2 cups/375 mL)
Unsalted butter
1/2 cup (125 mL) coarsely grated cheddar cheese, or to taste

Wash potatoes, scrubbing with potato brush if needed. Dry slightly if
sprinkling with salt and/or rubbing with oil. Dry completely if baking as is.

Place potatoes directly on centre rack in preheated 425F (220C) oven.
Bake 45 minutes. Test by squeezing (wear oven mitts or use a tea towel).
Potatoes should have crisp skin but give slightly. If needed, bake 1 more
minutes or to desired doneness depending on size. Place on plates but
don’t slice open.

Meanwhile, warm beans in small saucepan over medium heat or in
microwave 3 minutes. Transfer to serving bowl.

Place cheese in separate serving bowl.

Serve immediately. To eat, slice potatoes down centre. Add butter to
taste. Mash flesh well with fork. Dollop beans into center. Top with
cheese. Reserve any remaining beans for another use.

Makes 4 servings.

Star-tested by Jennifer Bain
jbain@thestar.ca

Korea − Kim Chee

2 pounds napa or celery cabbage
1/2 cup coarse salt
4 cups water
1 1/2 tablespoons crushed red pepper flakes
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
2 green onions, finely chopped

Rinse the cabbage in cold water and drain. Cut the cabbage
into 1−1/2−inch squares. Sprinkle with salt, add the water,
and let stand overnight.

Rinse the cabbage in cold water and drain. Using a wooden spoon,
blend the remaining ingredients and stir this well into the
cabbage pieces. Pack into a quart jar or other container and cover.
Place the jar in a plastic bag to prevent the odors from spreading
to other foods.  Refrigerate and let stand four to five days to cure.

Mexico − Flan

1/2 Cup Sugar

1 Cup Milk
3 Large Egg yolks
1 Teaspoon Vanilla extract
14 Ounce Sweetened condensed milk
3 Large Eggs
1/2 Teaspoon Almond extract

In a small saucepan melt sugar over moderate heat, stirring
frequently, until sugar is a dark, caramel−colored liquid. Remove
from heat and pour into a 4 cup metal ring mold or 8 individual
molds. Quickly turn mold to coat bottom and sides with the caramel.
Let cool so caramel hardens.
Heat oven to 325F. Put the condensed milk, milk, eggs, egg yolks
and flavorings into an electric blender. Cover and blend to mix well.
Pour mixture into mold; put mold in a large pan filled with water
to depth of 1/2". Bake for 1 hour. Remove from oven and remove mold
from water. Cool and then refrigerate up to 2 days.
Cover mold with an inverted serving platter. Hold mold and platter
together and turn them over. Lift off mold. Caramel will fall as
a liquid sauce over the custard.

Newfoundland − Salt Cod Chowder

1 lb. salt cod fish
1/4 cup finely diced fat salt pork
1 medium thinly sliced onion
3 cups diced raw potatoes
1 cup diced raw carrot
3 cups boiling water
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 cup canned corn niblets
3 cups heated milk

Freshen salt cod by soaking it overnight in cold water to cover.
Drain, and place in a stewing pot, and cover with fresh water.
Bring to simmer with low heat, Drain, if the fish is still too
salty, add fresh cold water, and bring to simmer again, and drain.
Fry salt pork in stewing pot until crisp. Remove fried pork scraps
and reserve for garnish. Cook onion in pork fat until tender. Add
potatoes, carrots, water, salt, and pepper and cook covered about
ten minutes, or until vegetables are tender. Add corn and heated
milk and freshened salt cod. Bring chowder to a simmering temperature,
but do not boil. Garnish with the pork scraps.
Serve hot, with freshly baked home made bread or rolls and butter.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Cajun red beans












Published On Wed Apr 8 2009
Adapted from Spicy Food by Stendhal.  In its original form,
this was supposedly the recipe of Kid Ory, the trombonish in
Louis Armstrong's band.  Armstrong loved this dish so much,
he used to sigh this letters "Red beans and ricely yours."

The traditional accompaniment is steamed white rice, but
i prefer to serve it on corn bread.

INGREDIENTS
2 tbsp olive oil
2 cups chopped onions
1 cup each: chopped celery, chopped green bell pepper
2 tbsp chopped garlic
3 cups ham in 1/2-inch cubes
Two 19 oz (540 mL) cans red kidney beans, drained, rinsed
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp hot sauce
1/2 tsp each: dried thyme, chili flakes
1 1/2 cups chicken stock or beer, or mixture
Salt + pepper to taste
Chopped parsley to taste
Chopped green onions to taste

DIRECTIONS
Heat oil on medium in large skillet. Add onions, celery, green pepper
and garlic. Cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes, until softened.
Do not brown.

Add ham, beans, vinegar, Worcestershire, hot sauce, thyme and
chili flakes. Cook 5 minutes, stirring frequently.

Add stock and/or beer. Raise heat to medium-high and bring to boil.
Reduce heat to medium-low and cook 30 minutes, uncovered,
stirring occasionally.

Mash some beans into side of pan, then stir in to help thicken mixture.
Season with salt and pepper.

Serve garnished with parsley and onions.

Makes 4 servings.

Star-tested byh Richard Ouzounian

Gwyneth’s veggie burgers















Published On Wed Jun 29 2011
Gwyneth Paltrow's vegetarian daughter Apple apparently
requests these burgers weekly.  Paltrow created them after
buying veggie burgers from a health store 'that upon cooking,
became brown, rubbery, and frankly terrifying." This recipe
is from My Father's Daughter:  Delicious, Easy Recipes
Celebrating Family and Togetherness. "My guys like these with
avocado, " writes Paltrow in the cookbook's only oblique
reference to Coldplay husband Chris Maartin
(son Moses gets plenty of mentions).

2 tbsp (30 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
1 small yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp (1 mL) each: ground cumin, coarse salt, freshly
            ground black pepper
14-oz (398-mL) can black beans, drained, rinsed
1/2 cup (125 mL) cooked brown rice (hot or cold)
1 tbsp (15 mL) finely chopped cilantro leaves
2 tbsp (30 mL) all-purpose flour
3 tbsp (45 mL) safflower or other vegetable oil
4 burger buns, preferably whole wheat or sprouted grain, grilled
    or heated as desired

Optional toppings:
Avocado slices
Tomato slices
Red onion slices

Heat olive oil in medium skillet over medium. Add onion, garlic and
cumin.  Cook, stirring, 7 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add
beans and rice. Cook, stirring, 2 minutes. Stir in cilantro. Mash with
potato masher until just combined.

When cool enough to handle, divide into 4 portions. Pat into 4 patties,
each about 4-inch (10-cm) wide. Refrigerate, covered, until ready to cook.

To cook, dust patties on each side with flour.

Heat vegetable oil in large skillet on medium-high. Add paties. Cook
until browned and warmed through, about 90 seconds per side,
reducing heat to medium if needed.

Serve on buns with toppings, if desired.

Star-tested by Jennifer Bain
jbain@thestar.ca