Category Archives: Recipes

Delicious Vegetarian Pho!

Hey Veg Heads! It seemed very sad to me that I couldn’t eat pho because of its porky broth. Well, guess what? There is a fantastic pho recipe that I made recently. It caught my eye on Vegetarian Times and it’s as good as gold.

Here it is!

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Ingredients:

Broth
6 cups low-sodium vegetable broth (I used regular veggie broth)
3 large shallots, sliced (1 cup)
½ cup dried shiitake mushrooms
10 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
3 Tbs. low-sodium soy sauce (I used Braggs)
12 ¼-inch-thick coins fresh ginger
1 Tbs. brown sugar
1 Tbs. rice wine vinegar
1 tsp. ground black pepper
2 cinnamon sticks
2 star anise (I doubled this)
5-6 fresh basil stems, leaves reserved for soup
5-6 cilantro stems, leaves reserved for soup
Pho
1 8-oz. pkg. rice noodles
1 8-oz. pkg. Asian-flavor baked tofu, thinly sliced
2 cups soybean sprouts
2 cups watercress
4 green onions, sliced (½ cup)
¼ cup chopped cilantro
1 cup fresh basil leaves
1 lime, cut into wedges

Instructions:

1. To make Broth: Place all ingredients in large pot with 8 cups water. Cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, covered, 1 hour. Strain broth, and return to pot. Discard solids.

2. To make Pho: Cook rice noodles according to package directions. Drain, and rinse under cold water. Divide among 6 large soup bowls. Ladle Broth over noodles, and top with tofu, sprouts, watercress, and green onions. Serve cilantro, basil, and lime wedges on the side to be stirred into soup.

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New York Times Chocolate Chip Cookies with super secret ingredient

14SESAME6-master675-v2I know you have all heard this before in some form or another but this time I’m not kidding.  There are many kinds of chocolate chip cookies that are outstanding and I even have a recipe on this site that I’ve already ranted and raved about. But this one, no joke, is THE best. My friend Erica came over the other day and said she would bring cookie dough over to bake for dessert. Who am I to argue? She never said what was in the chocolate chip cookies just that it was  a new recipe. Well guess what? These cookies were amazing and I couldn’t figure out what made them so delicious, and nutty and buttery and yummy all at the same time. Was it the extraordinary amount of chocolate chips in the recipe? The butter? The sea salt?  You practically don’t need anything else…but she did put something else in and it was shocking and amazing to discover that it was Tahini. That’s right. Sesame butter. That amazing ingredient that makes hummus so damn delicious.

I just say throw away all other chocolate chip cookie recipes and just use this one. It’s THAT fantastic. Thank you Smish for sharing this little gem.

Thanks New York Times for sharing this fantastic recipe. You can find the original link and recipe here.

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 ounces/113 grams unsalted butter at room temperature
  • ½ cup/120 milliliters tahini, well stirred
  • 1 cup/200 grams granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons/150 grams all-purpose flour, or matzo cake meal (See tip)
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 ¾ cups/230 grams chocolate chips or chunks, bittersweet or semisweet
  • Flaky salt, like fleur de sel or Maldon
  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter, tahini and sugar at medium speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add egg, egg yolk and vanilla and continue mixing at medium speed for another 5 minutes.
  2. Sift flour, baking soda, baking powder and kosher salt into a large bowl and mix with a fork. Add flour mixture to butter mixture at low speed until just combined. Use a rubber spatula to fold in chocolate chips. Dough will be soft, not stiff. Refrigerate at least 12 hours; this ensures tender cookies.
  3. When ready to bake, heat oven to 325 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or nonstick baking mat. Use a large ice cream scoop or spoon to form dough into 12 to 18 balls.
  4. Place the cookies on the baking sheet at least 3 inches apart to allow them to spread. Bake 13 to 16 minutes until just golden brown around the edges but still pale in the middle to make thick, soft cookies. As cookies come out of the oven, sprinkle sparsely with salt. Let cool at least 20 minutes on a rack.

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Italian pasta with sunburst tomatoes, prawns and mixed greens

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The Globe and Mail is on a great recipe roll! I got both this Lucy Waterman recipe and my Jamie Oliver Asian Noodle recipe from there. Both of these recipes are ridiculously easy  to make.

12 ounces (375 grams) fettucine

3 tablespoons olive oil

3 cloves garlic, sliced

2 cups cherry tomatoes

1 pound (500 grams) shrimp, peeled

12 ounces (375 grams) stemmed mixed greens, roughly chopped

1 teaspoon chili flakes

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

¼ cup toasted breadcrumbs

Method

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add fettucine and boil for 10 to 12 minutes or until al dente. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the pasta cooking water.

Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and tomatoes and sauté until tomatoes burst, about 2 minutes. Add shrimp and cook until they turn light pink, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in greens and chili flakes and sauté until the greens wilt, 1 to 2 minutes.

Add pasta to skillet and toss together. Add enough pasta cooking water to moisten everything, up to 1 cup. Season well with salt and pepper. Toss with extra virgin olive oil and finish with breadcrumbs. Serve immediately.

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Jamie Oliver’s Asian Noodle Soup

Jamie_HealthierHappierYou_JanFeb16_20841_AsianStyleChickenNoodleSoupI made a vegetarian version of Jamie Oliver’s Asian Chicken and Tofu Noodle soup  and it was fantastic. It was easy to make and it is now competing with laksa, my other favourite rice noodle soup.

For those of you interested in the original chicken version here is the recipe.

For a veggie or pescatarian version (I added prawns to the one I made last night) here is the recipe:

I litre organic vegetable broth

2 shallots

1 3/4-inch (2-centimetre) piece of ginger

4 cloves garlic

1 tablespoon peanut oil

2 tablespoons sesame oil

5 star anise

½ bunch fresh coriander

I bunch fresh basil

100 grams (4 ounces) tofu

2 cups spinach

5 large mushrooms (thinly sliced – (I added this to the recipe)

1 lb prawns peeled – to serve 4 people

4 green onions – finely chopped

½ fresh red chili

3/4 cup fine uncooked rice noodles

2 tablespoons low-salt soy sauce

Black pepper

1 lime cut in 4

Peel and finely slice the shallot, ginger and garlic.

Heat the peanut oil in a large saucepan over a medium–low heat, then add the shallot, ginger and garlic. Fry for 5 minutes, or until softened.

Add sesame oil and fry for a few more minutes.

Add star anise and cover with 1 litre of bouillon. Gently bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and cover the pan with a lid. Add mushroom and prawns. Add a dash of soy sauce to taste. Simmer for 10 minutes.

Add spinach to heated broth before you’re ready to serve.

Pick the herb leaves, chop the tofu into ½ inch (1.25-centimetre) cubes. Cook rice noodles.

Place rice noodles in serving bowls, add herbs and tofu and then ladle broth with spinach, prawns and mushrooms and serve.

I gave everyone a small ramekin with hot pepper, a slice of lime and herbs and green onions so they could garnish their soup to taste. A big bottle of sriracha was on the table ready and waiting. Serve and sigh with satisfaction. So easy, so delicious. Thanks Jamie Oliver!

 

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Easy Peasy Christmas Stollen

Holiday-Stollen

I LOVE Christmas stollen. I’ve had an irrational relationship with this festive German nut and fruit cake since I was a kid. Last year I bought and ate two (by myself) before Christmas. This year I thought I would try and make an easy version of this. I found this recipe here  (Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice) and LOVED it. It’s light, delicious and ridiculously easy to make.

I made this with spelt flour – and I skipped the candied fruit except for the raisins to make for a slightly less sweet version of this bread.

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 5 minutes

Yield: 2 (1 pound) stollen loaves

Stollen is a German sweet bread filled with dried fruit and nuts.

INGREDIENTS:

2 + 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) cold butter
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 cup mixed dried fruit: 1/2 cup golden raisins + 1/2 cup of your favorite dried fruits, chopped to pieces (I used 1/4 cup each cherries and cranberries)
1/3 cup slivered almonds, toasted and cooled
topping:
6 tablespoons butter, melted
3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Preheat your oven to 325°F. Lightly grease a baking sheet or line with parchment.
  2. In a large mixing bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
  3. Cut the cold butter into small chunks, then blend it into the flour with a pastry blender or two knives used scissor fashion to form uneven crumbs.
  4. In a separate bowl, mix together the cheese, egg, vanilla, and zest. Toss the fruit and almonds with the flour mixture until evenly distributed. Combine the wet and dry ingredients, mixing until most of the flour is moistened.
  5. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface, and knead it two or three times until it holds together. Divide in half. Roll each piece of dough into an 8 x 7 oval about 1/2-inch thick.
  6. Fold each piece of dough in half lengthwise, leaving the edge of the top half about 1/2-inch short of the edge of the bottom half.
  7. Use the edge of your hand to press the dough to seal about 1-inch in back of the open edge; this will make the traditional stollen shape.
  8. Place the shaped stollen on the prepared baking sheet and bake until light brown around edges about 40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean from center.
  9. Remove the stollen from the oven, and transfer to a rack. Brush each one with 2 to 3 tablespoons melted butter. Sprinkle heavily with confectioners’ sugar.
  10. Once the stollen are cool, brush with butter again and sprinkle with sugar. Wrap in plastic wrap until ready to serve. Plastic-wrapped stollen will keep well for 2 weeks or so at room temperature.

Thanks to Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice for sharing this fantastic recipe!

 

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Make this Lemon Tart! It’s better than lemon meringue pie. Did I say that? Yes, I did.

Moy+House+Lemon+Tart_hI am not a baker. Really I’m not.  My enthusiastic and entrepreneurial approach to life and by extension to baking makes it a dangerous undertaking. My baking projects are as likely to fail as to succeed. In fact, they mostly fail. My versions are always a bit more aggressive, a bit messier than they should be.

But with basic ingredients like butter, lemon, eggs and cream it’s hard to go wrong. Well actually you can go wrong but it still tastes great! So for all you avid, and even not so avid bakers out there, I would suggest you ditch the time consuming lemon meringue pie and replace it with this super easy but fantastically delicious lemon tort I found in the Globe and Mail. There is nothing wrong with this tort and everything right. Buttery crust, tart lemon with little bits of lemon rind (mine were a bit too large) and cream. Did i mention cream? Yes, cream. As my mom would say, you could make a shit taste good with ingredients like that. Thanks Globe for the fantastic recipe!

So here goes:

Tart shell

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

3 tablespoons granulated sugar

½ teaspoon salt

¾ cup cold unsalted butter, cubed

1 egg yolk

1 tablespoon cold water or lemon juice

Filling

4 eggs

1 cup superfine sugar

1 tablespoon grated lemon zest

½ cup lemon juice

½ cup whipping cream

Garnish

¼ cup icing sugar

Sprigs of fresh mint

Method

Sift flour, sugar and salt together into a bowl. Add butter and rub together with fingertips or cut in with a pastry cutter until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs.

Combine egg yolk with water or lemon juice. Drizzle over flour mixture and blend in with a fork. Gather dough into a ball and wrap with plastic wrap. Refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes.

Grease a 9-inch x 1 ½-inch tart pan. Roll out pastry on a lightly floured surface into a disc large enough to line the interior of the pan, about 12 inches. Lift dough into pan and gently press into edges. Trim off excess. Freeze tart shell for 30 minutes.

Whisk eggs with sugar and zest in a bowl until smooth. Stir in lemon juice and cream. Reserve.

Preheat oven to 425 F.

Place tart pan on a baking sheet. Line the inside of the pan with parchment paper then fill with baking weights. Dried beans are good for this. Bake for 10 minutes.

Remove beans and parchment and prick the bottom of the tart with a fork to make air holes. Reduce oven to 350 F and bake for 10 more minutes or until crust appears dry.

Pour lemon filling into hot crust to ensure the tart is sealed and crust does not leak.

Bake for 40 minutes or until the filling is set. Leave to rest at room temperature for 1 hour.

Sift icing sugar over tart. Alternatively, preheat broiler when ready to serve. Sift icing sugar over tart and place under the broiler, watching carefully not to burn, until sugar is light golden, about 1 to 2 minutes.

Cut into slices and serve with mint.

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The World’s Most Delicious Curry via Curry Head

7007698476_d8c6ea2ec4_o.I got this recipe via my Curry Head brother who has a keen eye for delectable curries.This is so flavourful and fantastic in a way that is very different from other curries I’ve had (and I’ve had a lot). The ingredient list is a bit daunting….don’t be scared! At least that’s what my brother told me. Just put all the spices and everything you need on the counter…chop, prepare, measure and the next thing you know you are in the midst of magical curry alchemy.

Curry Head got the recipe from a site called The Amateur Gourmet… and it turns out the Amateur Gourmet has tons of great recipes including one for deviled eggs which will be part of my 60s appie feature at our Christmas party! Nothing ever happens without a good reason!

The list of spices for this recipe is a bit long and unusual…you’ll need things like star anise, fenugreek seed, kaffir lime leaves, cardamom seeds, pineapple juice, lemon and orange peel…and so on and so on….It is a cornucopia of spices that all comes together in a magical way.

The original recipe calls for lamb…we’re not lamb eaters but I think you can substitute chicken or chickpeas for a veggie version. Once you you have everything, this is easy to make and cook. And what a great addition to your curry portfolio! Thanks Curry Head for the big heads up!

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds, toasted
  • 2 tablespoons cumin seeds, toasted
  • 1 tablespoon fenugreek seeds, toasted (to toast these three, just add them to a dry skillet, turn up the heat and toss around until fragrant)
  • 10 whole cloves
  • 2 whole star anise
  • 3 green cardamom pods
  • 3 fresh kaffir lime leaves
  • 1 tablespoon crumbled dried pequin chilies or red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil (plus more for lamb)
  • 2 cups thinly sliced shallots (or yellow onions, if that’s easier)
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 small cinnamon stick
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh ginger (from a 3-ounce piece)
  • 3 cups drained, trimmed, and chopped canned peeled whole tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons Maldon or another flaky sea salt
  • 8 cilantro roots with 2 inches of stem attached, washed well and finely chopped (I just used the stems; not sure about the roots!) (save the leaves for garnish)
  • A 5-inch strip of orange peel, any white pith cut away
  • A 5-inch strip of lemon peel, any white pith cut away
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 1/2 cups pineapple juice (fresh, bottled, or canned)
  • 4 pounds boneless lamb shoulder, cut into 2-inch pieces (I only bought 2 pounds and that worked fine for two people)

Instructions

  1. Make the curry first by combining the toasted spices, cloves, star anise, cardamom, lime leaves, red pepper flakes, nutmeg, and turmeric in a spice grinder or clean coffee grinder, and grind them until you have a very fine powder.
  2. Heat a large Dutch oven or other heavy ovenproof pot over medium high heat and add the olive oil. When the oil just begins to smoke, add the shallots (or onions) and garlic [note: if I had to do this again, I’d wait to add the garlic so it doesn’t brown before the onions!] and cook, stirring often, until they’re deep brown, about 10 minutes. Add the ground spice mixture, cinnamon stick, and ginger and cook, stirring constantly, for 3 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and salt (I didn’t add all 2 tablespoons at first–it seemed like so much!–so I added 1 tablespoon here and about 1/2 tablespoon later to taste), stirring frequently, until most of the liquid has evaporated and the mixture looks quite dry, about 15 minutes.
  3. Stir in the cilantro, citrus peel and juice, and pineapple juice, then remove from the heat and set aside.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  5. In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over high heat until smoking; meanwhile, season the lamb with lots of salt. In batches, brown the meat (believe me: it’s worth doing this in batches–I crowded the pan and ended up with gray meat) all over, 12 to 15 minutes per batch. As the pieces finish browning, use a slotted spoon to transfer them to the Dutch oven with the curry mixture. Brown the following batches in all the nice fat remaining in the pan, transferring the pieces to the Dutch oven as they are done, and then discard the fat.
  6. NOTE: we used free range chicken…I boiled it and put pieces in when done. Still fantastic. Or you could braise pieces in a pan and then add it to the spice mixture. Or just throw in chickpeas,
  7. Give the lamb pieces a good stir to coat them in the curry mixture, cover the pot, and put it in the oven. Cook the lamb 1 1/2 hours, stirring now and then.
  8. Reduce the heat to 250 F and let it go until the lamb is fork tender but not totally falling apart, another hour or so. Serve over rice and garnish with cilantro leaves, if you like.

Quick notes

You may be freaking out about some of these ingredients–kaffir lime leaves? fenugreek? pequin chilies?–and normally I’d tell you to go ahead and make it without them, but, instead, think of this as an opportunity to do some serious spice shopping, either in real life or online. The exotic spices in this dish are part of what makes it taste so special.

Preparation time: 20 minute(s)

Cooking time: 3 hour(s)

Number of servings (yield): 4

Link to recipe on the awesome Amateur Gourmet site…

 

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