Saturday, 14 October 2017

Salmon Kabobs with Baby Bok Choy

A wonderful way to enjoy salmon!  The sauce is sweet and the bok choy flavourful.  I really enjoy cooking with sesame oil as it has a very distinctive flavour.  Serve with a side of rice or Quinoa.  From Canadian Living/The Barbecue Collection

4 tsp soy sauce
1 tbsp oyster sauce
2 tsp each lemon juice and sesame oil
1 top liquid honey
1/4 tsp hot pepper flakes
4 skinless salmon fillets, each about 170 g, quartered crosswise

BABY BOK CHOY
1 tbsp butter
1 shallot minced
2 tsp minced fresh ginger
1 clove garlic, minced
4 baby bok choy, halved lengthwise
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp sesame oil


  • In a shallow dish, mix together soy sauce, oyster sauce, lemon juice, sesame oil, honey and hot pepper flakes.  Add salmon, turning to coat; marinate for 10 minutes.
  • Thread salmon onto skewers.  Grill, covered on greased grill over medium high heat, turning once, until grill marked and fish flakes easily when tested, 8 to 10 minutes.
BABY BOK CHOY
  • Meanwhile in skillet (I use a cast iron), melt butter over medium high heat; sauté shallot, ginger and garlic for 1 minute.  Add bok choy, 1/4 cup water and salt; cover and steam for 2 minutes.  Uncover and cook until tender crisp, 2 to 3 minutes.  Drizzle with sesame oil.  SErve with salmon.

Monday, 9 October 2017

Ancho Turkey Waves

A different way to have turkey!  This is a nice blend of sweet and spicy.  From Canadian Living The BBQ Collection.

450 g Boneless Skinless Turkey Breast
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp ancho chili powder
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp salt
Pinch granulated sugar


  • Slice turkey crosswise into 1/4 inch thick strips.  Mix together oil, vinegar, garlic, ancho chili powder, oregano, salt and sugar, toss with turkey until coated.  Cover and marinate, refrigerated for 2 to 6 hours.
  • Thread into wave shoes on skewers.  Grill covered on greased grill over medium high heat turning once until no longer pink inside, about 6 minutes. 
Makes 4 main course servings.


Saturday, 30 September 2017

Banana Cream Cake

Another fabulous dessert from Food and Drink Winter 2017.  I love the Banana filling and the rich flavour of the cake.  This is one of the best Banana Cake recipes I have tried.

BANANA CAKE
¼ cup (60 mL) unsalted butter
1 cup (250 mL) sifted cake flour
¾ tsp (4 mL) baking powder
¼ tsp (1 mL) baking soda
⅛ tsp (0.5 mL) salt
1 overripe banana
¼ cup (60 mL) buttermilk, at room temperature
¼ tsp (1 mL) vanilla
6 tbsp (90 mL) packed light brown sugar
1 egg, at room temperature

BANANA CREAM
1 cup (250 mL) whole milk
1 overripe banana
¼ cup (60 mL) sugar
2 tbsp (30 mL) cornstarch
1 egg
1 yolk
1 tsp (5 mL) butter

1 ripe banana for assembly

WHIPPED CREAM TOPPING
1 cup (250 mL) whipping cream
2 tbsp (30 mL) icing sugar
¼ tsp (1 mL) vanilla

GARNISH
Bittersweet chocolate and dried banana chips
1. For the banana cake, melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat and continue cooking until the butter foams, turns golden brown and has a nut-like fragrance. Transfer the butter to a small bowl and chill until solid, about 1 hour.

2. Set the oven rack in the middle position and preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Line the bottom of an 8-inch (20-cm) square baking pan with parchment paper and set aside.

3. Sift together the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; set aside. In a small bowl, combine the banana, buttermilk and vanilla; purée using an immersion blender. (Or mash the banana well and combine with the buttermilk and vanilla.)

4. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the chilled brown butter with the brown sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, scraping down the sides of the bowl once or twice.

5. Lightly whisk the egg then add it gradually to the butter mixture and beat to combine.

6. On low speed, add the dry ingredients alternately with the banana-and-buttermilk mixture, beginning and ending with the dry. Stop the mixer before the last addition of flour is fully incorporated. Remove the bowl from the mixer and finish mixing with a rubber spatula. Turn the batter into the cake pan and spread evenly. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown and just beginning to pull away from the sides of the pan. Cool on a wire rack.

7. Turn the cake out of the pan, wrap with plastic wrap and freeze until firm.

8. For the banana cream, pour the milk into a small saucepan. Dice overripe the banana and add to the milk. Place over medium heat and bring the milk just to the boil. Remove from heat, cover and steep for 30 minutes.

9. In a medium bowl, whisk together the sugar and cornstarch. Add the egg and yolk and whisk until smooth. Strain the milk, return ¾ cup (175 mL) back to the saucepan and bring just to the simmer. Discard remaining milk. Gradually whisk into the egg mixture then pour it all back into the pot. Place over medium heat and, whisking constantly, cook the mixture until it begins to boil and thicken. Continue whisking for about 30 seconds more, then remove from heat and whisk in the butter. Transfer the banana cream to a bowl, cover the surface directly with plastic wrap and refrigerate until completely cool. (The banana cream can be refrigerated for 2 days.)

10. Just before assembling the cakes, dice the ripe banana and fold it into the chilled banana cream; set aside. Remove the banana cake from the freezer and, using a 2½-inch (6‑cm) round cutter, cut 9 individual cakes. Place the cutter back over 1 of the rounds and top with the banana cream, creating a layer about ¼ inch (5 mm) thick. (The cutter will hold the banana cream in place). Using a small offset spatula or small knife, smooth the top of the cream so it is flat and level with the top of the cutter. To remove the cake from the cutter, gently push it up from the bottom. Repeat with remaining cakes and banana cream.

11. In the chilled bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat together the cream, icing sugar and vanilla. Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a star tip and pipe the cream over the banana layers. Grate bittersweet chocolate over each cake, then top with a banana chip or two. Serve immediately or refrigerate. Allow chilled cakes to sit at room temperature for about 1 hour before serving.
Serves 9

Thursday, 28 September 2017

Spanish Inspired Breakfast Sandwich

I actually made this as a breakfast for dinner as mornings tend to be pretty crazy in my household.  The recipe comes originally from Food and Drink Holiday 2016 but I have made a couple of changes as I was not able to find all of the ingredients in my small town.  This is hearty and I love the pairing of the tomatoes and sausage.  I used flat bread but you could switch it up for a baguette or a thickly sliced home made loaf.

Pan Con Tomate
6 flat breads like pita or naan
3 vine ripened tomatoes
Generous pinches of sea salt
1 garlic clove

Sandwiches
6 fresh chorizo sausages
1 to 2 tsp olive oil
6 eggs
1 tbsp water
Pinch salt
1 tsp butter
2 tsp olive oil for drizzling
6 slices Havarti Cheese
2 tbsp toasted sliced almonds
Fresh thyme or oregano leaves, for garnish


  1. Preheat oven to 425F.
  2. Prepare pan con tomate by toasting flat bread until lightly golden in oven.  Meanwhile, coarsely grate tomatoes into a medium bowl.  Season with salt.  Slice garlic clove in half.  When toast is cool enough to handle but still warm, rub cut sides of garlic clove over surface of toasted bread.  SEt aside until ready to use.
  3. Squeeze meat from a sausage casing and form into a patty.  Repeat with remaining sausages so you have 6 patties in total.  Lightly oil a frying pan.  Add patties and set over medium heat.  Cook until golden and cooked through, about 5 minutes per side.  You may need to cook in batches.  Keep warm, loosely covering with coil on a baking sheet in oven (off but still warm) while you prepare eggs.
  4. Meanwhile whisk eggs with water and salt in a medium bowl.  Melt butter in a frying pan, preferably nonstick set over medium low heat.  Add eggs.  Cook, stirring and folding gently until softly scrambled 4 to 7 minutes.  Slow stirring towards the end allows scrambled eggs to hold together and be a bit omelette like so they are easy to serve.
  5. Divide toasted bread between plates.  Moisten each toasted bread piece with at least 1 heaping tbsp grated tomato mixture.  Drizzle with oil.  Layer each with a sausage patty, eggs and cheese. Sprinkle with almonds.  Garnish with fresh thyme or oregano leaves, if you like.  Serve immediately.
Serves 6

Saturday, 23 September 2017

Moroccan Chicken, Lentil and Barley Soup

The flavours in this soup are exotic and warm.  A simple recipe that you can adjust to your taste (as most soups are).  This is from Food and Drink Winter 2017.

Ingredients

2 tbsps olive oil
4 skinless, boneless chicken thighs , about 1 lb in total
salt and pepper ot taste
2 carrots, finely chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
3 tbsps, diced garlic in oil
1 tbsps finely grated ginger
1 tbsp cumin seed
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 cups dried red lentils, rinsed and picked over
1 can diced tomatoes
8 cups chicken stock
1/4 cup pearl barley
2 tbsp lemon juice

Directions

Grab a large pot, add oil and heat over medium  heat.  Season the chicken with salt and pepper and add to pot.  Cook chicken until golden, turning occasionally, for about 8 minutes. Set aside on a plate.

Add remaining oil. Add carrots, onion, parsley, coriander and salt. Cook over medium heat until veggies are tender (about 5 minutes.)  Add garlic, ginger, cumin, turmeric, paprika and cinnamon.  Return chicken  and any juices to pot. Stir.  Add in the lentils, tomatoes, stock and barley. Bring to  boil, then cover and gently simmer until lentils and barley are tender, about 40 minutes. Remove chicken.  Shred the chicken and return to the pot.  Add lemon juice, season with salt and pepper to taste.

Ladle into bowls and top with a dollop of yogourt and chopped fresh cilantro. Savour the flavours and Enjoy!

Thursday, 21 September 2017

Spicy Sausage, Bulgar and Kale Soup

This is a hearty and spicy soup I adapted from a recipe in Food and Drink Winter 2017.  You can lessen the heat with a mild sausage or pump it up by adding a little hot pepper - your choice.

1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 carrot finely chopped
1 celery stalk, including leaves, finely chopped
2 Italian sausages, spicy
3 cloves garlic, minced
8 large fresh sage leaves, finely chopped
8 cups chicken stock
3/4 cup bulgar
1 parmesan rind
1 small bunch kale
1 1/2 cups 1/2 inch diced butternut squash (acorn squash also works well)
Salt and black pepper to taste

GARNISH
Toasted Italian bread slice and or Parmesan curls


  • In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat.  Add onion, carrot and celery.  Remove sausages from casings and stir with vegetables in pot.  Stir frequently to break up and cook sausage, about 5 minutes.  Add garlic and sage, then stir.
  • Add stock to pot.  Rinse bulgar then add to stock along with Parmesan rind.  Bring to a boil then cover and simmer gently, stirring once or twice for 30 minutes.  Meanwhile, remove and discard ribs and stems from kale.  Stack leaves and cut crosswise into 3 inch pieces.  You should have about 7 cups lightly packed.
  • After 30 minutes, add kale and squash to pot.  Continue to cook covered for 10 more minutes.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Ladle soup into bowls.  Top with toasted bread slice, if desired, or use only Parmesan.
Makes 10 cups.

Friday, 15 September 2017

French Mint Cake

A light dessert that goes perfectly with in season fresh fruit.

4 egg whites
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
dash of salt
1 cup sugar
2 Mint Chocolate Bars
1 tbsp cocoa
1 cup whipping cream

Beat egg whites to soft peaks.  Add salt, vanilla and tartar.  Gradually add sugar to stiff peaks.  Cover 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.  Draw a 6 inch circle on each.  Bake at 275F for 1 hour on second to bottom rack.  Turn off heat; dry for 2 hours.

Grate chocolate bars and reserve a little for the top of the cake.  Whip cream.  Add cocoa and grated chocolate.  Spread as icing cake.  Sprinkle rest of chocolate on top.  Refrigerate 6 hours or more; serve. Serves 8.