Saturday, 26 December 2015

Shrimp Po’Boy with Crunchy Slaw and Lemon Aioli

This is a great sandwich that I got from Food and Drink Spring 2015.  Using simple fresh ingredients makes this stand apart.  Traditionally cornmeal is used to bread the shrimp but panko give the shrimp a lighter and crunchier texture when fried.

625 g large shrimp, peeled and deveined, thawed if frozen, rinsed and patted very dry
1 lemon
1/4 cup vodka, regular or lemon flavoured
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

2 cups store bought bag coleslaw mix
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp lemon juice
14 tsp each salt and pepper

About 8 cups vegetable or canola oil for frying
1 egg
4 tsp each dried oregano and thyme leaves
1 1/2 tsp each garlic powder and cayenne pepper
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 cup panko bread crumbs
2 garlic cloves, crushed in a press
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1 baguette, about 20 inches long
1 tomato, thinly sliced

  • Place shrimp in a bowl just large enough to hold them.  Finely grate about 1 tbsp lemon peel overtop, then squeeze out 2 tbsp lemon juice.  Stir with shrimp along with vodka and cayenne.  Cover and marinate, stirring occasionally for 2 hours.
  • Meanwhile, place coleslaw in a medium bowl.  Toss with oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper.  Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
  • In a very large deep sided pot, add enough oil to measure about 1 1/2 inches.  Oil should not come higher than a third of the way up the pot (or use a deep fryer and follow directions). Heat oil over medium heat to 350F.
  • Drain shrimp, placing marinade in a medium bowl.  Whisk egg into marinade.  In a small bowl, place flour.  In another medium bowl place panko crumbs.  Stir 1 tbsp spice mixture into flour and remaining into panko crumbs.  Toss shrimp in flour mixture to coat.  Then, working with a few shrimp at a time, dip in egg mixture, shaking off excess.  Then coat in panko crumbs.  Place coated shrimp on a baking sheet.  Repeat with remaining shrimp.
  • Once oil is hot (it will bubble when shrimp are added), add one third to one half of the shrimp to pan (don’t crowd).  Fry, stirring occasionally until cooked through and a very deep golden brown,  about 3 minutes.  Remove with a slotted spoon to a paper towel lined baking sheet.   Repeat with remaining shrimp.
  • Stir garlic and lemon juice into mayonnaise.  Split baguette in half lengthwise, keeping one side still attached.  Spread both sides with aioli.  Top base with tomato slices, followed by shrimp, slaw and then top of baguette.  Serve on a large cutting board for guests to slice themselves, or cut into serving size pieces.  Serve with hot sauce and lots of napkins.
Serves 4 to 6

Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Island Pork Loin and Pineapple Brochettes

I love the flavour of pineapple on the grill.  This is quite hot because of the Scotch Bonnet Peppers.  I only used one instead of the two - three called for and I found it hot but not overpowering.  If you prefer it without the heat skip the peppers.  From Canadian Living - The Barbecue Collection.

2 or 3 Scotch Bonnet Peppers or habanero peppers, halved and seeded
4 cloves garlic, smashed
1/3 cup chopped onion
2 tbsp each lime juice and orange juice
1 tbsp tomato paste
2 tsp chopped fresh ginger
3/4 tsp ground cumin
3/4 tsp dried oregano, crumbled
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp pepper
565 g pork loin or shoulder, cut into 1 inch cubes
3 cups cubed fresh pineapple
1 tbsp vegetable oil
Fresh cilantro sprigs
Lime wedges

  • In blender or food processor, puree together peppers, garlic, onion, lime and orange juices, tomato paste and ginger; transfer to bowl.  Stir in cumin, oregano, 1/2 tsp of the salt, allspice and pepper; toss with pork until coated.  Cover and marinate, refrigerated, for 3 to 8 hours.
  • Toss pineapple with remaining salt.  Reserving any remaining marinade, alternately thread pork and pineapple onto skewers.  Stir oil into marinade; brush over skewers.
  • Grill, covered on greased grill over medium high heat, turning once, until just a hint of pink remains inside for loin or until no longer pink inside for fattier shoulder, 12 to 15 minutes.  Garnish with cilantro; serve with lime wedges.
Makes 4 to 6 main course servings

Thursday, 10 December 2015

Fruit and Nut Brownies

Adapted from a recipe in Food and Drink Spring 2015

1/4 cup dried blueberries
1/4 cup dried apricots, chopped
1/4 cup dried cherries
1 cup warm water
3/4 cup + 1 tbsp all purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
2 tsp Baking powder
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup toasted walnuts, pecans or hazelnuts, chopped
1 tbsp icing sugar

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.  Grease an 8 inch baking pan.  Line with parchment paper, leaving an overhang for handles.
  2. Soak dried fruit in warm water for 5 to 10 minutes or until plump.  Drain and pat dry with paper towel.
  3. Stir flour with cocoa powder, baking powder, sugar and salt in a large bowl.  Whisk oil with eggs and vanilla in a medium bowl.  Stir wet ingredients into dry and mix well.  Stir in fruit and nuts.
  4. Scrape mixture into prepared pan.  Spread into an even layer with the back of a spoon.  Bake for 30 minutes or until the top is no longer glossy and the edges start to come away from the sides of the pan.  Do not over bake.  Remove from oven and cool in pan for 15 minutes.
  5. Lift brownies from pan using parchment handles.  Dust with icing sugar.  Cool fully on a rack.  Slice into 2 inch squares.  Store in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
Makes 16

Monday, 7 December 2015

Warm Arugula, Olive and Tomato Salad

A really nice salad to accompany dinner.  From Food and Drink Spring 2015.

1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 tsp Dijon mustard
2 cups grape tomatoes
1 cup thinly sliced red onion
1/4 cup chopped, pitted dry cured black olives
2 cloves garlic minced
4 cups packed arugula
Salt and freshly ground pepper
6 cups torn romaine lettuce hearts

  • Whisk together 2 tbsp of the oil, the vinegar and mustard in a small bowl; set aside.
  • Heat remaining 2 tbsp oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.  Add tomatoes, onion and olives and sauté for about 3 minutes or until onion is softened.  Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute or until fragrant but not browned.
  • Pour in vinegar mixture, then add arugula.  Stir just until arugula is wilted, for about 1 minute.  Remove from heat and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Divide romaine lettuce equally between individual salad plates, the top with warm tomato mixture.

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Chili Lemon Oil

From Food and Drink Spring 2015.

This oil is simple to make and has many uses.  You can use it in dressings or for sautéing vegetables, chicken or fish.

1 large lemon
1/2 tsp chili flakes
1 cup extra virgin olive oil

  • Using a vegetable peeler, peel zest from entire lemon into long strips, trying to avoid the white pith as much as possible.
  • Place Zest peels, chili flakes and oil in a small saucepan.  Warm oil over the lowest heat (simmer) for 15 minutes.  If zest peels or chili begin to brown, immediately remove saucepan from heat and let cool.
  • Strain oil into small bowl and discard zest peels and chili.
Makes 1 cup