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Osso Bucco

1 carrot: grated

8 veal shanks: 1 thick

1/2 stalk celery: grated

flour: for dredging

1 Ounce dried mushrooms: soaked and

3 Tablespoons butter

drained

6 Tablespoons olive oil

1 Large onion: chopped

4 o canned tomato sauce

1/2 Cup white wine

1 Cup chicken broth

1 Teaspoon garlic: chopped

1 Teaspoon salt

1/2 Teaspoon pepper

Melt butter in olive oil in a large heavy skillet. Dredge each veal shank in the flour on both sides. Place in pan and brown until golden and crispy on both sides. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. When golden, remove from pan and set aside. In the pan, sautee all veggies in the butter and oil mixture until lightly golden. Deglaze the pan with the wine and cook about 3 min. Add the broth and tomato sauce and mix well. Place the veal shanks back into the pan and partially cover. Cook for about 2 1/2 hours turning and scraping the bottom. Taste for salt and pepper. If you need more liquid, add broth only if it`s not too salty, otherwise add water or wine or a combination of both. It should make just enough gravy to keep the meat moist. Serve hot. This is a dish that originated in Milano. It is usually served with Risotto Milanese

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Thai Peanut Chicken

Prep:
25 mins
Cook:
15 mins
Total:
40 mins
Servings:
8

Ingredients

2 cups uncooked white rice
4 cups water
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 tablespoons oil
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves – cut into thin strips, or whatever.
1 tablespoons chopped garlic
½ tablespoons chopped fresh ginger root
1/2 cup chopped green onions
2 ½ cups broccoli florets
⅓ cup  dry-roasted peanuts

 

  • Step 1

    Combine the rice and water in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes, or until rice is tender. In a small bowl, stir together the soy sauce, peanut butter, vinegar, and cayenne pepper. Set aside.

  • Step 2

    Heat oil in a skillet or wok over high heat. Add chicken, garlic and ginger, and cook, stirring constantly, until chicken is golden on the outside, about 5 minutes.

  • Step 3

    Reduce heat to medium, and add green onion, broccoli, peanuts, and the peanut butter mixture. Cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes, or until broccoli is tender, and chicken is cooked through. Serve over rice.

Pizza Dough

A quick and dirty dough that is easy to work.

3/4 cup warm water

1 1/2 – 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour, or 1 cup of whole wheat and make the rest up in AP flour.

1 1/2 tsp quick-acting active dry yeast

2 Tbsp. Oil (olive is best, use what ya got)

1 tsp. sugar

1 tsp. salt

Put your warm water into a large bowl.  Add the sugar and dissolve it.  Add the yeast and let it sit for just a bit to make sure that it is still active.  This is the time to throw in a bit of flavour, like rosemary, thyme, garlic bits, etc. It will foam up a bit.  If it does, carry on. If not, wait.  Any signs after a few more minutes?  No?  Go get some yeast.  Yes? This will take longer but it will do!

Add the oil and salt, mix it all about.  Incorporate the flour bit by bit as you mix.  The dough should form a ball that whips around the bowl as you mix.  At that point, pour it out onto a really well-floured working surface.  Knead the dough for about 6 minutes at a good pace.  Add flour a Tbsp. at a time if the ball sticks. It is done when the dough is smooth and soft and kind of pushes back when you press a finger into it a bit.

Hide the ball under some wrap, or under a container for 10 minutes or so.  Get your oven up to 500°F

Flour your working surface again.  Get that ball out of hiding and spread it out with your fingers, working from the center, out to the edges in a circle (ish).  Use your palms to flatten things out.  If you are inept like me, feel free to roll it out with a rolling pin until it is about 18″ in diameter. Get it on a 16″ pizza stone and fold the overlap in a pipe like fashion to build the rim of the crust.  You could stuff that fold with cheese. Just sayin’!

Stick that thing in the oven for 10-12 minutes.  Take it out, release any steam pockets with a long-bladed knife so that you don’t scald yourself….then dress that sucker!  Depending on the goop on top…it should be another 12-15 minutes to finish it off.

Speaking of goop….a really good pizza sauce shortcut is a can of Campbell’s Tomato 🍅 Soup with 1 Tbsp. or so of Oregano well mixed in. That’s it.  Really. Trust.

This is a derivative of many “peasant” bread recipes.

Ingredients

3 cups of general purpose white flour, or bread flour, or 2 cups of whole wheat and 1 cup of white.

1/4 tsp of quick acting dry yeast

Salt to taste, about 1tsp

1 cup of room temperature water.

What to do

Combine it all in a large bowl. Mix until it is a stretchy ball of goo.

Cover with plastic wrap or an air tight lid.

Let it sit at room temperature for between 8 and 18 hours. At 8 it will have a mellow flavour, at 18 it will almost taste like a light sourdough. The dough should be spongy and filled with active holes.

Take a Dutch oven, or other heavy heat keeping vessel with a lid and set it in an oven set to 450°F heat it all for about an hour to get the temp consistent.

While your oven is coming to temperature, flour your working surface. Scrape the dough out of the bowl and fold it into a ball shape in the flour. Kind of folding it into itself 4 times should get you there. Grab a sheet of parchment paper about double the width of the bowl. Set it on top of the bowl and plop the ball of floured dough in the middle of it. Now cover it with a towel for between 30 45 minutes. By then your oven should be at temperature.

Take the extremely hot Dutch oven out and grab the parchment paper and cradle the dough over to the Dutch oven. Gently lower your bread bomb into the Dutch oven. Close the lid. Back into the oven for 40 minutes. Once 40 minutes have passed, look at your crust. If it is light, keep it in the oven, cover off, for about 10 more minutes. This is a personal preference /experience thing.

Take it out. Rack it. Let it cool for at least 15 minutes. Now do what you want with it.

Ratatouille

A recipe as I go along.

saute until the onion is translucent. Cube up zuccini and eggplant and saute those too.
Next comes some squash. Cube and saute. Each time, dump the stuff into a big pot.


Oops you should have had red yellow and green peppers each sauteed as well I dos not. Sue me!
Ok you might decide that the makeshift lentil ghoulash would make a good sauce. And that crepes are a good way to deliver ratatouille. I think you would be right. Add vodka to the goulash. For sure!
Add some thyme rosemary salt and pepper to taste for the rat. Simmer for as long as you can stand it. Or things are getting soggy.

Smoked Salmon Pizza

Carmalized onion cheese from the Cheeseman. Alfredo white sauce. (butter, Parmesan, white flour)Zuccini, red peppers, carmalized onions. Maple smoked salmon fingers, flaked. Basil infused crust.

This has got to be my all time favourite quick, I gotta have something spicy and Cajun-ish NOW meals.

What you need: (for 2-3 hungry people, or 4 non-barbarians)

  • 1 10Oz can of Red Kidney beans, or soaked dry beans.
  • 1 medium sized onion
  • 1 Red Pepper, diced.
  • 3 Sausage links (Andouille is best, if you can find it, or make it. Substitute with Hot Italian and Liquid Hickory Smoke)
  • 2 oz chicken bouillon
  • 1 cup of water
  • Cajun spice (s) (Cayenne, Paprika, Black Pepper, Basil, Oregano, Thyme, Cumin)
  • enough rice to make a bed for each plate. (1 uncooked cup should suffice, especially of you are going to have bread. You will want bread to mop the sauce.)

Grab a large deep skillet. Add a splash of cooking oil and heat to medium heat. Brown the sausages. If using hot Italian, add a splash of liquid smoke 1/2 way through the process. Once the sausages have partially cooked through and firmed up in the middle, dice them into sections. Dice the onion and toss it onto the skillet. Before the onion is caramelized, add the diced onion and saute together until the sausage is cooked through. Add spices ABOUT 1/4 tsp of each except for the cumin…about 1/8th of that.  Truth be told, I do not measure. I add each and taste as I go along. I balance the flavours against the taste of the sausage.

Add the chicken stock, and the cup of water, scraping any bits off of the bottom of the skillet. Add the red pepper and beans (rinsed, if from the can) Bring that mess to a boil. Turn down the heat and let simmer….longer is better, but at least 20 minutes….an hour at low simmer is ideal…add water if necessary. After 15 minutes, mash 1/3 of the red beans and stir the paste around…you should now have a fairly thick sauce. Adjust liquid ratio before serving.

Serve over the bed of rice with a cold beer, or a very robust red wine. I forget what I last had that complemented the meal perfectly, but will dig it up and edit.

I miss NOLA…

(post) Hummus

Someone was looking for this recipe here, but it wasn’t here. Now it is.

1 540mL can of Chick Peas, drained, strained, barely contained.

1/2 cup of virgin olive oil, or good quality vegetable oil Add the oil reserving the last third until the very end, in case you have small chick peas…

1/8 cup of sesame oil, or 1/4 cup of toasted sesame seeds, ground.

1 or 2 cloves of garlic, finely diced and slightly warmed in oil

1 tsp of fresh lemon juice

1/4 tsp salt

(roast a red pepper, or throw in some spices here, go wild, or not.)

Toss all of this into a food processor and go at it until it is a smooth paste. Add a bit more oil if its too dry.

The crust not yet perfected, here is my first from scratch quiche. You can use pre-made pie crust, I won’t tell.

IMG_6389

THE CRUST: You need to make a  dough called "pâte brisée" It is the base for all quiche and pie recipes. If you take the time to make your own crust, your quiche will taste a million times better (at least!) than if you buy it ready-to-use.

The ingredients below are enough to make 2 thin crusts. Use one half of the dough right away and freeze the other half for your next recipe!

  • 250 grams of flour (1 and 3/4 cups or a little over 1/2 pound, unbleached, all-purpose)
  • 125 grams of unsalted butter (1 stick)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tea spoon of crème fraîche (or sour cream if you can’t find it)
  • 1/2 tea spoon of salt.

The base ingredients are the flour, salt and butter. The egg and crème fraîche are here to help them stick together (plus the egg will give the crust a nice golden color). I got the tip from a marvelous little book called Quiches, cakes & compagnie. You can replace them by water.

  1. First sift the flour over a large bowl and add the salt.
  2. Cut the butter in tiny cubes. Incorporate the butter to the flour with your finger tips (you can’t really use a spoon here… You could use a pastry blender but you’d loose all the fun of making your own "pâte brisée"). The dough will feel like coarse sand grains between your fingers.
  3. Push the flour and butter mix on the sides of the bowl, digging a hole in the center.
  4. Break the egg and pour it in the hole in middle of the bowl. Beat it a little with a fork then use a wooden spoon to incorporate the flour little by little. Add the crème fraîche or sour cream and mix again until the dough is homogeneous. (Alternatively, or if the dough is still dry, pour a few drops of water and knead.) Use your hands to knead the dough and form two balls of the same weight.
  5. Place the balls of dough in plastic wraps and let them rest in the fridge for at least 1 hour before using or freezing.
  6. Let the dough warm up a little before rolling it out.
  7. Form the crust into the pie pan, then prick the bottom and sides with a fork to allow the air to escape. Bake at 375 for about 20 minutes. You may want to experiment with how to keep your pie crust bottom from rising up and breaking apart. I am still playing with a simple way to do that. Stay tuned, or look it up yourself.

THE QUICHE:

One 9 inch pie plate worth of Quiche, which uses 1/2 of the above crust requires the following:

4 eggs, beaten

A splash of milk, less than 1/4 cup. more than a few teaspoons full.

1/2 cup of Mozzarella cheese

1/2 of an onion,diced,  or chopped green onion , sautéed until caramel colour

4 large white mushrooms, sliced thinly and sautéed in butter, oil and Montreal steak spice.

Let the onions and shrooms cool for a bit. Combine eggs, milk and cheese. Wisk until slightly frothy. Toss in the cooled down onions and shrooms, and mix it around, while pouring it into the crust.

Bake at 375 for about 30-40 minutes. Let it cool for 10 minutes to set, and serve!

Spiced carrot & lentil soup

By popular request, here it is. Add tofu, or peanut butter, or coconut milk as desired.

 

Image

A delicious, spicy soup, packed full of iron and low fat to boot. It’s ready in under half an hour

Difficulty and servings

Image

Serves 4

Preparation and cooking times

Image(1)

Prep 10 mins

Image(2)

Cook 15 mins

Image(3) Image(4)

Vegetarian, Dairy-free

To make dairy-free, see ‘Try’ below

Image(5)
  1. Heat a large saucepan and dry-fry the cumin seeds and chilli flakes for 1 min, or until they start to jump around the pan and release their aromas. Scoop out about half of the seeds with a spoon and set aside. Add the oil, carrot, sugar, lentils, stock and milk to the pan and bring to the boil. Simmer for 15 mins until the lentils have swollen and softened.
  2. Whizz the soup with a stick blender or in a food processor until smooth (or leave it chunky if you prefer). Season to taste and finish with a dollop of yogurt and a sprinkling of the reserved toasted spices. Serve with warmed naan breads.

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Make it Moroccan

Substitute the chilli flakes and cumin seeds for a few teaspoons of harissa paste. You could add cooked shredded chicken at the end of cooking, too.

Make it dairy-free

For a richer but dairy-free alternative, use a can of reduced-fat coconut milk instead of the milk.

238 kcalories, protein 11g, carbohydrate 34g, fat 7 g, saturated fat 1g, fibre 5g, salt 0.25 g

Ingredients

  • 2 tsp cumin seeds (OR ground cumin)
  • pinch chilli flakes
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar (to taste)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 600g carrots , washed and coarsely grated (no need to peel)
  • 140g split red lentils
  • 1l hot vegetable stock (from a cube is fine)
  • 125ml milk
  • plain yogurt and naan bread, to serve