My friend Barb made an incredible feast for Chinese New Year, she had so many delicious things it was really difficult to choose just one. But when I saw the Lemon Chicken plated out, I knew I had to try it because, believe it or not, I happen to adore the not so good for you version at Chinese fast food stalls! It turns out that lemon in savoury dishes is not one of JT’s favourite things, although he did say he didn’t hate it. Well, what he actually said was he prefers the taste of lemons in desserts! Go figure. I really enjoyed this recipe because I adore sour and sweet combos. And I have to admit, I reduced the sugar for our dinner and if I were to make it again, I would reduce it even more as I found it a little too sweet for my taste (I have adjusted the recipe below to reduce the sugar). I also baked the skinless, boneless Chicken breasts instead of pan frying to be a little healthier.
Original Recipe from House and Home
Serves 2, 100 g portions
Cutting the chicken into strips allows them to cook faster so that the crumbs become crispy but don’t burn.
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 tbsp sugar (I have reduced this from my pictured recipe already)
- 1 heaping tbsp grated ginger root
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 1/2 tbsp cornstarch
- 200 g boneless, skinless chicken breast
- 3 tbsp flour
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 egg whites
- 1/2 tbsp cold water
- 1/2 tsp soy sauce
- 1 clove garlic, finely minced
- 1 cup panko-style bread crumbs
- 1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
- Mix of greens such as shredded romaine lettuce.
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Combine water, sugar and ginger in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for a few minutes to infuse the water with the ginger.
- Stir in the freshly squeezed lemon juice and zest and quickly return to a boil.
- Dissolve the cornstarch in about 1 tbsp cold water and stir well into the lemon mixture. Cook on medium neat until thickened, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Remove all residual fat from the chicken. Place in a zip lock bag and pound so that the breasts are even thickness. Cut each breast into similar thickness stips.
- Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl, stir well. Set aside.
- Whisk egg white, water, soy sauce and garlic in another bowl, set aside.
- Pour Panko into a third bowl and mix in the sesame seeds.
- Set up your breading stations so that the flour mixture is first, the egg whites second and the panko last.
- Dredge the chicken strips in the flour mixture and shake off excess, then dip into the egg whites and lastly coat with panko/sesame mix. Repeat with all the chicken strips until all have been breaded.
- Bake on a parchment lined baking sheet for about 12-15 minutes (turning about mid way) or until chicken has an internal temperature of 165°F or 74° C.
- Reheat the sauce. Fill a bowl with mixed greens, place chicken strips over the greens and dress with the hot lemony sauce.
Read Full Post »
Posted in Bread, Indian, Main Courses, Meat, Recipes, tagged goats cheese, naan, parmesan, prosciutto, spinace, sun-dried tomatoes on January 11, 2013 |
50 Comments »
I have a confession to make: I’m in love and it’s not JT. It’s really not as bad as it sounds, my love affair is with a certain Indian. OK. I’ll ‘fess up, it’s Naan. There. I’m in love with Naan. The bread, silly! I’m embarrassed to admit how many times I’ve made this recipe but suffice it to say it’s double digits! About the same time that Maria over at a-boleyn live journal made our delicious naan recipe into a gorgeous pizza, I had the same idea (yes, I blog well in advance!). So on the day the world should have ended (again) I made a naan pizza for dinner. What a way to go!
It’s basically whatever you have in the fridge, our ingredients were goats cheese infused with garlic and EVOO, torn prosciutto, sun-dried tomatoes in EVOO and chopped spinach topped with shaved parmesan cheese. What more can you want?
Why Naan? I usually like my pizza crust super thin and crispy, what the naan brought to the table (pardon the pun) is a bit more bite and a lot of chewiness. Delicious chewy goodness. Need. I. Say. More. ?.
A slightly chewy crust made delicious by garlic infused goats cheese
Read Full Post »
Posted in Beef, Indian, Main Courses, Meat, Recipes, tagged Beef, delicous, gravy, green peppers, succulant on December 9, 2012 |
33 Comments »
We have an Indian restaurant just north of where we live in BWV called North of Bombay. It’s a lovely place, nicely decorated in a contemporary style, close enough to walk (about 20 minutes) and the food is very good and it’s never crowded and the service has been very good. But for some reason, we ALWAYS order takeout or delivery. Indian is like that for us. And they have a crappy wine list. But they have the most delicious Beef Bhuna that we’ve ever had so that is the recipe I was trying to replicate for our Indian themed dinner party. Their menu describes it as Eye of round cubes cooked with fresh onions,green pepper, ginger, coriander, tomatoes, herbs & spices. So when I was searching the net, those were the key ingredients I was looking for. The recipe below is loosely based on this recipe but I changed it to replicate the flavours of North of Bombay’s Beef Bhuna. I also changed up the technique because I wanted to cook it slow and low as per Bœuff Bourguignon.
Tender beef cubes drenched in a mildly spicy, fragrant, flavourful gravy
Serves 4-6 as part of a bigger menu
- 400 g eye of round beef, cut into 2.5 cm or 1 inch cubes
- 1 Green Pepper, cut into similar size squares as the beef
- 1 red onion, finely chopped
- 2 tsp of mild curry powder
- 1 tsp of Chilli Powder
- 1 tsp Garam Massala
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper (omit if you find this too hot)
- a pinch of ground cardamon
- 1/2 tsp coriander
- 4 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 2 tbsp fresh ginger, finely minced
- 1+ cup water
- 1/2 cup beef stock
- 1/4 cup cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup chopped green onions
- Pre-heat oven to 300° F.
- In an oven-proof pan (like Le Creuset’s dutch oven) sear the beef in about 1-2 tbsp high flash point oil (like peanut or canola). Remove from pan. De-glaze with a 1/2 cup of beef stock, pour over the meat.
- Add finely chopped onions and cook well (I saw Madhur Jaffrey on Martha Stewart once and she said that Indian cooking doesn’t sweat the onions, but they cook the onions dark, but not burned).
- Add the curry, chilli, cayenne, cardamon and coriander and cook JUST until you can smell it. Add the garlic, fresh ginger and garam masala give a quick stir. Now add the water and combine well. Return the beef to the pan and give it a good stir. Cover and bake in the 300° F oven for 2-3 hours or until beef is fork tender. Check frequently and add water as required; you don’t want it soupy, just a nice light gravy. About 30 minutes to serving, add the green pepper — you don’t want the green pepper soft and mushy.
- Serve hot garnished with cilantro leaves and green onions with Basmati rice and Naan.
Read Full Post »
This here post is the reason I love blogging and I’m sure most of you will agree. Blogging provides friendship and advice, cooking and sometimes otherwise. Blogging provides support; I haven’t come across a nasty person yet (well, I would delete them anyway ). And last but not least, blogging provides inspiration particularly when you are deathly sick of every recipe you’ve past blogged about and can’t for the life of you come up with an idea for tonight’s dinner.
I have my friend John, From the Bartolini Kitchens to thank for tonight’s dinner: Roasted Loin of Pork stuffed with Fig Preserves and Goats Cheese. Of course, John made his own fig preserves (which I will do next year) but I had to use a store bought version. I find these store bought preserves rather sweet and I certainly didn’t want dessert for dinner so I decided to add some goats cheese to my stuffing to help temper the sweetness. It worked. PLUS it made an incredible jus for the Celeriac Potato Mash I made with it. I only made a few minor changes to John’s incredible recipe. This was definitely a dinner for the recipe books. Thanks John, again, I might add.
Come on pork, it’s your turn to shine. Work it, work it.
(It’s that time of year when the light SUCKS big time. Sigh.)
Pork Loin Stuffed with Fig Preserves and Goats Cheese
- 400 g Pork Tenderloin, butterflied
- 100 g goats cheese
- Fig preserves (home made or store bought)
- 4-6 slices prosciutto
- butcher’s twine
- 2 tbsp high flash point oil, such as canola
- Sherry for deglazing (I used cooking Sherry, but feel free to use the real thing)
- Pre heat oven to 350° F.
- Spread a thin layer throughout the butterflied pork tenderloin. Crumble the goats cheese evenly throughout.
- Roll up the pork and wrap tightly with the prosciutto, wrap tightly with the butcher’s twine.
- In an oven proof roasting pan, heat the canola oil until almost smoking. Add the pork and cook the prosciutto until crispy on all sides. Remove pork for a minute and deglaze pan with the Sherry. Return pork and bake in a hot oven for 15-20 minutes or until pork has reached a minimum of 145° F. Allow to rest before cutting into slices.
- If the pan has juices from the fig preserves and bits of goats cheese you will want to heat on the stove and press through a fine sieve for serving. Serve with Celeriac Potato Mash.
Read Full Post »
Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad
(today would have been their 52nd anniversary)
We don’t often buy potatoes; it’s not because I don’t like them, I do, but they are carbs and I would prefer to eat other vegetables with less carbs and a lower glycemic index. But I bought two medium sized potatoes two weeks ago and only used one for a recipe. I had that potato sitting on my counter for another week before I figured out what to do with it.
I also had a 1/2 celeriac (celery root) in the vegetable crisper just waiting to get brown and tossed so I decided to take my celeriac cauliflower “mash” and change it up a bit with the potato. Since I didn’t have a head of cauliflower either I just made Celeriac Potato Mash. Now I love roasting vegetables because it really brings out the sweetness, so I simply roasted the celeriac (and a few cloves of garlic), boiled the potatoes and presto; what a “mash” this turned out to be! LOVE it!
Celeriac has fewer calories and carbohydrates than a potato as well, it is lower on the glycemic index than a potato so keeping the celeriac ratio higher than the potato was the right decision for me. The potato adds creaminess that you expect from mashed potatoes. This is a bit more labourious than normal mashed potatoes, but I promise you it is worth it. I hope you enjoy it. To see a whole mess of mashed potatoes head on over to Greg’s blog, he has gone all out with this savoury dish.
The star of this photo is the mash, not the pork. The pork is a Primadonna!
Celeriac and Potato “Mash”
- 1 medium yukon gold potato, peeled and diced
- 1 medium celeriac, peeled and diced
- 4 medium cloves of garlic, peeled to the outer skin
- 2-4 tbsp EVOO
- salt to taste
- chicken stock or milk or cream, depending on how healthy you wish to make it.
- Pre heat oven to 400° F. Spread the celeriac evenly on the pan and very lightly coat with olive oil and salt.
- Put garlic cloves into a small ramekin and add about a finger’s depth of EVOO and salt.
- Bake the celeriac and garlic until both are fork tender. About 30-40 minutes into the roasting, add about 1/2 cup of water to the celeriac roasting pan and give the celeriac a good stir. When the water evaporates, they should be fork tender (if not, then add another 1/2 cup of water and repeat until fork tender)
- While the celeriac is baking, in a large stock pot add enough water to cover the potatoes entirely, salt generously. Cook until they are fork tender.
- Drain potatoes and allow to sit for a minute so that all of the water evaporates. Either rice with a potato ricer or mash gently with a fork (you don’t want to develop the starches so for heavens sake, don’t blend this with an immersion blender). Don’t add any liquid as the celeriac mash will be a touch wetter than necessary and we’ll need the potato on the dryer side. Set aside
- When the celeriac is fork tender, remove from the pan into the immersion blender container, squeeze out the roasted garlic, pour in the oil from roasting the garlic and blend. Blend until it is smooth, smooth, smooth, adding chicken stock, milk or cream to achieve a mashed potato consistency. Celeriac doesn’t have the same level of starch as the potato so this is the only way you will get it smooth. Push through a fine sieve and fold the mashed potatoes into the mix. Keep warm over a bain marie. Serve with the most amazing Fig Stuffed Pork Tenderloin ever (link won’t be active until Nov 21).
Read Full Post »
Posted in Chicken, Main Courses, Meat, Recipes, Theme Parties, tagged basil, chicken, comfort, delicious, paprika, warming on November 13, 2012 |
52 Comments »
In October we were invited to another theme dinner party: Truman Capote’s Black and White Masquerade Ball, the party of the century! We were asked to dress in black and white and wear with a mask, which worked out perfectly since Halloween was just around the corner!
Our lovely hostess made this beautiful little booklet for the evening. The menu was pulled from Capote’s favourites, Basil Chicken Hash and served similar to the style of the time. We all had a blast! Mind you, I think we lasted about 10 minutes wearing the masks! Sadly, I didn’t get any pics of JT and I. Nor did I shoot the hash…but rest assured, it was AMAZING. The basil infused the chicken and although there is nothing Thai about it, it had a slight Thai flavouring to me. This will definitely go into our steady repertoire, such a flavourful and easy dish.
My friend chose Ina Garten’s recipe which turns out to be healthier than the real deal, believe it or not; Ina uses an extra pot to sauté the peppers, but I wanted to make it much simpler and modified the recipe accordingly.
Our lovely hosts also gave us a bit of a teaser for the next themed dinner party in the Springtime…it will be Bond 007! What fun! Now, tell me which Bond girl should I be?
Basil Chicken Hash
Adapted from the Barefoot Contessa on Food Network
Serves 4, 100 g chicken per serving
- 1 or 2 chicken breasts, bone-in, skin removed (400 g)
- 5 stalks of fresh basil leaves
- dash of EVOO
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 small boiling potato, peeled and large diced
- 1 red onion, chopped in large quarters
- 1 red bell pepper, large diced
- 1 yellow bell pepper, large diced
- 3 garlic cloves, finely minced
- 1 teaspoons dried thyme leaves
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 4 minced scallions, white and green parts
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh leaf parsley
- dash of vegetable or chicken stock
- Sea salt to taste
- Preheat the oven to 350° F.
- Spray the baking sheet with non-stick spray and lay two stalks of the basil leaves down (I was lucky, I used what was left from the garden).
- Place the chicken breasts on top of the basil, bone side down. Lightly rub each chicken piece with EVOO and sprinkle with salt. Put two more basil stalks on top of the chicken and bake for 35 to 40 minutes until cooked through. Set aside until cool enough to handle, then remove the meat from the bones and cut the chicken in large dice pieces and set aside.
- Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a large sauté pan and add the potatoes and onions, salt and saute over medium heat for about 10 minutes, until evenly browned and cooked through. I added a dash of stock at this point. Add the peppers, garlic, thyme, paprika and tomato paste and mix well. Add the chicken and another dash of stock and place into the oven to finish for about 10-15 minutes.
- Garnish with the remaining torn basil leaves, minced scallions and chopped fresh parsley, toss together and place on a serving platter. Serve over greens (I only had one smallish potato but if you use the recipe as is, you will not need a side with it).
Read Full Post »
Posted in Gluten Free, Main Courses, Meat, Pork, Recipes, tagged BBQ, delicious, Pork, Sauce, tangy, tenderloin, versatile on August 16, 2012 |
41 Comments »
I’ve been following a blog called Cooking with Corinna who has been doing the Ducan diet (you know, the French diet). Corinna has been very successful in losing weight following this diet and has decided to try and healthy up some of her favourites so that she doesn’t fall back into old bad habits and jeopardize her success. The first recipe she ‘healthed up’ was pulled pork. JT loves pulled pork but it’s not something I ever make at home, mainly because it is so unhealthy, or so I thought. Corinna’s method was relatively simple and frankly quite obvious but, for some reason I never thought of it myself. She simply chose a leaner and healthier cut of pork — pork tenderloin instead of pork shoulder. Genius! I was inspired to make this pulled pork for dinner the other night and boy was it a success! Corinna used a slow cooker, but I chose to get my roasting pan on the grill outside (it was so hot and humid that day, I couldn’t bear even the slow cooker!). The trick is low and slow; I cooked our 300g tenderloin for almost four hours on 121°C (250°F). I turned it a few times and made sure it was always covered in BBQ sauce. You can use a store bought BBQ sauce, or you can throw one together in minutes like I did. Soooo easy. You will be surprised that you won’t be able to tell the difference from the unhealthy version! And if you want to keep it even healthier, choose a BBQ sauce based with fruit instead of sugar.
Thanks Corinna, this one will be a keeper, that’s for sure!
A Healthier Pulled Pork
Serves 3, 100 g portions
BBQ Sauce Ingredients:
Original recipe can be found here.
- 1/2 cup ketchup
- 1/4 cup vinegar, preferably red wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
- 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tbsp prepared mustard
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1-2 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 1 tbsp espresso coffee powder
- In a small saucepan, combine all of the ingredients and bring to a slow boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 5 minutes or until the flavours have blended well. Remove from heat and set aside.
Pulled Pork Ingredients:
Original recipe can be found here.
- 300 g pork tenderloin with silver skin and excess fat removed. This is a great video on preparing pork tenderloin. I removed ALL of the fat to keep it healthier.
- 1-2 tbsp canola oil (or an oil with a high flash point)
- 1 cup BBQ sauce, home made or store bought.
- 1 cup water
- Preheat BBQ to 121°C (250°F).
- Heat the roasting pan on the stove with the canola oil until almost smoking. Sear all sides of the tenderloin. Remove the pan from the heat and allow to cool for a minute or two. Add the BBQ sauce and make sure that the tenderloin is brushed evenly with it. Place the covered roasting pan on the BBQ and turn off the heat directly below it. You’ll have to watch your BBQ so that the temperature maintained for the 4 hours is around 121°C (250°F).
- Turn the tenderloin 3-4 times making sure it is always covered well with the BBQ sauce. I kept about 1 cup of water near the BBQ and added water as the sauce became thicker and evaporated. Eventually around 3.5 hours, the meat will literally fall apart and you will be able to mix it well with the BBQ sauce and cook it for the last half hour.
- Serve warm or cold, on a salad, on a bun, or even in a fajita shell. Garnish with chopped cilantro and finely chopped green onions.
Read Full Post »
Beautiful loin of pork was on sale at the butcher this past weekend, and it’s a favourite of ours because it is low in saturated fats (compared to other cuts of pork). I trim off all of the excess fat, to minimize the calories, but you can do as you wish.
Here is an interesting note for Canadians buying supermarket meat (not sure if the same is true in the U.S. or E.U.) that I learned through working for the design firm specializing in food packaging. If a piece of meat says that it is “seasoned” it does not mean that it has spices on it. It means that it has been ‘plumped’ with water, sodium phosphate and salt. They say they do this to retain moisture but in reality, if you cook the product properly, you should have a moist and delicious piece of meat. They do it to make the meat look bigger and plumper. You will also notice that the label, by law, will indicate the meat protein percentage. For example, a similar plumped loin of pork will say “minimum 18% meat protein”. In addition, if you’ve ever bought this type of product, you will notice that when you cook it, it shrinks incredibly, and that is because it is plumped and the liquid cooks out of it, leaving you with the 18% meat protein. It kinda grosses me out. Even when I didn’t know this fact, I usually stayed away from a “seasoned” product as I would usually want to season it myself with my own herbs and spices. Strange but true.
This is not seasoned pork
This recipe is really quite simple: meat, cheese, tomatoes, black olives, garlic, lemon thyme, lemon rind and butcher’s twine. Oh, OK, I’ll write it out for you.
Mediterranean Stuffed Loin of Pork
Serves 4 (we used two portions for dinner and two for lunch the following day).
- 400-600g pork loin (not seasoned)
- Handful of crumbled feta (I would have used John’s home made feta, if we lived close-by)
- Handful of black olives (I used a mix of Kalamata and sun dried olives)
- Handful of sun dried tomatoes (I used dried, but you can use the ones in olive oil)
- 1 tbsp lemon thyme
- 1 tsp lemon rind
- 2 cloves garlic, minced finely
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- Get the stuffing ingredients prepared first. Pit the olives and cut in half. Crumble the feta and gently mix in the lemon rind and lemon thyme. Slice the sun dried tomatoes into thin slices.
- Now for the meat: remove all sinew and fat from pork. Cut down the centre but not all the way through; try to cut the pork so the thickness is relatively even.
- Spread pork out flat and rub the garlic into it.
- Add the sun dried tomatoes, olives and feta. Press the feta down to help it stick to the other ingredients. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
- Roll up the sides so that the stuffing stays put in the middle. Wrap butchers’ twine around it, nothing fancy, you just want to hold the sides in place so it cooks wrapped and keeps its shape when sliced.
- Heat a cast iron pan on the stove with a little oil. Sear the pork on all sides. Place the pan and pork into the hot oven and bake for about 30 minutes. The inner temperature of the meat should be 150-160°F, depending on how well done you enjoy your pork.
- Remove from oven and allow the pork to sit covered for 10 minutes. Slice into 2cm thick slices.
- Serve on greens or with a starch. Enjoy.
Delicious creamy feta, sun dried tomatoes and black olives makes the filling special and ensures the pork will be tender and juicy
Read Full Post »
Posted in Gluten Free, Main Courses, Meat, Pork, Sauces, Soups, tagged comfort food, coulis, delicious, Gluten Free, health, pork medallions, red pepper, yellow pepper on May 2, 2012 |
46 Comments »
Ann at Cooking Healthy for Me and Kelly at Inspired Edibles have proven time and time again, that you need not suffer eating healthy, just a few smart choices in the kitchen will take your recipe from high in fat, to low in fat and full of flavour. Today’s recipe chooses a pork loin over pork chops because the loin is far less fatty and the fat that it does have can be easily removed before cooking. It can also be easily measured for portion control (we are using 100g (3 ounces) for a portion size). Today we are using the vegetables as thickeners so that we need not add a roux, or cream or butter saving you oodles of fat intensive calories (you should actually try writing down everything you put in your mouth over one day, and you would be surprised! and then you’ll thank me for this recipe).
That's not butter chicken, it's Pork Medallions in a Sweet Red Pepper and Caramelized Onion Coulis
Pork Medallions in a Sweet Red Pepper and Caramalized Onion Coulis
- 400g loin of Pork, all fat removed, cut into medallions about 25g each
- 1 yellow pepper, roasted, skin removed (see notes and tips)
- 1 red pepper, roasted, skin removed (see notes and tips)
- 4 shallots, finely sliced
- 1/2 sweet onion, finely sliced
- 2 tbsp white vinegar
- 1/2 cup low sodium vegetable stock (I like to use Pacific)
- around 1 1/2 cups water
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard (or slightly more to taste)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Non-stick cooking spray
- 1 green onion and jalopeño pepper finely diced as garnish.
- Lightly spray a medium sauce pan (large enough for the onions to be about 3 cm thick on the bottom). Add the onions and shallots and cook over medium heat until they are golden, add the white vinegar to deglaze the pan. Add the vegetable stock as required so that the onions and shallots don’t burn or stick to the bottom of the pan.
- When the onions and shallots are caramelized, add the roasted peppers and heat through.
- With an immersion blender, blend very well until silky smooth. Add the Dijon, salt and blend. If the consistency is too thick, add water until you have your desired consistency (should be the thickness of butter chicken sauce).
- Pre heat the oven to 350°F.
- In another pan lightly sprayed with non-stick cooking spray, sear the pork until you get a nice caramelization on the crust. Once done, add to the sauce and bake for about 10-12 minutes or until the desired done-ness of the pork (in Canada you can have pink pork as they have bread the salmonella out of it).
- Serve over greens or rice or use a flat bread to scoop it up. We’re keeping this on the healthy side, so we’ve put it on greens.
Notes and Tips:
- If you were not able to peel your peppers, push the finished coulis through a fine sieve to remove the tough skin bits of the peppers.
- By adding a bit more stock or water, this would make a lovely soup, perhaps with a dollop of fat free Greek Yogurt.
- We roasted our peppers on the BBQ for a nice smokey flavour.
- I added smoked paprika to the sauce for my lunch the next day…YUM!
- As an alternative flavour, I think one tbsp of garam masala and one tsp of meat masala would be fantastic in this sauce.
- If you’re down right convinced this is not a good sauce, then add a 1/2 cup of cream or a 1/4 cup of butter and be done with it.
Read Full Post »