I know I’ve posted a chick pea and cauliflower curry recipe before, but this one has a bit of a twist, it’s Thai and I just couldn’t resist! The fresh flavours that Thai spice combinations brings to this dish is simply mouth watering, and it’s even better the next day (fortunately, I made enough for my lunch at work). You can blanket this beautiful curry over Jasmine rice, perhaps with a little coconut in it, but we just put it over a combo of Arugula and Spinach to manage the waist-line! I found the original recipe here but I made my own changes just because I felt it needed it when I tasted it mid-way.
I don’t know about you, but I am really getting tired of these night-time photos!
Chick Pea and Cauliflower Thai Curry
- 1/2 cup finely chopped sweet onion (I used Vidalia)
- 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 1 tbsp freshly grated ginger
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 2+1/2 tsp. ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp ground coriander
- 2 tbsp fish sauce
- 3-4 tbsp coconut milk powder in about 1/4 cup boiling water, dissolved
- 1 cup vegetable stock
- 4 kafir lime leaves
- 12-14 oz can chickpeas
- 1 generous head of cauliflower
- 1/4 cup lime cordial
- 1/2 cup cilantro, lightly chopped for garnish
- 1 finely sliced scallion for garnish
- Heat up a wok or frying pan over medium-high heat. Add 2 tbsp. oil plus the onion and garlic. Stir-fry 1 minute.
- Add all of the dry spices, plus fish sauce fry together briefly.
- Add the cauliflower, stock and dissolved coconut milk powder. Add the kafir lime leaves and cook the cauliflower until it is fork tender but not too soft. Add the chick peas and heat through.
- Remove from heat. Stir in the lime cordial and give it a good stir.
- Do a taste-test. Adjust the salt level by adding a little more soy or fish sauce if not salty enough. If too salty, add a squeeze of lime juice.
- Garnish with chopped coriander and finely sliced scallion and serve hot with either rice or greens.
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Who says you can’t have breakfast for hors d’œuvres? Breakfast anytime is great, particularly when I had a few quails eggs left over and we needed a quick little hors d’œuvres for cocktail hour! Serve these on toast points or rice crackers like I did. I garnished with a small dot of yogurt and dill for colour.
Scrambled Quails Eggs with Cheese
Makes about 8 crackers
A little scrambled egg bite
- 4 quail eggs
- 2 tbsp grated cheddar cheese
- 1 tbsp plain Greek yogurt
- dill to garnish
- 8 rice crackers (I used these)
- In a heat proof bowl, whisk together the quail eggs and cheese. Cook over a Bain Marie until the eggs are no longer runny, folding over constantly.
- Serve about 1 tbsp of the scrambled egg on toasts or crackers, garnish with yogurt and dill.
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Posted in Dressing, Gluten Free, Recipes, Salad, Vegetable Sides, Vegetarian, tagged dressing, German, purple cabbabe, Slaw, tangy on January 15, 2013 |
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For the same dinner as the previous post, I made this wonderful German Purple Cabbage Slaw. I’m not exactly sure how authentic German it is, but it did indeed have flavours from German slaws that I’ve had and it was so pretty against the Candied Salmon and Rösti potatoes. It made for a very festive dinner. I was inspired by this recipe, but since I already had purple cabbage at home, that’s what I used and not the white cabbage in the recipe. What I really liked about this recipe is that the dressing is added hot which will slightly wilt the cabbage, but cabbage is strong enough that there will still be a slight crunch to it. They normally add caraway seeds but since I hate them, I omitted them!
Pretty like jewels. Sparkling, pretty jewels.
German Purple Cabbage Slaw
- 1/2 small purple cabbage, finely shredded
- 2 tbsp EVOO
- 140 ml cider vinegar
- 100 ml vegetable stock
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons mustard
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- Parsley for garnish
- In a glass micro-wave safe container, combine oil, vinegar, stock, salt, mustard and sugar and heat until sugar has dissolved, stirring often.
- Add the shredded cabbage to a non-metallic bowl and pour vinegar-oil mixture over cabbage and combine thoroughly. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
- To serve, check seasonings, adjust, drain dressing and serve in a decorative bowl. You may want to let the slaw sit in a colander to drain completely, otherwise you will have purple cabbage stains on your table cloth. I guarantee it.
- Garnish with parsley.
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Way back in December we had our good friends Lee and Stefan for dinner. JT and I decided to make Barb’s Salmon that’s like Candy (with a few minor alterations, will blog soon about it) with Swiss Rösti potatoes, German Red Cabbage Slaw (coming soon) and John’s Yogurt Dill Sauce. It was a huge success and the best part is that these potatoes may be made in advance and reheated. The Swiss usually have this for breakfast, and I know I’m breaking all the rules by serving it for dinner…so arrest me (did you say you had hand-cuffs ?)
These famous potatoes can be purchased ready-made that you just slip them into the frying pan and reheat, but I wanted to make them from scratch; how hard could that be? I searched and search the web and came across several variations on the preparation of this classic side dish, and after much deliberation I chose my method. Some of the recipes par-boiled the potatoes and some did not; I chose to par-boil to cut down the finishing time (plus I had read that not par-boiling makes the interior of the rösti a little starchy tasting).
Swiss Röstli Potatoes
Crispy yet soft on the inside
Serves 4-6 (depending on how hungry you are)
- 4-6 Medium Sized Yukon Gold Potatoes (actually, you can use any potato you would use as mashed potatoes)
- salt and pepper to taste
- Peel and chop potatoes in half (you want a chunk large enough to grate without grating your knuckles).
- Put the potatoes into a pot with cold water and salt (this step was prevalent in many recipes, something to do with cooking evenly) with salt and bring to a boil. Keep on the boil until there is still some resistance when you poke the pieces with a fork or cake tester — you definitely DO NOT want to cook them 100%.
- Remove from the pot and allow to cool completely.
- On a large grater, grate the potatoes entirely.
- Heat a large cast iron skillet with a few tablespoons of oil (err on more than less). Add the potatoes so that they evenly fill the pan, and lightly compress. Cook until it is crispy on one side.
- If preparing ahead, allow to cool and set aside now.
- To reheat: Flip. If you are brave, use this method, if you’re like me, then two dinner plates will do the trick very nicely. Cook the underside of the Rösti until crispy and the potatoes have heated all the way through.
- Serve by cutting into wedges. I served this dish in the cast iron pan I cooked it in because I wanted it to maintain the heat on the table.
- Service with Yogurt Dill Sauce.
We had barely enough leftovers for breakfast the following day — that’s how good they were. In fact, this is a meal I will make again; it’s rustic yet has a certain sophistication with all the flavours going on.
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Posted in Indian, Recipes, Salad, Vegetable Sides, tagged chick peas, cold, delicious, Indian, side, tangy, tasty, yogurt on December 12, 2012 |
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There is another Indian Restaurant in Toronto that we really like, and you’ve probably heard of it because it’s in all the major cities around the world, it’s called Bombay Palace on Jarvis Street. We usually go there for lunch and there are two particular things I love, the carrot pickle and the Aloo Papri Chaat (described as a sweet Medley of crispy wafers chickpeas, potatoes with yogurt-mint chutney dressing). I tried to find as close a recipe as possible to this tangy, sweet and crunchy side, and this one was pretty darn close. I had to make a few changes due to unavailable ingredients, but to be honest, the flavour didn’t suffer for it. I must warn you, it does take a lot of steps.
Aloo Papri Chaat
A delicious mix of sweet and tangy flavours with the crunchy texture of the wafers
Serves 4-6 as a side dish
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 1/4 cup Semolina flour
- 1 teaspoon tamarind paste
- 7-8 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder
- 1 dried apricot
- 1 small cooked potato, cubed
- 100 g chick peas
- 1/2 cup low fat yogurt (if using Greek yogurt, you will need to add milk to achieve the right consistency)
- 1 chopped green chili
- 1/2 teaspoon Chaat Masala (see spice mix below)
- 1 cup peanut oil for frying
- Make a soft dough with the flour and semolina by adding a little bit of water at a time.
- Roll the dough out into a rectangle and cut into bite-sized squares.
- Heat the oil to fry the squares and fry them until they puff a little and are golden. Drain oil off and set aside.
Directions for the Tamarind Chutney:
- In a small heavy bottom sauce pan, add the tamarind paste and the apricot. Add about 1 cup of hot water to it and heat to a boil until the tamarind paste dissolves and the apricot is mushy. Blend well with an immersion blender. Strain out any hard bits from the tamarind paste.
- Add the sugar, chili powder and mix well. Boil until all of the water evaporates and you are left with a thick rich paste.
Ingredients for the Chaat Masala:
Note: the original recipe for Chaat Masala called for Mango Powder which I did not have, and therefore I substituted the apricot into the tamarind mix to replicate the sweet and tangy flavour of the mango powder.
- 1 tbsp coriander
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1/8 tsp cayenne
- 1/4 tsp ginger
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/4 tsp black salt
Directions for the Chaat Masala:
- Put all ingredients into a bowl and mix well. If some of the spices are seeds, you will need to grind them well.
Directions for the Yogurt Sauce and assembly:
- Whip the yogurt with a whisk until thin and runny (or if it’s Greek Yogurt, add a little milk),
- Add the cubed potatoes, chopped green chili, the chickpeas and a teaspoon or two of the tamarind and mix well (being careful not to break up the potatoes).
- Add the bite sized Papri (wafers) and mix gently to coat.
- Garnish with Coriander leaves and finely chopped green onions.
A quick shot of the actual serving dish at the dinner party, the lighting sucks as it was already night
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It must be officially fall because the temperatures have plummeted and the rains have set in, the skies are grey and the wind is noisy. Kind’a depressing weather, and it certainly doesn’t inspire so I wasn’t up to menu planning; but paging through a local grocery chain’s fall 2010 issue, JT found a recipe he thought he would like to have to spice up our weekly meal plan. We’re making chickpea and potato curry. Now I don’t usually gravitate toward potato recipes, but I was totally uninspired in making the menu this week and decided to just go for it, potatoes and all. Next time, I would add a handful of sultana raisins to add the sweetness this curry was missing. Or alternatively I think I’ll try this with sweet potatoes or even butternut squash as I think the sweetness of the sweet potato or butternut squash would be heavenly with the curry.
Do you meal plan? I generally plan out the entire week on Sunday and do the groceries Sunday afternoon. I always make enough for lunches for the following day. The planning makes my head want to explode for an hour or so but then I don’t have to think about it! I store the plan on the iCloud in my Reminders app on my iPhone and that way I have it no matter where I am (because if I’m having fish on Thursday I’ll need to pick it up from my fishmonger that day and my Reminders will remind me!)
The dish comes together reasonably quickly and cooks in about 30 minutes. I think it took me 10 minutes to prep everything (mise en place) so 40 minutes tops. And I am sure you can do this in the slow cooker, I would choose low and cook for 4-5 hours (just remember to heat the curry powder in a lightly oiled frying pan before you add it to revive the flavours). The starch in the potato makes a very nice and creamy sauce. In the recipe below I cut the potatoes down to half, as I just didn’t want as many carbs. The method for preparing the onions is a little unconventional, but it worked out very flavourful.
Warm with a touch of heat is nice when it’s blistery cold outside
Chickpea and Potato Curry
Original recipe can be found in Longos Fall 2010 magazine or here.
- 1/2 vidalia onion, halved
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped roughly
- 1 inch piece fresh ginger, grated finely with a microplane
- 1 small hot chili pepper, halved and seeded
- 1 tbsp canola oil
- 1 tbsp mild curry powder or paste
- 3 cups water
- 3/4 lbs Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cubed small (about 2 potatoes)
- 1 can (19 oz) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 1/2 tbsp garam masala
- 1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro
- 1-2 cups greens (arugula or spinach) per person
- In your immersion blender, purée onion, garlic, ginger and chili pepper into a fine paste (you can do this in a mini processor too, but I find the immersion blender does a finer job).
- In a large deep skillet, heat oil and cook onion paste for about 5 minutes or until softened.
- Stir in curry powder and cook for 1 minute.
- Add 2 cups of the water and stir to make a gravy consistency (it was actually quite liquid/soupy for me).
- Add the potatoes; cover and cook, stirring occasionally for about 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender but firm.
- Add chickpeas, garam masala and remaining water and cook for 10 minutes or until thickened and potatoes are very tender.
- Serve on a bed of greens, sprinkled with chopped cilantro.
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Good day everyone, I’m still in Lyon (figuratively speaking, of course) and cooking with Chef Villard and his lovely recipes. This is a condiment that he paired with lightly cooked snow peas and a little goats cheese and boy was it good. I particularly loved the colour, unfortunately when you add the goats cheese it lightens up quite a bit, but by then you’re starving for having enjoyed the aromas of the meal all afternoon long!
That sure is green
To be honest, JT wasn’t in love with the pesto which was originally Rocket (arugula), pine nuts and Parmesan cheese so I decided to be inspired by Chef Villard and not follow the recipe 100% (of course you did, says JT). The rocket tends to get a touch bitter when processed, although I do enjoy the peppery taste I wanted to temper the bitterness so I used the same amount of spinach as the rocket. Then I was thinking of the entire meal and wanted to repeat some flavours for consistency, so instead of pine nuts, I used roasted hazelnuts (the pumpkin soup has a drizzle of hazelnut oil to finish it). So in the essence of our meal in Lyon, here is the pesto recipe.
Rocket and Spinach Pesto with Hazelnuts (on Snow Peas with Goats Cheese — not shown)
Serves 6 (I had enough pesto left over for some hors d’œuvres the next day),
- 35 g roasted hazelnuts
- 35 g combined baby rocket (arugula) and baby spinach
- 1 clove garlic, finely minced
- 1 tbsp parmesan cheese
- 2-4 tbsp EVOO
- Salt to taste
- 60 g snow peas
- 20 g goats cheese
- In a small food processor add the hazelnuts, rocket, spinach, finely minced garlic and Parmesan cheese and drizzle a small amount of EVOO to get the chopping going adding a little bit to allow the purée to happen with ease (you don’t want this too runny). Taste and salt as desired.
- When you have achieved the consistency desired set aside (this is actually quite good if you make it in advance and the flavours have time to really develop).
- Cook the snap peas and as soon as they are done, immerse them into ice cold water to stop the cooking quickly. Simmer water on the stove to reheat just prior to serving.
- To serve, add a few tablespoons of the pesto to the hot, drained snow peas and crumble the goats cheese into it, stir lightly to distribute evenly.
- Enjoy warm.
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Before our recent trip to Europe, I had read many-a-blog about lentilles du Puy so you know what was on the top of my souvenir list. But of course, the Lentilles du Puy. Grown in the du Puy region of France, these lentils are known as the best of all the lentils for a few reasons: they cook quickly, they don’t break down and go mushy and they have a wonderful peppery taste. Many of their benefits can be attributed to the volcanic soil they are grown in. These delicious lentilles du Puy are wonderful in salads as they don’t lose their shape. We’ve just been home 10 days and I’m almost through my 500g box (yes, it was worth the weight) of dried lentils and I’m already panicking to find a source in the city. HELP!
The box could use a redesign, don’t you think?
I got my inspiration from this recipe on Epicurious and tuned it the second time as I forgot to photograph it the first time (and almost forgot to photograph it the second time too!).
This dish was almost a memory by the time I remembered to take the photo; hence the closeup, it was my lunch at work!
Lentilles du Puy
- 1 cup lentilles du Puy picked over and rinsed
- 3 cups water or chicken stock or wine
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup finely chopped pancetta
- handful of sliced white or brown mushrooms
- 1 garlic clove, halved
- 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 tbsp EVOO
- grape tomatoes finely chopped
- Freshly grated Parmesan Cheese
- 1 bunch arugula, coarse stems discarded, washed well and spun dry
- In a heavy saucepan sauté the pancetta until crispy in 2 tbsp olive oil. Remove but reserve the remaining olive oil.
- In the pancetta oil sauté the onions and when translucent, add the lentilles du Puy, garlic, thyme and mushrooms and give it a quick stir. Add the liquid and cook covered for 30 minutes on a low simmer (the original recipe called to strain the liquid off the lentils, but I reduced the liquid so that the lentils absorb it all and you have a beautifully cooked batch).
- Add the crisp pancetta, grape tomatoes and garnish with Parmesan cheese. Serve on a bed of Arugula or as is.
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Posted in Appetizers/Hors D'oeuvres, Recipes, Salad, Vegetable Sides, tagged almonds, arugula, figs, goats cheese, Onions, rocket, Spinach on September 25, 2012 |
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We’re still on vacation, and on our last night in Lyon we tool a wonderful cooking class; our chef-host had a beautiful fig tree in the back yard, and we ate fresh figs right from the tree! Although I prepared this post well before we left, I thought it appropriate to post before I return. I do hope you’re all doing well, know that You know that I miss reading about what you’re cooking and that I’ll be back next week with lots of stories!!
One of our dear friends brought us a package of fresh, beautiful figs as a hostess gift (I love my friends!). Coincidentally I had taken out a portion of goats cheese from the deep freeze, so this salad was literally staring me in the face. A quick weeknight meal. There are no directions or quantities, do what your heart dictates, you can even throw in some crispy prosciutto or don’t make it crispy. It’s simple and wonderful. I sautéed the onions until they were soft and then I poured in about 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar and cooked it down until it was the consistency of syrup. You can use this to dress the salad…it doesn’t need much.
My salad has fresh figs, quartered, toasted sliced almonds, goats cheese, caramelized onion, balsamic dressing, arugula (rocket) and spinach.
It’s kinda like the kitchen sink salad
Fresh Figs, Goats Cheese, Caramelized Onion and Walnuts on Arugula and Spinach
I’m posting this from our little apartment in Paris in the Le Marais … Correction: Montmatre district. Here is a little peak. Cheers!
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Posted in Cheese, Gluten Free, Recipes, Vegetable Sides, Vegetarian, tagged eggplant, fresh mozzarella, healthier, parmesan, ricotta, Vegetarian on August 10, 2012 |
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This post was written at the cottage including the photos taken on my lowly iPhone 3GS! Hopefully Apple’s September announcement will be about the iPhone 5, for which I am anxiously awaiting the release.
Do you have to create a meal plan for the weekends at the cottage? I do, I have to. We have no decent stores anywhere near our cottage. I once forgot cream cheese and had to settle for a cream cheese and chive dip from a 7-11. It was pathetic. I have to have everything figured out because to forget an ingredient would be devastating (well, for me anyway).
I had a menu plan for this past weekend which was our Civic Holiday long weekend (each first Monday of August is the Simoe Day, in honor of our first Lieutenant Governor of Upper Canada, John Graves Simcoe) and it was good and it was well thought out. I had shopping lists and everything. And then I read a couple of posts which made me switch my plan. Yes, you read that correctly. I revised the meal plan to include these wonderful recipes that inspired me.
My first deviation was because of Karen at Backroad Journal Posted a healthier version of Eggplant Parmesan that I just couldn’t resist; plus it gave me an opportunity to use my adorable cast iron individual square frying pans! It was incredibly delicious!
(only slightly modified from Karen’s lovely recipe)
Serves 4-6 for lunch as a main
- 4 baby eggplants, sliced 1 cm (0.5″)
- 1/2 lemon
- 2-3 tbsp EVOO
- 4 garlic cloves, finely minced
- salt to taste
- 300-400 mL basic homemade tomato sauce, or your favorite marinara sauce
- a handful of chopped fresh basil
- 1 cup ricotta
- 1 clove garlic, finely minced
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 large ball fresh mozzarella, sliced
- 20 cm (8″) square pan plus individual serving dishes
- Non-stick spray
- After slicing the eggplant, rub each side with lemon juice to prevent ‘rusting’.
- Mix the olive oil with the garlic and brush each side if the eggplant slices liberally. Grill on a hot grill until slices are soft. Sprinkle with salt to taste. Set aside (may be made in advance).
- Mix the ricotta with one clove finely minced garlic, salt to taste.
- In an oven proof 20 cm (8″) pan, line with parchment and spray with non-stick spray. Line the bottom with one layer of eggplant, top with half of the ricotta. Dot with roughly torn fresh basil. Drizzle with the tomato sauce, add another layer of eggplant. Top with the remaining ricotta, roughly torn fresh basil and the remainder of the tomato sauce.
- Add the sliced fresh mozzarella evenly on top. Bake on indirect heat on the BBQ until fully warmed through and mozzarella has melted. Sprinkle with freshly grated Parmesan and broil until bubbly.
- Serve in individual serving dishes garnished with fresh basil and green onions.
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