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.
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I find inspiration in your blogs, thank you! A few weeks ago, my Hungarian friend Zsuzsa prepared a very beautiful Leek and Potato soup that looked so gorgeous and creamy, I knew I wanted to make it for a dinner we had with my nephew Brian. But I was lazy because I didn’t feel like heading out to buy potatoes, so I used what I had which were parsnips (I had three left over from a chicken soup I made to help combat our persistent colds)! When ever I see leeks on sale, I buy a few bunches and slice them into thin slices and freeze on a cookie sheet and then transfer them to a plastic baggy, that way I have leeks when ever I need them, and I needed them for this!
I was surprised at how well the parsnips replaced the potato, adding just a touch of sweetness to the soup (by oven roasting them) and not compromising the creamy texture that potatoes generally add. Parsnips have slightly fewer carbohydrates than potatoes but they also contain fibre, and potatoes do not; they are also effectively lower on the glycemic index (for a similar weights, a potato can be 56-110 where the parsnip is a lowly 10!). I think I have found my new vegetable combo for this traditional soup!
Crispy fried Chorizo and grated Parmesan add just the right amount of salt to this creamy soup.
Creamed Leek and Parsnip Soup
Makes around 1000 mL or 4 quarts, depending on how thick you want the soup.
- 200 g (about 1.5 cups) parsnips, peeled and cut into relatively equal chunks
- 100 g (about 1 cup) onions, cut into large slices
- 250 g (about 1 1/2 cups) leeks, finely sliced
- 4 cloves garlic
- 2 tbsp EVOO
- sea salt to taste
- 4-6 cups low sodium chicken stock (or vegetable stock if you wish to make this vegetarian)
- non-stick spray
- 2-3 tbsp crispy fried chopped chorizo (omit for vegetarian version)
- Parmesan cheese
- Pre-heat the oven to 177°C or 350°F. Give a small pan a couple of squirts of non-stick spray and roast the parsnips and the onions until soft.
- In a small ramekin with 2 tbsp EVOO, add the unpeeled garlic and a good pinch of sea salt. Cover with aluminum foil and roast along side of the parsnips.
- Spray a couple of squirts of non-stick spray into a good size soup pot (one that will take at least 1000 mL or 4 quarts). Cook the leeks until softened.
- When the garlic is soft enough to easily push a fork through, remove and pop out of the peel (be careful, it’s really hot). The parsnips and onions are done when they are soft enough to push a fork through as well.
- Remove the leek pot from heat and add the roasted parsnips, onion and roasted garlic (including the oil) to the leek pot. To start, add 2 cups of stock and begin blending with an immersion blender and blend until smooth. You may need to add more stock until the desired thickness is achieved. Taste and salt as desired, keeping in mind that the chorizo and Parmesan will add a certain amount of saltiness to it.
- To ensure a super velvety texture, press the soup through a fine sieve. Take the bits left over in the sieve and put into the immersion blender container and add a cup or two of the strained soup. Blend again for a couple of minutes (you will be surprised at how much additional thick soup you can get out of this). Press through a fine sieve into the soup. The left over pulp can be a tasty treat if you don’t mind the texture!
- To crispy fry the Chorizo, chop into small pieces and in about 1 tsp of canola oil, fry the bits until crispy. Blot on paper towel to remove the oil.
- Warm the bowls in a low temperature oven and reheat the soup (I usually reheat in my Microwave); run the immersion blender through it one last time before serving (our chef in Lyon suggested this aerates the soup and makes it even lighter in the mouth!).
- Ladle the soup into each bowl and grate about 1 tsp of Parmesan cheese onto the centre, add about a tsp of crispy fried Chorizo. Serve while hot.
There is no cream in this soup.
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Posted in Fish, Gluten Free, Recipes, Soups, tagged corriandre, fish sauce, galangal, garlic, ginger, lemon grass, lime juice, mushrooms, Onions on January 22, 2013 |
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Hello everyone! I must apologize that I have missed a couple of posts, not because of anything other than laziness. I thought I had ‘banked’ enough to last me through the weekend but I hadn’t so my blog remained inactive over the weekend. Our wonderful friends Paul and T paid us a visit, arriving on Friday and going back home on Monday. We had a great time, did lots of fun stuff (yes, I’ll blog about that soon) and ate and drank excessively! Now we are recovering until next time!
I’m inspired by many of the blogs I follow, if not for the recipe, but perhaps an ingredient or even a plating, but I know when an inspiration hits me over the stuffed-up head and it resonates throughout the day with a burning desire (no, not THAT!). Kelly over at Inspired Edibles presented this soup at the beginning of the year and it stuck in my head like that song (sorry about that, peeps) and I knew I had to make it, or something like it. I adore the Asian flavours in a soup, add some rice noodles and I’m in Seventh Heaven. It turned out that I didn’t have some of the ingredients for Kelly’s soup, so I had to improvise, but let me tell you it was YUM. That’s Y. U. M. It was like a lemongrass, sweet and sour, vegetable soup, all of the things that make you happy. That’s right, the epitome of Happy Food.
Sweet, sour, tangy, delicious
Asian Inspired Soup
Serves 1 in a large bowl (ingredients are just rough, you can use your own taste to determine your version)
- 1 tsp Sesame oil and a splash of canola oil
- 140 g mushrooms (about 3/4 cup), quartered
- 100 g shrimps and scallops (3 large shrimp and 1 scallop), cleaned and sliced down the middle
- 60 g onions, sliced finely (about 1/4 cup)
- 1 tsp coriander
- 10 g garlic, roughly chopped (2-3 cloves)
- 10 g fresh ginger, roughly chopped (about 2-3 tablespoons)
- 10 g lemongrass, roughly chopped (about 2-3 tables spoons)
- 5 g Galangal
- 2 tbsp lime juice
- 1 tbsp fish sauce
- 2 tbsp Hoisin sauce
- 3 Kaffir lime leaves
- 2 cups vegetable stock
- 1 cup water
- 1 roma tomato, quartered
- handful of rice noodles
- 1/4 cup finely sliced green onion
- pepper flakes
- Heat the water in your kettle until boiling. Pour over the rice noodles and allow to sit until they are totally reconstituted, 10-15 minutes. Do not over soak, you want a bit of a bite to it.
- In a large soup pan, heat the two oils until hot but not smoky (the sesame oil has a very low smoke point). Add the onions and stir until slightly translucent. Add the shrimp and scallop and cook lightly. Turn the heat down to a simmer and add the mushrooms. Sprinkle the coriander on the shrimp and onions and stir quickly until aromatic.
- Combine the garlic, ginger, lemongrass and galangal in an infuser (mine is like this) and put it into the soup pan. Add all of the stock and water and add the lime juice, fish sauce, and hoisin saucekafir leaves, galangal, fish sauce, lime juice, and hoisin sauce. Stir well.
- Bring to a very light boil and allow to simmer for about 5-6 minutes (be careful so your shrimp and scallop don’t over cook). Add the tomatoes but don’t overcook, just heat them up.
- Put one third of the cold noodles into a large decorative white bowl. Add ladle-fulls of the soup and garnish with the green onion and pepper flakes. Enjoy.
- Store your fresh ginger knobs in the freezer in a resealable container; grate on a fine micro-plane grater when required, you need not peel it! Keeps indefinitely.
- I usually buy a large quantity of lemongrass and chop them finely in my food processor, and then I freeze them in a reusable container. I can usually break off what I need.
- If you are taking the left overs to work, I recommend storing the cooked noodles in a separate container to the soup so that they don’t absorb any more liquid. When you reheat the soup, do so to just before boiling (so the chicken doesn’t cook further) and that way when you put the chilled noodles in, they will cool it down to a palatable level.
- Fish sauce is used in thai cooking instead of salt.
- To save time, I have sometimes used Rosa’s Lime Cordial instead of lime juice, but you have to remember NOT to add the hoisin sauce as that is also sweet.
Still tastes the same, just in sheeps clothing
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Posted in Soups, Vegetarian, tagged caramelized onion, Celeriac, garlic, golden beets, pretty, roasted vegetables, Soup, two colours on November 11, 2012 |
51 Comments »
Let’s take a moment to remember today.
*From Microsoft Clip art.
Have you ever had a dinner party cancellation at the last minute? We’ve not had them often but every few years it happens. This time it was friends who let us know Friday that the guy came down with a cold but should be OK if we don’t mind. I talked to him and he sounded fine so we said we’re on. But then at 9:25 on Saturday morning he called sounding very bad and very apologetic that he must cancel. You’re probably thinking that at 9:25am we should be OK, but the truth is I start kinda early. It’s my own fault but at that precise moment, I had just finished the gorgeous Cappuccino Panna Cotta I saw yesterday at Smidges, the bread was rising and the Moroccan Braised Beefwas already made and in the fridge (because we all know these stews are better the next day). Oh, and I just finished snapping the pic of this delicious soup. My diligence has screwed me today. I put out some feelers for the last minute stand in’s and came up short (we checked with neighbours and friends with no kids as baby sitters are hard to come by last minute). So now, I have a five course dinner for four ready, but no guests. Fortunately, I hadn’t yet made the hors d’œuvres (in fact, I was just about to get a cup of java and sit down with my new tapas cook book from Barcelona) nor had I set the table. I am sorry most of my blogging friends live so far away, otherwise, you would have received a call from me for sure. So tonight JT and I shall eat like kings and queens with a full five-course dinner and dessert to boot!
Have you ever had a last minute cancellation and how did you solve it?
The earthy golden beet was a nice compliment to the creamy celeriac.
Very tasty indeed.
Roasted Golden Beet Root with Caramelized Onion and Roasted Celeriac with Roasted Garlic Soup
Serves 4 (about 1 1/4 cup or 300 mL portion)
- 200 g golden beets
- 300 g celeriac
- 30 g garlic
- 80 g sweet onion
- Vegetable stock
- Carnation Evaporated milk or cream
- crispy fried onion for garnish (I hadn’t prepared it yet)
- Peel and dice the beets and celeriac, spray with a bit of EVOO and roast separately for about 1 hour or until soft (I didn’t want to bleed the colours into each other). After about 30 minutes add enough water to cover the pan about 0.5cm or 1/4″ and continue roasting.
- Roast the garlic in a bit of EVOO and sea salt until soft.
- Slice the onion very thinly and caramelize on the stove top on a low setting using a bit of EVOO. This will take about 30 minutes.
- Using an immersion blender, combine the golden beats, caramelized onion and vegetable stock and purée until smooth and a consistency of creamed soup. Set aside.
- Using an immersion blender, combine the celery root, roasted garlic and evaporated milk and purée until smooth and a consistency of creamed soup. Set aside. Make sure ONE soup is slightly thicker than the other, this will help keep them separate in the bowl.
- Prior to serving, reheat both soups. Carefully pour the thicker of the two soups into half of the bowl. You can do this by tipping the bowl up a bit and use a large spoon to help keep that side clear of the other. Then, pour the thinner soup into the other side. Garnish with crispy fried onions.
We put a little crispy pancetta on top when we knew no one was looking !
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Posted in Fish, Gluten Free, Recipes, tagged basil, fish, garlic, grilled, parmesan, pine nuts, white balsamic on September 10, 2012 |
44 Comments »
You know I’m always trying to jazz up our fish and this was no exception. It was a Tuesday night and I was riding home ‘the better way‘ and trying to figure out what the heck to do with the fish we pulled out of the deep freeze and then it hit me — Grilled Tilapia with Basil Pesto. The pesto would also allow the opportunity to utilize the gorgeous basil growing like weeds on the back deck (I may have planted a few too many plants!).
Tilapia is a firm white fish that is great grilled as long as you don’t over cook it, then it falls apart! I added a bit of hot chili pepper flakes to the top for colour and a bit of punch. It depends if you like heat, like I do. Plus it’s a nice bite with the creamy pesto. I make a classic pesto, but I’m sure you’ve made yours a gazillion times so feel free to improvise, this is, after all for inspiration. Reserve the left over pesto for the dressing for the greens and you’ll notice that I’ve added a little something to make it more like dressing (make sure the spoon you use to spread the pesto on the fish is never put back into the reserved pesto).
This fish is green with pesto, not envy!
Grilled Tilapia with Basil Pesto
- 400 g Tilapia
- 2-1/2 cups (625 mL) packed fresh, washed basil leaves
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/3 cup (75 mL) toasted pine nuts
- 1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) EVOO
- 2 small cloves garlic, finely minced
- 4 tbsp white balsamic vinegar
- red chili pepper flakes
- arugula greens
- Add basil leaves, Parmesan, pine nuts, salt and garlic to your food processor or immersion blender and blend until you achieve the desired consistency.
- Dry the tilapia and spoon 1-2 tbsp of the pesto per side per fish and spread evenly.
- Heat your grill to 177°C (350°F), spray with non-stick spray. Lay the thickest parts down first as they will take the longest to cook. Cook until the fish is firm to the touch. Repeat with the thinner bits.
- For the dressing, add the white balsamic to the left-over pesto and stir well.
- Serve over arugula greens and garnish with the dressing and red pepper flakes
I’ve also made different types of pesto here and here. My friends who are making pesto:
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Posted in Fish, Gluten Free, Main Courses, Sauces, tagged fish, garlic, halibut, Recipe, smoked paprika, tomato on April 28, 2012 |
38 Comments »
It’s a week night and even though we like to eat at 7:30-8 on weekends, it just doesn’t work for week nights when I need a couple of hours to blog, and such! I’m always looking for tasty and quick ways to serve fish and Kristy’s delightful Baked Cod Portuguese was a sure winner, but I didn’t have the fire roasted tomatoes, nor the time to make them, so I took her recipe as inspiration. This one is quite low calorie, no butter or olive oil.
Halibut with a Rustic Tomato Sauce
An incredibly filling meal
Makes 3 servings (100g each fish and 200g tomato sauce and greens)
- 300 g Halibut
- 300 g cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
- 90 g vidalia onion and garlic (the ratio is entirely up to you, I had about 80g onion, 10g garlic)
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- salt to taste
- non-stick cooking spray
- 300 g mixed greens, including cucumber and green onions
- 3 tbsp chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly spray a cookie sheet with non-stick cooking spray. Distribute the tomatoes, onion and garlic on the pan evenly. Salt.
- Bake for about 30 minutes. Pour the contents into your immersion blender jar and blend until smooth. Add the smoked paprika and blend again. Keep the oven on.
- Strain through a fine sieve, discard what is left in the sieve.
- In a cast iron pan, sear the fish skin side on high heat for about 4 minutes. Pour the rustic tomato sauce over the hot fish and bake in the hot oven for about 15 minutes (this depends entirely how thick your fish is).
- Meanwhile, create a fresh green salad (about 100 g each serving) with the mixed greens (we used spinach and baby arugula), cucumber and green onion.
- When the fish is cooked through, remove the skin and place 100 g onto each bed of greens. Add about one third of the sauce to each plate. Garnish with parsley.
The sauce was lovely, not too acidic (I didn’t add sugar because I am no carbing for three weeks!) but you certainly can to taste. And the garlic really added a wonderful nutty flavour of a baked clove. I will definitely make this sauce again, perhaps with chicken or left over turkey, but then I would add chili pepper flakes to heat it up.
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Posted in Gluten Free, Recipes, Vegetarian, tagged asparagus, basil, garlic, lemon juice, pesto, sheritaki, soy, tofu on March 25, 2012 |
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The weather is incredible and promises to be. I’m thinking shorts and T’s! I’ve already started the tanning cream in hopes that my legs don’t look as pasty white as they have been! And I’ve beefed up my workout schedule. JT got my bike in working order so I’ve been biking the 8 km to and from work! Summer…BRING IT!
In an effort to cut back and hopefully lose a couple of pounds, I decided to eat vegetarian for a week. It’s not as much of a challenge as it would have been 20 years ago, there are so many incredible vegetarian products out there, and one that recently surfaced on my radar again are Sheritaki Noodles. They are low carb, low fat and they have a decent amount of protein. I usually buy this brand of Sheritaki Noodles. I have to admit, one needs a good robust sauce over these noodles because even after they are rinsed well, and heated they still have a bit of a fishy smell (the package calls it uniquely distinct). JT won’t eat them. So I have them for lunch during the week.
Lots of garlic and the basil in the pesto really helped mask the fishy flavour so distinct of this product
Sheritaki Noodles with Tofu Pesto
an original recipe by Kitcheninspirations (serves 1)
- a handful of fresh basil
- 55 g of firm tofu
- 2 cloves of garlic finely minced
- 3 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 green onion finely chopped
- 4 steamed asparagus cut into 3 cm pieces
- 113g Sharitake Noodles
- In the bowl of a small food processor, add the basil, tofu, minced garlic, lemon juice and salt, process until it is a smooth paste (like pesto).
- Warm the sheritaki noodles as per package directions, toss with the pesto and the asparagus and garnish with the green onions. Enjoy.
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I know, my super bowl menu listed Honey Garlic Chicken Wings, but while I was grazing my reading list of blogs, I saw that Kay over at Pure Complex recently made Grilled Maple Mustard Chicken Wings and I just knew I had to revise my Honey Garlic CW to Maple Garlic Chicken Wings – yet another tip of the hat to the New England Patriots! Unfortunately, my photos just did not turn out well, so I trashed them. You’ll have to use your imagination on how yummy they were.
Maple Garlic Chicken Wings
- whole mess of wings (I like them separated so they bake more evenly)
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 4-5 cloves garlic, finely minced
- salt and pepper to taste
- non-fat cooking spray
- Dry off the wings and add to a zip lock bag.
- Mix all of the remaining ingredients and pour into the bag and close. Rub this mixture into the wings — you can leave in the fridge over night, if you wish.
- Pre heat oven to 200° C / 400° F
- Line a large baking sheet with parchment (will save a lot of time cleaning up). Spray a bit with the non-stick spray.
- Pour wings onto the sheet and bake for about 45 minutes to 1 hour, turning once when the fist side has a nice golden colour to it.
- Enjoy with Blue Cheese dipping sauce.
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Re the tomato post yesterday, I also got a very ripe avocado yesterday from our very generous client (we split the good stuff three ways!) so it got me thinking… what to make? Guacamole, but of course! It’s Friday and we always have a cocktail or two on Fridays, and I never serve booze without some food. Cocktails are usually at 5:30-6 on a Friday, 4-5 on a Saturday!
- 1/2 very ripe avocado
- 2-4 tbsp lime juice
- 1 tbsp finely grated garlic
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- 1/2 finely chopped jalopeño pepper reserve about a 1/2 tsp for garnish)
- Salt to taste
- Put everything into the jar of an immersion blender and blend until smooth. Garnish with reserved jalopeño.
- Serve with crackers.
- Eat. (borrowed this complete direction from Greg)
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