Posted in Appetizers/Hors D'oeuvres, Cheese, Gluten Free, Recipes, Sauces, Things to do in Toronto, Vegetarian, tagged cheese, hot peppers, jelly, red currant, smoked peppers on August 8, 2013 |
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Our dear friends Rae and Monica dropped in the day before my birthday party to share a little bubbly with us to celebrate! It was such a lovely gesture since they live about 50 minutes away. They dropped their three girls and some friends off on Bloor Street in our hood because we have such lovely shops to browse through; our local Chapters is a great visit because its a converted theatre with beautiful architectural features not to mention the cool stuff to buy! And then there is Sweet Flour where you can get a custom-baked fresh cookie in about a minute (they have a variety of raw doughs and a whole mess of inclusions, you pick the dough and inclusions and presto, a freshly baked cookie!). Definitely worth visiting. They also shopped the trendy clothing stores while we visited with Rae and Mon and a couple of hours and bottles later their girls dropped in! It was such a lovely visit; we’ve known the girls since they were born, so it was nice to have adult conversations. The girls very kindly and generously bought us a box of red currants! How nice is that? With everything going on, my big bash the next day and leaving in a couple of days for a short vaycay, I knew I had to do something very special with these delicate berries, but what? Then I remembered my dear friend Sissi makes the most incredible hot and sweet jellies so I took a little trip to her beautiful blog With a Glass to see what kinds of jellies she has made and boy, what a selection. Sadly their were no jellies for red currants, so I expanded my search on the web and found this lovely jelly recipe by David Lebovitz’s Red Currant Jam recipe, with some artistic license! Thank you Sissi for the inspiration.
it’s a perfect accompaniment to cheese
The jelly is slightly sweet with some smokey heat right at the very end, nothing unpleasant, and if I were to make it again, I would likely add a bit more heat to it.
We had this jelly with left over cheeses and fruits from my birthday bash!
Red Current Jelly
based on David Lebovitz’s Red Current Jam
- 1 part currents (150g)
- 1/2 part sugar
- 1/2 guajillo pepper
- 1/4 ancho pepper
- 1/8 haberno pepper
- Finely chop the three varieties of peppers, including the seed if you prefer a more robust heat.
- Remove the large stems from the currants, rinse. Add the currents and the chopped peppers to a pot large enough to be able to add enough water just so that it covers the currents and the peppers.
- Cook the currants and the peppers stirring frequently until they’re soft and wilted (like you would in making cranberry sauce).
- Weigh the glass container you will transfer the purée into. Press the purée through a fine sieve to remove the seeds, stems and pepper bits into the weighed glass container. (or if you have a scales which tares, simply put the glass container on top, tare it and press the currant pepper mix into it.
- Now weigh the purée in the glass container, subtract the first weight from the second weight and divide it by four (if you have a scale that tares, this is much easier).
- For each pound (kilo), add the 1/4 of the amount of sugar to the pot.
- Mix the purée and the sugar and cook over medium-high heat, stirring until the sugar is completely dissolved. Once the mixture is at a rolling boil, let it boil for five minutes undisturbed.
- After five minutes, turn off the heat and skim off any scum.
- Pour into sterilized jars up to the top and screw on the lids firmly. Turn the jars upside down and let cool completely (this is Lebovitz method to can, it worked for me!).
Speaking of the big bash, here is the photo book I created so I can remember the wonderful day everyone made for me (any references to age were intentionally left out, so don’t be rude and ask me how old I am ;-)!):
Click here to view this photo book larger
offers exclusive layouts and designs so you can make your book just the way you want.
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We’ve all made pesto, right? Well, maybe not everyone, so here I will share my favourite recipe. You can use this mix as a dip, on toasts, as a base for pizza, a sandwich or even a dollop in the middle of a lovely creamed soup. It’s quite flavourful so you don’t need a lot of it. I usually just eyeball this recipe, but this time I got out the scale and measuring cups so I could have tangible measurements.
A delicious combo of flavours
Makes about 1/2 cup
- 30 g fresh basil, leaves removed, washed and dried
- 40 g (1/3 cup) toasted pine nuts
- 35 g (1/3 cup) freshly grated Parmesan
- 3 cloves of garlic (about 10 g) or to taste
- EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil)
- salt to taste
- In a food processor with metal blades combine the basil, pine nuts (make sure they are cool), Parmesan and garlic. Pulse adding a slow stream of EVOO to the consistency desired (I like my Pesto a little chunky and not too wet).
- Add salt to taste, but remember that the Parmesan is rather salty.
- Serve mixed into warm pasta with quartered grape tomatoes and shaved parmesan.
Quartered Grape Tomatoes add a lovely acidity to the dish.
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Posted in Gluten Free, Indian, Recipes, Salad, Sauces, tagged carrot, chutney, condiment, delicious, Indian, pickle on December 28, 2012 |
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The same restaurant that I mentioned in a previous post, Bombay Palace serves a pickled carrot that I just can’t get enough of. It’s sweet, tangy and crunchy and delicious. Their version is very red because they put food colouring into it, I omitted the colouring.
Lightly crunchy and packed full of flavour
Original recipe from here, but I changed it up.
- 1 medium carrot, about 200 g cut into cubes
- 1/2 tbsp mustard powder
- 1/4 tsp chili powder
- a pinch each ground cloves and cardamom
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup rice vinegar
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- Blanche the carrots and stop the cooking in an ice bath. Drain well.
- Mix remaining ingredients in a seal-able container, add the carrot and refrigerate for 1-2 days.
- To serve, drain and rinse.
Sweet Mango Chutney
- Mango, not too ripe
- 1/4 cup chopped red onion
- 1 clove garlic, finely minced
- 1 tbsp freshly grated ginger
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- pinch of ground cloves
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup cider vinegar
- 1/4 tsp chili paste
- Peel and seed the mangos and chop into 5-10 mm cubes.
- Place all ingredients into a non-aluminum saucepan and bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour or until fruit and onion is very soft. Lightly mash with a fork. Allow to cool and place in a clean glass jar. Store in the refrigerator
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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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Whilst in Lyon I also bought some dark mustard seeds (now I know I’m not the only one who buys food as souvenirs). Apparently the darker the seeds the hotter the mustard, I didn’t know this then, but as it turns out, dark is good because I LOVE a hot mustard. Another thing I didn’t know in making mustard is that you can tame the heat by cooking the mustard, the longer you cook it, the less hot it will be. Go figure.
I mixed in my yellow mustard seeds for good measure
I didn’t cook mine at all.
If you’re wondering, I made the label! The jar came from a trip out to Whistler, BC about 20 years ago. We ‘needed‘ Dijon mustard for a dinner in our condo and the one I bought came with this adorable little jar (you knew I was gonna buy that jar whether we needed mustard for our dinner or not!). Anyway, I loved the jar and the little wooden spoon, and it’s perfect for my home made mustard.
I remember seeing a post from my friend Lorraine at Not Quite Nigella and she made home made mustard from scratch. I know my Mom used to make it from time to time, but sadly I never got the recipe and when Lorraine made it a few months ago, I knew I had to give it a try. I won’t be buying grainy mustard again. It’s easy to make and the taste totally rocks. You have to leave it for a couple of days otherwise the seeds are quite bitter, but once it ages, it is lovely.
I made this batch to take to my brother’s cottage for Thanksgiving weekend. I served it with Turkey Sausages with the Fluffy Buttermilk Cakes of Pan breakfast JT and I made.
Grainy French Mustard
Makes about 125 mL or 1/2 cup
- 6 tablespoons mustard seeds (I used 1 tbsp yellow mustard seeds and 5 tbsps brown French mustard seeds)
- 1/2 cup mustard powder
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 3 teaspoons honey (this simply smooths out the heat, it doesn’t actually make the mustard sweet)
- 1/3 cup water (use cold water if you like your mustard hot and spicy or use warm or hot water if you like your mustard mild)
- In your dedicated spice grinder or mortar and pestle, grind about 1/3 of the total seeds. s
- In a small bowl, combine the ground and whole seeds, mustard powder and water; stir to combine.
- Rest this mixture for 15 minutes, then add salt, white wine vinegar and honey (for a milder mustard, you can gently heat this mixture in a saucepan for a few minutes).
- Pour this mixture into a sterilized glass jar (the longer it stands the thicker it gets) and allow to age for at least 12 hours or overnight to settle the flavour (it is very bitter to use immediately, the flavour really smooth out over time).
- You need not store mustard in the refrigerator, but I do.
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Posted in Recipes, Sauces on September 6, 2012 |
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I wanted to come up with an alternative to adding sugar to my BBQ sauce for the pulled pork, after all, we reduced the fat by using the Tenderloin and I thought of Mango. Mango pairs really well with savoury dishes so I cam up with this recipe and tried it out tonight, slow cooking my tenderloin until it literally falls apart.
Tangy and naturally sweet, a perfect accompaniment to any meat, particularly Pork.
Mango BBQ Sauce
Makes about 250 mL
- 100 g mango (you could use more, but I didn’t want it too sweet)
- 50 g chopped onions
- 120 g tomatoes (I just used vine ripened because our lovely neighbours gave us some)
- 3 large cloves garlic, finely minced
- 1 tbsp Éva’s Hot Sauce
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp salt
- Put everything into the container of your immersion blender and blend until smooth, adding water until you reach your desired consistency.
- Press through a fine sieve to get rid of the lumps, tomato seeds and such.
- You can can cook this down for about 30 minutes or just use it in your recipe as is (I did for my pulled pork as it cooks for several hours on the BBQ and cooks down anyway).
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Posted in Sauces on September 2, 2012 |
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This was an unexpected surprise in the spring
It has more tomatoes than I would have thought
We’ll likely have enough for one salad
This year I was too late in getting tomato plants but nature gifted me with a sprout from last year. Now it is about 90cm (36″) tall and has a good lot of tomatoes growing on it.
But I was able to get some chili pepper plants in and now I have a lot of chili peppers, more chili peppers than JT and I would eat. So I got to thinking, what can I do with chili peppers? Hot sauce, of course.
This hot sauce turned out quite complex with a good amount of heat, but also a great flavour. It’s uncooked, so it won’t last forever in the fridge, but hot sauce rarely lasts in my house anyway.
I would totally spread this over my Heuvos Rancheros, Shakshuka or even in Pulled Pork. Or add it to a BBQ sauce for the pulled pork to make it even more awesome than you would ever imagine. The possibilities are endless.
Careful, it’s hotter than it looks!
Éva’s Hot Sauce
Makes enough to fill a 250 mL bottle
- 20 g fresh red chilis
- 20 g smoked Morita Chilis (I got these when we were down in Wisconsin visiting our friends Paul and T)
- 20 g garlic, minced finely
- 2 cloves
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1/8 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 5 pink pepper corns
- 1/8 tsp fennels seeds
- 1/4 cup puréed tomatoes
- 1/4 cup puréed sweet red peppers
- 1 tbsp cider vinegar
- 2 tbsp tahini paste
- Rehydrate the Morita Chilis in about 250 mL water, remove seeds and reserve hydrating liquid.
- Clean and remove seeds from the fresh red chilis.
- Put everything into the jar of an immersion blender and blend until you achieve a smooth paste, adding a little of the reserved hydrating liquid to achieve your desired consistency. You’ll want to taste for seasonings, but remember, it won’t really come alive until at least 24 hours in the fridge.
- Press through a fine sieve and pour into a clean container. Refrigerate for 24 hours. Taste again and adjust salt and vinegar to taste.
- Enjoy with hamburgers, hot dogs, steak or use as a flavouring in other sauces or stews.
A little dab will do you
- The Morita Chilis lend a smoky flavour to the sauce.
- Rick Bayless uses sesame and pumpkin seeds puréed to cut some of the heat in a couple of his hot sauce recipes, so I thought, why not tahini paste? It does make the sauce more caloric and thick, but it also smooths out the heat.
- I added the spices that I thought would work in the hot sauce, you can adjust to your taste or even choose entirely different combos!
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