Posted in Breakfast/Brunch, Condiments, Gluten Free, Jam, Recipes, Vegetarian, tagged comfort food, delicious, Gluten Free, sweet, Vegetarian on January 9, 2017|
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My dear friend Lorraine recently launched her new travel company, focussing on unique food and travel experiences, traveling in the style and class that she has grown accustomed to! Her first journey is to Peru, a gastronomical hot-bed, who knew? Do take a gander to her new site Experiential Traveller and check it out.
It so happens that I have had Peruvian cuisine only a couple of times, in New York City, of all places! A few years ago, JT and I were sitting in our hotel lobby waiting for our dear friends Paul & T to arrive when this very animated woman, Melony comes in holding a bag of freshly baked bagels. She comes bounding over to us with such excitement and says, “I bet you’ve never had a Brooklyn bagel!” We said we’ve had bagels in New York but she interrupted and claimed with no uncertainty that they were most likely not authentic Brooklyn bagels and that today was our lucky day because she just bought a bag of the city’s finest and we MUST try them. It’s not like we had a choice, so we followed her into the attached hair salon (she was the manager) and she proceeded to hand us authentic Brooklyn bagels. Well, you can’t just eat someone’s authentic Brooklyn bagels without some small talk, and that’s how we found out about the BEST (THE BEST, Jerry. THE BEST) Peruvian restaurant in the city (Mancora in The Lower East Side)! And on the plus side, it wasn’t a wallet-breaker either! We had one of the best lunches there with our dear friends Paul and T! You see, I did come back around to Peru!
Orange marmalade goes so well with Brooklyn bagels so when I had a few oranges left over from a gig late last summer, I decided to make orange marmalade! I chose an Ina Garten recipe that took two days as we were heading up to the cottage and I didn’t have time to finish it in the city. Having to do it again, I’d probably go with a long cooking jam instead of macerating the fruit as I didn’t feel it gave anything different to the texture. But if you need a jam recipe spanning over two days, this one is for you!
This recipe is roughly based on Ina Garten’s Orange Marmalade
Easy Orange Marmalade
Yields: 500 mL (~2 cups)
- 2 large oranges (ends removed and sliced very thinly, yields about 575 g)
- 2 cups water
- 300 g sugar
- 45 mL lemon juice
- Combine thinly sliced orange slices and the water in a non-reactive pan (I used my Le Creuset). Bring to a boil, stirring often.
- Remove from heat and add sugar, stirring until entirely dissolved. Add lemon juice and stir.
- Cover and leave overnight.
- The following day, bring the mixture back to a boil, stirring often. Reduce to a simmer and simmer uncovered for 2 hours, stirring often. Turn up the heat again and gently boil for an additional 30 minutes, skimming off any foam that forms. Cook the marmalade until it reaches 105° C (220° F) or when a small sample forms wrinkles as you run your finger through it on a very cold plate. At this point, I felt there was too much peel and not enough jam, so I took about half and processed it smoothly with an immersion blender and returned it to the peel and combined. It’s quite a lovely texture.
- Pour into sterilized jars and apply lids. Process for 10 minutes in hard boiling water.
- The sugar was reduced to 300 g (a little more than the 3:1 ratio).
- I found the multi-process a bit much for the result, I will find a version that is not so labour intensive next time. You may wish to try Helene’s family recipe.
- The platter was a gift from my cousin and his wife when they stayed with us for a little more than two weeks, summer 2015. I adore gifts like that, I will always think of them when I use the platter. It’s hand painted Herend Porcelain, a very famous Hungarian porcelain house.
This is a good article on the differences between a Brooklyn Bagel and a Montréal Bagel (my favourite). Updated Jan 10/17.
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Posted in Mycryo®, Soups, Vegetarian, Weight Watchers Recipes, tagged coconut, delicious, lime, Soup, sweet, tangy, tasty, Vegetarian on September 12, 2016|
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A few months ago, one of my Chef FB peeps posted about a product she received called Mycryo®. I was intrigued, I had never heard of such a product so off I went to research it. The product is powdered cocoa butter and their website touts that it seals in flavour with fewer calories than pan firing in oil! How exciting is that?! I immediately thought of a few applications that release fluids quickly making it difficult to sear: Scallops, mushrooms, potatoes, and the list goes on! I HAD to HAVE it! So off I went to their website to see where I might purchase this unique product, and to my delight, there were quite a few stores. I made the mistake of not calling ahead to see if they had it in stock and I shuffled off to several stores (sigh, you know how I hate going to specialty grocery stores!) to track it down but was sadly disappointed, although I did make some other purchases so my trips were not entirely useless. I returned home, with a sunken heart and proceeded to call and email around but, I was not able to find it. What to do? My desire for this product had not waned, so I tweeted the Canadian company and they immediately responded and the next thing I knew, they sent me a full-size sample! Isn’t that lovely?
I’ve been using Mycryo® in my everyday cooking (I even transferred some to a small bottle to take to the cottage), although I haven’t had a blog worthy recipe before this one, it works just as they claim. I’ve tried Mycryo® with mushrooms, scallops, shrimp, pork shoulder (for pulled pork) and pork tenderloin (roast), oven roasted potatoes and sweet potatoes. It doesn’t splatter as much as oil does and that makes me happy because I don’t need to clean up a mess! Although, I must tell you that I haven’t had as much success with potatoes or sweet potatoes, but that may be due to the fact that I only have a small convection oven at the cottage, where I tried it. This recipe, however, works out perfectly with this unique product, the shrimp did not release any liquid, making a wonderfully crisp coating, just like deep frying but without the excessive calories.
That shrimp is either enormous or that’s a very small bowl 😉!
Chilled Pea Soup with Kaffir Lime Coconut Milk garnished with Toasted Coconut Shrimp
A KitchenInspirations Original Recipe
Makes 1.25 L (5.5 cups)
- 25 g coconut milk powder (around 4 heaping tbsp)
- 1 cup milk (I used 2%)
- 1 cup water
- 750 g frozen peas (about 1 lb)
- 10 g dried Kaffir Lime Leaves (a good handful, use less if fresh)
- 1 tbsp chopped cilantro
- 10 g grated frozen ginger (about 1 tsp)
- 2 cups vegetable stock or water
- 2 tbsp lime juice
- pinch of sea salt
- Combine coconut milk powder with milk and water and blend with an immersion blender until well blended.
- Add the defrosted peas, dried kaffir lime leaves, cilantro, ginger and 2 cups vegetable stock (or water) to the coconut milk. Blend with an immersion blender until smooth. Strain through a fine sieve and add the lime juice, blend again briefly (see notes below).
The soup tastes like summer!
Serving Suggestion, per person:
Ingredients, per person:
- 1 large shrimp, entirely peeled (I hate to have to fish the shrimp out with my fingers to pull off the tail)
- 1/2 tbsp AP unbleached flour
- 1/2 tbsp egg white with a pinch of sugar or honey, whisked
- 1 tbsp toasted coconut
- 1/2 tsp Mycryo®*
- To toast the coconut, Toss with 1/2 tsp Mycryo® and toast lightly in a small frying pan set aside to cool,.
- Dredge the shrimp in the flour and coat well. Next coat the shrimp with the egg white mixture. Then back into the flour and dip back into the egg white mixture (see notes). Then lastly, coat the shrimp well with the toasted coconut, set aside. Continue until you have all of the shrimp prepared.
- Preheat the oven to 190° C (375° F). Lay shrimp on their sides onto a baking sheet. Gently sprinkle Mycryo® on side one, then flip the shrimp and sprinkle on side two. Bake for 3-5 minutes or until entirely opaque.
- Pour the chilled soup into a soup bowl, gently add the shrimp so that it remains visible (I may have propped said shrimp on an inverted bowl in the soup, food styling trick for photography ONLY!). Serve immediately.
- Obviously, to be vegetarian and vegan, omit the shrimp!
- Substitute 1 cup coconut milk plus 1 cup water for the coconut milk powder and milk. To reduce calories, reduce the proportion of coconut milk to 1/2 cup plus 1 1/2 cup milk and 1 cup water.
- To get more out of your soup, blend the remaining pulp from the sieve a few times adding only a little water or vegetable stock, press through a fine sieve each time and add to the main soup. I usually do this 2 or 3 times and the pulp is reduced about 1/2 to 1/4 each time!
- Pulp broth: do yourself a favour and boil some water (I did about 500 mL or 2 cups) and pour it over the pulp, allow to sit until cooled and then strain it through a fine sieve (like a metal coffee filter) and reserve the liquid for your next soup. It packs a bunch of flavour and now you have stock from something that would have been compost! Compost the remaining pulp.
- Refrain from adding additional sweetness to the soup until you have tasted the final product, I feel the peas should be sweet enough.
- Other garnish options are:
- Whipped coconut milk with toasted coconut.
- 1 or 2 grilled shrimp per serving (just dust the dry shrimp in Mycryo® on both sides and put on a hot grill)
- Toast some coconut and chiffonade some mint, dress each bowl.
- a dollop of crème fraîche with some toasted coconut.
Eva Taylor/Kitcheninspirations received 550 g container of Mycryo® by Mycryo® Canada free of charge; this recipe was developed by Eva Taylor for Kitcheninspirations, and the opinions expressed in this post are that of Eva Taylor/Kitcheninspirations.
Nutritional facts based on 250 mL soup with 1 shrimp, approximately 26 g.
WW tables based on 250 mL soup with 1 shrimp, approximately 26 g.
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Posted in Dressing, Gluten Free, Indian, Kitcheninspirations Original Recipe, Sauces, Vegetable Sides, Vegetarian, tagged Apple, delicious, Gluten Free, heat, Indian, low fat, sweet, tangy, Vegetarian on May 18, 2015|
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There is nothing like the push of having extended stay visitors to open your eyes to see all the deficiencies in your home. Case in point, several years ago I filled a few cracks on one of my kitchen walls and then I painted over the patches but since the rest of the wall was about 4 years old, the paint dried a slightly different colour and the wall looked patchy in certain lights. It was on my to do list f o r e v e r! So a couple of weeks ago, after I filled in a few new cracks, bought a new can of paint (when did paint become SO expensive?) I finally repainted the entire wall. A fresh coat of paint really freshens up a room. Of course, once I started filling in cracks all over the house and painting, there was no stopping me…it turned into a two-day project. But then it’s another thing off the list.
Recently we had James, a long-time college friend of JTs over for an Indian dinner and I made my new favourite Jamie Oliver Chicken Tikka Masala recipe along with Palek Paneer, the best Naan ever and a few condiments, pickled carrot and this delightful Apple Chutney. I am certain that James, who is a renovator, was too polite to say anything about my patchy walls but I kept the lighting low anyway!
What are some of the nagging to do’s on your home maintenance list?
Sweet, tangy with a little bit of heat.
A KitchenInspirations Original Recipe
- 1 Granny Smith apple (about 165 g)
- 165 onion, coarsely chopped
- 80 g dates, coarsely chopped
- 10 g fresh ginger, grated
- 3 tbsp white balsamic vinegar
- 1/8 tsp cloves
- 70 mL water
- 1 tbsp Sweet Apricot Chili Sauce
- 1/4 cup Coconut Sugar
- Combine all the ingredients in a heavy bottom sauce pan and cook on medium heat until onions have caramelized and the sauce is thick but still have texture.
- Cool. Serve at room temperature.
- Store in the refrigerator for 1 week or freeze.
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Has spring arrived where you are? It sure hasn’t over here, in fact there is very little sign of it. Yes, we can be grateful that the snow has finally melted and that it hasn’t snowed in any measurable quantity for a few days, but these temperatures are killing us. Since I’ve begun my morning walks through High Park again (8km most mornings) it’s been so cold that I’m still wearing my long down-filled coat, hat, gloves and a balaclava around my neck at the ready when the howling wind rudely slaps my face. I’m ready for spring. With these cold temperatures, I’m still craving warming foods like my dear friend Sissi’s Dried Apricot and Chili Jelly. If you don’t know Sissi, she is an experienced cook with a passion for the Far East. Her recipes are uncomplicated and her writing style is elegant and beautiful and that’s something because English isn’t even her first language! I’m always drawn to Sissi’s recipes because she combines flavours that hit my palette perfectly. And she enjoys similar foods and textures that I do. Please visit Sissi’s blog for the original recipe because she has generously provided more details than I am providing.
Sweet Chili Sauce with Dried Apricots
Makes 250 mL sweet chili sauce
- 175 g dried apricots
- 150 mL +100 ml cider vinegar
- 100 g red Thai chili peppers
- 200 g sugar
- 50 mL water
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 package pectin in powder (25 g)
- Bring 150 mL vinegar to a boil and add the apricots to soak for 30 minutes.
- To a small food processor, add the hot peppers (discard the stalks and seeds) and the soaked apricots and pulse to chop reasonably finely.
- Combine the remaining ingredients (including the additional 50 mL vinegar) and boil 20 minutes,stirring constantly.
- Sprinkle the pectin over the surface and cook 10 more minutes, mixing well.
- Transfer the hot jelly into the sterilised jar or jars and cover with lid(s). Allow the jar to cool and refrigerate. If your jars are smaller (I used one 250 mL jar) you will want to process them as you would any canning project. I popped my single jar into the fridge and will use over the next month or so (or I will freeze for later use).
This is a very hot sauce.
- I had intended on reducing the sugar but believe me, it NEEDS the sweetness because these peppers are HOT!
- This is an excellent condiment but use conservatively as it is VERY HOT.
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Posted in Bread, Breakfast/Brunch, Cheese, Snacks, tagged Bread, corn, great texture, jalopeño, spicy, sweet on March 27, 2014|
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This is the best Jalopeño Cornbread EVER.
Everyone has a favourite corn bread recipe, this one is mine. It came from an 80’s trendy restaurant called Fred’s Not Here in the theatre district in Toronto. I qualify that it was trendy in the 80’s because although it is still around, I haven’t been to it since the 80’s so I’m not certain it’s ‘trendy’ any more. I do know that the particular strip that this and many other restaurants reside on are fighting for their lives from being re-zoned and torn down to be made into condos. Like Toronto needs more condos; apparently we have the most condos under construction in all of North America, more than New York, Chicago and Boston, believe it or not. Even if you don’t believe that, surely you must believe that this is absolutely the best corn bread recipe EVER! It’s got great texture (thank you cheddar cheese), a slight sweetness and heat. What more can you want?
Originally posted on this blog in 2009 here, I found this recipe in the Toronto Star in the section that people wrote in and asked the Star to print a recipe from a specific restaurant. It wasn’t me who wrote in, obviously someone else also thought it was the best cornbread ever, so you needn’t take my word for it. I still have the original printed recipe. But I’ve immortalized it for you here and reposted it below because the original photo sucked. These are better.
Fred’s Not Here Jalapeño Corn Bread
Makes about 26 small corn-shaped corn breads. I have altered the original recipe, so if you’d prefer the actual Fred’s Not Here version, please click to my original post here.
OK, you caught me, I didn’t have jalopeños, I only had hot Thai Chilies!
- 1 1/4 cups finely ground corn meal (not corn flour)
- 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 2 tbsp finely diced jalapeños or hot chili peppers (or more if you really like it hot!)
- 2 finely sliced green onions
- 1 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- Pre heat oven to 400° F.
- Sift cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Stir in the shredded cheese.
- Blend eggs, milk and oil in another bowl. Add the finely diced jalapeños and green onion.
- Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients and stir well to combine.
- Spray your cast iron corn shaped pan with non-stick spray and pre-heat until smoking.
- Spoon batter into smoking hot moulds and bake for 25 minutes or until firm and golden.
- Serve warm or at room temperature with fresh butter.
- In a pinch I’ve used dried chili flakes, it works very well.
- You can substitute honey for the granulated sugar, but I haven’t tried it.
- Keep your eye on the baking after the first couple of pans because the pan gets hotter; I had to reduce my baking time by a minute or so by the end.
- Fill the cavity only to the top, this batter has a lot of leavening and will fill out very nicely.
- I served it with this Sopa Azteca and it was very successful.
Based on 1 cornbread.
Based on 1 cornbread.
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Posted in Bread, Recipes, tagged Bread, Chewy, salty, sweet on January 9, 2014|
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I’ve noticed lately that most of our grocery stores are now carrying a variety of extraordinary breads, from focaccia made from an authentic Italian recipe that uses an enormous volume of olive oil to various egg, grain and nut breads; recently I’ve also noticed something I hadn’t seen before, a very beautiful Pretzel Bread! Now pretzel bread has a chewy texture and a salty finish on its chewy crust. It’s a lovely dense bread (if you love egg bread than you will love pretzel bread) that works well as hamburger buns and sandwiches! We’re going to use it for a cheese fondu! I’ve also seen this type of boule used as a soup bowl…perhaps another time!
I scanned the internet for a recipe and came across one from Fleischmann’s yeast that I rather liked, so I made it the first time verbatim and then the second time I made a few adjustments because I wasn’t entirely happy with the first result. There just wasn’t enough liquid to soak up the flour they claimed to need no matter how much I kneaded! My first dough was a little stiff. With some minor adjustments I present to you the slightly modified recipe but please pop on over to the original recipe here.
This is the first batch I made, the bread was not soft enough to open too much. The finished texture was OK though.
Originally, pretzel bread is boiled in a water and Food Grade Lye solution, but that just seemed a little too dangerous for my taste so I opted to use baking soda instead. Many recipes range for a few tablespoons to 3/4 cup of baking soda which is the most I’ve seen on-line. I’ve even seen some recipes bake the baking soda, but that seemed like too much work! The baking soda or lye creates Maillard reaction which causes the proteins and the sugars react in a certain way that allows the bread to brown at high temperatures much more easily than by just baking; boiling it first gives this bread its signature chewy crust. This bread turned a most beautiful reddish brown colour that normal baking would not have resulted! I was very pleased indeed! The dough comes together very easily and doesn’t take an exorbitant amount of time. Proofing is just 1 hour! Baking is even less! The results are worth the effort. I must warn you though, it’s a good workout if you don’t have a stand mixer, the recipe says to knead for 8-10 minutes and they are not kidding!
Second attempt: The boules are not huge, so plan on having two on hand for a dinner party.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Proofing Time: 60 minutes
Boiling Time: per loaf, 2 minutes
Baking Time: 25 to 27 minutes
Original recipe from Fleischmann’s yeast
This one opened up nicely.
Makes: 2 (18 cm or 7-inch) loaves or 8 rolls (I will make the rolls for soup bowls another time). For slider buns, form 50 g balls of dough to make 19 buns.
Ingredients for Dough:
- 1 1/2 to 3/4 cups milk (I increased the milk because the original dough was too tough and not soft as indicated in the instructions, but it will change depending on how humid the day is)
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 tbsp bread machine yeast (I prefer to use this because it dissolves faster)
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 3 to 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (I found 3 cups in the winter months was enough to produce a soft, sticky dough)
Ingredients for the Boiling Solution:
- 2.8 L or 3 quarts water
- 3/4 cup baking soda
Ingredients for the Egg Wash:
- Warm the milk and butter to 37.7°C – 43°C (100°F-110°F); the butter will not completely melt.
- In the large mixing bowl of your stand mixer, combine the warm milk with room temperature yeast and brown sugar. Stir in the salt and 2 cups flour and beat for 3 minutes (I used my cookie dough blade on my stand mixer, the first time I tried the whisk attachment and it was too sticky).
- Gradually add enough of the remaining flour to make a soft dough (I added 1 additional cup, 3 cups in total).
- Knead for 8-10 minutes in your stand mixer using the dough hook until smooth and elastic.
- Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover and let rise for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
- Preheat oven to 204°C (400°F)
- Combine boiling solution and bring to a boil.
- Punch the dough down and divide into 2 equal portions.
- Form each portion into a tight, smooth ball (this will be the shape of your final bread, so if you want more of an oval roll, shape accordingly).
- Boil each portion in the solution for a total of 2 minutes; start with the top side down and then flipping it over after 1 minute, top side up.
- Remove the dough portions from the pot using a slotted spoon and place on a greased baking sheet (I lined my sheet with parchment). Allow to dry off for a bit (a minute or so).
- Brush with the egg wash and cut a cross in the top, make sure you insert blade about 2 mm (1/8″) into the dough.
- Bake for 15 minutes at 204°C (400°F), then reduce the temperature to 177°C (350°F) and bake an additional 8-10 minutes until the loaves are evenly browned, you want a nice dark reddish-brown colour and the bread sounds hollow when tapped.
- Remove from pan and cool on a wire rack.
May I cut you a slice or two?
A delightful chewy texture.
I posted this in January’s Growing Edge group post. Please check it out here.
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I picked up some tamarind paste when we visited Chgo John (from the Bartolini Kitchens) last summer and he took us to his favourite Asian shops. I’m sure this paste can be purchased in any number of Asian stores in Toronto, but the romance of bringing back an exotic ingredient was just too strong to ignore. Everytime I use this paste (and any number of other amazing ingredients I procured during that visit) I think fondly of our visit with John that day.
If you haven’t tried tamarind, I strongly urge you to do so, it is quite a flavour experience unlike anything else you’ve ever tried.
The tamarind paste was used as a sauce for the onion bhajis I made for the recent Indian feast for our neighbours.
Tangy, sour and sweet all at once.
Tamarind Chutney for Onion Bhajis
Makes about 1/3 cup
- 1 teaspoon concentrated tamarind paste
- 2-4 tsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp red chili powder
- 3 dried apricots (original recipe called for papaya powder which I did not have)
- 1 cup water
- In a small heavy bottom sauce pan, add the tamarind paste, apricot and sugar. 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 chili powder and mix well. Boil until all of the water evaporates and you are left with a thick rich sauce.
A perfect pairing to the onion bhajis
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