Posted in Appetizers/Hors D'oeuvres, Arizona, Cheese, Kitcheninspirations Original Recipe, Recipes, Snacks, Travel, Vegetarian, tagged Appetizer, Appetizer/Hors d'oeuvres, cheese, delicious, hors d'oeuvres, tangy, tasty, Vegetarian on March 20, 2017|
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I’ve been a little busy since we’ve returned from Arizona, you may have noticed my absence commenting and that I didn’t post last week. I was going to fret about it and try and throw together something but decided against it. Life happens.
One of our dear friends sold their home in the burbs and moved into their condo just before we left for holidays. JT and I helped them paint before the move, with the move, and a little organization. You see, their home was around 2,500 square feet and they moved into a 600 square foot condo. To say they down-sized is an understatement. I have to admit, I was a little jealous that they were able to rid themselves of excess, but I had to be honest with myself, and I’m not there yet. This past weekend, we went to visit and you know me, I never go empty handed, so I made these cheese crisps.
When I made the gluten free version of cheez-itz, I rolled them a bit thinner than usual and loved how crisp they baked up, so this time, I adjusted the gluten recipe and rolled them out in my KitchenAid pasta maker and the results were exceptional. Thinner crackers baked up so crispy, I was hooked. If you like cheese tuiles, then you will love these cheese-flavoured, light, crisp crackers, but be warned, they are quite addictive.
I added a little album of our trip to Arizona at the end of this post, if you are interested. Basically, it was the coldest and rainiest time in Arizona this year. We experienced -15°C (59° F) and snow in The Grand Canyon and although the sun did make an appearance from time to time, it never really warmed up. I wore layered leggings and tops, a winter coat, gloves and scarf and ear muffs, most of the time while we were in The Grand Canyon and Sedona. It rained so much in Sedona; Sedona gets about 38 cm (15 inches) of rain a year, in two days we had 4 cm (1.5 inches)! Oh well, it’s another reason to go back!
A KitchenInspirations Original Recipe
Makes about 350 g crackers (about 6 cups)
- 240 g full-flavoured, hard cheese, grated (see notes)
- 45 g unsalted butter
- 15 g vegetable shortening
- ½ tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika (see notes)
- 1 cup (125 g) flour, plus more for rolling
- 2 tbsp ice water
- Combine everything but the water in the large food processor bowl and pulse until fully combined.
- Slowly pour in the ice water and process until the dough comes together. It may not look like it will, but it will.
- Sprinkle a generous amount of flour on your surface and roll out small bits of the dough thin enough to get through #1 on the KitchenAid Pasta maker attachment. Run each sheet through three times on #1, two-times on #2 and two-times on #3. Return to your work surface and cut with a variety of cookie cutters. I chose smallish ones because I wanted bite-sized nibbles. They shrink to about 65% of the original size.
- Preheat oven to 375° F.
- Transfer crackers to a baking sheet (I line mine with parchment).
- Bake for 8-10 minutes until golden and crispy! Be careful – there’s a fine line with these between golden brown and overdone – and it only takes seconds to burn!
- Use whatever full-flavoured cheese you have. This batch was made with equal quantities of sharp Cheddar, naturally-smoked Cheddar and Beemster.
- I prefer to use the pasta maker to roll the dough because it guarantees the dough to be the same thickness throughout the batch. I wouldn’t go thinner than #3 though, really thin crackers will burn very quickly before they crisp up.
- Change up the flavouring from smoked paprika to granulated garlic, finely ground dehydrated onions, finely ground dehydrated mushrooms, but be careful not to have too large chunks as they will get caught in your pasta maker rollers!
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Posted in Condiments, Gluten Free, Kitcheninspirations Original Recipe, Recipes, Vegetarian, tagged Gluten Free, healthy, Salad, Soup, tangy, Vegetarian on February 6, 2017|
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I had an excess of radishes in my pantry so I decided to pickle them before they turned bad. They will make a nice garnish to pulled pork or a rich stew like bœuf bourguignon.
A KitchenInspirations Original Recipe
Makes 250 mL (1 cup)
- 160 g (~1 cup) radishes, sliced thinly
- 30 g (~5 cloves) garlic, sliced thinly
- 250 mL (1 cup) white vinegar
- 5 mL (1 tsp) salt
- 5 mL (1 tsp) sugar
- 5 g (~ 6 sprigs) dill sprigs
- 250 mL (1 cup) sterilized canning jar
- Combine vinegar, sugar and salt and heat until both salt and sugar have dissolved, stir well.
- Add the radishes and garlic slices to the jar and pour the hot liquid over to cover. Tap the jar a few times to burst any air bubbles.
- Pour the liquid over the radishes and tap the jar on the counter a few times to get the liquid dispersed evenly. Add the dill sprigs, making sure they are covered in the liquid. Screw on the lid.
- Use immediately or process jar for 10 minutes (or as required in your neck of the woods), allow to cool on the counter. Label. Store for 3 months in a cool, dark place or use within a month in the fridge.
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Posted in Appetizers/Hors D'oeuvres, Recipes, Spanish Food, Vegan, Vegetarian, tagged Appetizer, Appetizer/Hors d'oeuvres, delicious, healthy, Michelin Star, onion, restaurant food, Soup, Spanish, tangy, tasty, tomato, Vegetarian on December 5, 2016|
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One of the first courses we had at the One Star Michelin Restaurant, Alejandro, just outside of Almeria (in the quiet town of Roquetas de Mar) was a wonderful Gazpacho Sorbet. During our Paella Lesson in Madrid, we discovered that Gazpacho is a staple in most Spanish households. They make a few batches each week, drinking a cup-full when peckish or feeling down. It makes total sense, as it’s packed with raw vegetables and full of vitamins. I, too, have begun to keep a litre or so in the fridge, particularly now, with the seasons changing, and it’s so easy to catch a cold.
This is the original Gazpacho Sorbet at Alejandro’s in Spain. I didn’t care for the odd presentation in the glass so mine was more freestyle. It was garnished with a candied lemon slice.
You may use any old Gazpacho recipe, I used the one we made during our Paella Cooking Lesson at Cooking Point
. The main difference is that the Spaniards add a slice of bread (for body) and a significant amount of olive oil to balance the acidity. The New York Times published a beautiful description of a good Gazpacho (see original article here
), “The texture is always smooth and light, with a mouth feel similar to that of whole milk. It is not the watered-down salsa or grainy sludge often served in the United States under the name of gazpacho, but an emulsion of fat (olive oil) in liquid (vegetable juice and vinegar) that is light and fluffy on the tongue and a fantastic conductor of flavor, just like vinaigrette or hollandaise.”
The recipe below is perfectly balanced, I wouldn’t change a thing. There is just a hint of onion and garlic, you don’t want this to be too oniony or garlicky. And while I would normally shudder at the volume of olive oil in this recipe, you really need it to balance out the acidity and it adds that silky mouthfeel Eric Asimov of the New York Times described above. Turning it into Sorbet is a surprising, yet satisfying dish. Definitely bookmark for the warmer weather.
Authentic Spanish Gazpacho
- 500 g ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped
- 50 g green pepper (about 1/2 an ordinary sized pepper)
- 40 g cucumber, peeled and roughly chopped (English is fine)
- 30 g onion, roughly chopped
- 20 g bread, crust removed
- 1/2 garlic clove, roughly chopped
- 15 mL sherry or red wine vinegar
- 5 mL cumin
- salt, to taste
- 60 mL EVOO
- Add all of the ingredients but the Extra Virgin Olive Oil to a blender or a large measuring cup. Blend or use an immersion blender to blend until smooth.
- Pass the liquid through a fine sieve. Return the liquid to the blender or large measuring cup and blend in the Olive Oil in a slow, steady stream to emulsify. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
- Pour the soup into the bowl of your chilled ice cream maker and turn it on until it has thickened and frozen like sorbet. Serve immediately or store in an airtight freezer container in the freezer for no more than one hour, it will freeze solid.
- Garnish with herbs, or finely chopped vegetables. Alejandro served it with a slice of candied lemon.
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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 Condiments, Gluten Free, Recipes, Sauces, tagged garlic, low fat, Sauce, tangy, tasty, Vegetarian on April 25, 2016|
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Recently, I was given a small basket of a variety of chili peppers. I don’t know about you, but these days I don’t like to tempt fate with overly hot things so incorporating them into a dish was out of the question. In the bunch were scotch bonnets, serranos, poblanos, jalopeños and Thai chilies so it was a basket of epic heat! Since I’ve already made Sweet Chili Sauce with Dried Apricots and Hot Sauce I decided to make a version of the very popular Sriracha Sauce because it is a staple in my pantry.
I love hot sauce, but sadly my innards, not so much so I wanted to tame the heat without compromising flavour. The solution was grilling the peppers to a blistery/blackened stage, peeling and cleaning the seeds and veins out to temper the heat, the smoke flavour was a bonus! This recipe is roughly based on the link below.
Homemade Sriracha Sauce
Makes roughly 225 mL sauce.
Adapted from Leite’s Culinaria
- 400 g variety of hot peppers
- 10 g garlic, minced
- 25 g granulated sugar
- 5 g sea salt
- 125 mL white vinegar or to taste
- Grill the hot peppers until their skin is blistered and black. Set hot chili peppers into a glass bowl and top with a plate to further steam the peppers (this makes peeling much easier, but if you have issues, just microwave them on high for 10-20 seconds). Peel, remove seeds and veins (the sauce will be hot enough even with this step) using gloves to protect your fingers (these are extremely hot peppers).
- Combine all ingredients except the white vinegar in a food processor and pulse until you have a paste. Scrape into a glass jar and tightly seal. Allow to sit on the kitchen counter (bench) for 1 week, stirring once daily. The mixture will ferment so if you see bubbling action, it is par for the course.
- After one week, transfer the chili mixture to a saucepan over medium heat and add the vinegar and bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer 5 minutes. Allow the mixture to cool slightly and then purée it again using an immersion blender. Push through a fine sieve, taste and season with sugar, salt and vinegar as desired.
- Store in the refrigerator in a glass jar with a tight lid. The original recipe indicates that this sauce is good for six months.
Perfect timing because I’m going to need a small bottle for the cottage!
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Posted in Bloggers Unit, Breakfast/Brunch, Cool Stuff, Recipes, Sauces, Vegan, Vegetarian, tagged Avocado, Lorraine Elliott, not quite nigella, Sauce, tangy, tasty, vegan on August 10, 2015|
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Last week I had the pleasure of meeting Lorraine Elliott of Not Quite Nigella, in Toronto. We’ve been following each other for four years now and when we met in person it was like we’d known one another for ever. I wanted to do something special with her so I contacted an acquaintance who produces several Food Network Canada shows and she made it happen – we spent the morning on the set of Chopped Canada, Season 3. But you’ll just have to wait to hear all about it in the new year (don’t worry, it’ll be here before you know it!).
Eva & Lorraine behind the scenes!
Lorraine was in Toronto with the Canadian Tourism Commission and made a special request to come to Toronto to meet me! I was flattered beyond belief. For Lunch, we met up with my dear friend Barb (Profiteroles & Ponytales) and a new friend, Trudy Bloem, a Personal Chef from Ottawa (the DIL of a lovely neighbour) at one of my favourite Italian restaurants, Bar Mercurio. We shared a number of tasty dishes that I’m sure Lorraine will blog about. The CTC sure kept her busy and she saw many of the Food significant parts of TO, but not everything so I’ve invited her back! And one of these days, we’ll travel to Australia to visit her (and Charlie, Maureen & Liz)!
Lorraine wasn’t the first positive experience with an Aussie I’ve ever had, after all there was the “gravy boat incident”.
About 12 or 13 years ago, I was trying to finish off some stray pieces to our wedding China. I checked our local supplier and as I suspected it was unaffordable, so I checked eBay. I’ve purchased many things over the years from eBay and my experiences have always been exceptional. I found the exact gravy boat, you guessed it, in Australia. It was a young couple recently married and for some strange reason were given a gravy boat to a set that they didn’t want, so she was selling it for a very reasonable price on eBay. I contacted her to make sure she would ship it to Canada and she said she would. She was not registered on PayPal so she asked for a money order. No problem, but I needed an address. She gave me an address and off we went to get a money order. We don’t often need money orders so we were inexperienced (this will make sense later in the story). The money order was mailed and we waited. And waited. Weeks went by and the girl didn’t receive it. I called the post office and asked how long a letter from Toronto should take to travel to Australia and they said six to eight weeks. So we waited in the meantime corresponding with said girl almost weekly. At 10 weeks she still hadn’t received the money order but she was tired of the game so she said she would mail the gravy boat to me anyway and hope to receive the money order. I felt bad about it, so we got another money order but when we went to cancel the first one, we discovered that we had included the receipt in the original envelope so we couldn’t cancel it (read inexperienced)! I bit the bullet and got another money order anyway (still marginally cheaper than buying the gravy boat in Toronto). I wanted to make sure I had her correct address so I asked her to confirm. You guessed it, she had given me the wrong address the first time (sweet girl but…) so the new money order was mailed and within a week the gravy boat arrived! Then two days later the girl wrote to say the second money order arrived and that she would destroy the first one if it ever arrived. I’m not kidding you, a day later we received back the first money order (with receipt) marked “unknown address, return to sender”! This drama took over three months! We were able to get a refund with the original money order, I got a deal on the gravy boat and a great story out of it! Do you have any cool stories like this? Share in the comments.
If I were serving this avocado hollandaise at home, I would have definitely used the Australian gravy boat, but I served it at the cottage for a tasty vegetarian breakfast!
It’s still quite buggy in Canada’s north so we were well prepared with our bug shirts!
Vegan Avocado ‘Hollandaise’ Sauce
Makes about 3/4 cup of ‘hollandaise’ sauce
- 2 small very ripe avocados
- 1/2-3/4 cup water
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp white vinegar
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
- salt and pepper to taste
- Purée everything together until very smooth adding water until desired consistency is achieved, season with salt and pepper.
- Serve warm or room temperature.
- This is a much ‘lighter’ feeling sauce than the traditional eggyolk-butter-based version.
- I didn’t want to add more lemon juice as I feared it might make the sauce bitter so instead I added a teaspoon of white vinegar and a tablespoon of Dijon, it was a flavourful sauce.
- Add only as much water to the sauce to achieve the consistency that you want. I wanted mine pourable and I almost used the entire 3/4 cup, just a hair less.
I served this on Asparagus and Spinach bennies one weekend.
This is 1/4 of the total yield of sauce
This is traditional Hollandaise Sauce made with 4 eggs and 1/2 cup of unsalted butter. Although the calories are fewer than the avocado version, take a look at the fat and cholesterol!
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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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