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Friday, March 24, 2017

Spring Fling on CBC's Weekend Morning Show

Tomorrow morning on CBC's Weekend Morning Show with interim host Nadia Kidwai, I will be presenting the following recipes.  I love pea shoot pesto!  It tastes like Spring!  These recipes are very easy to prepare and are made with local ingredients.  Microgreens from Fresh Forage, Quinoa from Tamarack Farms are both available on Saturday at St. Norbert's Farmer's Market.

Happy Spring!





Turkish Pizza Dough
1 tbs dried yeast (instant yeast)
1 tsp sugar
2 tbs (+) warm water
2/3 + cup Greek style yoghurt (I usually use Astro's Balkan Yoghurt)
1/4 cup olive oil
10 ounces bread flour (I use Prairie Flour and it works out to be a heaping 2 cup measurement, with potentially adding more, depending on the climate of the day)
1/2 tsp sea salt
olive oil

Dissolve the yeast and sugar in the warm water and set aside in a warm place for about 10 minutes until frothy. In another small bowl, whisk the yoghurt and olive oil.

Sift the flour and salt into a large bowl. Make a well in the centre and add the yeast and yoghurt mixtures. Use your fingers to work in the flour and form a smooth ball. Transfer to mixer and knead with a dough hook on low speed for 10 - 15 minutes until very smooth and shiny. Transfer to a lightly oiled bowl and cover with a damp tea towel and let rise for 2 hours or doubled in size.
I use this pizza dough all of the time because it is both easy to prepare and has a great result.  I can always have it in a container in the fridge for making personal sized pizzas when needed.  This is actually something that I need almost daily for my 6 year old’s meals.
Pea Shoot Pesto (using snap pea microgreens from Fresh Forage Microgreens, available at St. Norbert’s Farmer’s Market on Saturday)
Ingredients:
1/4 lb fresh, young pea microgreens
1 bunch chives, chopped (or spring onion)
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts or almonds (for nut allergies, try toasted pumpkin seeds)
salt
pepper

Directions:
Place the pea shoots, chives, garlic, cheese, olive oil, nuts salt and pepper in a food processor or blender, pulse until a thick paste forms.
Use on pizza, pasta, grilled fish or shrimp, toast, etc.
Enjoy!
Quinoa Salad with Microgreens and Lemon vinaigrette
2 cups cooked quinoa (I used Tamarack Farms quinoa, available on Saturday at the St. Norbert’s Farmer’s Market) Cooking ratio is 2:1 water to quinoa and you can cook in broth or with spices
1-2 tbs pesto of your choice
Olive oil, to tastes
Spring Mix Microgreens (available from Fresh Forage Microgreens on Saturday at St. Norbert’s Farmer’s Market)
Lemon vinaigrette (1 part lemon, 2 parts olive oil, herbs such as oregano, salt and pepper, 1 crushed garlic clove optional)
Toss the cooked quinoa with pesto and a drizzle of olive oil.  When serving top with a generous amount of Spring Mix Microgreens and drizzle with lemon vinaigrette just before serving. 
Enjoy and Happy Spring!





Saturday, March 11, 2017

Kerala Coconut Curried Mussels and Sweet Potato Fries on CBC's Weekend Morning Show!

This morning on CBC's Weekend Morning Show with interim host Nadia Kidwai, I presented the following dishes.  Mussels are incredibly simple to prepare, are raised organically and sustainably, higher in Omega fatty acids than Salmon, and make a fun meal with friends.


Kerala Coconut Curried Mussels and Sweet Potato Fries

2 lbs PEI Mussels (available at Gimli Fish)
1/4 oil
1 onion, chopped and smashed (traditionally done on a large stone but I mixed them in a blender)
20 curry leaves (Available at Dino’s Grocery Mart, Lucky’s Dong Thai, etc.)
6 green chillies, slit, or favourite chilli
10 small cloves of garlic, smashed or in blender with onions
1 tsp chile powder (aka,cayenne)
3 tbs. corriander powder
1/2 tbs. turmeric powder
1/2 tsp. pepper powder
2 tbs. garam masala

1 1/2 cups coconut milk (easy and inexpensive method to making coconut milk; 1-2 cups UNSWEETENED dry coconut and 1-2 cups very hot water.  Liquefy in blender for about 2 minutes, strain into a bowl and that is your coconut cream.  Repeat with less very hot water and that is your coconut milk, combine for this recipe)

1/2 tsp salt to or to taste

Method:
In a large pot with a lid heat the oil and add the onions, smashed garlic and green chili. After some time add the smashed ginger until they are soft. Chili can be added as per how spicy you like it. When cooked through, add the  coconut milk and cook through.  Then add the mussels, stir,  and cook 3-5 minutes, or until all have opened.  Serve immediately with Sweet potato fries or potato fries.

Enjoy!

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Catering prize for Manitoba Eco-Network's Reel Green Gala on CBC's Weekend Morning Show

This morning I presented the following recipes for CBC's Weekend Morning Show with interim host, Nadia Kidwai.  These are full of flavour but I've also made them very easy to prepare. 

On March 16th, Manitoba Eco-Network will be hosting our annual fundraising event, The Reel Green Gala.  Sponsors include Assiniboine Credit Union, Tire Stewardship Manitoba, Stantec, and other amazing supporters such as VIARail, and local producers.  I'm offering catering for four, supported by Almost Urban Vegetables, for the chicken, Vita Health for many other ingredients, and I'll prepare Moroccan food.

Tickets are available at www.reelgreen.brownpapertickets.com.

Moroccan Chicken with Prunes and Almonds

 1 chicken – (3 1/2 lbs)
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 cup prunes
1-2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 large yellow onions, halved and thinly sliced lengthwise
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp ground ginger
1 cup whole blanched almonds
vegetable oil for frying

Rub all the chicken pieces with salt, pepper and cumin. Let stand for one hour.

Soak prunes if very dry.

Place onions in a wide shallow casserole with turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, salt and pepper to taste, 1/4 cup water, cover and steam for 15 minutes.

Brown the almonds in 4-5 tbs oil in a large skillet and drain on paper towels. Brown the chicken evenly on all sides in the oil and transfer to the steamed onions. Cover with parchment paper and cook in tajine on the lowest heat for about 1 1/4 hours.

Discard the parchment paper. Add the prunes and bring to a gentle boil. Remove from the heat. Serve with almonds sprinkled on top.

Enjoy!

Beet Salad I and II

1 lb Beets
1 tb Sugar
1 Lemon; juice of
1 tb Olive oil
1 lg Pinch of cinnamon
1 tb Chopped parsley
Salt; to taste

Wash beets well, being careful not to break their skins. Cut off the
tops, leaving a stalk of about 1 1/2". Boil in a 3 quart saucepan
until tender, covered. Allow the water to cool, then slip off the
skins, trim off the tops, and cut into bite-sized pieces.

Mix the remaining ingredients and pour over the beets. Let marinate
for 1 hour before serving.

Beet Salad II: Prepare as described above, but add 1 tsp. orange
flower water, 1/8 tsp. cumin, a pinch of paprika, and a little water
to the sauce.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Local Halal Valentine's Aphrodisiacs on CBC's Weekend Morning Show

Tomorrow on CBC's Weekend Morning Show with guest host Nadia Kidwai, I will be presenting the following dishes, Rack of Lamb with a Ras el Hanout rub, and Solberry Chicken.  Both feature my Ras el Hanout spice blend, which is considered an aphrodisiac.  Recipes to impress but so easy to prepare, these are full of flavour and sumptuous for a Valentine's dinner.  (Photos tomorrow when food is cooked).  

There are many reasons to love Halal meats.  They are raised ethically and organically from birth to processing but you don't pay for the word Organic.  The meat is always excellent quality when it comes from producers and suppliers that are so ethical and particular.  

The chicken is from Waldner's Meats that I purchased from Millad's Supermarket on Notre Dame.  Waldner's were the first Halal producers in Manitoba.  They are now at risk of closure from potential changes in government regulations.  Manitobans LOVE their local chicken.  Please get to know your producer and make sure that you will have access to excellent quality products.


1. Ras el Hanout Rack of Halal Lamb

1 rack of lamb (This Halal Lamb is available at Millad’s Supermarket on Notre Dame)

1 + Tbs Ras el Hanout (or your favourite spice blend), available this weekend at St. Norbert’s Farmer’s Market on Saturday from 10-1PM, or the Pop-up market at VIA Rail Station on Sunday.

Salt, to taste,

¼ preserved lemon peel, finely chopped (make your own earlier than today or find at Millad’s, Dino’s, etc.)

Olive oil

 Rub rib rack(s) all over with mixture of spices, preserved lemon peel. Sprinkle with salt.   Place in a thick plastic bag with olive oil. Spread oil around so that it coats the lamb rack(s) all over. Squeeze out as much air as you can from the bag and seal. Place in a container so that if the bag leaks, the container catches the leak.

 If you want, place in the refrigerator overnight. Or, if you are not marinating overnight, let lamb rack(s) sit in the rub marinade as it comes to room temperature before cooking.

 Bring lamb to room temp: Remove lamb rack from refrigerator to 1 1/2 to 2 hours before you cook it so that it comes to room temp. (If the meat is not at room temperature it will be hard for it to cook evenly.)

 Preheat oven to 450°F, arrange the oven rack so that the lamb will be in the middle of the oven.

 Place the lamb rack bone side down (fat side up) on the pan. Wrap the exposed ribs in a little foil so that they don't burn.



Roast first at high heat to brown, then reduce heat to finish: Place the roast in the oven roast at 450°F for 10 minutes (longer if roasting more than one rack), or until the surface of the roast is nicely browned.



Then lower the heat to 300°F. Cook for 10-20 minutes longer (depending on the size of the lamb rack, if you are roasting more than one rack, and how rare or well done you want your lamb), until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat 125°F on a for rare or 135°F for medium rare. Remove from oven, cover with foil and let rest for 15 minutes.



Cut lamb chops away from the rack by slicing between the bones. Serve 2-3 chops per person.



2. Solberry (Soulberry) Halal Chicken

2 tablespoons Ras el Hanout*

1/2 cup Solberry puree (found at Vita Health, Red River Co-op Stores, etc.)

1/4 cup good olive oil

1-2 cloves garlic, minced

pinch salt

1 Chicken, skinned and pieced



Mix first 7 ingredients together well to blend in the olive oil. Place chicken thighs in marinade in a bowl, cover and refrigerate for 1-4 hours. Place chicken thighs on a hot BBQ for up 4 minutes a side if boneless, twice as long if with bone in.  Let meat rest and enjoy with grilled Naan bread, salad, rice, etc.
*Ras el Hanout can be used as a spice rub for your BBQ meats, in vegetable stews (recipe in blog), on roast chicken, lamb, goat, etc.



Friday, January 27, 2017

Happy Lunar New Year! On CBC's Weekend Morning Show


 Happy New Year!  Tomorrow, on CBC's Weekend Morning Show with Interim Host, Laurie Hoogstraten, I will be presenting these Sichuan noodles, known as Dan Dan Mian.  The long noodles are for happiness with a long life.  There are many dishes for luck and wealth for the new year.  In the year of the Rooster, Dumplings, for wealth, sweet rice balls for family togetherness, rice cake to increase your status or income, citrus fruit for wealth and fullness, and fish, also to increase prosperity.
I was fortunate to live in Chongqing, Sichuan for a period, and enjoyed these noodles with ground pork.  The most remarkable place was at the Great Buddha in Leshan.  
Enjoy for luck, long life, and because they are really yummy!
* For the Chilli oil, great chili oils can be purchased.  I used this one with peanuts that I can purchase at SunWah Grocery Store.  


새해 복 많이 받으세요!
 新年快樂!
 明けましておめでとうございます!
Chúc mừng năm mới!


Dan Dan Mian, aka for me, Great Buddha Noodles 

1. For the Chilli Oil: (you can purchase good chilli oil)
                2 tablespoons Sichuan peppercorns
                1 inch-long piece of cinnamon
                2 star anise
                1 cup oil
                1/4 cup crushed red pepper flakes

2. For the Meat and Sui Mi Ya Cai:
                3 teaspoons oil
                8 oz. ground pork (I’m using veggie ground round and it works nicely with the taste and texture)
                2 teaspoons sweet bean sauce or hoisin sauce
                2 teaspoons shaoxing wine (I often use Mirin or Vermouth)
                1 teaspoon dark soy sauce
                1/2 teaspoon five spice powder
                1/3 cup sui mi ya cai (optional Sichuan ingredient of dry fried vegetable. Packaged in small foil pouches)

3. For the sauce:
                2 tablespoons sesame paste (tahini) (I often use peanut butter as a substitute)
                3 tablespoons soy sauce
                2 teaspoons sugar
                1/4 teaspoon five spice powder
                1/2 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorn powder (we ground whole Sichuan peppercorns in a mortar and pestle)
                1/2 cup of your prepared chili oil (to your taste)
                2 cloves garlic, very finely minced
                ¼ cup hot cooking water from the noodles

4. For the Noodles & Veg:
                1 lb fresh or dried white noodles, medium thickness
                1 small bunch leafy greens (spinach, bok choy, or choy sum)
                chopped peanuts (optional) chopped scallion (optional)

Cook the sauce and the vegetables and set aside.  Cook the long noodles and toss with sauce, vegetables and optional scallions and peanuts.  Enjoy for a long life!

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Get to know your Butcher on CBC's Weekend Morning Show

 This morning on CBC's Weekend Morning Show with interim host Laurie Hoogstraten, I am featuring a pork dish using pork buttons that I got from Denny's Meat Market.  This is a rather "old school" kind of cut of pork and many stores and butcher shops don't carry them any longer but these are so simple to prepare and a great value. 

I'm always telling people to get to know where they get their fish, vegetables and meats.  Getting to know your butcher is really recommended for your own interest.  They will give you a great deal of information on what you want or what you may try and they may specialize in products that you can't find anywhere else.  Denny's Meat Market, for example, also specializes in fresh sausages of a wide range of flavours.

For this dish, you can use the pork buttons, pork belly, or cuts for Kalbi.  For the vegetarians, this segment doesn't leave you out either.  You can use the marinade for seitan, tofu, eggplant, firm mushrooms or cauliflower.





Dwaejibulgogi (from Maangchi.com)

For the marinade :
½ cup of crushed Asian Pear
¼ cup onion purée (I put a yellow onion and the garlic in a small blender container with a bit of water and puréed it)
4 cloves of minced garlic
½ ts of minced ginger
1 chopped green onion
1 tbs soy sauce
2 tbs brown sugar
a pinch of ground black pepper
2 ts of toasted sesame oil
3 tbs hot Korean pepper paste (Kochujiang)

I used a package of pork buttons from Denny’s Meat Market.  I let them marinade for several hours.  You can then grill, broil or cook in a pan until tender.  Serve with rice, lettuce leaves, fresh chilies, green onions, or on their own as an appetizer.

Enjoy!

Monday, January 02, 2017

Happy New Year! Portzelki! Aka, New Year's Cookies, Olliebollie, etc.

Yesterday, even though I rarely deep fry food, I decided to give my hand to this traditional Russian New Year's delight.  I took some videos and images for a step by step process and, when breaking it down, it isn't too difficult.  Just get the Mise en place and it goes quite quickly.

First, soak the raisins in hot water and then dry on a tea towel in a slightly warm oven to plump up.  Set aside.  Second tip, I warmed the milk, butter, saffron and sugar together.  To cool the milk mixture enough so as to not kill the yeast, I added in the cooled raisins.

Third tip, separate the eggs and whip the whites prior to needing to mix them in and set aside.  Fourth tip, add salt at the end of the mixing of the second rising with the additional flour, again, so as to not kill the yeast.

Fifth tip, cook in a pot that will allow the portzelki to turn over and deep enough to hold enough oil.  If cooked at the correct temperature, the fritters will not absorb much oil or burn.
Have fun!


 Portzelky

2  pkgs (~4 1/2 tsp) yeast in 1/2 cup warm water
1 tsp sugar
Let stand for 10 minutes

2 cups warm milk
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup sugar
4 eggs, separated
1 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1 lb raisins or currants (soak and then gently dry on low oven on paper towel until water is off but plumped)
Flour for soft batter (~5 cups)
Optional:  good pinch saffron in warm milk

Combine milk, salt, sugar, baking powder, raisins and egg yolks.  Add 2 cups flour to yeast and milk and stir.  Let stand until bubbly.  Add remaining flour.  Beat egg whites to stiff peak and fold into batter.  Drop by spoonfuls into hot oil (375ºF).  Space evenly and do not over crowd.  Allow room for portzelky to turn over.  When fully cooked, drain and cool.

Serve with small bowls of sugar for dipping.