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Friday, February 12, 2016

Punjabi Rajmah and Tuscan beans on CBC's Weekend Morning Show!

Tomorrow, on CBC's Weekend Morning Show, with host Terry MacLeod, I'll be bringing in these two bean dishes.  It is the year of beans and pulses, enjoy!

Both the Kidney and the White (canellini) beans are grown here in Manitoba and are available at Saturday's St. Norbert's Farmer's Market by J. Berard Gardens.   

The Sausage for the Tuscan Beans is also available at the Market tomorrow at Wildfire Farms


2 cups red kidney beans, washed thoroughly, soaked and cooked
1 medium yellow or red onion, roughly chopped (about 1 cup)
1 tbs + olive oil
2 medium-sized tomatoes diced (about 1 cup)
1-inch piece ginger, peeled and chopped or grated (2 tablespoon)
3 cloves garlic, chopped or minced (1 tablespoon)
2 – 4 green Thai, Serrano or cayenne chilies, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon whole cumin seed
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon garam masala
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp red chili powder (cayenne)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 - 2 tbs tamarind paste
good pinch or two of salt
6-8 cups water (less if you want more of a chili effect)
1 bunch fresh, chopped cilantro (1/2 cup)

Sauté onions over medium heat in olive oil. Add chopped tomatoes, chilies, ginger and garlic. Add dry spices and cook until soft. Add beans and salt and tamarind and cook until the beans break down and become thick and somewhat creamy.

When finished, take an immersion blender and press it about four times to break up some of the beans. If using a blender, take out about a cup and process in the blender, then put this back in the pot. Be careful not to process all of the beans. Most of the beans should remain whole.

Stir in the cilantro.

Serve over a bed of rice with yogurt. Some enjoy a dab of butter on each serving.

Tuscan beans (Fagioli all'uccelletto)

This is perhaps Florence's most famous dish. Some include Italian sausage.  I used the sausage from Wildfire Farms

1 pound small white cannellini or great northern beans, soaked overnight

1 large sausage (optional)
2 sprigs of sage
6 tablespoons olive oil
salt & pepper to taste
2 cloves garlic
5 ripe tomatoes, peeled and chopped, or 1 14 oz can Italian plum tomatoes

DRAIN the beans and simmer in fresh water to cover, with 1 sprig of sage and 1 tablespoon olive oil, for about 1 1/2 hours, or until tender, adding salt when the beans begin to soften.

IN a separate pan (large enough to hold the beans) heat the remaining oil on low heat with the garlic and the rest of the sage so that the flavors infuse, but do not brown

ADD the tomatoes and simmer for 10 minutes, then add the drained beans, season with salt and pepper, and cook for another 15 minutes or so. There should be a good amount of sauce.


Friday, January 29, 2016

Beets for Tandoori Chicken and Fish Tikka Masala! For CBC's Weekend Morning Show

I'll be presenting two recipes tomorrow for CBC's Weekend Morning Show, with guest host, Laurie Hoogstraten.  Tandoori Chicken and Fish Tikka Masala.  

Quite often, Tandoori Chicken has red food colouring added to give it the desired colour.  The Beet Sauce from Dr. Beetroot takes care of that.  It also has all natural ingredients and a great flavour!  I'll be using it for dips as well.  

I used local Arctic Char, available year round, fresh on Fridays at Gimli Fish.  It is a consistently great product.  One can also use other firm fish for the recipe.

Tandoori Chicken (serves 4-6)

10 pieces skinless chicken (I prefer to use chicken thighs as they are very easy to skin and then are lower fat)
2/3 cup Dr. Beetroot Sauce (available at St. Norbert’s Farmer’s Market, Osborne Village Farmer’s Market and Co-op stores)
1/2 cup rich yoghurt (I used Dairy Fairy’s yoghurt, also available at St. Norbert’s Farmer’s Market and daily at the Osborne Village Farmer’s Market)
1 tbs lemon juice
1 inch fresh ginger, grated
1-2 garlic cloves, grated or minced
pinch salt
1/2 tsp turmeric
pinch cayenne (optional)
1/4 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp garam masala
1/4 cup olive oil

Mix marinade until smooth.  Place skinned chicken in marinade and let chill for several hours.  Remove from refrigerator at least 20 minutes before grilling.  On a medium high grill, place chicken pieces and BBQ until tender and falls from the bone, less time needed if boneless chicken.  Serve with lime slices, fresh coriander (optional) and enjoy!

Fish Tikka Masala (serves 4-6 as an appetizer)

1 filet firm fish (I used local Arctic Char, available at Gimli Fish, fresh each Friday)

Skin and cut fish into medium cubes if you wish to cook fish on skewers.


1/2 cup Dr. Beetroot Sauce
1/2 cup Rich yoghurt, strained, if desired
1 tbs lemon juice
1 inch fresh ginger, grated
1 clove garlic, minced
pinch salt
1/2 tsp turmeric
pinch cayenne
1 tbs curry spice blend or, cumin, garam masala, chilies
1/4 cup olive oil

Place fish cubes in marinade for a few hours.  Skewer, if desired. Cook on medium hot grill until done.  VERY SHORT TIME FOR FISH!!!

Serve immediately with naan, yoghurt, limes, etc.


Sunday, January 17, 2016

Winter fare from Mexico on CBC's Weekend Morning Show

Yesterday I had the pleasure of presenting these two lovely winter dishes on CBC's Weekend Morning Show with host Terry MacLeod.    

 They are surprising easy to prepare and with wonderful results.  I used the cheese from the Dairy Fairy for the Queso Fresco. 

Black Bean Soup with Orange Zest: Sopa de Invierno

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 large clove garlic, minced
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 cups cooked black beans (if using canned beans rinse them well)
½ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1 teaspoon orange zest
1 cup chicken stock
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice, or to taste
¼ cup plain yogurt
 chopped cilantro and scallions for garnish
Salt, to taste


In a large saucepan, heat the oil, add the onion and cook, stirring, until wilted and just beginning to brown. Add the garlic and cumin and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the beans, orange juice and zest, chicken stock, lime juice and yogurt and cook until heated through.

Using an immersion blender, puree the stock to the desired consistency.

Serve hot, garnished with chopped cilantro and scallions. Makes 4 first course servings.

Cheese-filled Sweet Potato Patties: Tortitas de Camote

In most of Mexico, these fried patties are made with white potatoes, whereas in Veracruz they are made with sweet potatoes or yucca. This cheese-filled version is more versatile than most, because it can be served as an hors d'oeuvre as well as a side dish.


* 2 pounds sweet potatoes
* 1 cup all-purpose flour
* salt to taste
* 1 pound queso fresco, farmer cheese or ricotta (not ricotta salata)
* Corn oil or vegetable oil for frying


Scrub the sweet potatoes, boil in their jackets until tender, cool and peel. Alternatively, prick them with a fork in several places, cook until tender in the microwave, cool and peel.

In a mixing bowl, mash the sweet potatoes, adding salt to taste, with a potato masher or fork to a smooth consistency. Add the flour and combine well. The dough should have a uniform consistency.

Using moist hands, shape into 8 large balls (for side dish servings) or 12 smaller ones (for appetizers or hors d'oeuvres.) Poke a hole into each and stuff it with about 2 teaspoons cheese for the smaller size or 1 tablespoon for the larger. Re-form the dough around the cheese to cover, and gently flatten each ball into a patty.

Fry the patties in about 1 ½" - 2" hot oil, turning once, until golden brown on both sides. Drain on paper towels. Makes 12 as an appetizer, hors d'oeuvre or buffet item.


Thursday, December 31, 2015

Healthy living resolutions on CBC's Weekend Morning Show! Plus, locally sourced awesome braised Beef Short Ribs

On Saturday morning, I'll be presenting the following ideas and resources as well as a recipe, for CBC's Weekend Morning Show with guest host Laurie Hoogstraten.

 The lovely grass-fed beef short ribs are available at Wildfire Farms.  They will be at St. Norbert's Farmer's Market on Saturday, January 2nd, if you are interested in the following healthy living resolutions.  

1. Enjoy making food. For yourself or for others.  By yourself or with others. I love it, but so many do not.  By enjoying the planning and making of your meals, you are cooking with love and you will taste the difference.  For friends and families, it can be an important time together, learning and celebrating.

2. Try a new food at least twice a week.  Either in preparation or when dining out.  Look up recipes, use your cookbooks to try something new.  Go to our amazing restaurants that you hadn’t considered.  Try making different soups or pastas from around the world.

3. Buy local.  If you can’t afford a whole share of a CSA, buy a half share or go into a share with other people.  You will meet some great people who grow your food and other members buying the food.  Go to the Farmer’s markets.

4. Plant a garden/plant something.  If you can and have space, plant a garden.  Plant a tomato in a pot.  Grow some wonderful culinary herbs.  Join a community garden group or allotment gardens.

5. Cook together.  Food costs are rising.  A cooking club can bring down your food costs, get you out with great people, learn new skills, and can be made to your needs.

You will have your own resolutions.  These are part of healthy living in that it isn’t only about a diet.

Braised Beef Short Ribs (serves 2-4)

4 Beef Short Ribs
2 sprig fresh sage leaves (torn, with stems)
1 sprig fresh rosemary (torn)
2 bay leaves
~ 10 peppercorns
sea salt, to one’s tastes (sprinkle over meat)
1 ½ cups rustic red wine (I used a Bulgarian wine but ask a product consultant)
1 (+) cup beef or veal stock (to cover)
drizzle olive oil

Put all of the above ingredients in a container, cover and refrigerate for at least 5 hours, or overnight.

For the braising:

4 shallots, thinly sliced
2-3 tbs good tomato paste (such as Tat, available at Millad’s Supermarket on Notre Dame)
sprig fresh thyme
2-3 cloves garlic, sliced
2-3 slices (rashers) bacon, cut into lardons, aka, small rectangular pieces or matchstick pieces
1 cup veal or beefstock
salt and pepper, to your taste
optional:  carrots and other vegetables

Drain ribs, reserving liquid.

On medium heat, start to cook the shallots, bacon and thyme in a oven-proof pot.  Spread tomato paste over ribs.  When the shallots and bacon start to brown, push aside in pot and brown ribs on both sides.  When browned, add veal or beef stock and marinating liquid, and seasoning.

Place pot open in a 300ºF oven and braise until ribs are starting to come off of the bone. Half way through braising, add vegetables, optional. 

For serving, remove ribs and vegetables from pot, strain liquid and reduce in a pan, adding seasoning and wine or butter.

Enjoy with potatoes, breads, or rice.
Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 12, 2015

CBC radio today - Gluten-Free Latkes!

I lost my voice but should be on the mend in a couple of days.  I had planned on presenting these dishes on CBC Radio's Weekend Morning Show.  The Wild Rice Flour is available at Gimli Fish and is a great, local product for Gluten-Free options.

The final photo of the purple potato latkes was not possible as they were inhaled before the camera was brought out.


Update:  I featured these on yesterday's CBC Weekend Morning Show with host Terry MacLeod along with the Ginger Apple Sauce and Sliced grilled beef on Focaccia Crostini with Wasabi Sour Cream. 
The apple sauce is very simple to prepare. 

2 Granny Smith Apples, cored and diced
1 large knob of fresh ginger, grated
1 tbs sugar
splash of Mirin, Vermouth or apple juice

Cook all ingredients together in a small saucepan until soft, stirring regularly.  When the apples are soft, mash or purée.

The Wasabi Sour Cream is also very simple to prepare.

Sour Cream
Wasabi paste
pinch sugar

Combine all ingredients, to taste.  Use with shrimp, beef, vegetables, etc.


Gluten-Free Latkes!

4-6 purple potatoes, grated
1 bunch green onions, roughly chopped
1 inch ginger, grated
1/2 cup Wild Rice Flour
4 large eggs
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tbs sesame seeds
1 tbs salt (potatoes and the Wild Rice flour can dull the seasonings)

Mix all ingredients together and adjust seasonings as needed.  Let mixture set for 30 minutes, so as to allow the Wild Rice Flour to absorb the moisture.  In a hot pan, drizzle olive and sesame oil and fill pan with a 2 cm thickness of the potato mixture.  Cook until crispy on one side on medium heat.  Flip and cook until crisp and done.  These can be prepared in advance.

Serve with sour cream, ginger Granny Smith apple sauce, soy or your favourite hot sauce.  Can also be served with Chermoula.


Chermoula with Eggplant

3-5 large cloves garlic
¼ tsp cayenne
1 heaping tbs cumin
pinch saffron
½ bunch parsley
1 whole bunch cilantro
juice of one lemon
2 tbs vinegar
1 generous tbs olive oil
salt, to taste

1 Eggplant, sliced, then grilled or sautéed.  Important to note, eggplant takes time to cook.  Do not undercook it or you may experience an unpleasant reaction, such as a burning on the tongue or an upset stomach.

Blend all of the first ingredients in a food processor and place in glass bowl. Set some chermoula aside for extra at the table.   Place cooked eggplant slices back in a sauté pan and cook with the Chermoula.  When cooked through, serve immediately.  

Can also use Chermoula with sautéed carrots or marinate or in grilling fish.

Saturday, December 05, 2015

Tagine cooking demo today at D.A.Niels! From 11-3PM

 I'll be presenting these dishes as a Tagine cooking demonstration today at D.A.Niels at 485 Berry St..
Regarding the very good tomato paste, listed in the Squash recipe, try Tat brand, available at Millad's Supermarket at 396 Notre Dame.

Moroccan Beef Tagine (can use lamb)

2 lb beef roast, cut into bite-sized pieces
2 onions, thinly sliced
2 tbs ras el hanout
1-2 tbs olive oil
1-2 tbs butter
good pinch saffron
2 large tomatoes, chopped
3 carrots, peeled and diced
2 green peppers, seeded and diced
1/2 - 1 cup prunes
2-3 tbs honey
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup red wine
salt, to taste

Slowly sauté onions on medium-low heat with olive oil until they begin to caramelize. Stir in Ras el Hanout spice blend. Turn up heat to medium-high and add butter and saffron. Brown meat well on all sides and add tomatoes and other vegetables. Add broth, prunes and honey. Add red wine and salt and let simmer for 1-2 hours, depending on using the tajine and toughness of the meat. Meat should melt in your mouth when done.

Serve with flat breads, rice, couscous or bulgur.


Moroccan Squash Tagine

1 small butternut, hubbard or winter squash, peeled and chopped into bite-sized pieces
1 eggplant, cubed
1/4 cup chopped black olives
1/4 cup chopped dates
1 medium onion, chopped
1 head garlic (loose cloves)
2 tbs olive oil
2 tbs “tomato magic” or very good tomato paste (ask chef)
1 tbs turmeric
1 heaping tablespoon Ras El Hanout *
Splash of Rosewater**
1/2 chopped pickled lemon (just the peel)***
Pinch of salt
Optional: eggplant, zucchini

Place all ingredients together in a casserole dish (traditional cooking vessel is a tajine). Cover and bake at 350F for about 45 minutes. If cooking on the stovetop, cook covered at medium heat for about 30 minutes or until the vegetables are fork tender. Serve with rice or couscous or bulgur.


Saturday, November 28, 2015

Crispy Korean Chicken and Gingerbread Biscotti for CBC's Weekend Morning Show

This morning I'll be featuring the following recipes on CBC's Weekend Morning Show with host Terry MacLeod.

This may look like a long and detailed recipe but once you have all of the elements together (mise en place), it is quite simple to prepare.

Enjoy for your Grey Cup snacking or make it a regular feature!

1. Crispy Korean Chicken

Mix chicken with seasonings and cover in starch.
Fry in hot oil for 7 to 8 minutes.
Shake off, let sit, then fry for another 12 to 15 minutes.
Coat in seasoning sauce.
Sprinkle sesame seeds over top and serve immediately.

3½ pounds chicken wings (about 1.6 kg), washed and drained
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon minced ginger
2/3 cup potato starch or corn starch
⅓ cup peanuts (optional)
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 to 4 large dried red chili peppers, seeded, cut crosswise into ⅓ inch pieces (optional)
¼ cup soy sauce
½ cup rice or corn syrup
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 tablespoon mustard (optional)
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
Grapeseed oil (or vegetable oil, peanut oil)

Cut off the tip of each wing and chop the wing in half. After this is done you should have about 3 pounds of chicken, with 24 to 26 pieces.
Put the chicken in a bowl and mix with salt, ginger, and ground black pepper by hand.
Put 2/3 cup potato starch in a bowl and dip each wing in the powder to coat it, one by one. Squeeze each wing to press the coating to it tightly.
Make the sweet, spicy, and sticky sauce:

Heat a large non-stick skillet or wok over medium high heat. Add 2 tablespoons cooking oil, minced garlic, and the dried red chili pepper.
Stir with a wooden spoon until fragrant for about 30 seconds.
Add soy sauce, rice syrup, vinegar, and mustard sauce (optional). Stir with a wooden spoon and let it bubble for a few minutes.
Add the brown sugar and continue stirring. Remove from the heat. Set aside.
Fry the chicken:

Put 4 cups of cooking oil in a frying pan or pot and heat it up for 7 to 8 minutes over high heat.
See if the oil’s ready by dipping a test wing into it. If the oil bubbles, it’s hot enough to start frying. Slide the coated wings one by one into the hot oil and cook for about 12 to 13 minutes, turning over a few times with tongs.
Take the wings out of the oil and shake them off in a strainer. Turn off the heat, and let the wings sit for a few minutes.
Reheat the oil and fry the wings again for another 12 to 15 minutes until they all look golden brown and feel super crunchy through the tongs. If your frying pan or pot is not large enough to fry all the chicken at once, divide it into batches like I do in the video. If you use a larger frying pot to cook them all at once, you’ll have to use more cooking oil.
Coat the fried chicken with the sauce:

When the chicken is done, reheat the sauce until it bubbles.
Add the hot chicken and mix well with a wooden spoon to coat.
Remove from the heat and transfer the coated chicken to a large platter. Sprinkle some sesame seeds over top and serve immediately. This chicken won’t lose its crunchiness, even by the next day. You don’t need any dipping sauce.

2. Gingerbread Biscotti

2/3 cup butter
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup molasses
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
4 tsp Frangelico (or try kirsch, or coffee liquors)
2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch sea salt
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 325ºF. Mix butter sugar and molasses until smooth. Add one egg at a time and mix. Add vanilla and liquor and mix until smooth. Combine dry ingredients and mix slowly into the wet ingredients until fully incorporated. Turn out dough onto floured surface and form into a large log. Divide dough into three pieces and flatten out each piece into rectangles onto a cookie sheet. Bake for 25 minutes. Take out of oven and cut into biscotti pieces. Turn cookies and bake for 5-7 minutes at 300ºF. When cooled, drizzle melted chocolate or make a simple icing of icing sugar and liquor.