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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.


Saturday, November 14, 2015

Easy Comfort Food on CBC's Weekend Morning Show

Easy Comfort Food

This morning I am presenting the following recipes for CBC's Weekend Morning Show, with host Terry MacLeod.  

Both dishes are so easy to prepare, that I made them this morning in short order.  

Local honey from Beeproject Apiaries can be purchased directly through them.  They will deliver, within a reasonable distance. 

1.Honey Sautéed Zucchini (with Lavender)

1-2 sliced zucchinis (sliced on the bias)
pinch lavender flowers (optional)
Heat a sauté pan and add the honey and then the lavender.  Add the zucchini slices and cook until done.  Serve. 

2. Baked Cheesy Pasta

(for a large baking dish)

2 pkgs short pasta (farfalle, penne, shells, etc.)
1 large tin diced tomatoes
1 head roasted garlic
1-2 onions, sliced
1-2 dried red chilies, crushed
1 tbs dried oregano
pepper, to taste
chipotle peppers, or other chilies ½ tsp (optional)
2 cups heavy cream
good pinch nutmeg
white wine or vodka
olive oil

Cheeses:  your favourites, such as blue, chevré, brie, gruyere, Emmenthaler, etc., crumbled or grated in a large bowl.

Grate and crumble cheese.  Cook pasta less than time recommended.  That is, if the dried pasta package recommends 10 minutes, take off 2+ minutes in cooking time.

Cook sliced onions in a large saucepan with some olive oil. Add tomatoes and spices.  Add garlic and red wine or vodka.  Bring up to a simmer.  Now make the white sauce IN the red sauce.  That is, add cream, nutmeg and white wine or vodka. 

I don’t add salt to the sauce as the cheese is salty enough. 

Drain pasta and add to cheese.  Add sauce and stir thoroughly.  Fill a large baking dish with the mixture and bake at 350ºF until bubbly. 

Let rest for a few minutes and serve. 
Hint:  When reheating, bring to hot temperature, covered, in an oven.  A microwave will result in an unpleasant and mushy pasta.

*other optional ingredients include, red wine, vodka, roasted red peppers, sautéed mushrooms, sun dried tomatoes, cooked bacon, cooked chicken, Crispy onions, etc.

Monday, November 09, 2015

Cooking with Tajines at D.A.Niels!

On Saturday, I presented the following dishes for a cooking demonstration using tajines at D.A. Niels.  I'll be there again on December 5th to give another tajine cooking demonstration.  

The photo with the eggs was at the beginning of cooking.  Cooking eggs in the tajine whole results in a creamy egg.  Quite remarkable!  One person tried the beef tajine recipe using my Ras el Hanout with Moose meat!  He loved the result.  My spice blends of Ras el Hanout, Turkish Baharat and Tea Masala, are all available at D.A. Niels.  

Come and see me at the Downtown Hydro Market on Thursday, November 12th, for more cooking ideas and products!


Moroccan Beef Stew (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 Tajine

1 small butternut, hubbard or winter squash, peeled and chopped into bite-sized pieces
1 medium chopped red pepper
1/4 cup chopped black olives
1/4 cup chopped dates
1 medium onion, chopped
1 head garlic (loose cloves)
2 tbs olive oil
juice of half a lemon
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.


Thursday, October 29, 2015

Quinoa Pilaf in Turkish Dolmas on CBC's Weekend Morning Show!

 On Saturday, I'll be presenting the following Dolmas using local Tamarack Farms Quinoa, for CBC's Weekend Morning Show with host Terry MacLeod.  

Turkish Dolmas with local Quinoa pilaf (Adapted from Classical Turkish Cooking, by Ayla Algar)

2 cups vegetable stock
1 onion, finely diced
2-3 tbs olive oil
½ cup fresh tomatoes, finely diced
½ cup almond slices (or pine nuts.  I used almonds due to cost and allergies)
1-2 Tbs Turkish Baharat – or – ¼ tsp each of cinnamon, dried mint, fresh dill, nutmeg, cloves, pepper
3 tsp sugar
¼ cup currants (or zerishk)
¼ cup raisins
3 tbs lemon juice
salt, to taste

For the Cabbage:  ¾ cup water, 3 tbs lemon juice, salt
For the Peppers:  Rich tomato sauce, red wine

1. Sauté the onions in olive oil in a pot.  Add seasonings, tomatoes, almonds, currants, raisins, currants and then salt and lemon juice.  Add the quinoa and coat through.  Add the stock (or water) and bring to a simmer.  Cover and let simmer for 20+ minutes.  Let cool.

2. For the cabbage leaves:  Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and place a cored cabbage in the water for 4 minutes.  Peel off leaves and return to pot to repeat to remove more leaves. 

Cut out a small triangle of the core of each leaf.

Place a tablespoon or two of the pilaf at the top of the leaf, and roll, like a burrito or salad wrap, and place in a baking dish that has been lined with extra cabbage leaves at the bottom.

Fill the baking dish and cover with the water, lemon juice, olive oil and salt mixture. Bake at 300ºF for 1-1/2 hours.

Serve warm or cold.

3.  For the peppers:  Core the peppers and cook in the boiling water for 4 minutes, to soften.  Fill with pilaf and place in a baking dish with a rich tomato sauce with red wine.  Bake at 350ºF for 1 hour, or until soft.

Serve hot, warm or cold.

Enjoy !

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Squash Two ways for CBC's Weekend Morning Show!

On Saturday, I'll be presenting the following recipes using local squash, for CBC's Weekend Morning Show, with Host Terry MacLeod.

Gorgeous Heirloom varieties are available at the St. Norbert's Farmer's Market, until Oct. 31st from producers from Wiens Farm and Trudy Penner/Penner Pumpkins.

Tuscan Squash Salad

1 lb squash (butternut, hubbard, or any small firm variety except spaghetti), peeled, seeded and cut in 5-inch slices
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
3 tbs honey, warm and divided into two parts
½ cup chopped walnuts
2 tbs lemon juice
2 tbs walnut oil
½ tsp kosher or sea salt
¼ tsp ground black pepper
~ 6 cups mixed baby greens, lightly packed
½ cup crumbled feta

Preheat oven to 400ºF. Toss the squash and olive oil in a large bowl. Spread on a parchment-lined baking sheet and lightly brush with half of the honey. Bake for 15 minutes. Turn and brush with the remaining honey. Bake for another 15 minutes or until the squash is cooked through. Some varieties take longer to cook.

While the squash is baking, toast the walnuts lightly. Whisk together the lemon juice, walnut oil, salt and pepper in a small bowl.

Toss the greens with the vinaigrette in a large bowl and place on serving plates. Top with 3-5 slices of squash. Sprinkle with the walnuts and feta, season and serve while the squash is still warm.

Squash Halwa- Easy Diwali Sweet Recipe

1 Seeded and baked Squash (Acorn, Hubbard, Delicata, etc.) ~ 4 cups
Milk- ¼ cup
Condensed milk- ½ can or 150 ml
Saffron, strands (optional)- ½ tsp strands soaked in 1 tbsp milk
Ghee- 4 tbsp
Roasted Almonds, whole or chopped- ¼ cup (roasted in ½ tbsp ghee)

Peel the skin off the squash and dice it into medium size.
In a non-stick cooking pan, cook the diced squash in water till it turns tender and well cooked.
Drain the water from the cooked squash and put it back into the pan.
Using a wooden spoon, mash the cooked squash without any lumps.
Switch on the stove to medium heat and place the pan with the mashed squash over it.
Add milk and combine well stirring constantly breaking any lumps present in it.
Add the condensed milk to it and combine well stirring constantly.
Pour 2 tbsp of ghee at this point and keep stirring.
If you are adding saffron, add the soaked saffron to the mixture.
Let it thicken and don’t forget to stir it.
When the mixture is no more watery and has thickened, add 2 tbsp more of ghee.
Keep stirring for a minute and remove from the heat.
In a small pan, roast whole or chopped almonds in ½ tbsp ghee till it turns golden in color.
Grease a platter with little ghee and spread the squash halwa onto the plate.
Even out the halwa level using a flat spatula.
Garnish the squash halwa with roasted almonds.
Chill the halwa for an hour and serve.
You could tweak this recipe according to your needs.
You could adjust the sweetness, amount of ghee added accordingly.
Also add pistachios, raisins or other nuts for extra crunchiness.

Friday, October 02, 2015

Gluten free and fabulous on CBC's Weekend Morning Show!

 On Saturday, I'll be presenting these recipes on CBC's Weekend Morning Show, with host Terry MacLeod.  The Gluten Free tart shells are made with unsweetened Almonds by Piccola Cucina and can be found at the St. Norbert's Farmer's Market. 

Two Tarts Today (Gluten Free)
Piccola Cucina Tart or pie shells, made in Manitoba, are gluten free, dairy free and vegan.  They come in a variety of sizes from pie to tartlet and are available at the St. Norbert’s Farmer’s Market.

Pre-bake the shells at 350ºF for 12-15 minutes.  Cool before filling with the following recipes.  You can cover the edges with foil to prevent over browning. 

1. Caramelized Shallot Tarts

port or wine
rosemary or thyme
drizzle olive oil
Salt and Pepper to taste

Take the skins and ends off of the shallots and place them in a shallow baking dish. Add remaining ingredients and bake at 350ºF oven for up to one hour or until the shallots are soft. Enjoy in a number of options or as a garnish to meats and vegetables or, combine with Okanagan Cherry reduction in tarts:

Dried Okanagan Cherry reduction
1 cup tart dried Okanagan cherries *
1 cup port
1 tbs chopped fresh rosemary
2 tbs butter
1 cup dry red wine or port
Soak cherries in port over night or for several hours.
In a sauce pan, heat soaked cherries and add wine or port and rosemary. Bring to a boil and add butter. Remove from heat and purée. Use on tarts or as a drizzle for meats or poultry.  Add chèvre to each tart shell and top with shallot/cherry mixture.  Bake until hot throughout.

2. Quiche Lorraine (with Beef Bacon!)
Beef bacon can be purchased at Wildfire Farms, at St. Norbert’s Market on Saturdays and the Downtown Hydro Building on Thursdays.  Nature’s Farm eggs can be found at St. Norbert’s Farmer’s Market and well as a number of grocery stores.

for 6 medium tart shells

1 tbs butter
6 eggs
3/4 cup heavy cream
3/4 pound beef bacon (or Berkshire, another local bacon), chopped
1 finely chopped leek whites
1 cup shredded Swiss or Gruyere cheese
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
salt and pepper, to taste

In a large skillet, melt butter over medium high heat.  Add leek and bacon until starting to soften and brown.  In a mixing bowl, whisk eggs and cream together.  Add the leek and bacon with the cheese and seasonings.  Pour into crust and bake until the centre of the quiches are just set, ~ 20 minutes.  Serve warm or at room temperature.


Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Market days still ahead.

Production day today, making Roasted Butternut Squash Mostarda with Cranberries, Apricots and Okanagan Cherries, Onion Jam, Mango Salsa and bread.  See you at the Downtown Hydro Building Farmer's Market on Thursday and the St. Norbert's Farmer's Market on Saturday.