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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Test Kitchen - A new spice blend coming soon!

Testing out an Ethiopian spice blend, Mitmita. It is a lovely spice blend traditionally used for tartare but I used it as a dry rub for grilled chicken. Excellent results! I'll be testing this out on a variety of options and will then make it available.

In the mean time, there are commercially available Mitmita blends available from Dino's Grocery Mart on Notre Dame in Winnipeg. It does have salt in the blend as well. Try it dry on boneless skinless chicken thighs. Add olive oil prior to grilling and enjoy with flat breads, yoghurt and grilled vegetables.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Grilled Stuffed Portabello Mushrooms - Today on CBC's Weekend Morning Show with Kerän Sanders

I had the great pleasure this morning of presenting some delicious and simple ways of preparing grilled portabello mushrooms on CBC's Weekend Morning Show with Kerän Sanders.

Grilled Portabello Mushrooms

6 portabello mushrooms, stems and gills removed
1 cup drained crab meat
1/2 cup chevre
1-2 tbs pesto
salt and pepper to taste
olive oil, to brush on mushrooms

Soften chevre cheese and add pesto. Gently stir in crab meat. Season. Brush mushroom caps with olive oil and spoon in crab filling. Place on a hot BBQ grill for 4-8 minutes.

Enjoy as a burger, entree or side dish.

Options: Omit crab meat and fill with cheese with pesto. Try with pomegranate walnut paste (see blog May 26th)

Pomegranate Walnut Paste

½ cup pomegranate molasses
1 onion, chopped
½ cup walnuts (use almonds if walnut allergy)
¼ cup softened raisins
1 tbs pomegranate seeds
good amount olive oil (1/4 – ½ cup good olive oil)
1 tbs dried oregano
1 tsp paprika (smoked or plain)
salt and pepper, to taste

Mix first 9 ingredients in a blender until a smooth paste. Adjust seasoning to taste. Spoon into endive leaves for an appetizer, salad and serve cold or grilled. Used also in grilled chicken or lamb or in grilled portabello mushrooms.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

A Kerala Vegetable Feast - Beans, Carrots and Mushrooms

(Photo by Karen)
Tender Beans Kerala Style

3 cups fresh green beans, trimmed and cut in half to up to 2" long
2 tbs. vegetable or olive oil
1 tsp. black mustard seeds
1 medium onion, sliced thin and long
1 red chili crushed or 1/2 tsp. chili powder
6 garlic cloves, minced
4 pepper corns crushed or 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 - 1 tsp turmeric powder

Fry the mustard seeds in hot oil. When they turn lighter colour and begin to pop, add onion slices and sauté over medium high heat. Add turmeric, chili and pepper corns then garlic. Sauté. Add the beans and sauté until al dente. Season with a pinch of salt. Serve hot.


(Photo by Karen)

Carrot Thoran

2 cups finely shredded carrots
salt, to taste
2 tbs oil
1/2 tsp black mustard seeds
2 tsp black gram dhal or urdad dal *
1 large onion, finely chopped
1-2 green chillies, sliced thinly in rounds
a few curry leaves *
1/2 cup finely grated coconut *

1. Heat oil in a pot on medium high heat and add the mustard seeds.
The seeds will pop. Then add the dhal and fry until it becomes golden
brown. Add onion, green chillies, curry leaves and sauté. When
almost translucent add grated coconut and stir for a few minutes.
2. Toss in the carrots and add salt to taste. Gently sauté until
water has been absorbed or evaporated.

Note: red and green chillies have a lovely appearance. Cauliflower,
beans, cabbage, beets and other vegetables can be prepared similarly.

(Photo by Karen)

Mushroom Thoran

2 cups sliced Crimini Mushrooms (can use other varieties)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tsp mustard seeds
3 cloves garlic, minced
1-3 green chilies, chopped
1/4 cup grated coconut (if using dried, use unsweetened)
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground cumin
sprig curry leaves
1-2 tbs oil
salt, to taste

Heat oil in pan and add mustard seeds. When they begin to pop, add curry leaves. Add onion and sauté until translucent. Add mushrooms, chilies and salt. Cook over medium high heat until the water has evaporated from the mushrooms, stirring frequently. Stir in coconut, cumin and coriander and cook until soft.

I added a bit of cream to this even though it is a dry curry. Cover and cook on low until ready to serve.

Enjoy with rice

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Waffles, Waffles, Waffles - On CBC Radio

Waffles with Kerän Sanders on the CBC Weekend Morning Show

I had the great pleasure this morning of presenting a wonderful breakfast/brunch treat on CBC Radio's Weekend Morning Show with Kerän Sanders. These recipes can be made anywhere but I highlighted how they can be made with excellent local ingredients.

4 eggs, separated (Vita eggs are excellent)
1 cup milk (local organic available) *OR Club Soda for crispy waffles (I sometimes use twice as much)
3 cups flour (this amount makes a thinner batter) (Freshly milled flour available at Tall Grass Prairie Bakery)
1/2 cup butter, melted (Notre Dame Dairies is a local source for Manitoba)
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbs sugar
4 tsp baking powder

Beat whites until peaked and set aside or chill. Beat yolks with milk or club soda. Add melted butter without cooking yolks. Sift dry ingredients and add wet ingredients to dry ingredients. Fold in egg whites. Let proof for a while until you see bubbles in the batter. Cook in waffle iron without over filling iron. Serve immediately.


White Sauce
1 cup waffle batter (see above)
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup sugar, or to taste
1 cup milk
pinch salt

In a sauce pan, cook all ingredients together until it thickens to a smooth sauce. Use over waffles.

Blackberry Sauce
2 cups frozen blackberries (available at Gimli Fish) or any fresh seasonal berry
1/2 or more cold water
2-3 tbs corn starch
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup lemon juice
pinch salt

Place berries in a sauce pan and begin to heat. In a measuring cup, combine sugar and corn starch. Mix well with some of the cold water and the lemon juice. This prevents lumps in the sauce. Add to cooking berries and simmer at a low boil for at least one minute to cook the starch. Add water if too thick.

It can be prepared in advance and warmed at service.