Cooking off the Books: Genius Kitchen’s Gumbo Recipe (adapted)

Happy 2018 y’all!

Yes, I’ve gone a bit southern, but it’s in celebration of my upcoming trip to New Orleans!  I have made it my mission to try a few key, traditional New Orleans dishes before I head out….and this is one of them…and it is effing fantastic.  I have also made beignets and jambalaya…both were excellent and will soon be on the bloggy.

The recipe itself comes together quickly, once you have all the chopping together.  That is what takes the time….but it’s arguably therapeutic. Well, aside from making my creole spice mix…which is just a massive pain in the butt and quite messy.

IMG_6209[1]Making the roux was really easy…and a much nicer experience than other times I have made roux in the past.  One interesting aspect of this for me, was that it actually burnt the edge of my wooden spoon.  I used one of those flat edge ones and it is all crazy burnt now…so that was a surprise.  I may just keep that one for roux and get another for other things.

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just added the veg to the dark brown roux

The smells of all of these things as they cook is tremendous….and it gets better as leftovers…the flavours become fuller and makes for extra yummy leftovers.

I look forward to trying a proper gumbo in New Orleans, but I will say, this one tasted pretty darn fabulous to me.

Recipe rating: 5 knives out of 5

Om, nom, nom,

Lisa

*****

Genius Kitchen’s Gumbo

Serves 8

NOTE: you will need to prepare some white rice to go along with this.  Since it serves 8, I would suggest making rice to serve that many.

  • 1cup vegetable oil
  • 1cup all-purpose flour
  • large white onion, diced
  • 1cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1cup chopped celery
  • 1cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 1cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 1cup sliced scallion
  • 1 cup of sliced okra (optional)
  • cloves minced garlic
  • cups chicken broth
  • teaspoon salt
  • teaspoon creole  seasoning (I made my own because I couldn’t find it in the grocery store, but added like 1 tbsp…possibly more as I added to taste…but different blends may have different spice levels…also note this isn’t the same as Cajun seasoning).
  • lbs any combo of andouille sausage, shrimp, chicken or even crab claws if you can find it (i did not), cut into bite sized slices or pieces.

DIRECTIONS:

Get all of your veggies and herbs and meat all chopped up – mis en place style.

Make the roux. In a large stockpot combine oil and flour and cook over medium-high heat about 15 minutes or until it turns very dark brown, almost between brown and black. NOTE: You will have to stir almost constantly so don’t leave it unattended.

Add onions, parsley, celery, bell peppers, scallions and garlic and cook about 10 more minutes or until vegetables are tender, stirring regularly.

Add broth, salt, and creole seasoning.

Cover pot and simmer 15 minutes stirring occasionally.

Add your chosen combination of meat at this point and simmer an additional 10 minutes.   Put in shrimp and fresh okra for your last five minutes of cooking as it doesn’t take long to cook. NOTE: If using whole pieces of crab like claws, or blue crab halves cook a little longer to ensure they’re cooked all the way.

Ladle over steamed white rice.

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LOVE real FOOD: Dark Cherry Almond Crisp

I am kind of obsessed with cherries. If something has cherries in it, I will always choose it first. I truly do think there are not enough cherry things in the world!

As soon as I saw this recipe, I knew I had to make it.  One thing that bugs me is that anything with dried cherries usually has added sugar to the cherries.  This is totally not necessary…dried fruit is sweet enough on it’s own.  And although this recipe does not use dried cherries, it makes me happy that it doesn’t call for sugar in the cherry filling.  It does call for maple syrup which adds a little sweetness, but it is mostly necessary to make the filling more pie like!

I actually made this Dark Cherry Almond Crisp twice in one day.  I wanted to bring a dessert to my Book Club, and then I was going to make cupcakes for a co-worker’s birthday for the next day.  After getting home at 10:30 pm, I figured it would be quicker &  that I would get to bed sooner if I just made another Dark Cherry Almond Crisp instead…so I did!  I already had the ingredients, and it doesn’t take long at all to put together.  While it was baking, I was able to take a bath and get ready for bed.  Much less time consuming thank baking and icing cupcakes.  I will make those another day 🙂

This recipe is very easy to make…and it make your house smell so good while it is baking!

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Assembled and ready to bake!

I baked it for the 40 minutes, and the topping was perfectly baked and golden.

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Just out of the oven

I would highly recommend following Kates’s (the author) suggestion of serving the crisp with vanilla ice cream!  If you happen to have leftovers, it is also really good with some vanilla yogurt for breakfast!

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Served in cute paper bowls at work for a co-worker’s birthday!

The end result is like a healthy cherry pie! I loved the nuttiness that the almond meal and almonds gave it.  I will definitely be adding this in to my repertoire of frequently made recipes.  Maybe next time I will try adding in another fruit (like peaches or apples) as well!

Recipe Rating: 5 knives out of 5

Happy Cooking!

Tricia

*****

DARK CHERRY ALMOND CRISP:

INGREDIENTS:

CHERRY FILLING:

  • 2 pounds dark sweet cherries, frozen (thawed)* or fresh (pitted and halved)
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons arrowroot starch or cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

TOPPING:

  • 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/ cup packed almond meal (2 ounces)
  • 1/3 cup packed coconut sugar or brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 plain yogurt
  • 1/4 cup melted unsalted butter

Vanilla ice cream or plain or vanilla yogurt, for serving

TIP: Don’t try to substitute honey for the maple syrup, as it will stick to cold thawed cherries

*Ingredient Note: If you’re using frozen cherries, you can defrost them in the microwave, at room temperature for at least 2 hours, or overnight in the refrigerator. Before adding them to the filling, drain off most of the excess juices.

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F
  2. To prepare the cherry filling:  In a 9 x 9-inch baking dish, combine the cherries, maple syrup, starch, and vanilla. Stir until the mixture is evenly blended and no powdery spots remain. Set aside.
  3. To make the topping:  In a medium bowl, combine the oats, almond meal, coconut sugar, sliced almonds, salt, and cinnamon. Stir to combine, then add the yogurt and melted butter. Stir until all of the almond meal is incorporated and the mixture is moistened throughout.
  4. To assemble, stir the filling one last time, then evenly distribute the topping over the filling (don’t pack it down). Bake until the filling is bubbling around the edges and the top is turning lightly golden, about 40 minutes.
  5. Let the crisp cool for 10 minutes before serving. Serve with vanilla ice cream, I insist! This crisp keeps well in the refrigerator, covered, for up to 5 days. Leftovers are great for breakfast with yogurt.

Makes 8 servings

*GLUTEN FREE: Use certified gluten-free oats  *DAIRY FREE/VEGAN: Use non-dairy yogurt and coconut oil instead of butter  *NUT FREE: Substitute our choice of flour for the almond meal, and skip the sliced almonds

Taylor, Kathryne. Love Real Food: More than 100 Feel-Good Vegetarian Favorites to Delight the Senses and Nourish the Body. Rodale, 2017.

Off the Books: The Festive Rosé Gin Spritz

Every holiday season, Lisa and I make sure to get together for a girl’s night out – usually at one of our favourite haunts, Peasant Cookery. But this year, when Lisa brought up the idea of staying in at her place while wearing our comfies (cozy sweats, warm wool socks!) – I was totally sold.

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Naturally, I offered to make cocktails. Since I had quite a bit of booze on hand, I decided to make up my own merry recipe: Enter the Festive Rosé Gin Spritz.

What you’ll need:

  • A bottle of dry rosé
  • Gin
  • Club soda
  • Cherry bitters (optional)
  • A pomegranate
  • Fresh mint
  • A pear

Fill a couple of glasses with ice. Toss in some pomegranate seeds, a few thinly sliced pieces of pear and a bit of freshly chopped mint. Pour in an ounce or two (who’s counting?) of your favourite gin. Squeeze in a couple of drops of cherry bitters, if you have them on hand, and stir. Top of your glass with rosé and a splash of club soda. Stir again and enjoy!

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Not only is it pretty… this cocktail was a delicious way to give cheers to our friendship!

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Bottoms up!
Cindy

LOVE real FOOD: German Chocolate Cake

Whenever I search for recipes online, I often come across Cookie + Kate’s recipes.  I have made a few in the past, and have liked them all.  I was really excited when Kate came out with her own cookbook…there are so many recipes in it that I want to make!  In case you didn’t know…Cookie is the name of Kate’s dog, and she makes many appearances in the cookbook 🙂

My grandma turned 93 on the weekend, so I wanted to bake a birthday cake for her! LOVE real FOOD’s German Chocolate Cake recipe was the perfect choice.

The topping of this cake does not have any added sugar,  but it is naturally sweet from the dates.  The topping reminds me of an energy bar…you could totally just eat it on its own!

I had to make a modification to the flour.  I thought I had whole wheat flour, but didn’t, so I used all-purpose flour and added a little extra to compensate for not being whole wheat.  I found the batter was very thick after doing this, so I ended up adding a bit more water at the end.  I was kind of worried that the cake would be dry…but it wasn’t.

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Ready to go in the oven!

I checked the cake at 30 minutes and is seemed ready…so I took it out then, and let it cool for about an hour before putting the topping on.

The topping was fool proof to make…first, I soaked the dates so that they would be easier to make blend into a smooth texture.  Then everything ends up in the food processor.

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The topping in the food processor

After the cake was cool enough, I used a spatula to spread the topping on…it spread very easily.

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Cake is done!

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Ready to eat!

The caked turned out very dense and chocolaty…It worked well with the date/coconut topping.  I didn’t get a picture with ice cream, but I served the cake with Häagen-Dazs chocolate ice cream…yum!

I brought the leftovers to work the next day and we ate it for breakfast.  Eating cake for breakfast is the best thing ever!  If you have never done it before…I recommend trying it!

Recipe Rating: 4.5 knives out of 5

Happy cooking!

Tricia

*****

German Chocolate Cake

Cake:

  • 1 1/2  cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup sugar (I use organic cane sugar)
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup warm water

Frosting:

  • 12 large Medjool dates (about 1 cup firmly packed)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil
  • Pinch of fine sea salt
  • 1/2cup  unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/2cup pecan pieces
  1. To make the cake: Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease a 9 x 9 -inch baking dish.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir to blend. Pour in the coconut oil, vinegar, and vanilla. Pour the warm water over all the ingredients and stir until well blended.
  3. Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish and bake until the edges of the cake are starting to pull away from the sides and a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. 32 t0 34 minutes. Set aside the cake to cool for at least 30 minutes, or preferably until it reaches room temperature.
  4. Meanwhile, to make the frosting: Place the dates in a heatproof bowl and pour hot water over them until they are covered (this ensures that the dates are hydrated and soft enough to blend-don’t skip this step!). Let them soak 10 for 10 minutes, then drain. Once the dates are cool enough to handle, remove the pits and discard them.
  5. In a food processor, combine the pitted dates, water, maple syrup, vanilla, coconut oil, and salt. Process until smooth, pausing to scrape down the sides as necessary. Add the shredded coconut and pecans and pulse a few times, just until they are evenly distributed. Set aside.
  6. Once the cake has cooled, spread the frosting over the cake in and even layer. Slice and serve. This cake keeps well, refrigerated, for up to 5 days.

Taylor, Kathryne. Love Real Food: More than 100 Feel-Good Vegetarian Favorites to Delight the Senses and Nourish the Body. Rodale, 2017.

 

Vegan Richa’s Everyday Kitchen: Almond Butter Snickerdoodles

The last time I made Snickerdoodles was about 13 years ago.  I went to a holiday open house for a gift shop, and they had an assortment of refreshments & treats for the guests.  The Snickerdoodles were so good that the friend I was with asked for the recipe…and they gave it to her!  She gave me a copy of the recipe as well, and I made them a few times, and then recipe got buried away and I haven’t made them since.  After seeing Vegan Richa’s version, I was reminded of my love of Snickerdoodles, and just had to try them!

The recipe did say that smooth, drippy almond butter works best, and that additional oil or non-dairy milk should be added if using a more solid almond butter.  My almond butter was not very drippy, so I did add a bit more almond milk.  I think I should have added even a little bit more though.  The dough was very crumbly, but after kneading,  it did come together.

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In to the fridge for an hour…

After letting dough sit in the fridge for an hour, it was time to form balls, and then roll in cinnamon,  and then in the cinnamon sugar.  Next time, I might omit the rolling in the plain cinnamon, and just use cinnamon sugar.  Rolling them in cinnamon made them very dark.  I think they would look prettier if they had less cinnamon and weren’t as dark.

Rolling them was easy…they looked like little donut holes! When I pressed them down with a fork, they did crumble a little more than I would have liked…but they luckily did not fall apart.

One thing I remember about making Snickerdoodles in the past is that they had Cream of Tartar as an ingredient.  This recipe does not have Cream of Tartar, so these cookies are less chewy and not as tangy as traditional Snickerdoodles.

The addition of almond butter adds a really nice flavour to the cookies.  And even though I thought they might be a bit dry after baking, they weren’t dry at all!

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Cooling on the cooling rack!

Note: The recipe makes about 12 cookies…so if you want some extras to share…make a double recipe 🙂

Recipe Rating: 3.75 knives out of 5

I took a point off for appearance…they tasted great though! I will try them again one day and see if it yields prettier cookies!

Happy Cooking!

Tricia

 

******

ALMOND BUTTER SNICKERDOODLES

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3/4 cup (90g) unbleached all-purpose flour or spelt flour (or Gluten-Free flour blend
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch or arrowroot starch
  • 1/3 cup (65g) plus 2 tablespoons (24g) fine cane sugar or finely ground raw sugar, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground flax seed
  • 2 tablespoons (30ml) almond milk or other non-dairy milk
  • 3 tablespoons (48g) almond butter
  • 3 tablespoons (45ml) organic safflower or other neutral oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon, divided

 

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, 1/3 cup (65g) of the sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  In another medium bowl, combine the flax seed and the milk.  Add the almond butter, oil, vanilla, and 1/4 teaspoon of the cinnamon and stir to combine. (It will take a minute for the almond butter to mix in.)  Add the milk mixture to the flour mixture and knead in the bowl to form a dough.  It will feel crumbly at first, but will come together.  (If it doesn’t come together, knead a few drops of water into the dough.)  Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  2. Preheat the oven to 375F (190C).  Line a medium baking sheet with parchment paper.  Combine 2 teaspoons of the cinnamon and the remaining 2 tablespoons (24g) sugar in a small bowl.
  3. Make the balls with the chilled dough that measure 1 to 1 1/2 inches (3 to 4 cm)  Roll the balls in the cinnamon then in the cinnamon sugar.  Place the balls on the baking sheet.  Press them down with a fork.  Bake the cookies for 11 to 12 minutes.  Cool completely.  The cookies will be soft out of the oven but will firm up.  Store them in an airtight container.

 

Copyright 2017, Vegan Richa’s Everyday Kichen by Richa Hingle, Vegan Heritage Press, LLC, All Right Reserved

The Little Paris Kitchen: Poulet aux champignons avec une sauce au vin blanc (Chicken and Mushrooms in a White Wine Sauce)

I’ve always had a thing for Paris (don’t most of us?), especially after spending a week there in my early twenties. I can still feel the ripped up roof of my mouth from eating too much crusty baguette! (C’était le meilleur!) The cheeses, the crêpes…

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Topped with fresh, chopped parsley and pickled onions (because I’m obsessed)

But this dish right here? This is the epitome of French food for me. It doesn’t get much more comforting, decadent and just plain wonderful.

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White wine sauce simmering

While this recipe did take a bit of time from prep to table, it wasn’t stressful or hard. I did add some more spices to the chicken – the aptly named Sunny Paris from Penzey’s Spices, which contains shallots, chives, green peppercorn, dill weed, basil, tarragon, chervil and bay leaf. I thought about adding garlic to the chicken/mushroom mix, but the white wine sauce has so much amazing flavour that it’s not particularly needed.

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I love Penzey’s wide variety of spices!

 

My only beef is that I didn’t pick up any fresh, crusty baguette to sop up all of the extra sauce! Oh well… la prochaine fois!

Recipe Rating: 5 Knives out of 5

Bon appétit!
Cindy

*****

Chicken and Mushrooms in a White Wine Sauce

4 tbsp butter, divided
¼ cup flour
2 cups chicken stock, lukewarm
½ cup dry white wine
4 tbsp heavy cream
1 tsp lemon juice
Salt and pepper
1 lb chicken or turkey breast, cut into chunks
8 oz. button mushrooms, sliced
Handful of finely chopped tarragon or parsley

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in large pan over medium heat. Add flour and beat hard until you have a smooth paste (called a roux). Continue to beat until roux begins to have a golden color. Take off heat and gradually add stock, whisking constantly.

Place pan back over medium heat and simmer gently for 10 minutes, whisking frequently to ensure none of the sauce burns on bottom of pan. If sauce becomes too thick, whisk in a little more stock.

Add wine and continue simmering for 10 minutes, then take off the heat and whisk in cream and lemon juice. Taste for salt and pepper.

While sauce is simmering, melt 2 tablespoons butter in large frying pan until sizzling. Add chicken and fry for a few minutes until golden. Add mushrooms and fry for another 5 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.

To serve, mix sauce with chicken and mushrooms and sprinkle with some fresh tarragon or parsley.

From “The Little Paris Kitchen,” by Rachel Khoo.

Molly on the Range’s Chocolate Dirt Cake with Rosemary Buttercream

Happy mid-week folks!

As many of you know, I really, REALLY enjoy baking.  I’m pretty good at it, it melts away my stress (unless I’m attempting macarons, which is well, stressful) and there is truly something wonderful about enjoying treats you made with people you care for.

I’m also a bit of a traditionalist when it comes to baking. Not to say I don’t experiment, but I tend to stay on more traditional flavour profiles and only rarely, after a lot of research, do I experiment with baking recipes.  The last time I experimented and it worked was last Christmas when I made a pretty darn beautiful and tasty sparkling cranberry cupcake.

I won’t lie, I was intrigued by Molly’s rosemary infused buttercream.  Again, being a traditionalist, I struggled with the idea of butting what I always thought of as a savoury herb with buttercream…but I broke down and figured why not – it’s for the blog!  Throw caution to the wind.  With that, I grabbed my kitchen shears and chopped off a few springs of rosemary from my plant and made some infused butter.IMG_5888[1]

 

I won’t lie, the butter and rosemary together smelled pretty great, but I was still quite sceptical.

I went on to make the (halved recipe) cake.  The recipe itself was fine, I guess.  The cake fell in the middle, which is a first for me.  My cakes never fall(!), so that was a bit of a surprise, especially since I was using the convection setting on my oven.

I just made this as a basic snacking cake – one layer deal, covered with some frosting and sprinkles. Nothing fancy or like the “dirt version” that Molly shows in the pics of her cookbook.  It looked really cute but I didn’t have another planner and it seemed more time consuming and messy compared to just slapping on buttercream and sprinkles.

IMG_5906[1]Upon first bites, I have to say, I was not a fan and neither was my guest.  The rosemary was overpowering and it just…it felt like I should’ve been eating potatoes instead of a chocolate cake.  It wasn’t bad, but it was just…a lot and it wasn’t really enjoyable for me.  However, in the coming days, as I took bites of the cake here and there, the flavour mellowed…and it became really delicious.

As a way to have this more mellow flavour profile to start, you may wish to cut the amount of rosemary you infuse in your butter, or simply use less infused butter and more regular butter for your buttercream.

Overall, I would cautiously recommend making this recipe. It’s definitely not traditional, which makes it fun….but it may also turn your guests off…which is not fun.   If you wish to experiment, I would suggest doing what I did – half the recipe and make it for a low key evening, with non judgemental company.

Recipe rating: 3.5 knives out of 5

Om, nom, nom,

Lisa

Molly on the Range’s Chocolate Dirt Cake with Rosemary Buttercream

yield: 2 8-inch cakes

1 3/4 cups sugar

1 3/4 cups flour

 

1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

 

1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

 

1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

 

1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

 

2 large eggs

 

1 cup buttermilk

 

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

 

1/2 cup flavorless oil

 

3/4 cup boiling water

 

Frosting:

 

1 1/2 cups unsalted butter

 

4 sprigs fresh rosemary

 

2 cups powdered sugar

 

1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

 

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

 

2 tablespoons whole milk

INSTRUCTIONS

To make the cake: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease and line the bottoms of two 8-inch cake pans with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder and baking soda. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, vanilla and oil. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir to combine. Whisk in the boiling water.

Pour the batter into the cake pans and bake until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean. Begin checking for doneness at 28 minutes. Let cool in the pans for 10 minutes and then remove to a rack to cool completely.

To make the frosting: In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the rosemary, reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook for 15 minutes, stirring often.

Strain out the rosemary sprigs and transfer the butter to a large metal bowl. Place the bowl in an ice bath and use an electric mixer to beat it until it becomes pale and fluffy, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed.

Remove from the ice bath and beat in the powdered sugar, salt, vanilla and milk. (Alternatively, you can make the rosemary-infused butter ahead of time, place it covered in the fridge overnight, and then soften it slightly before beating it with the sugar, salt, vanilla and milk.)

Level the cakes and frost as desired.

Vegan Richa’s Everyday Kitchen: One-Pot Peanut Butter Noodles

If you are one of those people who thinks that peanut butter is just a breakfast food…think again! Savoury peanut sauce is so addicting!  I love peanut sauce, so of course choosing to make One-Pot Peanut Butter Noodles was a no-brainer decision.

This recipe was quick and easy to make…perfect for a night where you don’t have a lot of time to prep dinner.

There is a stir-fried vegetable dish in peanut sauce at a local Thai restaurant that is amazing…and that I crave often.  I am sure there is coconut milk in it, so I followed the variation of using 1 cup coconut milk with 3 cups water…this made the sauce very creamy and delicious.  I substituted spinach for bok choy (because I couldn’t find any), and added in some mushrooms.

And who knew cats like tofu?!?!  Stella the cat stole a piece while I turned my back for a second, and was not impressed that I wouldn’t let her eat more.

I loved the idea of using just one pot, but next time I would cook the noodles separately, and add sauce to just what I was serving /eating.  After sitting overnight (in the fridge of course), I found the noodles a little too soft. Other than that, there is nothing I would change.

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Dig in!

 

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Stella the cat approves!

 

Would I make this again…yes! It is a great dish to make when you are looking to use up some veggies in the fridge.  Add in whatever veggies you happen to have!

Recipe Rating: 4.5 Knives out 5

Happy Cooking!

Tricia

*****

ONE-POT PEANUT NOODLES

INGREDIENTS:

  • 8 to 10 ounces (230 to 280g) brown rice noodles, vermicelli, or angel hair pasta
  • 4 cups (960ml) water, or as needed
  • 7 ounces (200 g) firm tofu, drained and cut into 1/2-inch (1cm) dice
  • 3/4 cup (90g) thinly sliced carrots
  • 1 large red bell pepper, sliced paper thin
  • 1/2 cup (75g) thinly sliced zucchini, green bell pepper, or broccoli
  • 2 tablespoons (6g) chopped scallions (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon ginger paste or minced fresh ginger
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons sriracha
  • 2 tablespoons (30ml) soy sauce (or tamari to make gluten free)
  • 6 tablespoons (100g) smooth peanut butter, almond butter, or sun butter
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lime or lemon juice, plus more for serving
  • 2 teaspoons distilled white vinegar or apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne, or to taste
  • 3/4 cup chopped celery or bok choy
  • 2 tablespoons (6g) fresh cilantro, or basil (or both)
  • 2 tablespoons (20g) chopped roaster peanuts for garnish (optional)

 

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Add the noodles and the water to a large saucepan and push down the noodles so they are covered in water.  Arrange the tofu, carrots, bell pepper, and zucchini among the noodles.  Add the scallions (if using), ginger paster, garlic, garlic powder, sriracha, soy sauce, peanut butter, lime juice, vinegar, sugar, salt, and cayenne
  2. Bring to a boil over medium heat.  The noodles will start to soften at the 4- to5- minute mark.  The peanut butter might clump up, so stir for a few seconds so the peanut butter mixes in and the noodles cook evenly.
  3. Once the mixture is boiling, add the celery.  Cook for 2 minutes or longer (depending on the noodles used).  Check the noodles for doneness, then taste and adjust the seasonings adding more sugar, cayenne, or lime juice, if needed.  Fold in the cilantro and basil. Let the noodles sit for another minute before serving.  Garnish with the peanuts, if using.

Variations: Add the zest of the lime to the pot.  Instead of 4 cups (960ml) water, add 1 cup (240ml) coconut milk plus 3 cups (720ml) water for a creamier consistency.

Copyright 2017, Vegan Richa’s Everyday Kichen by Richa Hingle, Vegan Heritage Press, LLC, All Right Reserved

 

 

The Little Paris Kitchen: Poisson Meunière

Cooking fish has never been easy for me, and I don’t know why. Either I’ll burn the batter, or the batter will be extremely mushy… all while I’m just praying that the fish is cooked and we won’t perish from food poisoning.

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But all that has changed, thanks to this recipe! Cooking fish will never be the same! (Okay, I did burn a touch of the batter this time as well… but it was not a smoke alarm inducing moment like it normally is!)

This poisson meunière – a French dish of lightly-fried fish, with lemon brown butter sauce – is DELICIOUS! I can’t begin to tell you how quickly it was gobbled down with a side of roasted veggies. I followed the pan frying instructions carefully, and it was easy and stress free. (Minus the tiniest bit of burning, which I attribute to not cleaning off my pan well enough between fillets.)

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Since I had some frozen local pickerel fillets in the freezer, I used those instead of sole. In place of sunflower oil, I simply used olive oil and I also added a couple of cloves of chopped garlic to the butter sauce. (I’m drooling as I type this, guys!)
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After sending a gushworthy text to my mom about this recipe, as well as a photo, I’ve been crowned fish cooker for this upcoming Christmas Eve. Mmmm, can’t wait!
Recipe Rating: 5 Knives out of 5
Bon appétit!
Cindy

*****

Poisson Meunière

Ingredients

  • 2 fillets of sole (about 150g each), skin removed
  • 3 tablespoons of plain flour
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • A generous pinch of pepper
  • ½ tablespoons sunflower oil
  • 45g butter, cut into cubes
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • 1 tablespoon small capers (optional)

Preparation

  1. Check the fish for small bones and use tweezers to pull out any that you find.
  2. Mix the flour with the salt and pepper and spread out over a large plate. Pat the fish fillets in the flour so they are evenly coated, and shake off any excess.
  3. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a high heat. When the oil is smoking hot, place the fish fillets fleshy-side down in the pan and lower the heat to medium. Cook for 1-2 minutes on one side until golden, then turn the fillets over and cook for a further 1- 2 minutes until the second side is golden. Place the fish on a warmed plate and cover with aluminum foil.
  4. Wipe the pan with paper towels and return to a medium heat. Add the cubes of butter and heat until they melt and become light brown, then turn off the heat and add the lemon juice (stand back a little as it will splutter). Add the parsley and capers (if using), and swirl the contents of the pan around. Return the fish to the pan, spoon over the juices and serve immediately.
  5. Flat fish fillets need only 1-2 minutes of cooking on each side. If you’re cooking thicker slices or fillets from a fish like trout (2-3cm thick), then 3-4 minutes on each side should be fine.

Recipe adapted from http://www.womanandhome.com/recipes/530988/poisson-meuni-re#q200ofbeDpf24Vqo.99

Molly on the Range: Spaghetti and My Ex-Boyfriend’s Meatless Balls

How YOU doin on this fantabulous Monday (yes, I do make up words)?

This weekend was pretty darn great, so I’m feeling pretty chipper for a Monday.  My Vikes won yesterday and are now 8-2 for the season (SKOL)!  I painted my bedroom (well, one wall) a fabulous teal colour.  I got to have a little bonding belated birthday brunch (alliteration for the win) with my Aunt and cousin. AND….I made this yummy surprise from Molly on the Range.

I’m a meat eater…and while I don’t mind dabbling in the odd vegan or vegetarian meal, I tend to eat meat vs making a non meat substitute. This one, however, intrigued me because of what it contained.  The base was parmesan (yum), Panko flakes (more yum), and some toasted walnuts. I mean, just writing that sentence my mouth was watering.

IMG_5954[1]

Using that good ol’ food processor

It was an easy recipe to make, though I will admit, I mistimed the pasta cook with the frying of these little meatless balls.  As you can see, my meatless balls are pretty uniform – it’s because I used my small cookie scoop.  This was definitely a smart move because everything cooked up so nice and uniformly., with nice, almost seared edge.

IMG_5959[1]The recipe called for a jar of marinara sauce.  I picked Newman’s Own because I have heard good things about this brand of products, but I wasn’t impressed.  It was quite bland.

When the whole dish was put together, I was quite impressed with the flavours, regardless of the bland marinara.  I added a generous sprinkle of fresh parmesan and fresh basil from my plant to my plate and it definitely gave the pasta some much needed punch.  And those little meatless balls, they tasted so great with the pasta, cheese and basil that I didn’t even miss having actual meatballs.

Leftovers of the dish are pretty darn tasty too, though the meatless balls lose a hint of their crispness in the microwave, but not so much to ruin them.

My only small complaint is that there is not any sort of cue to cook the spaghetti.  I know the ingredients list called for spaghetti, but I think that it would be easy for any chef to forget to actually start the pot to boil to cook the spaghetti (like I did) and ruin the timing of your meal.

IMG_5963[1]I would highly recommend making this relatively quick and easy (if you don’t eff up the pasta cooking time like I did).  So check the recipe below, write up your grocery list, shoppity-shop and make it for dinner and make your Monday end on a happy note.

Recipe rating: 4 knives out of 5

Om, nom, nom,

Lisa

*****

Molly on the Range: Spaghetti and My Ex-Boyfriend’s Meatless Balls

Makes 4 servings

1 cup of almonds or walnuts, tosted
2 cloves of garlic
2 tablespoons of dried parsley
1/4 teaspoon of kosher salt
black pepper
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
1 cup Panko breadcrumbs
2 large eggs
28 ounces ( a little more than a 600ish ml jar…I just used the one jar)
flavourless oil, for frying
8 ounces (454 g pkg) of spaghetti, cooked according to package directions
chopped, fresh flat-leaf parsley or basil for garnish

(NOTE: I think you actually start by filling a pot of water to boil and start prepping your spaghetti right now as getting a big pot of water to boiling takes awhile….toss in your spaghetti to cook for about 12 minutes or so when you start frying your little meatless balls..but again, this is just my suggestion…you don’t have to listen to me).

In a food processor, combine the nuts and garlic and pulse to a coarse crumb.  Add the parsley, salt, a few turns of pepper, Parmesan and breadcrumbs and pulse to combine.  Add the eggs and process until the mixture holds together in a ball.  It may still look crumbly, but it should hold together when you squeeze it.  Roll 1 1/2 tablespoon-size balls (or use that awesome cookie scoop), packing them just firmly enough so that they hold together but not too firmly because otherwise they will be tough.  Place them on a plate or sheet of parchment paper.

Warm the marinara sauce in a large saucepan over medium heat.

In a skillet, heat the 1/4 inch of oil over medium-high heat.  Working in batches, cook the balls, turning them, until they’re golden brown on all sides (alternatively, you can deep fry the suckers if that’s what you’re into).

Transfer the balls to the tomato sauce and enjoy over spaghetti, topped with additional cheese and chopped fresh basil or parsley.