Japanese Ginger-Carrot Salad

13 May

Pardon me for my hiatus from food blogging. It has been a busy past couple months, and I’ve recently finished my undergraduate at the University of Toronto! Although I have been cooking and accumulating a great deal of photos to post, I haven’t quite gotten to the computer to document the magic.

I’ve been cooking up a fair share of Vegetarian and Vegan dishes lately. This one, is Vegan, Gluten Free, and Dairy Free, so invite all your friends and cook this up for a refreshing Spring/Summer meal!

You’ll Need:

For THE {Ginger-Carrot Dressing} SAUCE

  • Ginger, minced
  • half a lime,  juiced (or more to taste)
  • 1/2 cup of olive oil
  • 2 T Soy Sauce
  • 2 t Sesame Oil
  • 3-4 t Apple Cider Vinegar (or Rice Vinegar if you have it!)
  • 5-6 Baby Carrots
  • 1-2 cloves minced garlic
  • Couple tablespoons of ketchup
  • 1 T sugar
  • pinch of salt and pepper
  • Ingredients for the SAUCE

    Ingredients for the SAUCE

For The Salad:

  • Half of Napa Cabbage, shredded
  • Half of a cucumber, julliened
  • 5-6 radishes, cut into disks
  • Sesame seeds for sprinkling

Directions:

  1. Get ready to blend your ingredients for the sauce together. Using a food processor, blend all your sauce ingredients.

    A fun trick: Cut your lime in half, and place in a low dish. Microwave for 30 seconds. This will help you get the most of the lime juice from your lime.

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2. Then, slide up your salad. Assemble with dressing (use it liberally!) and cover with sesame seeds.

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Enjoy!

Braised Chicken Breast stuffed with Feta & Sundried Tomato

23 Mar

(Did I mention its wrapped in bacon and served with roasted potatoes and Hazelnut Crusted Brussels Sprouts)

Mmm. I love braised chicken, its always a go to. Ever since I met Chicken Cacciatorie I’ve been in love. Bone-in chicken always does quite well with braising, but why not jazz up chicken breast for this easy but impressive eat? You’re next dinner party, perhaps?

You’ll need:

For the chicken:

  • 1 lb chicken breast, sliced thin and pounded flat
  • 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup feta
  • 1/4 cup parmesean cheese
  • 4-5 sun-dried tomatoes in their juices, (or with additional olive oil if they are not preserved in oil)
  • Juice of half a lime
  • Zest of a lime
  • 6 slices of bacon (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • olive oil for searing
  • twine for tying

For the Brussels sprouts:

  • 1lb of Brussels sprouts
  • 2 to 3 T olive oil
  • 1/3 cup of hazelnuts, minced
  • salt and pepper

For The [Gravy] Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup of white wine
  • 1 1/2 cups of chicken stock
    • 2 T butter
    • 2 T flour
    • 1 t group savory, or whatever seasoning you fancy

Directions:

Brussels Sprouts to be baked with Chicken

  1. Preheat oven to 350*F
  2. Mince hazelnuts and set aside
  3. Halve brussels sprouts and set aside
  4. In a tupperware container, add brussels sprouts, hazelnuts, olive oil and salt and pepper, and toss to coat.
  5. Place on a non-stick tray and cook with chicken (below) in a 350*F oven for about 20-25 minutes.

Chicken

  1. Preheat oven to 350*F
  2. Slice your chicken breasts if necessary, and smack them smartly until flattened.
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  3. In a bowl or food processor, mix sundried tomatoes, olive oil, cheese, lime and zest until ingredients create a fine grain that forms when squeezed together.
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  5. Place your chicken on wax paper or parchment and spread a drop of olive oil on each and flip over.
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  6. Season the flip side with a hint of salt and pepper. Divide the cheesy sun-dried tomato mixture on the chicken breasts and press it down firmly.
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  8. Carefully, or perhaps even with the help of a friend, roll each breast up tightly (rolling lengthwise) and securing with twine.
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  10. In a hot pan, heat a table spoon of olive oil and sear the chicken on all sides until brown. Don’t concern yourself whether the chicken is fully cooked, it will be baked thoroughly in the following steps.
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  12. If you dare (I would recommend), wrap each chicken in 1 or 2 slices of bacon.
  13. Place the chicken in a baking dish, and add wine and stock. Cover with a tin foil.
  14. Bake for around 35 minutes or until cooked.
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  16. Serve with Brussels sprouts and enjoy!
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Gravy

  1. After you cook your chicken, reserve the chicken stock and wine mixture for gravy.
  2. In a man on medium heat, melt butter.
  3. Add flour and whisk until combined.
  4. Slowly, add wine & stock mixture
  5. Allow to bubble and thicken. Add salt to taste. Serve with the chicken. :-)

Mofongo Relleno with Lime-infused Black Beans and Rice

2 Feb

It was a Friday night and the ladies stayed in, taking pictures of food, making chocolate molten cakes with ice cream and watching bad romantic comedies. So much food. To start the day off right, I decided to cook up these black beans that had been sitting around for a while that needed to be eaten. I made way too much. We’ll be having black beans for a while, but they’re versatile, so its OK! Check out what I’m making with the leftovers after the recipe.

P.S. If you omit the mayonnaise for some tahini, this is an easy vegan recipe!

You’ll need…

For the Lime-Infused Black Beans you’ll need:

  • 1/2 pound dried black beans, rinsed and picked over
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 T Mexican spicy seasoning or Cajun Seasoning with a little cumin
  • 1 lime, halved

For the Mofongo Relleno you’ll need:

  • 3 plantains
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup vegetable stock
  • 1 handful cilantro, minced
  • Lots of olive oil
  • Salt, pepper
  • 1 cup of rice, for the side

For THE AVACADO-GARLIC AOILI SAUCE (not pictured, sorry) you’ll need:

  • 1 avacado
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 3 spoonfuls of  tahini (or mayonnaise if you wish)
  • pinch of cumin
  • salt, pepper

Directions:

Before you get cooking, know that the black beans will take around 8 hours to cook unless you’re planing on using canned beans. Wake up and start the beans, make the rest around dinner time.

For the beans:

  1. In a slow cooker, add beans, vegetable stock, seasoning, and lime.
  2. Put a lid on it, cook at low for 8 hours. Easy.
  3. 8 hours later, turn off your slow cooker and work on making dinner!

For the Mofono Relleno:

  1. Start by preparing your rice.
  2. Peel and slice your plantains and add them to a pot of boiling water and cook them with salt for about 10 minutes
  3. Drain water and set plantains aside in a bowl
  4. Return pot to stove on medium heat and add oil
  5. Add minced garlic and stir
  6. Add plantains and chicken stock
  7. Cook for several minutes and begin mashing plantains with mashed-potato masher
  8. When a good consistency, add minced cilantro and salt and pepper to taste.

For the Avacado-Garlic Aoili:

  1. In a medium bowl, mash all the ingredients together with a fork. Done.

To serve:

Take a small bowl and cover inside in olive oil. Add the mashed plantains to the bowl and press down firmly. Flip the small bowl onto a plate and allow plantains to fall out. Serve with black beans, rice, and Avacado-Garlic Aoili sauce. Add cilantro for garnish or Sri Racha if you like.

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Leftovers?

With the leftover Mofongo Relleno I made:

  • Puerto Rican Plantain Patties

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With the leftover Lime-Infused Black Beans I made:

  • Spicy Black Bean Dip
  • Refried Black Beans

Salvadorian Breakfast Cakes

10 Jan

…They’re so good. I’ve been oogling over this recipe for quite some time and decided to make them today for my Birthday. This is a lightly adapted recipe that I found on Food52, I just tried to make it a little more healthy. Seems to have worked out pretty well- these little cakes are still super super savory, buttery, cheesy delicious and gluten-free.

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Makes 18 cakes.

You’ll need:

  • 1/2 cup of butter
  • 1/2 cup nonfat greek yogurt
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 cup of sour cream
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 grated parmesean
  • 1 cup rice flour
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 1 t salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350* and line muffin tin with cup-cake tins.
  2. Cream together butter, yogurt, and sugar.
  3. Add eggs 1 by one until fully incorporated.
  4. Add grated parmesean and sour cream and mix thouroughly.
  5. Finally, add rice flour, baking powder and salt gradually into the mix.
  6. Divvy batter into 18 cup cakes (filling batter pretty high in the tin, these guys won’t rise so much since they’re made of rice flour so don’t worry about overflow.)
  7. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. You can use either white or black (or none) but I thought the black gave a nice aesthetic touch.
  8. Bake for 20-22 minutes. Enjoy! Continue reading

Savory French Toast Sandwich with Bacon, Sauteed Onions, and Arugula

31 Dec

I made this for breakfast today when I couldn’t decide between french toast and something like meat and eggs. I’d heard a bit about savory french toast but never actually experimented myself, so I decided to give it a go and found that it was the best decision in a very very long time. This was heavenly: savory by the nature of the french toast and sauteed onions, made sweet by a dab of maple syrup mixed into the batter, and finishes off crispy and fresh with the arugula….and then bacon. Of course. Who doesn’t love bacon. Since the french toast makes it savory and dense already, I opted for dressing the sandwich with baby bell spreadable cheese rather than sliced cheese, and just added a good spread of dijon mustard because I am a dijon aficionado. This sandwich makes the BEST breakfast and can be an awesome lunch too- it doesn’t need to be bothered by any luncheon meats or heavy cheeses. It’s all good the way it is.

Make this for someone who’s indecisive like me, and needs the best of all worlds.

Prep: 10 minutes. Ready in 30. Makes 3 sandwiches.

You’ll need…

For THE SAUCE You’ll need:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup non-fat yogurt
  • 1 t each of nutmeg, coriander, and any Italian herb of your preference (I used dried oregano)
  • 2T maple syrup

For the rest, You’ll need:

  • 6 slices of bread
  • 1 medium-large onion, sliced
  • 1T each of salted butter and olive oil
  • 1 or 2t Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 triangles of baby bell spreadable cheese (any spreadable cheese like goat cheese would work well too)
  • dijon mustard
  • 6 slices of bacon
  • handful of arugula

Directions:

  1. Mix ingredients for THE SAUCE in a bowl with a whisk until well blended. Pour into a deep plate to dip slices of bread.
  2. Warm up a frying pan to medium heat and pour a bit of olive oil and swirl around. After covering both sides of bread in the savoury-sauce batter, place the soaked bread in the frying pan and do your normal french toast magic. Flip on both sides, and place on a plate until all slices are cooked. Set aside, in a warm place if possible.
  3. In the same pan, heat olive oil and butter. Add sliced onions and saute until wilted and fragrant.
  4. While cooking onions, cook your bacon.
  5. Return to your onions and add Worcestershire sauce. Turn off heat.
  6. Time to assemble your sandwiches! This part is easy. 1 slice french toast, cheese, Dijon, onions, bacon, arugula, other slice, and then slice that baby and enjoy.

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Maple-Pumpkin-Cheese cake-Pie

15 Nov

Mmmm Hmm! Everyone seemed to really like this. It’s the best of all worlds…kind of cheese-cake, kind of pie, kind of pumpkin, kind of maple syrup… In total, its warm and happy and sure to put a smile on your face for next Thursday. Or today. Whatever you chose.

You’ll need:

  • 1 1/2 cups pumpkin
  • 200g cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 T pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 pie crust

For THE SAUCE, use this delicious delicacy.

Directions:

  1. Make your pie crust, or prepare a 9″ pie pan with cooking spray, and preheat oven to 350*F
  2. In a blender, food processor, or with your wonderful own wonderful strength, mix together pumpkin, brown sugar, and eggs until smooth.
  3. Cut up your cream cheese into small cubes, and mix it thoroughly into your batter.
  4. Add all remaining ingredients.
  5. Bake in a preheated over for about 30-45 minutes.

Serve, and Enjoy!

Salted Carmel Whipped Cream

20 Oct

It’s a hit, and perhaps sounds a bit weird, but you are bound to Love it.

You’ll need…

For the Caramel Sauce you’ll need:

  • 3 T  butter (salted or unsalted), cubed
  • 1/2  c sugar
  • 1/4 c heavy cream
  • 1 t vanilla (optional)

For the whipped cream, you’ll need:

  • 4 tablespoons of the caramel you’ve mad above
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 cup heavy cream

Directions:

  1. I highly recommend that you have all your ingredients for the caramel measured and at your side for this caramel sauce. Go do that right now. Then find a pan, and put it on your stove. Take a deep breath. If you’re nervous about this whole process, you can make it easier for yourself by adding several tablespoons of water to the sugar, I won’t judge you, but your caramel might not taste AS creamy-spectacular.
  2. Place sugar in a pan over high heat, and stir constantly with a wooden spoon or a whisk. At one point the sugar will begin to melt, be sure to be stirring the sugar into itself so that the melting is dispersed. You can have some awkward hard chunks of un-melted sugar in your caramel otherwise. Then it will begin to get brown like caramel. This is good. When all the sugar pieces have dissolved, add the butter, FAST.
  3. WATCH OUT IT BUBBLES! Enjoy feeling like a mad chemist for a moment. Continue to stir. The bubbles will subdue.
  4. Turn that heat off, or at least keep it very low.
  5. Once the butter has melted, pour in the cream, and like always keep whisking or stirring or whatever it is that you do best. Dance a little perhaps? Just groove.
  6. Heat, off. For real this time. Don’t try eating it like me. Learn from my lesson and wait 10 minutes, then try it. Oh, I almost forgot, if you want to add that vanilla, now’s the time. Stir it in there. Delicious.

Now for the whipped cream:

  1. Place everything except the caramel in a food processor, mixer, or in a bowl and get some handheld blades, or be really keen and prepare yourself for a good old arm workout- grab a whisk.
  2. Whisk that cream until it’s whipped.
  3. Add the carmel, and whip some more. Add more caramel if you like, or more salt if you like.
  4. Enjoy!

Try it with the pies too…mmmmm!

Apple-Cinamon Galette & Salted Caramel Whipped Cream

20 Oct

You may not know, dear American readers, that here in Canada, Thanksgiving is celebrated on the first Monday of October? So, perhaps all these Thanksgiving-themed recipes are coming at you much earlier than expected, but they will fit the season in any case! I made three pies/galettes for a thanksgiving potluck at my darling friend Nathan’s home. A true hit they were.

You’ll need:

  • Galette crust
    For the Dough you’ll need:

    • 2 cups of flour
    • 1/3 cup cream cheese
    • 2/3 cup of butter
    • 2 T milk or water
    • 2 t baking powder
    • 1 t salt
    • 1 t honey
    • Additional flour for sprinkling
  • 4 apples
  • 3 T butter
  • 1/4 cup of brown sugar
  • 1 T cinamon
  • 1 T flour

Directions:

For the dough:

  1. Preheat oven to 350*F
  2. Place flour, salt, and baking powder in a bowl.
  3. Cut butter and cream cheese into small cubes and place them in the bowl.
  4. Mix well with a hook attachment to a mixer or simply with your hands.
  5. Add milk and honey and continue until you’ve formed a dough
  6. Spread flour on a cutting board and on rolling pin. Roll out dough until its around 10-12″ wide
  7. Use a big ol’ plate as a stencil for your crust
  8. Place it on a baking pan

For the apples-insides:

  1. Cut apples into thin slices
  2. In a pan, melt butter and add cinamon and brown sugar
  3. Add sliced apples and allow them to become drenched in butter mixture. Once they become fragrant and are soft, they are finished.
  4. Carefully scoop the apples and place them in the center of the dough
  5. Carefully fold the sides of the galette onto itself:
  6. Add flour to remaining sauce to allow it to thicken
    and pour it all over your galette’s insides
  7. If you have extra dough, consider making it into fun shapes like leaves for autumn!

    Cut out shapes

    put stem on top of leaf

    Flip over and press over stem, then detail with knife

  8. Marvel at your unbaked galette
  9. 9. Place in an oven for about 2o minutes until golden:

And Enjoy!

Slice me!

Don’t forget to check out the Pumpkin-Maple Pie, Salted Caramel Whipped Cream, or Fool-proof Pie Crust Tutorial !

Lizzy’s Surprise and More from Nuit Blanche!

30 Sep

This year for Nuit Blanche, my roommates and I had a fabulous idea… sell cookies, on our bikes. It made total sense, the entire city of Toronto would be out and about searching for art, and all the restaurants would be full, and there we’d be, on our bikes with hundreds of cookies at our disposal. Indeed, the plan was a success. Jamie, Jill and I baked up 5 different types of cookies: Pumpkin Spice Chocolate Chip, Chocolate Caramel, Peanut Butter, Oatmeal Chocolate Craisin, and… Lizzy’s Surprise. All of the cookies baked, except Lizzy’s Surprise, were made from recipes we found online. We decided to make a mixed media cookie, for all the eclectic people out for Nuit Blanche… and it was quite the hit!

Unfortunately, the cookies ALL got eaten (or sold to our very happy surprise), so we do not have any images of a Lizzy’s Surprise. But! the recipe is still here for your viewing pleasure. :-)

Happy Customers:

First Customers

Customers on Bike, like Us!

This guy bought 1 of each kind from us!

We even found live art work to get cookies from us! ;-)

Finally, us three- as Cookies on Wheels

Great success. So were these cookies. Trust me, they’re pretty good!

You’ll need:

  • 1 1/3 cup flour
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 1 t salt
  • 1 T instant coffee
  • 2 T peanut butter
  • 2T nutella
  • 1 egg
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup smashed potato chips
  • 3/4 cup chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350*F
  2. Melt butter and allow to cool. In a mixing bowl, mix butter, sugars, vanilla, and egg until well combined.
  3. Add peanut butter, nutella, and instant coffee
  4. Next, slowly add Flour, baking soda, and salt into the wet mixture and mix until a dough forms
  5. Add chocolate chips and potato chips
  6. Roll into 2T balls, place on a baking sheet and cook for 10-12 minutes.
  7. Enjoy!

Spätzle with Beer-Cheese Sauce and Sauteed Onions

19 Aug

This is for my darling Aunt Rhoda. Hope you enjoy the recipe!

Spätzle, [sh-pay-tzel] is a dish that was introduced to me when I was four or five years old from my German AuPair Tanja when she was living with us. Essentially, spätzle is a soft dough pasta, similar to the Italian gnocchi but made from a mainly flour base rather than potatoes (gnocchi). If you like gnocchi, you’re likely to be a spätzle fan. It became a go-to in our household when Tanja was living with us. Back then, I was a terribly picky eater. Spätzle was my dish of choice.

More recently during a bout of nostalgic cook-book searching, I came across an old German cookbook with my sister and cousin and we decided to make some spätzle, it just made too much sense. It was our favorite and we hadn’t eaten it in years.

To be honest, I did a double take on the sauce. The sauce pictured is not the same sauce that I’m writing for the recipe here, but either way it will look the same. Part of cooking is trying things out, messing up, reformatting the recipe for the next time, and learning from mistakes. The recipe I used said to just pour cream all over the spätzle, then top with cheese and then onions. It was too bland to me, so I put in an open beer from the fridge. Problems? The cream, beer and cheese didn’t get cook together and therefor never gained the creamy consistency I was hoping for.  The sauce that I made in this recipe is more of a bechámel-like white sauce with sharp cheddar cheese and less beer than the original version I made.

When we make it we use this amazing spätzle-dough press gifted to use from Tanja. Nevertheless, some kinds of potato presses could work for this job, or after making the dough I’m about to describe you can alternatively roll out the dough and form it into small dumplings which you will boil the same way you boil the spätzle dough.

So, let’s get cooking!

You’ll need:

  • 1 pound of flour (around 3 cups)
  • 3 egg yolks (save the egg whites for an omelet or something!?), and one whole egg
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • a dash of salt, pepper, and nutmeg
  • water if necessary to form into a dough

For the Sauteed onions:

  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 2 T butter
  • garlic

For THE {Beer-Cheese} SAUCE you’ll need:

  • 3 1/2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 1/2 cup milk /cream (whole milk would be best)
  • 4T stout beer
  • dash of salt, pepper, and cardoman
  • LOTS of cheese, we used around 8oz of cheddar and shredded it.

Directions:

  1. Mix the flour and eggs in a mixer with a dough hook or with your hands.
  2. Add remaining ingredients and blend for several minutes.
  3. Dough should form, it should be a bit sticky but manageable.
  4. Then, in a large pot, bring about a gallon of water to boil with salt. If you don’t have a spätzle press, you’ll probably want to roll out your dough and make little dumplings which are slightly larger than gnochi dumplings. When the water has boiled, you can start to get your spätzle cooking.
  5. Over boiling water, get your cousin David who’s really strong to help you by squeezing the spätzle through the press into the water, and help him by cutting the dough from the press so it will fall in the boiling water.
  6. Within three minutes, the spätzle should float and be finished. You can take it out using tongs or a sieve thing like the one in this picture!
  7. Fish out your Spätzle and place in a dish like the one pictured. When you’ve made all your dough, you can move on to make the yummy bechámel-like sauce.
  8. For the sauce, cook the butter in a small saucepan until melted, and then carefully dust flour in little by little, whisking it with the butter.
  9. Once all the flour has been added, you’ll have a roux! Add the milk in a slow stream, constantly whisking it into the roux.
  10. Let this mixture come to a boil and thicken up, and add the spices. After it has been boiling for several minutes and the mixture sticks to the back of a wooden spoon, you know you’re ready. Add the beer. Then, add the cheese!
  11. Sauté some onions in butter and garlic. Set aside.
  12. Pour the cheese mixture all over your spätzle in the dish. Top it with the sauteed onions and fresh salt and pepper. Add some sausage if you like! Enjoy!

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