Saturday, September 26, 2009

Identify me!

Hello again, after a long pause for some vacation time.

Here's a challenge for you: I found these green vegetables and cooked them while I was in Amsterdam. The seller at the farmers market said they were a type of seaweed. I found they tasted like asparagus when sautéed.

Can you tell me what they are?

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Strawberry and Black Pepper Sorbet

The weather is rotten, so since I can't barbeque I have started experimenting making fresh fruit sorbets with spice.
Here's the recipe for the first one I tried.

Strawberry and Black Peppercorn Sorbet

4 cups crushed hulled strawberries (about 1 1/2 lbs.)
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 tablespoon of whole black pepper

Special equipment: Ice cream maker / sorbetière

Take peppercorns and crush roughly with a mortar and pestle.
Combine the water and sugar in a small saucepan and bring to a boil, stir occasionally to dissolve sugar and make a simple syrup.
Once sugar has dissolved, add the peppercorns and let it sit for 20-25 minutes.
Once mixture has cooled, strain the sugar water and peppercorns through a fine sieve or a piece of cheesecloth.
There should not be any pieces of pepper remaining in the simple syrup.

Add the syrup to the crushed strawberries and stir to combine. Pour into freezer bowl of ice cream make and freeze according to manufacturer's instructions. After it is done, transfer to another container and freeze for another couple of hours.

If you are feeling fancy, serve it in martini glasses. Enjoy!

Ode to Summer

Ah, the sweet rewards of going to pick berries on a farm.
Recipes to come soon....

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Steak kebabs with Mexican chili rub

The fruits of last week's BBQ: delicious kebabs on my friend's back deck, served with fresh strawberry daiquiris. Yum!


1 pound (500 grams) of your favorite cut of red meat, cut into approximately 1 inch cubes

1 -2 small zucchini, sliced into 1/2 inch rounds

1 red pepper and one yellow pepper, seeded and sliced into medium chunks

1 red or vidallia onion

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons of Mexican rub


Take meat and cover it generously with the rub and press on with your fingertips. Brush meat lightly with olive oil. Thread onto skewers, alternating with the sliced vegetables. Place skewers on grill and cook until middle or meat cubes are well cooked, depending on heat of your grill. Let meat rest for a few minutes after removing it from the grill to allow the juices to redistribute. Serve with corn chips and fresh salsa.

Serves 4-5 adults

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Blue Marlin with Chimichurri rub on whole wheat burritos

This recipe, friends, will knock your socks off. If you haven't tried blue marlin on the grill, go purchase some immediately.


500 grams of fresh blue marlin filets, skinless
2 heaping tablespoons chimichurri rub
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon or lime juice
4 whole wheat burritos or pita
2 fresh sliced tomatoes
1/4 red onion sliced into thin rings
1 cup of romaine or arugula, rinsed and torn


Rinse marlin and pat dry.
Drizzle olive oil and lemon juice over marlin filets and pat rub onto both sides of fish.
Place fish on grill or under the broiler and cook for about 8-10 minutes, depending on the thickness of your filets.
Let fish cool for 2-3 minutes then slice into bite sized cubes. Place fish in tortillas or pitas over lettuce, onions, and tomatoes.
Roll up and serve. You can add a sauce or salsa for dipping as well, but I like mine nude. ;-)

Happy grilling!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Corn on the cob with cajun butter

This corn is spicy and finger licking good!
This is so delicious and so simple, you will want to keep some of this butter prepared in your fridge. 


6 ears fresh picked corn
4-5 tablespoons of butter, room temperature
boiling salted water 

Take room temp butter and place in a small bowl. Add rub and stir until spices are well integrated with butter.
serve right away or roll into a log with wax paper and refrigerate until firm.

Husk corn ears and immerse in a boiling pot of salted water for approximately 10-12 minutes. Drain.
Butter corn while still steaming hot. Enjoy!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Kebabs with Moroccan Ras el Hanout rub

I am going to post  a couple of BBQ recipes a week to launch us into the summer season! Hurrah!

Here is an exotic Moroccan style recipe to try on your barbeque. It works well with, beef, chicken, lamb or even tofu. 

Serves 4 people


3 chicken breasts, or meat of your choice, cubed into 1 inch pieces 
1 pint cherry or strawberry tomatoes
1 yellow pepper, seeds removed, sliced into long strips
1 medium yellow or Vidalia onion, cut into thick slices
3 tsp. olive oil
3 tsp. lemon juice
wooden or metal skewers

Combine lemon, oil, rub and meat in a large bowl and marinate for 1 hr or overnight.
Assemble kebabs by threading alternating onion, meat, tomatoes and pepper onto the skewers.
(If you are using wooden skewers on the BBQ, you will want to soak the skewers in water for 1/2 hour before you start assembling them).
Place skewers on a hot grill (or under your broiler for 7-9 minutes) until nicely charred and the meat is cooked through to your liking.

Serve with a side of couscous, the salad so nice they named it twice.

Happy BBQ!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Pad Thai with tofu

Pad Thai with tofu
adapted from a recipe in rebar

A good Pad Thai is a wonderful meal, but the commercial sauces I have tried are awful and oily. Here is the best homemade sauce recipe I have come across. You can even make the sauce and keep it for a couple of weeks in the fridge.
1/4 cup ketchup
1/4 cup fish sauce (nam-pla)
1/4 cup water
3 tbsp molasses
1 tbsp sambal olek or 1/2 tsp crushed red chili flakes (optional)
1/2 tsp crushed black peppercorns
8 oz (240g) snow peas, or a red pepper, sliced
1 lb (454g) package medium width rice noodles
1 block extra firm tofu
6 large garlic cloves, minced or put through a garlic press
3 eggs, beaten
3 cups bean sprouts
3 stalks green onions, sliced
1/2 bunch cilantro, roughly chopped
1 lime
4 tbsp roasted peanuts, crushed (optional)

Start by putting a large pot of water to boil. If using snow peas, add once water begins to boil and cook for 1 minute before removing with a slotted spoon. Turn off heat, add noodles to the water and let them soak for 5-6 minutes, until tender. Drain and reserve.
Make sauce by whisking together the first 6 ingredients. Set aside. Drain tofu and press to remove extra water and cut into 1/2 inch cubes. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a non-stick skillet or wok and sauté the tofu until golden. Remove from wok and set aside. Add another tbsp of oil and add garlic until golden. Pour in eggs and scramble until dry and set. Next add the red peppers (if using) and the noodles and stir to combine with eggs. The noodles will start to clump together now, but don't worry it will all work out, continue stirring them for about 5 minutes.
Turn up the heat and ad the sauce, tofu, bean sprouts and snow peas (if using). Stir constantly to heat everything through and prevent sticking. After a few minutes, add the green onions and cilantro and toss. Divide Pad Thai among serving plates, drizzle with fresh lime juice, sprinkle with chopped peanuts if desired and serve.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Asian chicken noodle soup with ginger and star anise

Quick and easy for a weeknight dinner!

prep time 10 minutes
cooking time 20 minutes
serves 4 adults


2 skinless chicken breasts
2 tablespoons vegetable or sunflower oil
1/2 head broccoli florets or 2 mini bok choy, chopped coarsely
5 oz. (150g) any type of noodle, egg, rice or udon noodle (I used egg noodles in photo)
6 cups (1.5 liters) chicken broth
2 cups (500 ml) water
1/4 cup (60 ml) soy sauce (try a low sodium version like tamari)
6-8 pieces dried sliced ginger (or 1 inch piece fresh, peeled and sliced)
4 green onions, shredded into long strips (optional)


Place the noodles in a bowl of boiling water, let stand for 5 minutes, then drain and set aside.
Place stock, water, broccoli or bok choy, star anise, cinnamon and ginger into a large saucepan on medium high heat and simmer, covered for 5 minutes.
Add chicken breasts and cook for 7 minutes. Remove and shred the chicken using a fork and knife. 
Return the chicken to saucepan with noodles and green onions. Cook for 3 minutes or until noodles are heated through. Serve at once.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Indian Butter Chicken

When I was thinking about writing this post I remembered the last time I made butter chicken for friends. It was Oscar night so the theme was Indian obviously (Jai Ho!) and when I presented my lovely dish of butter chicken along with the dal, sag aloo and naan bread, it illicited many aahs of pleasure, and even a marriage proposal, so I thought I should share. 

Who doesn't want the recipe for marriage chicken, right?

Indian Butter Chicken
Adapted from a recipe by Nancie McDermott, author of The Curry Book
Indian cooks created this recipe to make good use of leftover tandoori chicken, it reheats poorly because it is marinated in yoghurt and it is cooked at high temperature, both of which dry it out. In this recipe, it is enveloped in a lovely tomato and cream sauce with sweet spices. Served with basmati rice, it is a worthwhile indulgence.


2 1/2 pounds of cooked tandoori chicken (about 4 large breasts)
4 tablespoons butter, chilled
1 tablespoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 can 14-18 oz. peeled and diced tomatoes, including juice
1/2 cup cream

Note: I like to buy pre-marinated tandoori chicken from my local specialty store, but you can also make a marinade yourself, using 2 1/2 teaspoons tandoori spice and a cup and a half of plain yoghurt. Marinate for 6 hours - overnight in the fridge.


The night before, take your marinated chicken and pop it in a 300ºF (150ºC) oven for 30-45 mins. in a large glass dish. Remove from oven and cool, then refrigerate. 

Prepare the cooled tandoori chicken by cutting it into bite-size pieces. You will have about 4 cups. 

In a large fryer or saucepan, bring the tomatoes and their juice to a gentle boil. add the spices, reduce the heat to maintain a simmer and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until slightly reduced, about 5 minutes. 

Add the chicken and cream and stir well. Cook for 10 minutes, until the chicken is heated through.

Stir in butter and remove from heat quickly. Stir gently until the butter is melted and the sauce is smooth. Serve with basmati rice.