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

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

1. Saut� 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 300�F 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 350�F for 1 hour, or until soft.

Serve hot, warm or cold.

Enjoy !
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Friday, October 23, 2015

Slowcooked Chicken Parmesan Soup


I recently got a new crock-pot! It was sent by the Swedish crock-pot agent for me to evaluate, and since I love my old one as well, I was really eager to try it. The new one is much more advanced than my old and has saut� settings as well as settings for baking, roasting and cooking rice so I have quite a bit of experimenting to do.

However, for my first time cooking with the new pot, I wanted a simple recipe. I'd be out for most of the day and needed a quick dinner when I got home, so decided to do a chicken parmesan soup. It was really tasty - a hit for at least one of the kids and we adults enjoyed it a lot. I specify my cooking times below but it's adaptable, you could easily do shorter or longer. And I cooked the pasta separately because once we were home, we were in a hurry. If I'd had more time, I'd have added it to the pot maybe half an hour or so before eating. 

Slowcooked Chicken Parmesan Soup
2 chicken breasts
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
400 g crushed tomatoes
800 ml water
2 chicken stock cubes 
4 stalks fresh oregano
1 tsp chili pepper flakes
2 large handfuls grated parmesan cheese

and to finish: 
1 handful grated parmesan cheese
2 tbsp finely chopped fresh basil
200 g cooked pasta, small shapes
100 ml cr�me fraiche

Place chicken, garlic, onion, pepper, tomatoes, water, stock cubes, oregano, chili and cheese in the slowcooker. Cook for about 4 hours on high, or 6-8 hours on low. We did an additional hour on low or so, but that was just for our convenience, it was done before that. 

Just before serving, shred the chicken, stir in the additional cheese, fresh basil, cooked pasta and completely optional, creme fraiche. Serve and enjoy!
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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
� cup chopped walnuts
2 tbs lemon juice
2 tbs walnut oil
� tsp kosher or sea salt
� tsp ground black pepper
~ 6 cups mixed baby greens, lightly packed
� cup crumbled feta

Preheat oven to 400�F. 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- � cup
Condensed milk- � can or 150 ml
Saffron, strands (optional)- � tsp strands soaked in 1 tbsp milk
Ghee- 4 tbsp
Roasted Almonds, whole or chopped- � cup (roasted in � 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 � 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.
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Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Chocolate Snickers Cookies


I made these awesome cookies for a party. Super simple to make and so delicious. I love the combination of sweet and salty, chewy and crunchy and of course, chocolate. Never too much chocolate! In fact, I think I'll drizzle these with dark chocolate next time...

I'm also thinking you can vary these with other candy bars - as long as you cut the into thin strips that will fit along the middle of the dough, you're golden.

I found the recipe at a Swedish baking blog - Fridas bakblogg. 

Chocolate Snickers Cookies
about 30

150 g butter
150 g sugar
225 g flour
3 tbsp golden syrup
3 tbsp cocoa powder
1,5 tsp baking powder
1,5 tsp vanilla sugar (or 1 tsp vanilla extract)

3 Snickers bars, each cut into three thin slices, length-wise
1 egg
handful of salty peanuts, coarsely chopped

Cream the butter and sugar. Add flour, syrup, cocoa powder, baking powder and vanilla. Mix into a nicely uniform dough - I use my Kitchen-Aid for this.

Shape two long, thin rolls of dough and place on a baking sheet. Score both down the middle. In this score, insert the thin planks of Snickers, and pinch slightly so that the rolls hold together.

Brush with eggwash and sprinkle with lots of salty peanuts.

Bake at 175�C for 10-12 minutes. Let the cookies cool slightly before cutting them at an angle, then let them cool completely before you attempt to move them. (Or eat them.)

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Sunday, October 11, 2015

Frozen Cheesecake with Dulce de Leche drizzle


This recipe is a real oldie. I've had it for ages and my mom often made it when I grew up - I think she got it from a neighbor when Philadelphia cream cheese was first introduced to Sweden. I've actually blogged about it before, but considering that was NINE years ago I think it's fine to do a re-post. I recently made it again, and inspired by a very similar-tasting paleta I had in Copenhagen last summer at Hija de Sanchez I decided to top the whole thing with a drizzled Dulce de Leche and some raspberries. Delicious.

Frozen Cheesecake with Dulce de Leche drizzle 
serves 12

200 gram cream cheese
3 eggs, separated into yolks and whites
200 ml sugar
300 ml heavy cream
1 tbsp vanilla sugar
finely grated peel of one big lemon

150 g digestive biscuits
50 g butter, melted

Use a springform pan. Blitz the digestive biscuits in a food processor. Add in the melted butter. Press this firmly into the base of your pan. Place in the fridge while you proceed.

Cream the cheese, egg yolks and the sugar with the lemon peel. Beat the cream until it forms stiff peaks. Carefully blend with the cheese cream. Beat the egg whites until stiff, and fold those in too. Pour carefully on top of the crust in the pan. Put in the freezer for at least six hours or overnight. On the day of serving, take it out and remove it from the tin - you might need to carefully run some hot water on the outside. Place on a serving plate and drizzle with dulce de leche.

Take out about twenty minutes before you want to eat and top with the berries. This keeps well in the freezer (but better without the fruit).
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Friday, October 2, 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 350�F 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 350�F 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 pur�e. Use on tarts or as a drizzle for meats or poultry.  Add ch�vre 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.

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