Friday, November 28, 2014

Lemon Cardamom Muffins


We have a new tradition. Titus goes to swimming classes every Sunday morning, and Dante gets to stay home and bake something. This Sunday, we made Lemon-Cardamom Muffins. A lovely treat, perfect for Sunday afternoon fika sessions.

Lemon Cardamom Muffins
makes 12

100 g butter, softened
190 g sugar
2 eggs
200 ml yogurt (or Swedish filmj�lk)
1 tbsp lemon juice
zest of one lemon
270 g flour
1 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
pinch of vanilla powder
1 tsp crushed cardamom seeds (Buy whole ones and crush the in a pestle and mortar - much more flavorful than ready-ground)

to decorate:
pearl sugar

Beat butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat well. Add the yogurt, lemon juice and lemon zest.

In a separate bowl, mix flour, soda, salt and vanilla powder. Add the cardamom. Fold this into the wet ingredients.

Dollop into muffin cases placed in a muffin tin. Top each with a little pearl sugar. Bake at 200�C for 15-18 minutes.
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Friday, November 21, 2014

Korean ginseng chicken and persimmon tea. Soul food of Korea on CBC's Weekend Morning Show

Tomorrow on CBC's Weekend Morning Show with host Terry MacLeod, I will be bringing these dishes in.   These represent different ways to celebrate Korean culture.  The chicken dish is the Korean version of soul food.  Imagine a place of serenity while sipping Persimmon tea.


Korean Ginseng Chicken (Samgyetang)

1 medium chicken (preferably organic)
1-2 large pieces white ginseng
1 cup sticky or sushi rice
6 dried Chinese red dates*
6 chestnuts (peeled and medium chopped)
1 head garlic
1 inch grated fresh ginger
2 green onions (large chopped)
Salt and pepper to taste (white pepper if available)
Dash of Sesame oil
Water (to cover chicken)

Put rice, dates, some ginseng and some garlic cloves inside the chicken in a large casserole dish. Add the remaining ingredients to dish. Bring to boil, cover and simmer for up to 45 minutes until chicken falls off the bone. Enjoy with rice and as a soup. Wonderful for cold winter days. Garnish with sesame seeds or green onions.

Korean Cinnamon Ginger and Persimmon Dessert Tea ???


4 oz fresh ginger,peeled and thinly sliced

12 cinnamon sticks about 2 oz

16 cups water

4 dried persimmons

1 cup light brown sugar

Remove persimmon stems and set aside.
Place cinnamon sticks and 8 cups water in a pot, bring to a boil, simmer for 25-30 minutes.
Remove from heat; strain and discard cinnamon sticks
Cool slightly.
In an another pot, place ginger and 8 cups water in a pot, bring to a boil, simmer for 25-30 minutes.
Remove from heat; strain and discard ginger.  Cool slightly.
In a large punch bowl or pot, combine both boiled cinnamon tea and ginger tea together.
Stir in sugar to dissolve, adjust sweetness according to your taste.
Add dried persimmons into tea, steep for 4 hours. The color will get darker as it cools down.
Remove persimmons after four hours. Do not leave it in for more than four hours, they will get too mushy.
Let tea cool completely in room temperature. Keep in the fridge. This tea taste good both hot and cold.
TO serve, ladle tea into small cups and garnish with a few pine nuts and sliced steeped persimmons if you like.


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Monday, November 17, 2014

Farfalle alla Bourbon


Last time I made this, I didn't manage to get a photo before it was all gone, so this time I made sure to remedy that. A version of this recipe has been posted before, but it's so delicious I hope you'll stand to repeat it.

Farfalle alla Bourbon
serves 4-6

500 g farfalle pasta
1/2 tbsp olive oil
140 g bacon
1/2 tsp chili flakes
50 ml (or so) bourbon
3 tbsp tomato pur�e
200 ml water (or so)
1-200 ml cream
large handful grated parmesan cheese

Cook your pasta in plenty of salted water.

Dice your bacon finely, and cook in the olive oil until slightly crispy along with the chili flakes. Do this in a large saucepan, big enough to hold your pasta. Add the bourbon and cook until it's mostly gone. Add the tomato pur�e and water, bring to a boil and cook for about five minutes on low-medium heat. It should reduce quite a bit. Add the cream when there's just a few minutes left of until the pasta is done.

When it is, drain it but reserve some water. Add your pasta to the sauce, and sprinkle with the cheese. Fold together, and use the reserved pasta water to make it saucier, if you want to.
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Saturday, November 15, 2014

Sushi night at home. Practice makes perfect.

Last night Desmond and I prepared sushi rolls and sashimi at home.  Sushi Fridays.  I purchased some lovely tuna, salmon, scallops and golden caviar from Gimli Fish.  All sustainable.  Sushi rice is also available at Gimli Fish.

As the rice cooked, I prepared the fish.  Be brave.  Be generous in the slicing.  It takes practice.

The salmon roll had a simple omelette that had been saut�ed in Sesame oil.  I like to use Kadoya brand.  The scallop and tuna rolls had finely sliced snap peas.


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Thursday, November 13, 2014

A quick snack


Here's what we had for dinner a few weeks ago. Slices of baguette spread with a softened blue cheese and then topped with onions and mushrooms that had been fried with a splash of balsamic vinegar and plenty of black pepper.
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Monday, November 10, 2014

Tosca Cake Extra Delux


A Tosca cake is basically a pound cake with a nut-caramel topping. My dad's favorite, and I make sure to bake him one every now and then. I like to vary the toppings, and this one had sliced almonds, chopped almonds, pecans and coconut which was a particularly successful combination! I hope you'll give it a try!

Tosca Cake Extra Delux

2 eggs
125 g sugar
100 g flour
1 tsp baking powder
100 g butter
2 tbsp cream

50 g butter
100 g sugar
2 tbsp cream
2 tbsp flour
50 g flaked almonds
50 g chopped almonds
50 g pecans, chopped
50 g coconut flakes

Preheat the oven to 175�C. Butter and flour a springform pan, about 24 cm in diameter.

Beat eggs and sugar until very fluffy. Melt the butter. Stir in flour and baking powder with the eggs, and then fold in butter and cream. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 25 minutes.

Meanwile, prepare the topping. Just mix all ingredients in saucepan and bring to a boil. Spread it on top of the cake, and bake for another 15 minutes. Let it cool more or less completely before taking it out of the pan.
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Saturday, November 8, 2014

Burger and Beef Tajine on CBC's Weekend Morning Show

This morning I prepared the following dishes for CBC's Weekend Morning Show with host Terry Macleod.  Easy to prepare and enjoy at any time of the year.

Beef Burgers with Turkish Baharat
1 lb ground beef (excellent Halal beef is available at Millad�s on Notre Dame)
2 tbs Turkish Baharat
1 egg
pinch salt

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and form into 4-6 patties. Grill and serve with your favourite toppings or the following on a pita.

Yoghurt tahini sauce

1/2 cup good plain yoghurt
1 clove garlic, minced
3 heaping tbs tahini
2 tsp lemon or lime juice
pinch salt

Mix all ingredients together. The tahini will cause the sauce to thicken quickly. Use on grilled Pide or Naan or as a crudit� dip.


Moroccan Beef Tajine

1 lb beef roast, cut into bite-sized pieces
2 onions, thinly sliced
2 tbs ras el hanout
1-2 tbs olive oil
1-2 tbs butter
good pinch saffron
2 large tomatoes, chopped
3 carrots, peeled and diced
2 green peppers, seeded and diced
1/2 - 1 cup prunes
2-3 tbs honey
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup red wine
salt, to taste

Slowly saut� onions on medium-low heat with olive oil until they begin to caramelize. Stir in Ras el Hanout spice blend. Turn up heat to medium-high and add butter and saffron. Brown meat well on all sides and add tomatoes and other vegetables. Add broth, prunes and honey. Add red wine and salt and let simmer for 1-2 hours, depending on using the tajine and toughness of the meat. Meat should melt in your mouth when done.

Serve with flat breads, rice, couscous or bulgur.

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Thursday, November 6, 2014

Daniel Lindeberg Bageri & Konditori


Daniel Lindeberg is perhaps most well known for being half of the super successful restaurant Frantzen/Lindeberg, which gained two Michelin stars in as many years. The restaurant is now just Frantzen, and Lindeberg has moved on to other ventures. His latest is a bakery and pastry shop in Orminge, (Facebook page here.) which is a small suburb in Nacka kommun. Most excellent news for me, as this is just ten minutes from my house. And he is one very talented baker and pastry chef.


I've visited twice so far and have tried a variety of breads. All very delicious and I can't wait to visit more often.

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Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Holiday Brunch Treats with the Assiniboine Park Conservancy

Last night I presented the following dishes of Holiday Brunch Ideas for the Assiniboine Park Conservancy at the Madison Square MLCC.  Bonnie Tulloch, Education Coordinator for the Assiniboine Park Conservancy, presented on the spices, fruits and vegetables featured and Kelly Burton of the MLCC, provided lovely beverage pairings, starting with the Fall Margarita.

1 part Sour = lime or lemon juice
2 parts Sweet = Sugar or juice
3 parts Strong = Tequila or other Liquor
4 parts weak = Ice/soda/Ginger Ale

1. Latkes (Potato Pancakes)
Paired with Devil's Rock Sparkling Riesling, $13.99

Potato pancakes are served in Germany, Russia, many parts of Eastern Europe and Israel.  They can be found in Christmas markets and homes.

3 medium potatoes, peeled and shredded
1 onion, shredded
2 eggs
1/4 cup flour or maztah meal
salt and pepper
freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 tsp paprika (optional)

Optional:  Golden Caviar (Available at Gimli Fish)

Mix potato pancake ingredients together and fry in pancake size in a little olive oil until golden brown on both sides. Remove from heat and using cookie cutters, cut bite sized pieces from the pancake.

Top each latke bite with cr�me fraiche and golden caviar or sour cream, smoked goldeye, etc.

2. Brandied Farmer�s Sausage with apples
Paired with Angry Orchard Cider, $2.52
1-2 Farmer�s sausages, sliced on the bias ~ 1�
2-3 apples, cut into thin wedges
� cup honey
� tsp cinnamon
Brandy, to deglaze (or your favourite non-cream liquor)

Saut� apples in honey and cinnamon.  Set aside.  Cook sausage in pan until brown on both sides and done.  Pour in brandy.  Add apples. 

To serve, skewer or lay out on platter with toothpicks.

3. Toasted Panettone with Barolo Poached Pears
Paired with Bottega Prosecco DOC, $17.99
You can cook the pears the day before and re-heat them.
Barolo wine (or a Piedmont wine such as Barbera) 400ml
lemon rind (unwaxed) 2 strips
orange rind (unwaxed) 2 strips
cloves 2
bay leaf 1
caster sugar 200g
ripe pears such as Williams - do not peel just wash, then cut in half 2
panettone 4 slices, to serve

Add all the ingredients, except the pears and panettone, and 180ml water to a pan that will hold the fruit. Bring slowly to the boil and stir to dissolve the sugar, then boil for 15 minutes. Lower the heat, add the pear halves, and simmer for about 30 minutes until the pears are tender � when you can pierce them easily with a knife. Keep the liquid for later. Chill the pears and re-heat in the liquid.
Toast 4 slices of panettone and place on four plates, add 1 piece of hot pear on top and ladle over a little hot poaching liquid. Optional:  Serve with mascarpone or ice cream.

4. Caramelized Shallot Tarts
Paired with Malamado Malbec, $23.99

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.

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Monday, November 3, 2014

Nutella Chocolate Balls


Yet another version of the Swedish favorite - chokladbollar, or chocolate balls. This is a particularly rich and delicious variety with nutella (or other hazelnut-chocolate spread) in addition to the other ingredients.

100 g butter, softened
80 g Nutella or similar
50 g powdered sugar
50 g coconut flakes
180 g oatmeal
2 tbsp cocoa powder
2 tbsp espresso 
1 tbsp golden syrup
1 tsp vanilla powder
Pinch of salt

Beat together butter, nutella and powdered sugar. Stir in the sugar, coconut flakes, oatmeal, cocoa, espresso, syrup, vanilla and salt and mix to a firm batter.

Shape into small balls, and roll in either more coconut flakes, finely chopped hazelnuts, or pearl sugar. Chill and serve cold.

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