Sunday, November 29, 2015

Happy first of Advent!


Today is the first Sunday of advent, which means christmas is coming. We've put all our lights up and have spent the afternoon baking saffron buns with grandma and grandpa. Yummy and fun. Have you tried Swedish saffron buns yet? I have tons of recipes for it - check out some of these.

Saffron buns with white chocolate

Almond filled saffron buns

Lucia buns - plain saffron buns

Today, we made half plain buns - lussekatter - and half filled with butter and almond paste.
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Saturday, November 28, 2015

Crispy Korean Chicken and Gingerbread Biscotti for CBC's Weekend Morning Show

This morning I'll be featuring the following recipes on CBC's Weekend Morning Show with host Terry MacLeod.

This may look like a long and detailed recipe but once you have all of the elements together (mise en place), it is quite simple to prepare.

Enjoy for your Grey Cup snacking or make it a regular feature!

1. Crispy Korean Chicken

Mix chicken with seasonings and cover in starch.
Fry in hot oil for 7 to 8 minutes.
Shake off, let sit, then fry for another 12 to 15 minutes.
Coat in seasoning sauce.
Sprinkle sesame seeds over top and serve immediately.

3� pounds chicken wings (about 1.6 kg), washed and drained
� teaspoon salt
� teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon minced ginger
2/3 cup potato starch or corn starch
? cup peanuts (optional)
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 to 4 large dried red chili peppers, seeded, cut crosswise into ? inch pieces (optional)
� cup soy sauce
� cup rice or corn syrup
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 tablespoon mustard (optional)
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
Grapeseed oil (or vegetable oil, peanut oil)

Cut off the tip of each wing and chop the wing in half. After this is done you should have about 3 pounds of chicken, with 24 to 26 pieces.
Put the chicken in a bowl and mix with salt, ginger, and ground black pepper by hand.
Put 2/3 cup potato starch in a bowl and dip each wing in the powder to coat it, one by one. Squeeze each wing to press the coating to it tightly.
Make the sweet, spicy, and sticky sauce:

Heat a large non-stick skillet or wok over medium high heat. Add 2 tablespoons cooking oil, minced garlic, and the dried red chili pepper.
Stir with a wooden spoon until fragrant for about 30 seconds.
Add soy sauce, rice syrup, vinegar, and mustard sauce (optional). Stir with a wooden spoon and let it bubble for a few minutes.
Add the brown sugar and continue stirring. Remove from the heat. Set aside.
Fry the chicken:

Put 4 cups of cooking oil in a frying pan or pot and heat it up for 7 to 8 minutes over high heat.
See if the oil�s ready by dipping a test wing into it. If the oil bubbles, it�s hot enough to start frying. Slide the coated wings one by one into the hot oil and cook for about 12 to 13 minutes, turning over a few times with tongs.
Take the wings out of the oil and shake them off in a strainer. Turn off the heat, and let the wings sit for a few minutes.
Reheat the oil and fry the wings again for another 12 to 15 minutes until they all look golden brown and feel super crunchy through the tongs. If your frying pan or pot is not large enough to fry all the chicken at once, divide it into batches like I do in the video. If you use a larger frying pot to cook them all at once, you�ll have to use more cooking oil.
Coat the fried chicken with the sauce:

When the chicken is done, reheat the sauce until it bubbles.
Add the hot chicken and mix well with a wooden spoon to coat.
Remove from the heat and transfer the coated chicken to a large platter. Sprinkle some sesame seeds over top and serve immediately. This chicken won�t lose its crunchiness, even by the next day. You don�t need any dipping sauce.

2. Gingerbread Biscotti

2/3 cup butter
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup molasses
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
4 tsp Frangelico (or try kirsch, or coffee liquors)
2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch sea salt
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 325�F. Mix butter sugar and molasses until smooth. Add one egg at a time and mix. Add vanilla and liquor and mix until smooth. Combine dry ingredients and mix slowly into the wet ingredients until fully incorporated. Turn out dough onto floured surface and form into a large log. Divide dough into three pieces and flatten out each piece into rectangles onto a cookie sheet. Bake for 25 minutes. Take out of oven and cut into biscotti pieces. Turn cookies and bake for 5-7 minutes at 300�F. When cooled, drizzle melted chocolate or make a simple icing of icing sugar and liquor.

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Tuesday, November 17, 2015

A great burger place in Stockholm - Franky's Burger


I can really recommend a tiny little burger place in Stockholm - Franky's Burger. It doesn't look like much but it's really high quality. If you happen to be nearby, do make sure you drop by. The address is Sveav�gen 77.


Super juicy burger, crispy and delicious fries and a smoky, spicy chipotle dip. Highly recommended

Here's what it looks like - just a small shack.
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Saturday, November 14, 2015

Easy Comfort Food on CBC's Weekend Morning Show

Easy Comfort Food

This morning I am presenting the following recipes for CBC's Weekend Morning Show, with host Terry MacLeod.  

Both dishes are so easy to prepare, that I made them this morning in short order.  

Local honey from Beeproject Apiaries can be purchased directly through them.  They will deliver, within a reasonable distance. 

1.Honey Saut�ed Zucchini (with Lavender)

1-2 sliced zucchinis (sliced on the bias)
pinch lavender flowers (optional)
Heat a saut� pan and add the honey and then the lavender.  Add the zucchini slices and cook until done.  Serve. 

2. Baked Cheesy Pasta

(for a large baking dish)

2 pkgs short pasta (farfalle, penne, shells, etc.)
1 large tin diced tomatoes
1 head roasted garlic
1-2 onions, sliced
1-2 dried red chilies, crushed
1 tbs dried oregano
pepper, to taste
chipotle peppers, or other chilies � tsp (optional)
2 cups heavy cream
good pinch nutmeg
white wine or vodka
olive oil

Cheeses:  your favourites, such as blue, chevr�, brie, gruyere, Emmenthaler, etc., crumbled or grated in a large bowl.

Grate and crumble cheese.  Cook pasta less than time recommended.  That is, if the dried pasta package recommends 10 minutes, take off 2+ minutes in cooking time.

Cook sliced onions in a large saucepan with some olive oil. Add tomatoes and spices.  Add garlic and red wine or vodka.  Bring up to a simmer.  Now make the white sauce IN the red sauce.  That is, add cream, nutmeg and white wine or vodka. 

I don�t add salt to the sauce as the cheese is salty enough. 

Drain pasta and add to cheese.  Add sauce and stir thoroughly.  Fill a large baking dish with the mixture and bake at 350�F until bubbly. 

Let rest for a few minutes and serve. 
Hint:  When reheating, bring to hot temperature, covered, in an oven.  A microwave will result in an unpleasant and mushy pasta.

*other optional ingredients include, red wine, vodka, roasted red peppers, saut�ed mushrooms, sun dried tomatoes, cooked bacon, cooked chicken, Crispy onions, etc.

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Monday, November 9, 2015

Cooking with Tajines at D.A.Niels!

On Saturday, I presented the following dishes for a cooking demonstration using tajines at D.A. Niels.  I'll be there again on December 5th to give another tajine cooking demonstration.  

The photo with the eggs was at the beginning of cooking.  Cooking eggs in the tajine whole results in a creamy egg.  Quite remarkable!  One person tried the beef tajine recipe using my Ras el Hanout with Moose meat!  He loved the result.  My spice blends of Ras el Hanout, Turkish Baharat and Tea Masala, are all available at D.A. Niels.  

Come and see me at the Downtown Hydro Market on Thursday, November 12th, for more cooking ideas and products!


Moroccan Beef Stew (can use lamb)

2 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.


Moroccan Squash Tajine

1 small butternut, hubbard or winter squash, peeled and chopped into bite-sized pieces
1 medium chopped red pepper
1/4 cup chopped black olives
1/4 cup chopped dates
1 medium onion, chopped
1 head garlic (loose cloves)
2 tbs olive oil
juice of half a lemon
1 tbs turmeric
1 heaping tablespoon Ras El Hanout *
Splash of Rosewater**
1/2 chopped pickled lemon (just the peel)***
Pinch of salt
Optional: eggplant, zucchini

Place all ingredients together in a casserole dish (traditional cooking vessel is a tajine). Cover and bake at 350F for about 45 minutes. If cooking on the stovetop, cook covered at medium heat for about 30 minutes or until the vegetables are fork tender. Serve with rice or couscous or bulgur.

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Thursday, November 5, 2015

Roasted butternut squash soup


So, Halloween came and went. We had  a really fun party for the kids and their friends - 14 kids in total. They really enjoyed "mummy sausages dipped in blood", "grape caterpillars", "icy gummyworms" (one little girl sat petrified for several minutes, believing those were real) and "graveyard muffins". Lots of fun!

However, we didn't carve a pumpkin. I couldn't find a good one in time, and then I sort of just ran out of time. We had some other decorations, but Titus was disappointed since he had looked forward to a pumpkin soup. (Not that you actually want to make soup from your carved pumpkin, but he doesn't know that...) So, last night I made this lovely soup instead. Very yummy! Well, I thought so at least - neither the kids nor the husband were fans. Oh well...

Roasted Butternut Squash soup

1 small butternut squash - peeled and cut into large dice
1 onion, finely diced
1 carrot, finely diced
olive oil
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
about 1 litre chicken stock
100 ml cream

Start by tossing the squash with a little olive oil and salt, and roast in a 200�C oven for 20-25 minutes. It should be lightly browned.

In a soup pot, heat some olive oil and saut� carrot and onion with coriander and cinnamon until soft - about ten minutes. Add the squash dice, and the chicken stock. Cook for at least ten minutes on low heat, make sure everything is nice and soft.

Use a blender, or an immersion blender, to make the soup completely smooth. Stir in a little cream if desired (always desired in my family), and season with salt and pepper to taste.

We served this with crispy fried bacon and sour cream and a nice sourdough baguette.
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