Monthly Archives: January 2009

curry and cornbread

Since it’s winter, all I want to do is eat stew. But, I kind of feel like I’ve over done meats these days, so I was looking for a new veggie stew with a bit of kick. I found this one, which I like, but I wish I’d thought to use coconut milk instead of water… Next time!

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This made a lot of stew, which is also pretty good since I’ve been working a lot lately, and also because it’s pretty delicious.

  • oil
  • 5 cloves of minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons of grated ginger
  • 2 onions, diced
  • 2 tablespoons red curry paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups of dried green lentils
  • 2 sweet potatoes (large!), diced
  • 1 28 oz. can of diced tomatoes, with juice
  • 4 cups of water
  • 1 bunch of red chard
  • juice from 1 lime

Fry up the onions, garlic, ginger in the oil and curry powder, until the onions are translucent. Add in the canned tomatoes, the lentils, the sweet potatoes, the lime juice and the water, and let everything boil then simmer for about 30 minutes. Add in the red chard, and stir, and simmer for about 5 more minutes.

I ate this with cornbread, which seems a bit incongruous, but actually worked well.

more white food…

Whoops! I can’t help it. It’s winter! I want to curl up and do nothing and eat potato-based soups. So here is another white white meal, but I don’t even feel bad, because it’s tasty and hearty and even if you life in cold cold Canada where nothing is growing, these things are growing so you can eat this soup and not feel the wrath of locavores.

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  • 3 parsnips, peeled and finely chopped
  • 4 leeks, washed over and over and finely sliced
  • 5 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1 zucchini, peeled and chopped
  • chicken soup stock
  • olive oil
  • spices you like

Fry the parsnips, leeks, garlic, and zucchini in the olive oil. Fry the parsnips for the longest, then the leeks, then the garlic, then the zucchini. Put in any spices you feel like. I can’t really remember what I went with… Add the soup stock, and let the soup simmer for as long as you can. Purée the soup. The parsnips are kind of exciting as a purée, mostly, I think, because most of the amazing Hibiscus soups are made with parsnip.

Anyway, someday, winter will be over, and I’ll start eating colourful food again.  Until then, I might try to make a stew.  Brown instead of white…

pulled lamb sandwiches

One of my favourite favourite meals is the cumin spiced lamb wrap from Pan Chancho in Kingston. Pan Chancho’s website is down, but it’s a cute and delish bakery. Today I tried to recreate the cumin spiced lamb, and it wasn’t as perfect, but pretty good. Also, thanks to the slow cooker, also easy. I think it really needs fluffy white bread, and luckily Ashley picked up some Naan that went perfectly.
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  • lamb shoulder, with the bone, about 7 lbs.
  • 1 can of whole tomatoes
  • 1 carrot, finely diced
  • 2 celery stocks, finely diced
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 5 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons cumin seed
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon (ideally, a stick of cinnamon, but we were out…)
  • 1 cup chicken soup stock
  • olive oil

Brown the lamb in the olive oil in a frying pan. Dice the veggies, and add them, along with the cumin and the liquids, into the slow cooker. Break up the tomatoes and let it stew for as long as you can. I think it slow cooked on low for maybe four hours and then on high for two. Longer would probably be better. Then, take the meat out, take off the fat, and pull of the meat, but keep the slow cooker on, letting the liquids reduce. Put the pulled lamb back in the slow cooker to simmer in the tomatoey-cuminy liquid. I topped this with tzatziki, but lots of things would work.

And! then I boiled the bones, and I’m trying to make lamb stock. What should I do with it? (Serious question!)

white food

Okay, so I’ve been getting some guff about having many posts in a row featuring white food. Obviously, bright colours are just a better way to eat. Generally, healthier, if the bright colours are natural. Also, way prettier. So, anyway, when I started this blog I mostly posted based on aesthetics. Something had to be really really great if it was going to be ugly and make it on here. Anyway, my standards have lowered a bit, because, really, how many pretty dishes can one girl make? So, apologies for many white dishes!

Here is a super-pretty, quick, colourful salad that I’m pretty obsessed with right now:

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Mika has me totally hooked on flat-leaf parsley as a substitute for lettuce or spinach. I rarely eat lettuce, it seems kind of pointless, but spinach has iron which I need pretty desperately, but parsley has awesome flavour so that clearly wins. Mika also first gave me some raw cashews – so good. There are only three ingredients here, and clearly the third is beets. I boiled the beets, peeled them, cubed them, and drizzled maple syrup over them and roasted them for awhile. They are the most amazing, sugary things ever. And the beet juice and maple syrup reduction makes a really sweet, yummy dressing. Seriously good salad!

reading about food

Since about November, I have been totally obsessed with David Tanis’s cook book A Platter of Figs. The book is wonderful for a few reasons.

First, such such nice pictures.
Second, amazing recipes. I think. I have to admit that I haven’t made anything, really, from the book. But it did inspire this snack of figs baked in honey, topped with mascarpone…

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Third, amazing approach to food and friends. I really agree that if more than six people are eating, it’s almost always best to stay in and cook. Not always, always, but definitely almost always.
Fourth, great writing style.
Fifth, so so romantic! He spends six months as head chef at Chez Panisse, and six months in Paris. Hello, dream life!

new year’s resolution

Okay, so obviously I have not been blogging lately, but it’s totally time to start new things, and blogging is one of my new year’s resolutions. Others include do work and wear blush. I think I can make all of these happen.

Here’s an old favourite to get me eased in. This is a pretty great fish dish, super tasty and easy to make for lots of people because it comes together quickly and is generally awesome, so everyone likes it. Now, the original recipe calls for tilapia, but tilapia is a bad fish now in terms of sustainability, so maybe try another white fish, ideally one endorsed by David Suzuki and Jill Lambert. 2009 is going to be the year of responsible eating, I hope. Given that I’ve found an awesome and romantic butcher, I think I can make this happen too.
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  • 1 cup shelled pistachios
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 4 white fish fillets, as per David Suzuki’s recommendations
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons honey mustard
  • 1/4 cup crumbled Gorgonzola or blue cheese
  • Mix up the pistachios, dried oregano, dried thyme and garlic powder in a food processor. Season both sides of the fillets with the salt and pepper, and brush honey mustard onto both sides of the fish. This is where I really appreciate those silicone brushes – ones with bristles get oily and stay oily, but the silicone ones clean perfectly. Press the fish into the pistachio mixtures on both sides, and fry the fish in the oil for 2-3 minutes per side. Top with the cheese. Seriously good.