Monthly Archives: March 2009

dulce de leche macaroons

Okay. I think it’s important to state it explicitly when a recipe takes an entire night to make. This recipe takes forever. Don’t worry, there are apparently ways to make these cookies much, much quicker.

I tasted a version of these cookies at Wanda’s, and they were shockingly good. Caramel and coconut? Sold! After some internetting, it seemed like they might be made of only three ingredients. The downfall is that one of the ingredients was dulce de leche, which is made, I guess, from basically caramelizing sweetened condensed milk (whoa!) in a double boiler. IMPORTANT: this takes about four hours! Four hours of stirring is too long a time commitment for a batch of cookies with only three ingredients. The good news, I guess, is that you can buy sweetened condensed milk, but not really in my neighbourhood, I guess. If you make these, which I do recommend, I strongly recommend buying dulce de leche instead of spending four hours stirring sweetened condensed milk over a double boiler. (Don’t worry, I was reading.)

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  • 14 ounces of dulce de leche
  • 3 cups of sweetened, shredded coconut
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla

All you have to do is mix these things together and spoon them out and bake them for 15 minutes at 350.

Anyway, taking out the long dulce de leche process, these are very easy, and very very sweet cookies. I have a serious sweet tooth, but one of these is actually too much.

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sweet potato patties

Sometimes a recipe looks quick when it in fact takes a really long time. This is one of those recipes. I’m not sure why it took so long, but it really did. I guess it evened out, though, since I made about a billion sweet potato patties. The enormous yield was okay, since sweet potato and black beans are two of my favourite foods, and this was a pretty awesome meal.
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  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 large sweet potato, shredded (this was one of those times that I really mourned the loss of my food processor, but just using a grating box worked)
  • 1 cup black beans, from a can or hydrated and cooked a bit
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup to 1 cup bread crumbs
  • large handful of cilantro
  • oil

Fry the garlic and onions in oil and cumin.  Mash up some, but not all, of the black beans.  Mix everything else together in a large bowl until you get a consistency that lets the form of patties stay in their patty-shape.  Bake at 350 for awhile, until they are warm and the sweet potatoes are cooked, about 10 minutes, but more or less depending on thickness.

I served these with some of the least colourful guacamole around, and they were pretty delicious.  They did, though, take way, way longer than I anticipated, but still great.

lemon yoghurt cake

Baking with yoghurt is easy, semi-healthy, and tasty. Lately I am really into this lemon yoghurt cake from Donna Hay. Donna Hay is basically amazing, absolutely every recipe I’ve made from her has been amazing. Plus, the pictures in her cookbooks are the best. Anyway, this cake is light enough to be breakfast, but sweet enough to be dessert. Perfect!

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  • 1/4 cup butter, melted a bit but not completely
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup balkan-style yoghurt
  • juice from two lemons
  • lemon zest from one lemon
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Mix the butter and sugar together, then add the eggs and beat well.  Mix in the yogurt, lemon juice, and zest, then add the sifted dry ingredients.  Pour the mixture into a greased pan, and bake at 350 for 45 minutes.  The cake rises pretty substantially, so make sure you grease all the way up the pan.

This is a really delicious cake.  I’ve brought it to two events and made one for the apartment in the last week.  I think I should probably take a break from this recipe, but it’s so good that I don’t really want to.

steamed fish

Steamed fish is great because it tastes amazing and it’s basically like watching science happen. At first I was nervous about whether the steaming would cook the fish, or overcook the fish, but everything worked out wonderfully. Basically, all you need is parchment paper and a bamboo steamer.

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In the past bit of time I’ve made swordfish and salmon (with Zack) like this. Both were delicious, and seasoned exactly the same way. (Full disclosure: the salmon was better. Maybe because we overcooked the swordfish due to first-time fears, maybe because I prefer salmon.) Anyway, we used fresh coriander, sliced garlic, dried kaffir lime leaves and salt and pepper to season the fish, and you just put everything on top of the fish and wrap it up like a parcel and place it in the steamer.

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The timing seemed a bit iffy, but I think we just put it over a pot of boiling water for between 8-10 minutes, depending on the fish thickness. I am an over-eager cook and so had to check to make sure the middle was cooked at least once per serving, and it’s fine to just re-wrap it and put it back on the water.

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This is a very impressive way to cook. I say this because even though Zack and I were the only people eating it, we were really impressed and basically patted ourselves on the back all evening. Good job, us! Also, kaffir lime leaves bring a lot to this, and are for sure my new favourite spice. So good!

breakfast for dinner

For someone who loves brunch, I am pretty bad at breakfast. The main reason is that I don’t really like eggs, in egg form. My all-time favourite breakfast is oats, raspberries and yogurt, and my favourite out-for-breakfast breakfast is a Lebanese pizza from Saving Grace, because anytime I can have hummus, avocado and pomegranate together is amazing, even if it is breakfast time.

Anyway, given my aversion to eggs, it was pretty strange that I was so committed to making these Moroccan-style eggs and tomatoes that I saw in the Casa Moro cookbook. For whatever reason – I think it was the process, actually – I was totally drawn to these eggs.

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Anyway, very easy and delicious, but adapted because it’s winter and my fridge isn’t as stocked as it should be.

  • 1 can of whole tomatoes (I can’t wait for summer – I am ready for real tomatoes!)
  • 1 onion
  • 6 cloves of garlic, sliced
  • oil
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • pinch of cayenne powder
  • salt and pepper
  • 4 eggs
  • a bunch of chopped flat parsley

Fry the diced onion with the sliced garlic and cumin in oil until the onions are translucent.  Add the tomatoes, the cayenne, and the salt and pepper.  Simmer the tomatoes so that the tomato juice boils down, so about 15 minutes, and break up the tomatoes a bit.  Crack the eggs on top of the tomato mixture, and spread the whites around a bit with a fork.  Leave them for a bit, and put a top on the pan if you feel like it.  This takes awhile and to be honest I don’t know just how long, as I got very impatient and kind of scrambled the eggs.  In the interest of a pretty dish, don’t do this!  This is why I have an in-the-pan, not-yet-finished picture!  I can’t say for sure, but logic tells me the eggs will cook if you leave them.  Anyway, I dipped corn bread in this and it was delicious!