Category Archives: dinner

everyday harumi

Everyday Harumi is just an amazing cookbook.  Lauren chose it for our cookbook club which was just a great choice and meant that we got to try about fifteen dishes and they were all amazing.  I made a coleslaw and pickled cauliflower for the evening, everything was great and complimentary and as per always the company was just the best.  I stole this picture from Lauren but I think she’ll be okay with it.

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Before the cookbook party, I tried out Harumi’s udon noodles with a ground meat miso sauce, which is really one of my new favourite easy, quick dishes.

  • 1 leek
  • 2 tablespoons ginger
  • vegetable oil
  • 3/4 of a pound of ground chicken thighs
  • 1/2 cup vegetable stock
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons mirin
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 4 tablespoons miso
  • a bit of zucchini or cucumber for garnish
  • udon noodles

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Chop the leek and ginger and fry them, then add the ground meat until it’s browned.  Turkey works, too, apparently, but my butcher only has ground chicken these days.  Mix up the soup stock, soy sauce, mirin, sugar and miso paste together and add to the turkey, cooking until it thickens.  Meanwhile, cook the udon noodles and julienne the zucchini or cucumber for garnish.  Delicious.

Everyday Harumi is great, the recipes are all fabulous.  Harumi Kurihara’s writing style is grating at best, but this may just get a bit lost in translation.  I recommend the book, but maybe skim the introduction.

lentils and carrots

I went to New Orleans (amazing!) and only ate fried food for four days.  That is too many days of fried food!  Don’t worry, I tempered it with a bazillion raw oysters and too much fun.  But, when I got back, all I wanted was vegetables.  So, I flipped through Diana Henry’s Plenty, again.  Such a lovely book, and I haven’t even gotten past the section on “Vegetable Love.” This lentil and carrot dish seemed like a good idea, since it isn’t quite amazing vegetable season right now.

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  • olive oil
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup green lentils
  • 4 large carrots, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 cups, or more, vegetable stock
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
  • juice of one lemon

Sauté the onion in oil until soft, then add the garlic and spices.  Next, add the lentils, carrots, tomato paste, sugar, and cover in vegetable broth.  Bring this to a boil and cook until the liquid has been absorbed.  You may have to add more broth, or water.  Add the herbs and lemon juice, and make sure the coriander and heat is okay.  I served this with frozen, fried theplas, which are totally delicious.  I actually want to eat everything with my hands.  And I will be, for awhile, because this made so, so much, so basically it’s going to be leftovers forever.

summer pizza

Okay, this is late. It’s hard to be on the internet because it’s so nice outside and, you know, I’ve only been eating salad and lots of barbecued meat.  But, a few weeks ago Lindsay and I made a pretty delicious pizza.  It was mostly amazing because Lindsay made Jim Lahey’s pizza dough before I got there. I stopped by the Bellwoods farmer’s market and picked up some asparagus and some Monteforte dairy cheese, inspired by Smitten Kitchen’s asparagus pizza. We switched it up a bit, though, and used a base of dijon and balsamic vinegar.

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The whole thing is pretty easy, we just mixed up a bunch of dijon and balsamic vinegar, and spread it on the dough. Then we shaved asparagus (this was for sure the most laborious part… and the wait, I hate waiting for pizza to cook) and tossed it in the dijon/balsamic mixture, and threw it on the pizza. We shaved some cheese over top and baked it. This pizza was awesome.

asparagus soup

Lauren posted that they were making asparagus soup over at Good Egg last weekend, and it totally inspired me. I think I was feeling a little too inspired, because I really skipped some key steps from the recipe, but it still turned out wonderfully. I had originally skipped over this soup, from Jamie at Home, because Jamie Oliver calls it a “creamy asparagus soup with a poached egg on top,” which is exactly what it is but also exactly what I don’t love. First, milk- or cream-based soups aren’t usually my thing. Second, I am picky about eggs. But, this recipe works so well because all the creaminess comes from the egg. I initially thought I would prefer the soup without egg but now that seems crazy. This soup is good, Jamie Oliver is right!

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  • 4 bunches asparagus, broken to discard the ends, chopped
  • olive oil
  • 2 white onions, chopped
  • 2 sticks of celery, chopped
  • 2 leeks, chopped
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • salt and pepper
  • poached eggs (poached in un-vinegared water)
  • toast

Fry up the onions, celery, and leeks in olive oil.  When they are nicely cooked, add the stock and the asparagus.  Jamie Oliver suggests keeping the tips out until the end but I missed this step and it turned out okay.  Simmer the stock for 20 minutes, and then purée the veggies.   Season carefully with salt and pepper.  At this point, put the asparagus tips in, if you haven’t already.  Heat everything up.  Meanwhile, bring a pot of water to a boil and toast up some bread.  Olivia Go’s awesome class taught me to use a really tall, thin pot to poach eggs, but I don’t have one. Once the water has boiled, give it a stir and crack an egg in. After 3 minutes or so, fish out the egg (or two) with a slotted spoon and top each bowl with the egg and bread. Split the yolk and stir. Seriously tasty and creamy in a good way!

lentils

I think it basically goes without saying that my new year’s resolution was not to blog.  Sorry.  Let’s not talk about it.  But, I’m here now, and people are coming over for dinner seven minutes ago, so hopefully this works!

Leslie fully inspired me with her awesome blog, and her love of enameled cast iron.  When I saw her lentil and sausage recipe, which has been popping up all over the internet in various forms because it is hearty and sort-of healthy and wintery, I knew it would be dinner.

Plus, there’s a new butcher in my neighbourhood, and they are awesome! I went in to buy sausages as the butcher was making them, and he just snipped them off the end, which I find terribly romantic even though the key part of this story is ground pork.

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Basically, this is a super easy recipe that takes about one inactive hour to make. And, seriously, don’t lentils and kale make you feel virtuous?

  • 1 cup green lentils
  • 1 onion
  • 1 can whole tomatoes
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • some bay leaves
  • dried chilies, to taste
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • water
  • 3 sausages (from Sanagan’s! They get my full endorsement!)
  • oil
  • 1 head of kale

Preheat the oven to 375.  Fry the sausages in a bit of oil, if they need it.  This is where having a stovetop to stove cooking vehicle will come in handy.  While they’re frying, chop the onions, open the tomatoes, and halve the garlic.  Once the sausages are charred, set them aside.  Next time, I’ll fry them longer, I like a bit more char rather than a bit less…  Fry the onions, then add the garlic and then tomatoes and spices.  Bring this to a boil, then add the lentils and about two cups of water.  Stir everything, throw the sausages on top, put the top on, and cook in the oven for about 45 minutes, until the lentils are totally cooked.  You may want to check on them part way through and add more water if you think they need it.  When you take the pot out, set the sausages aside and put the pot back on the element at medium heat.  Add in the head of (chopped) kale, and cover for about 5 minutes.  Slice the sausages, stir up the kale into the lentils and sauce, and serve with the sausage on top.

This is pretty delish and very easy!  It isn’t the prettiest meal ever, I will concede this, but totally worth it since it makes me feel so good to eat lentils and kale.

lamb salad

I suppose the notion of lamb salad is a bit much, but this is really so good.  Also, it’s an exciting way to eat carrots.  Don’t get me wrong, I am into carrots, but I am really really into shaved carrots, apparently.  Anyway, this salad is a whole meal, it’s filling but not too heavy, it comes via Jamie Oliver (swoon!), and it looks pretty (I think).  Basically, amazing.

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  • many carrots, peeled in long strips
  • garam masala
  • 1 pound ground lamb or lamb sausage
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted if you want
  • a bunch of picked cilantro leaves
  • a bunch of picked mint leaves
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 3 shallots, diced very finely
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger
  • olive oil

Heat a large frying pan and and fry the ground lamb with as much garam masala as you want, depending on the spice level.  Stir the lamb and fry it until it’s crispy.  Once the lamb is cooked, remove it from the pan, but keep the rendered fat and lightly fry the shaved carrot.

For the dressing, dice the shallots as finely as possible, and add the lemon zest and juice, grated ginger, ground cumin and a bit of salt.  Add as much olive oil as you think you need, and then pour the dressing over the carrots.

Arrange everything on a plate with the mint and cilantro first, then the lamb, topped with the carrots and finally with the sesame seeds.

This is really lovely with naan or a bit of spicy yogurt.

 

black bean soup, again

I love beans.  I love this black bean soup recipe, from the Moosewood cookbook, that uses orange juice to make everything tangy and delicious. But when I saw a recipe for black bean soup on the Kitchn, that claimed to be the best ever, I had to try it. They are totally different soups, different textures, different flavours, and I’m really not sure which I prefer. This one is smokey and so not vegetarian, thanks to the ham hock. Also, I can’t lie: ham hock looks kind of gross. But you really don’t end up eating it, just stealing the porky, smokey flavour.

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  • 2 cups dried black beans, soaked overnight
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 smoked ham hock
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste

Soak the beans overnight, exciting if you’re me and this is the closest you ever get to science.  Drain the rehydrated beans and add enough water so that they are covered with an extra inch of water.  Add the onion and pepper, the minced garlic, the olive oil, pork hock and a bit of salt and pepper.  Bring everything to a boil, skim the froth off the top and then let it simmer for four or five hours.  Add more water if you think it needs it (I didn’t, because I wanted a very thick soup and because the hock was bigger than I expected and I was running out of space in my pot…), and just stir it when you think of it.  After it seems basically ready, add the vinegar and let it simmer for fifteen more minutes.  Pretty, pretty delicious.  I ate this as a soup on its own, which is a lot of beans, seriously, but it was thick so I brought some to family fajita night and we ate them as a dip for chips and possibly as a spread on fajitas, too.  Versatile beans!