Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Balsamic Roasted Chicken with Oregano

  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1-1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  1. Preheat oven 400 degrees.
  2. Combine the vinegar, oil, oregano, salt and pepper in a small baking dish.
  3. Coat chicken in mixture, cover and marinade in the fridge for 30 minutes while oven heats.
  4. Bake the chicken for 30 minutes (turning after 15) and baste with the vinegar juices.
(adapted from original recipe on recipezaar by Barb Gertz)
Recipes by the Haggis and the Herring: tasty world recipes tested in our kitchen

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Setting the menu

Although I love cooking, I don't always love deciding what to make on a Friday night. If I'm not inspired, I'd end up making old standards which are nice sometimes, but there's always room for something new.

Lately, Meredith has taken the reins and has either thrown out ideas for me to search (ingredients, spices, types of cuisine) or sourced the recipe herself. A few weeks ago, she discovered a fantastic balsamic chicken recipe which is perfect for a Friday night. There's very little prep work involved for those evenings when you don't want to start dinner at 8:00!


Recipe: Balsamic Roasted Chicken with Oregano

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Moroccan Eggplant Salad

  • 1 large eggplant
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 small red onion, chopped (1/4 cup)
  • 1 tbsp red-wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley, divided
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Pierce eggplant and roast on a pan for 45 minutes.
  3. While eggplant is roasting, toast cumin in a dry pan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until fragrant and dark brown. Let cool and grind with a mortar and pestle.
  4. Remove flesh from roasted eggplant, discarding skin and stem; mash the eggplant with a potato masher.
  5. Toss eggplant flesh with onion, vinegar, sugar, 1 tablespoon oil, 1 tablespoon parsley, 1/2 teaspoon toasted cumin, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
  6. Serve drizzled with remaining oil, parsley and cumin.
(Original recipe by Ruth Cousineau on Epicurious)
Recipes by the Haggis and the Herring: tasty world recipes tested in our kitchen

Sunday, July 19, 2009

So much eggplant, so little time

I realize now that I've eaten a lot of eggplant over the years. It's not my favourite vegetable, I just really like working with it. There are so many ways to prepare it.

Last Friday, I tried a new Moroccan eggplant salad recipe that involved roasting the eggplant, but the remaining ingredients are just tossed in. Something new.

Recipe: Moroccan Eggplant Salad


Wednesday, July 15, 2009


Student life in Peterborough, Ontario was a frugal one. We didn't often hang out at pubs and clubs, opting to take turns hosting dinner parties instead. The booze was cheaper and, more often, the food was decent.

I didn't realize how much time I had on my hands when I was a student. Class was over by lunchtime on Friday and if it was my turn to host, I had all afternoon to cook.

One of the more memorable dinner parties I attended was Giles Grierson's big perogie party. Giles found the recipe on the sleeve of a Rythm Activism record sleeve. I think he actually quadrupled the recipe because of the number of people attending.

Making the perogies was quite the production. We started in the early afternoon and weren't finished until late in the evening. Aside from the massive amounts prep work involved, the recipe called for copius amounts of vodka which we assumed was meant for the chefs during preparation. While we did control ourselves, the alcohol surely contributed to the amount of time it took us to prepare the meal.


Ingredients for perogi dough
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 tsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 egg, beaten
Ingredients for stuffing (makes enough for 4-6 guests)
  • 8 medium sized potatoes, peeled, boiled and mashed
  • 1 grated large onion
  • 500 grams cottage cheese
  • 300 grams of sharp, old cheddar, grated
  • an equal amount of milder cheese, grated
  • 3 or more heads of garlic, peeled and chopped finely
  • a handful of either chopped dill, or 2 tablespoons of dried dill
  • 1 tsp ea. salt and pepper
Ingredients for perogie sauce
  • 6 or more onions peeled, diced
  • 2 or more heads [Dan: no, that's not a typo] garlic peeled, cut finely
  • 1/4 pound of butter
  • big handful of fresh, chopped parsley or a handful of chopped green onions
  • 1 tsp each salt and pepper

Mix flour and salt. Combine egg, milk and water, gently stir into flour mix. Knead 3-4 minutes, make 6 balls of dough. Flour rolling surface, then roll out dough to approximately 1/16 to 1/8" thickness. Cut into 3-4" squares.

Meanwhile, combine all the stuffing ingredients in a big ball, and season to taste. Don't be afraid of lots of garlic - it's good for you.

Begin boiling a large pot of water, add a teaspoon salt, a teaspoon oil.

Preparing the sauce

Brown the onions and garlic in the butter and then add remaining sauce ingredients and simmer.

Stuff the perogies: hold a dough square in the palm of one hand, wet to joining sides of it with your finger, add about 1 teaspoon of stuffing in the middle, the fold the dough dry corner to wet corner to form a triangular "hat" and pinch the two sides shup firmly. Lay the stuffed perogies gently on a tray keeping them seperate from each other, then add to boiling water, about 10 at a time, stirring gently 3-5 minutes, until they float to the surface. They're ready.

Back to the sauce: coat a good sized casserole dish with a bit of sauce, then alternate layers of perogies and sauce.

While perparing the perogies, don't hesitate to toast major accomplishments regularly with a coderate shot of vodka, followed immediately with a chaser of hot tea.

Serve perogies with sauerkraut, sour cream, mushrooms, pickles, tomatoes, and fresh bread. Dessert should be something light.

  • 1 bottle for every two guests of either Polish, Ukranian, or Russian vodka, chilled.
  • 1 pot of black tea.
(recipe found on a Rythm Activism record sleeve)
Recipes by the Haggis and the Herring: tasty world recipes tested in our kitchen

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Bayngan Barta (Roasted Eggplant and Onions)

And yet another fun Indian Friday night with friends. Chicken Tikka Masala and an eggplant dish from India Food House. I'll save the Chicken Tikka recipe for another week, tho :-)

India Food House was a landmark in Peterborough when I was at Trent. I hung around so much I was eventually put to work in the kitchen – mostly preparing naan, peeling garlic, and doing dishes.

Only once, when the restaurant was short-staffed on a busy day, I actually waited tables.

Bayngan Barta (Roasted Eggplant and Onions)
  • 1 large eggplant
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 4-5 large onions, diced (equal to the amount of eggplant pulp)
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp Spanish paprika
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • salt (to taste)
  1. pierce eggplant and roast at 450-degrees for 45 minutes
  2. remove eggplant skin and chop the pulp
  3. heat oil and saute onions on medium until onions are translucent
  4. mix in tomatoes, turmeric, paprika, garam masala and salt, and simmer for 2-5 minutes.
  5. add eggplant pulp and let simmer on low for 45 minutes.
(adapted from the Peterborough and Kawartha Lakes Region Restaurant Guide feature on the India Food House)

Recipes by the Haggis and the Herring: tasty world recipes tested in our kitchen

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Excellent Samosas: Surati Sweet Mart

Nathan brought some excellent samosas as an appetizer tonight. They were big, light, not oily at all and were spiced really well. Kinda like the perfect matzo ball:

Surati Sweet Mart, 26 Carnforth Road, Toronto

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Sweet Sadie's Chocolate Cake with Dark Chocolate Icing

Jacob and Meredith made me the best birthday cake ever.

print recipe

Sweet Sadie's Chocolate Cake with Dark Chocolate Icing
Jacob and Meredith made me the best birthday cake ever. Cake recipe from Sweet Sadie's; icing from Better Homes and Gardens.
  • 3/4 cup cocoa
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (preferably unbleached)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs (large)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup whipping cream (for icing)
  • 12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate (for icing)
1. Preheat oven to 350-degrees and grease a 12 x 9 cake pan.2. Sift the dry ingredients together.3. Mix the dry ingredients in the mixer bowl (low speed).4. Add oil, eggs (one at a time until incorporated), vanilla and milk (medium speed).5. When batter is smooth, add boiling water ( start on low and be careful that it doesn't splash!).6. Pour into prepared pan and bake approx. 35- 45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.Note: Cool the cake completely before icing.For the icing:
1. In a medium saucepan, bring whipping cream just to boiling over medium heat.
2. Remove from heat and add semi-sweet chocolate (do not stir) and let stand for 5 minutes.3. Stir untill smooth and cool for 15 minutes.Spoon evenly over cake.
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 1 12x9-inch cake.

Recipes by the Haggis and the Herring: tasty world recipes tested in our kitchen
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