Friday, April 29, 2011

Welsh Cakes (Picau Ar Y Maen)

The first time I saw Meredith make Welsh cakes, I was very confused.

Me: Those are cookies?
Meredith: Yes.
Me: You're cooking them in a pan.
Meredith: Yes, I am.
Me: Kinda like pancakes.
Meredith: Yep.
Me: But they're still considered cookies, right?
Meredith: Shut up already.

Apparently they don't have ovens in Wales.

Anyway, this time 'round, Meredith let me look at the recipe and oh my. The full recipe, (from the Welsh Male Chorus of Burlington's cookbook, nonetheless, calls for lard and margarine, and the cookies are later sprinkled with sugar and then served with butter.

Seriously?


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Welsh Cakes
These pan-fried cookies are traditionally sprinkled with sugar and served with butter.
Ingredients
1 lb flour1 tsp baking powderpinch salt4 oz margarine4 oz vegetable shortening4 oz currants6 oz sugar1/2 tsp garam masala1 egg2 tbsp milk
Instructions
1. Sift flour, baking powder and salt together.2. Cut in the margarine and vegetable shortening.3. Add the currants, sugar and garam masala and mix.4. In a separate bowl, lightly beat the egg and milk together.5. Add egg mixture to flour mixture and beat until it's a firm paste.6. Roll dough onto a floured board to 1/4" thickness and cut into rounds.7. Cook on a greased griddle for 3 minutes on each side until golden brown.8. Let cool on racks before serving.
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 30-40 cookies
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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Chicken Madras

Between taking photos of past recipes that previously didn't have photos, and trying new things, I've found myself cooking more Indian dishes lately. Many I haven't tried before.

I want to make my way through more standards, like Vindaloo or Tandoori. I guess it's just going to take time. Fortunately, I have more than willing diners to help me eat my way through my creations.

My latest adventure was to tackle a Madras dish. From my research, the recipes vary immensely. The one I found to use as a base looked the most interesting. It was originally meant for a smaller quantity of red meat, not chicken, but I'm flexible.

I also made the mistake of defrosting the wrong package of chicken, so I ended up with chicken breasts, bone-in cut in half. The chicken was fall-off-the-bone soft, however, I really wanted to mix it in with the rice - not possible when you're looking out for small bones.

I'm not sure how authentic it was, but hey, I can always do another variation!


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Chicken Madras
This spicy curry goes well with rice or naan.
Ingredients
1 tbsp garam masala1 tsp ground cinnamon1 rounded tbsp curry powder1 tsp ground black pepper1/2 tsp salt1/2 tsp cayenne pepper2 tbsp brown sugar4 garlic cloves, crushed1 rounded tbsp grated ginger1/3 cup lemon juice1/2 cup olive oil1 kilo (2 lbs) chicken breasts, thinly sliced1 can diced tomatoes
Instructions
1. In a large bowl, whisk together the garam masala, cinnamon, curry powder, black pepper, salt, cayenne, brown sugar, garlic, ginger, lemon juice and olive oil.2. Stir in sliced chicken, cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.3. In a deep pan, brown the chicken over medium heat until oil separates.4. Add the tomatoes, stir and let simmer on medium-low for 30 minutes.Serve with rice
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 6 servings
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Friday, April 22, 2011

Triple Chocolate Bonk

Heading out to a friend's house to see some out-of-towners, Meredith was asked to bring something with chocolate. Meredith understood this as a chance to break out her fancy-pants bundt pan.

Her first attempt didn't fare well. Well, not as a bunt, at least. It was crispy on the outside and dense chocolate on the inside, and it fell apart when it came out of the pan. That one stayed home and was shared with the neighbours who like chocolaty disasters as much as I do.

The second attempt (using a different recipe) turned out much better.


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Triple Chocolate Bonk
This rich chocolate cake is triple good, with chocolate in the batter, chocolate chips and a chocolate glaze.
Ingredients
1-1/2 sticks butter, at room temperature3/4 cup sugar3 eggs1 cup confectioners sugar1 cup flour1/2 cup cocoa powder1 cup dark chocolate chips1 cup confectioners sugar2 tbsp milk3 tbsp cocoa powder
Instructions
1. Preheat the oven to 350-degrees.2. Spray bundt mould with cake spray or grease and then flour.3. Using a standing mixer and a large bowl, cut the butter into the sugar on low.4. Add the eggs one at a time, making sure the first egg is mixed in before adding the next.5. Slowly add the confectioners sugar.6. Add the flour and cocoa and continue to mix.7. Stir in the chocolate chips.8. Transfer the mixture to the mould and bake for 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.9. After baking, let cake cool in the mould for at least an hour before removing.10. Whisk together confectioners sugar, milk and cocoa powder for glaze and pour over cake.
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 1 cake
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Thursday, April 21, 2011

Mint-chocolate Caramel Matza

Another great thing about this year's first Passover seder was the dessert. My mom's cookies were beautiful (and tasty), and Meredith made a very special treat as well.
A couple weeks ago she found some mint-chocolate chips and decided that Passover was the best time to use them.

Funnily enough, my friend the Food Floozie made her own version (nearly the same) and posted hers a couple days ago. Hers uses a thicker topping and is cut really nicely. Meredith's is more "rustic" looking. Both are fantastic, of course!


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Mint-Chocolate Caramel Matza
Chocolate and caramel-covered matza is a sweet finish to a Passover seder.
Ingredients
7 matza boards1 cup brown sugar1 cup butter1 cup mint-chocolate chips
Instructions
1. Preheat oven to 350-degrees.2. Line several baking pans with foil and then lay down parchment paper. Lay the matza on top of the parchment.3. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the brown sugar and butter until the mixture bubbles. 4. Turn the heat to medium-high and stir constantly until the mixture thickens and pulls away from the sides of the pan (around 3 minutes).5. Spread the carmel over the matza with a spatula.6. Bake matza for five minutes, remove and sprinkle with mint-chocolate chips.7. Wait five minutes and spread the chocolate over the caramel with a spatula.8. Let matza cool completely and break into several pieces each.
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 7 boards, enough for at least 20 people
This post is linked to Real Food Digest | Passover 2012 Blog Carnival

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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Red Mung Bean Burritos

Jacob is now insisting that he's a vegetarian. Not that he's eaten much meat before, it's just difficult to get him to eat protein in general.

I've been speaking to him about the importance of protein in your diet and he's agreed to go back to eating edamame occasionally. He still need to eat more.

Jacob does like to eat a few desserts made with red bean paste, and he's also eaten pumpkin seeds with curry powder, so I thought I'd try making mung bean burgers.

The recipe didn't work - even after adding chickpea flour and an egg for binding (and additional protein), they didn't stay together as well as I wanted them to. What did manage to look somewhat like a patty didn't meet Jacob's taste standards and he rejected it after one bite.
burgers not really holding it together
I decided to mash the rest and make burritos. A little tandoori spice and some tortillas later, we still had a nice dinner.


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Red Mung Bean Burritos
These burritos get extra protein from added eggs and chickpea flour.
Ingredients
1 cup red mung beans1 tbsp canola oil1 medium onion, diced3 garlic cloves, minced1 tsp ginger, minced1 large (about 1-1/2 cups) carrot, finely grated2 tsp curry powder1/2 cup chickpea flour1 egg1 tsp salt2 tbsp canola oil1 cup yoghurt1 tbsp tandoori spice8 medium tortillas
Instructions
1. Soak mung beans in boiling hot water for 2 hours.2. Drain beans, and transfer to a pressure cooker. Re-cover with water and bring cooker to a boil.3. Reduce to low and let cook for 25 minutes.4. While the beans are cooking, heat 1 tbsp oil on medium in a separate pan and fry onions until translucent.5. Add the garlic and ginger and fry for an additional minute.6. Add the curry powder, stir and remove pan from heat.7. Cool the pressure cooker according to instructions and drain any excess liquid using a sieve.8. Let both the beans and onion/carrot mixture cool in the fridge for 20 minutes.9. Mix the beans, onions and carrots, ½ cup flour, egg and 1 tsp salt together in a single dish and let cool in the fridge (covered) for an additional 30 minutes.10. Fry with 2 tbsp oil in a non-stick pan and serve with tortilla.11. Combine yoghurt and tandoori spice and serve as dip.
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 2 cups
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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Sephardic Charoset

The day before the first Seder, I realized that my father wasn't going to be bringing charoset like he usually does. Usually, he picks some up from his synagogue. It comes in little balls and immediately before serving, wine is added and it's mashed up.

In researching Sephardic charoset recipes, I found that there were a few basic requirements: dried fruit, nuts, fragrant spices, one fresh fruit to get it to all stick together. One recipe used bananas instead of apples and I liked that idea, so I looked around the pantry, found the spices and dried fruit on hand and arrived at one of the tastiest charosets I've ever had.


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Sephardic Charoset
This charoset is symbolic of the mortar used by the Israelite slaves to build in Egypt.
Ingredients
3/4 cup walnuts3/4 cup almonds1 tsp cinnamon, ground1 tbsp garam masala1/2 tsp ginger, ground1 tsp nutmeg, ground1 tsp cloves30 dates, pitted2 bananas, mashed1/2 cup golden raisins1/4 cup sweet red wine (e.g., Manischewitz, or use rice wine for gluten-free)
Instructions
1. Grind the walnuts, almonds, cinnamon, garam masala, ginger, nutmeg and cloves in a food processor.2. Add dates, banana, raisins and honey, and puree and refrigerate until ready to serve.3. Before serving, slowly add wine until desired consistency is reached.Note: Charoset should be a thick paste, like a mortar.
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: 1 hourYield: 2 cups
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Monday, April 18, 2011

Schedule and format change

This past Friday I tried out a new format - combining my recipes with the blog post about the recipe. This seems to be the generally accepted format. I'm going to stick with it for now, so I'll no longer be publishing on Mondays.

Along with this change, I'm experimenting with how the posts look. I'll be trying out different recipe microformat tools to help make these recipes easier to search. If you know of any microformat tools - either standalone, web-based, or plugins for Blogger, please comment here or email me directly.

In the meantime, I'll still be publishing on Wednesdays and most Fridays.

Cheers

Friday, April 15, 2011

Dan's Chicken Chili Con Carne

At the end of Feburary, I found some ground chicken on sale, and I was excited to make some chili with it. I also had a larger-than-normal (28 oz) can of beans hanging around that I'd been meaning to use but haven't. In the end, I decided to do my own thing and not go with my current chili recipe that used a bunch of different beans. This one ended up looking like a more traditional chili (ground meat and red beans), but I don't think it tasted like one. I used a big tablespoon of garam masala, some dried chilies and a bunch of hot sauce to add to the flavour - it really turned out well, not overly spicy!

A note for my fellow food bloggers: I'm trying out a new post and recipe format with help from http://www.therecipewiz.com/. The Recipe Wiz uses Google's new recipe microformat which should eventually connect with Google's new recipe search engine. Please tell me what you think!


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Dan's Chicken Chili Con Carne
This chili uses garam masala for a unique sweeter flavour.
Ingredients
3 dried red chilies2 tbsp olive oil500g ground chicken6 garlic cloves, minced1 green pepper, chopped1 large onion, chopped3 tbsp chili powder2 tbsp brown sugar3 tsp dried oregano3 tbsp ground cumin1 tbsp garam masala1 can tomato paste1-1/2 cups water1/4 cup hot pepper sauce1 28oz can diced tomatoes1 28oz can red kidney beans
Instructions
1. Soak the dried chilies in hot water for 30-40 minutes, drain, finely chop and set aside.2. Heat oil at medium in a large stockpot. Add ground chicken, and sauté until the meat is no longer red. Use a potato masher to break up any chunks of meat.3. Add dried chilies, garlic, green pepper, and onion. Sauté until the onions are translucent.4. Add chili powder, brown sugar, oregano, cumin, and garam masala. Sauté for 1 minute.5. Add tomato paste, water, hot pepper sauce, tomatoes and kidney beans. Bring to a quick boil and reduce to medium low. Let simmer, stirring frequently for 45-60 minutes.
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 12 cups

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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Cilantro-Lime Dressing

Throwing together dinner on a Wednesday, I decided to use the leftover cilantro in the salad. I've chopped it up directly in salad before but it just ends up sticking to the bottom of the plate, so I decided to research adding it to a salad dressing.

Surprisingly, there were several recipes available. Several of them were variations on using cilantro and lime juice, so I decided to run with that.

The result easily passed the Meredith test and she asked me when the recipe was going to appear on the blog. I hadn't even thought about it, so I quickly prepared some veggies to drizzle the dressing on for a photo.


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Cilantro-Lime Dressing
This dressing has a sweet and tangy flavour from honey and ginger.
Ingredients
1 clove garlic, minced3/4 tsp ginger powder1/4 cup lime juice1/3 cup honey2 tsp balsamic vinegar1/2 tsp or to taste saltsmall bunch cilantro leaves1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Instructions
Combine all ingredients and blend using a hand blender.
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 325ml
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Monday, April 11, 2011

Last minute changes

Throwing together dinner on a Wednesday, I decided to use the leftover cilantro in the salad. I've chopped it up directly in salad before but it just ends up sticking to the bottom of the plate, so I decided to research adding it to a salad dressing.

Surprisingly, there were several recipes available. Several of them were variations on using cilantro and lime juice, so I decided to run with that.

The result easily passed the Meredith test and she asked me when the recipe was going to appear on the blog. I hadn't even thought about it, so I quickly prepared some veggies to drizzle the dressing on for a photo.

Recipe: Cilantro-Lime Dressing

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Friday, April 8, 2011

The Irish invented onion soup, didn't you know?

It's amazing how everyone becomes Irish leading up to St. Paddy's Day.

Read more: Irish Onion Soup

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Irish Onion Soup

The Irish invented onion soup, didn't you know?

It's amazing how everyone becomes Irish leading up to St. Paddy's Day. You couldn't find a blog without stumbling upon a recipe for corned beef and cabbage (isn't corned beef a New York Jewish thing?). Sometimes the different recipes just turn into a big blur, and sometimes a recipe will stand out. Especially if it involves cooking with stout.

Anyway, I've cooked with Guinness before and this time the recipe I found adds it to my favourite soup - French Onion Soup. I could tell right away that the recipe was going to be tasty. The primary difference between this particular onion soup and a standard French onion soup is the beer and substituting the swiss cheese with an extra-old cheddar. It's a different flavour, but it's excellent.



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Irish Onion Soup
This onion soup uses Guinness and extra-old Cheddar to add a unique twist to the French classic.
Ingredients
2 tbsp olive oil5 cloves garlic cloves, minced8 cups onions, thinly sliced1/4 tsp sea salt1 tsp dried thyme leaves1/4 cup sherry vinegar2 cups (1 pint) Guinness stout beer4 cups beef stock1 cup water2 thick slices pumpernickel, cubed200g or more extra-old Cheddar cheese
Instructions
1. Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat.2. Add garlic, and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.3. Add onions, season with salt, and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring often.4. Reduce heat to medium-low, and cook for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.5. Add the thyme, vinegar, and Guinness.6. Reduce beer by half, and add the beef stock and water. Bring back to a boil, and then simmer on medium for 10 more minutes.7. Preheat the broiler. Transfer soup to individual oven-proof soup bowls.8. Top with toasted pumpernickel cubes and sliced cheddar.9. Broil until cheese melts and bubbles. Serve hot.
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 8 bowls
Adapted from Delicious Dishings.

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Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Carrot Curry

Hosted a birthday party for Jacob and some of his friends from school. Served pizza, potato chips and carrots. Guess which of the three resulted in leftovers?

I had never thought of making a carrot curry until the following day when faced with a pound of carrots - I had to do something. Many of the recipes I saw combined shredded carrots with cabbage, which looked appetizing, but I was out of cabbage and didn't want to go shopping.

I finally found one interesting recipe to seek inspiration from - it put me in a general direction of combining the carrots with some sweet fruits to make a sweet, hot and savoury combination. It was an unexpected success and something I'll be making again.
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1-1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/2 kilo carrots peeled and sliced (3 medium-large)
  • 1 banana peeled and sliced
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins
  • 1 cup water
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Heat oil on medium in a deep pan.
  2. Add cumin, mustard, turmeric, cardamom, curry powder, cloves and cayenne and stir for 30 seconds until fragrant.
  3. Add carrots and saute for 1-2 minutes (until coated).
  4. Stir in the banana and raisins.
  5. Add water, salt and pepper and bring to a boil.
  6. Reduce to medium-high and cook until liquid reduces, cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
  7. Uncover and increase heat to medium-high, (stirring frequently) to reduce liquid to a glaze.
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Friday, April 1, 2011

Rickard's Dark Sweet 'n Hot Mustard

Fan mail prompts beer frenzy

Not really.

Last week, I was contacted by someone doing some marketing for Rickard's and she was wondering if I would be interested in some recipes that use their product - with hopes that I'll blog about it. Never a person to say no to different ways to use beer, I gladly accepted.

The recipes all looked quite good - developed and tested by an expert chef. There was a punch, fondue (oooohhhh), and a mustard recipe. I was even supplied with some beautiful high-res pictures.

the fondue looks crazy-good
I was originally going to make the fondue (pictured above), however, I was dissuaded by the fact that we weren't having any guests over for dinner so it'd just be the two of us. We'd end up eating the entire thing and making ourselves sick. Save that one for later.

What I did end up trying is a variation on their mustard recipe. The primary (but not single) difference is that the original recipe called for Rickard's Red. My variation turned out sweet and spicy. I think it's going to be my new favourite mustard and I'll be making it again and again (when I eventually run out - the recipe made over three cups of mustard). Rickard's suggests that you serve it with pretzels or sausages and I think that pairing is bang-on. Here's what the Rickard's chef's version looks like (gotta get myself one of these food photographers :-)



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Rickard's Dark Sweet 'n Hot Mustard
This sweet and hot mustard is especially tasty served with sausages, or pretzels.
Ingredients
  • 1 bottle Rickard's Dark beer
  • 2 cups mustard powder
  • 1 cup brown sugar (I used 1 cup sugar and 1 tbsp molasses)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tbsp vinegar
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
Instructions
1. Pour beer into a medium-sized pot and let sit for 15 minutes.2. Add remaining ingredients to pot and whisk together.3. Over high heat, continually whisk mixture until boiling.4. Transfer to a medium-sized mason jar (at least 18 ounces), seal and let cool before refrigerating.
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 1 litre
Notes:

  • If anyone is interested in the original Rickard's recipes, please email me or comment here and I'll gladly send you a copy.
  • All of the opinions in this post are my own. I didn't receive any swag for publishing this post or the mustard recipe. Not a single bottle of beer, t-shirt, hat, or dancing girls on party buses (party buses? wrong beer!) made their way to my doorstep, although I wouldn't complain if they did :-) 

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Fan mail prompts beer frenzy

Fan mail prompts beer frenzy

Not really.

Last week, I was contacted by someone doing some marketing for Rickard's and she was wondering if I would be interested in some recipes that use their product - with hopes that I'll blog about it. Never a person to say no to different ways to use beer, I gladly accepted.

Read the entire post here: Rickard's Dark Sweet 'n Hot Mustard


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