Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Instead of regular flour tortillas we used corn tortillas. They make all the difference in adding an authentic Mexican flavour. We filled them with pulled pork we slow cooked on the weekend (12 hours in the slow cooker) and served them with avocado and a salsa we made using tomatoes, mango and parsley.
Corn tortillas are much thicker than flour ones so we we heated them up in a pan in order to soften them and be able to fold them. After they were stuffed with the seasoned meat, they baked in the oven for about 15 minutes. We topped them with salsa verde to add a bit of heat.
Ground cumin added the perfect flavour to the meat and we didn't have to use a store bought packet of seasoning that usually contains a lot of salt. Each tortilla is about 70 calories so it is a relatively healthy meal depending on what you serve it with.
This salad was made using roasted beets and a bunch of leftovers we had in the fridge like parsley, tomatoes, orange pepper, cucumbers and dried cranberries. The rice was cooked in water and herbs. We often replace some of the water with orange juice when cooking rice. It adds flavour and colour to make it more interesting.
The beets take about 1 and a half hours to roast so we had made them the night before. They add colour and a very earthy flavour to any salad. Just make sure you wear gloves when peeling and cutting them. If not, you will have pink hands for a few days.
This salad can be made using any leftover vegetables with either rice, couscous or quinoa. We never make the same salad twice.
Friday, February 19, 2010
People often ask me what is my favorite thing to make and eat. Tonight we made it, pizza with dough made from scratch.
This dough can be made and then baked right away but it is easier to handle if it is made in advance. This time I prepared the dough this morning and left it in the fridge during the day. I also experimented by adding some semolina flour instead of regular flour to see what happens. The result is a dough that is easier to handle but does not rise as much as with all purpose flour only. It made a very nice thin crust.
The toppings were leftover vegetables that were roasted earlier this week. We used beets, red peppers, tomatoes and spinach.
Recipe for the dough (makes 2 thin crust pizzas):
- 1.5 tsp Dry active yeast
- 1 cup Water
- 2,5 cups Flour (Bread flour if available)
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1 tsp Sugar
- 1 tsp Garlic powder (optional)
- 2 tbsp Dried or fresh herbs (optional)
- Mix sugar and yest in 1cup warm water, let stand for 10min.
- Whisk together salt and flour in a large bowl.
- Mix water/yeast mix into flour and stir until combined. The mix will be "shaggy".
- Put flour on counter or cutting board and empty shaggy dough ball on it.
- Knead for a few minutes until dough is a cohesive ball.
- Put dough in bowl and cover. Let stand for 30 min or more.
- Preheat oven to 500 F with pizza stone inside.
- Stretch ball of dough into a flat circle on a pizza peel.
- Layout toppings on the crust.
- Slide the pizza onto the stone and bake for 15-30 minutes, until the crust is crispy and browned.
Sunday, February 14, 2010
We had never made sushi together and decided Valentine's day would be a good occasion to try it. We went to China Town yesterday and got some of the ingredients and sauces. We prepared all our ingredients in advance and chopped up cucumber, beets, avocado, carrots, smoked salmon, cream cheese, radishes and mango. We made 5 rolls with different combinations of the ingredients we had prepared as well as a spicy mayonnaise. One of the rolls had the rice on the outside and the other rolls had the rice on the inside.
The rice was easy to make but we used a little too much of it in our rolls. We will know for next time.
Smoked Salmon Tartar
As a starter we made smoked salmon tartar by combining smoked salmon, green onions, ginger, parsley, lemon juice, hot sauce and sesame oil. We scooped out the inside of a piece of cucumber and filled it with the tartar
Ginger Pork Dumplings
These were very easy to make and very healthy. In a food processor we made a mixture of cooked pork, parsley, ginger, cabbage, carrots and green onions. We scooped 1 teaspoon of the mixture per won ton wrapper and then steamed them in a bamboo steamer for 10 minutes. This mixture was very similar to the tartar but because it was chopped up in the food processor and then steamed, the taste was very different.
Valentine's Day Sushi
Although it took about one and a half hours to prepare the entire meal, this was so much better than going out to a restaurant. We have a lot of leftover ingredients so they will most likely make an appearance on our blog throughout the week.
Thursday, February 11, 2010
Chinese New Year is on Sunday and we decided to make fortune cookies for our friends with personalized fortunes. The ingredients are very simple: egg whites, flour, sugar and vanilla extract. You simply spread the batter in small circles on a cookie sheet and bake it for 5 minutes. Then you carefully remove them using a spatula and quickly insert the fortune before folding them up.(see link to the original recipe below)
We added a special touch by drizzling 70% percent chocolate and some orange zest on them. I am sure some people will have quite a surprise when they open them up.
Nuggets do not have to be deep fried. We like coming up with creative and healthier ways of making foods that are normally fried. We took a pork tenderloin and cut it up into nugget sized pieces. First we rolled the pieces in flour, second we dipped the pieces in a beaten egg and finally we rolled the pieces in panko. Panko is a type of bread crumb used in Japanese cuisine as a crunchy coating for fried foods. Sometimes, instead of using panko, we crush potato chips and toasted bread together. Miss Vicky chips work really well and add a lot of flavour (and calories if you add too much).We baked the nuggets in the oven for 25 minutes without turning them and broiled them for the last 3 minutes.
This way we know exactly what the nugget is made of instead of "mechanically separated" meat. I don't even know what that is, nor do I want to find out.
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
Quinoa is very popular at the moment. It doesn't taste like much on its own but you can add whatever you want to it, like rice. You need to rinse it very well before cooking it. If not, it will be very starchy.
In order to add flavour to the quinoa, we added oranges, pine nuts, tomatoes, cucumber, grated ginger and balsamic vinegar. We baked tofu marinated in ginger and soya sauce and served it with mushrooms sautéed with shallots and ginger.
This meal is very quick to make and very healthy. We have been trying different ways of preparing tofu and so far, ginger is our favourite. The next time we will try adding different flavours to the quinoa. Same base ingredients, different flavours.
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
This was very easy to make and you can replace any of the ingredients to create a different meal. Instead of using fish, we could have used tofu, beef, shrimp or chicken. You can also adjust the spiciness by adding as much, or little curry paste you want.
In order to reduce the number of calories in this dish, we used light coconut milk. We did not want to cut it out completely because coconut milk really adds a special flavour to any curry. We served it on a bed of spinach rather than rice, fewer carbs and healthier.
We started by cooking onions, garlic fish sauce, green curry paste and ginger. Once the onions were cooked, we added a can of coconut milk and brought it to a boil. We reduced the heat and added the cauliflower and 2 tilapia filets. Once those were cooked we added mushrooms, finely chopped mint leaves, red peppers and spinach.
This dish can be made in so many different versions. We will definitely try this again.