Wednesday, 15 April 2015

SALMON WITH LENTILS




Lentils:
1/4 cup olive oil
2 large yellow onions, chopped
1 red onion, chopped
4 large carrots, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 teaspoon Herb de Provence
1 can tomato paste
1 cup brown or green lentils
2 cups low sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

Salmon:
Salt
Pepper
Dijon
4 salmon fillets

Vinaigrette:
2 tablespoons liquid from lentils
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoons grainy mustard
1/2 cup chopped fresh dill
sprinkling of salt and pepper

For Lentils:

Heat olive oil over medium heat. Salute onions and carrots until slightly browned. Sauté garlic and Herb de Provence for about 1 minute. Add tomato paste and stir. Let it brown for another minute or so. Then add the lentils and chicken broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until just tender. about 30-40 minutes. (Try to capture a couple tablespoons of the liquid before it all becomes absorbed.) Stir in 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar.

For the Salmon:

Preheat broiler. Set salmon on a baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray. Season salmon with salt and pepper, brush with olive oil. Brush with a bit of dijon mustard. Broil for 8-10 minutes.

For the Vinaigrette:

Mix the reserved liquid form the lentils (2 tablespoons), with the red wine vinegar, olive oil, grainy mustard, dill. Whisk thoroughly. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Place lentils on a large platter and stir in about half the vinaigrette. Arrange salmon atop lentils and drizzle remaining vinaigrette over. Voila!! Delightful. And Oh So Healthy!

Monday, 30 March 2015

REUBEN NAAN PIZZA

TASTES LIKE LOVE

by Shelley Kary


What if gorgeous, full-flavoured Germany married exotic East India? And what if gregarious Italy acted as matchmaker? Well, I can tell you what. I’m the one who would fall in-love. I can tell you this for sure, because it happened to me.

This is a relationship cooked to last. Just goes to prove, we’re better together!




                             (Shown here with sautéed chard mix and potato pancakes)   


REUBEN NAAN PIZZA

3 Naan bread 
3 scant tablespoons Dijon mustard
3 cups packed and drained Sauerkraut
Sliced cooked chicken sausage or your favourite 
Regular yellow mustard
12 ounces shredded swiss cheese

Preheat oven to 450

Spread each naan with one tablespoon Dijon. Spread one cup sauerkraut evenly over each. Then add the sliced sausage and top each piece of sausage with a bit of yellow mustard. Sprinkle cheese over each pizza and bake until bubbly, about 15 minutes.


Honestly, this was a surprise. A unique burst of flavours with each bite! 

Thursday, 12 March 2015

GRILLED FETA CHEESE SANDWICH

MAD for MUSIC & MUNCHIES



I watch the Grammys for the same reasons I watch the Super Bowl. I like to eat. And I like to see outrageously talented people behaving outrageously. Happily, I've found a like-minded companion in my niece, Madi. We've committed ourselves to a lifetime of Grammy critiquing, as we chomp our way through the fashion and lip synching extravaganza known as...oh wait, I think that's the Superbowl.

In any case, alternately praising and mocking the spectacles before us can be quite draining. Madi and I need our sustenance, so from now on we will begin our feasting frenzy with this well-dressed, uptown goodness. Inspired by Martha Rose Schulman, it perfectly sets the stage for the night ahead.

Trust me, this Grilled Cheese sings.




GRILLED FETA CHEESE SANDWICH
   with Peppers, Artichokes and Greens

Makes one sandwich:

1/4 cup chopped roasted red pepper (jarred is fine)
1/4 cup chopped marinated artichoke heart (jarred is fine)
1/4 cup packed baby spinach, finely chopped
1/4 cup crumbled feta
2 slices whole grain bread
Olive oil

Mash first four ingredients together. Place feta cheese mixture on one slice of bread and spread evenly. Top with second slice and press sandwich together. Brush both sides of sandwich with olive oil.

Toast in toaster oven until cheese melts, 3-4 minutes. 

Remove from oven, press down and slice in half.

Best enjoyed with a music loving sidekick.




Tuesday, 3 March 2015

CAULI-POWER!! Cauliflower Parmigiana


You absolutely don’t need to like cauliflower to adore this little bit of heaven. Cheesy and gooey and saucy and robust. It’s every bit as wonderful as its more popular cousins; eggplant and chicken parmigiana.



   CAULIFLOWER PARMIGIANA


1 medium size cauliflower, cut into florets
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
Good sprinkling pepper and salt
Few tablespoons bread crumbs
5 cups thick marinara sauce, (you can make your own, or use your favourite store bought. I found an organic roasted garlic tomato sauce that I love!)
1 cup grated fresh Parmigiano-reggiano 
1/2 pound thinly sliced mozzarella (I used Monterey Jack instead. Good!)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

On a large baking tray, toss cauliflower with olive oil, pepper and salt. Lay it in a single layer and sprinkle with bread crumbs. Roast until browned but still crisp. About 20-25 minutes. Remove from oven, set aside.

Reduce oven to 400 degrees.

Oil a 9x13” baking pan. Spread a thin layer of marinara over bottom of the pan. Sprinkle 1/3 of the parmesan over the sauce. Top with 1/2 of the cauliflower and then 1/2 the mozz. Now layer with 1/2 of the remaining sauce, followed by another 1/3 of the parm, and continue layering, ending with layer of sauce and parmesan.

Pop in the oven for about 40 minutes, or until gorgeously browned and bubbly!

Sunday, 1 February 2015

My Tagine: A Love Affair



 LONG, SLOW AND STEAMY


Tagine: The Ultimate Slow Cooker


by Shelley Kary

It may be middle age, but I find I’ve fallen madly in love with a squat, shiny headed, heavy-bottomed hottie. I can’t stop thinking about all the hours we’ve spent together, each bringing out the best in the other. My new love never rushes me, accommodates my every need, bubbles away enthusiastically at each flavourful whim.Yes, my true love is a pot. And we couldn’t be happier together.



Tagine Meatballs and Rich Tomato Sauce

The Meatballs:

1/4 cup dry bread crumbs
14 cup buttermilk
1 pound ground beef (lean but not extra lean)
1/2 pound crumbled Italian sausage
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup grated fresh Parmigiano-reggiano
6 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup chopped parsley
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons pepper

Add bread crumbs to the milk in a large bowl. Let sit for about 15 minutes until bread has absorbed all the milk. Give a bit of stir to ensure there are no dry spots.

Now add remainder of the ingredients. Combine thoroughly, yet gently. You don’t want to over mix or the meatballs will lose that soft, tender consistency we all love so much. 

Reserve 1/4 cup of the meat mixture for making the sauce. 

Line a large baking sheet with foil and turn the oven to broil. With remainder of the mixture, form golf ball size meatballs. I love using my mini ice cream scoop for this.
Place on foil lined baking sheet.

Broil the meatballs on upper rack until well browned, about 6-7 minutes. You only need to brown the top, as they will finish cooking in the sauce.

Set aside. Can be made ahead and refrigerated at this point.



                                                                                   The Sauce:

3 tablespoons olive oil
!/4 cup reserved meatball mixture
1 large onion, minced
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons dried oregano
Pinch red pepper flakes
1 28 ounce can whole San Marzano tomatoes
1 28 ounce can pureed tomatoes
1 can tomato paste
Sprig of fresh rosemary
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons pepper




Now. In the bottom of your lovely lovely tagine (or Dutch oven if you must), sauté the reserved meat mixture until no pink remains. 

Add onion and sauté until softened, about 8 minutes. Add garlic and sauté for about 1 minute. Add oregano and red pepper flakes, cook for about 30 seconds.

Next add all remaining sauce ingredients, breaking up the whole tomatoes a bit with you spoon. Put the lid on the tagine or the Dutch oven. Bring to gentle boil. Reduce heat immediately and simmer on low heat for 2-3 hours. If you can, it’s good to give it a couple of stirs throughout the simmering.

Add the meatballs to the sauce during the last 1/2 hour of simmering. 


Serve atop spaghetti with a shaving of Parmigiano-reggiano and some fresh basil, if desired.


Monday, 19 January 2015

Better Than Beef Beet Burger

          





                                                            Sure “Beets” Beef Burgers 

Indeed indeed, if beets and squash and all manner of root vegetables cram your cellar right now, have I got the recipe for you! These burgers were absolutely exquisite, and will put any old standard beef burger on the back burner. DO TRY!

Not only are they lovely to behold, but you’ll have the sanctimonious pleasure of knowing they’re insanely healthy. 

3 medium beets, scrubbed (No need to peel! Especially if organic.)
1/2 small eating pumpkin or butternut squash, or any winter squash you’d like
2 small white onions
1 small red onion
4 garlic cloves
2 large eggs, hopefully organic and free range
2 tablespoons
11/2 cups rolled oats (I believe cooked brown rice or quinoa could be wonderful here)
1 cup crumbled feta
1 cup minced fresh dill
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/ 2 teaspoon pepper

First you need to grate the beets, the squash, the onions and the garlic. This would be an absolutely horrid task without the love of a trusty food processor.

Meanwhile, mix together all remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Add all the grated vegetables and combine well. This product now needs to hang out for a while to let the flavours meld and the mixture set (less likelihood of the burgers falling apart while they cook).

Sauté in olive oil over medium heat until nice and crispy and hot, about 5 minutes per side.

Toppings:

Lettuce
Sliced tomatoes
Sliced red onion
Sautéed mushrooms
Sliced avocado
Sprouts


We added some roasted sweet potato fries with a spicy dill mustard on the side. Luscious. 

Friday, 5 September 2014

AUTUMN AIR WITH A SIDE OF BROILED SALMON



What is it about September that makes one want to start anew?  Personally, I find it far more motivating than a mere New Year’s resolution. The bright fresh feel of a crisp autumn day, all the little (and big) kiddies getting ready for a brand new grade. BRAND NEW!! Wall Street humming again, after that boring August lull. The Wall Street thing means nothing to me but it makes my hubby truly happy, which due to the natural order of things, makes me truly happy.

Yes, September is indeed refreshing and invigorating. How timely, since it has recently been brought to my attention by those who love me, that I have been trudging through life rather aimlessly and without purpose of late (expressed in the most loving of terms).  It didn’t take much soul searching to realize the truth in this assessment. Thus, I have to decided to reignite myself! To release my passions and set them aflame!

This means what? A brand new recipe, of course. BRAND NEW!! With a side of fresh writing and maybe a brand new pair of earrings. Big ones. I had forgotten how much I love those things.


 
BROILED SALMON WITH A MUSHROOM & PEPPER GLAZE
A quick note on salmon. I was happy to come upon a fresh organic salmon at my favourite big box store. And though I felt somewhat virtuous about buying it, knowing all the horror stories of regular farmed salmon, something was nagging at me. It was the colour and soft flabby texture of the fish. Exactly like the usual farmed salmon most of us have experienced. Anyway, after some delving into the issue, it appears organic salmon bears little difference to regular farmed salmon and there are no strict regulations regarding it.
So without being too preachy, I would advise a nice wild salmon for this recipe, whichever variety you prefer.

Large fillet of salmon
Salt
Pepper
1/4 cup peanut oil
1 large red onion, chopped
2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
1/2 yellow pepper, chopped
1/2 large red pepper, chopped
!/2 cup dried porcini mushrooms, reconstituted, rinsed and drained 
4 large garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon honey
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons thai chili sauce
1 teaspoon hot sauce, your favourite 
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon of cornstarch, dissolved in 1 teaspoon of water


LIne a large rimmed baking sheet with foil. Set salmon atop. Brush with oil and sprinkle with pepper and salt. Set aside.

Preheat the broiler.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large sauté pan over medium-heat. Sauté onions, ginger and peppers until just starting to brown, stirring occasionally.

Add the mushrooms and cook until they begin to brown, about 5 minutes.

Reduce the heat to medium and add garlic. Cook for about 1 minute, being careful not to let it burn.

Add remaining ingredients up to cornstarch. Bring to a simmer.

Add the cornstarch and stir until slightly thickened, about 1 minute.

Remove from heat and set this mixture aside.

Place the salmon under the broiler and broil for about 8 minutes, or until just barely firm to the touch. Remove from the oven, spread the mushroom mixture atop and place under broiler again, for about 1 minute, or until browned and bubbly.

And with this, a new season begins with joy.