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Posts from the ‘Recipes’ Category

Pancakes & Ribs

Ribs and Pancakes

These pancakes make a terrific accompaniment to a meal, whether meat or fish, or vegetarian. They can be made well ahead of time and reheated, or not, to serve. I love the combination of flavours here, and plan to try them with different vegetables. My mother used to make zucchini pancakes and I have tried various versions of those over the years, but this recipe is now going to become the base for shredded zucchini too. Bonus: kids love them!

Both the pancake and rib recipes, with a few adaptations, are from Food52, a website rich with ideas and inspiration.

Cauliflower Pancakes
1 large cauliflower, washed and trimmed into bite-sized pieces
3-4 shallots, peeled and chopped
2-3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
2 T. olive oil
3-4 large eggs, beaten
3 T. chopped Italian parsley
1/2 – 3/4 C. freshly-grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 C. grated mozzarella
1/2 C. flour
1/2 C. whole milk
salt and pepper, to taste
olive oil for frying

Bring a large pot filled with water to a boil and add the cauliflower pieces. Cook until tender, but not mushy. Drain, rinse in cold water and set aside.

Sauté the shallots and garlic in 2 T. olive oil until soft but not brown. Remove and set aside. Using your hands, break cauliflower into very small pieces into large bowl. To this bowl now add the eggs, cooked shallots and garlic and season with salt and pepper. Mix this well, then add the flour and milk to create a batter-like consistency. If the batter looks too thin, add a bit more flour. If too thick, add more milk. Add the grated cheeses and the parsley.

Heat a large non-stick pan to medium-high and add a drizzle of olive oil. Drop spoonfuls of batter onto pan and cook in batches until golden brown, adding a little more oil as needed. Cool on a platter. These pancakes may be reheated, or served at room temperature. They keep well stored in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
Makes about 12 pancakes.

Honey Hoisin Ribs
Here is a 2-stage recipe for pork ribs. You may do both stages the day of serving, or you can do the first step (the braising) one or two days ahead, then glaze and bake them just before serving.

Braising the Ribs:
1 rack of baby pork back ribs, cut in half
1 onion, peeled and quartered
1 carrot, peeled and sliced into disks
1″ piece of ginger, sliced
1 head garlic, cut in half across the cloves
1 C. soy sauce
water

Place the ribs into the bottom of a heavy bottomed pot with a lid (I used a large Le Cruiset). Add the rest of the braising ingredients, then pour in water to cover the ribs by 1″. Place the pot over medium heat and bring slowly to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer ribs until they are tender, about 1 1/2 – 2 hours. Test for doneness: the meat should be just tender, but not falling off the bone.

Remove ribs from the pot and discard braising liquid. OR, if you plan to serve the ribs one or two days later, store them in the liquid in the refrigerator until ready to finish in the oven.

Glaze and finishing ribs:
2 T. hoisin sauce
2 T. oyster sauce
1 T. rice wine vinegar
2 t. soy sauce
1 t. sesame oil
1-2 t. sriracha sauce, or your favourite hot sauce, to taste
1/3 C. honey
1 green onion, sliced thinly on the diagonal
1 T. toasted sesame seeds

Ribs Ingredients

Preheat oven to 450ºF. Place ribs onto a baking sheet lined with foil. Whisk glaze ingredients together and brush over both sides of the ribs. Bake, brushing a few times with the glaze, until hot and caramelized, about 15-20 minutes. Remove the ribs from the oven and cut them into pieces. To serve, sprinkle with sesame seeds and garnish with green onion.
Serves 2.

Sunday Brunch

Twice-Baked Cheddar Soufflés
Bacon and Turkey Sausages
Cinnamon Bun Muffins
Oatmeal Soda Bread
Grapefruit, Orange and Mint Salad

Brunch has increasingly become a favoured family/friends meal in our household. It seems to suit the schedules of all generations who gather around our table these days. Planned ahead, much of the preparation for this menu can be started in advance: fruit salad the night before; bread and muffin ingredients measured in advance, then finished and baked quickly in the morning;  and yes, even the soufflés can be baked for the first time the day before, then refrigerated and finished just before serving. Read more

Peaches & Cream

Peaches and Cream

This is hands-down the best easy peach dessert ~ peach crumble with a twist and with a more elegant presentation. It comes straight from Smitten Kitchen, and in case you don’t follow it, I am broadcasting the magic of this recipe here. I plan on trying the same technique with apples and pears too. Read more

Copper River Salmon and Bread Salad

This main course salad can, of course, be made with any kind of fresh salmon, but during the very short season of Copper River salmon (approximately mid-May to mid-June), this is a perfect time to use it and Seafood City at Granville Island Market is where this came from. The Copper River flows in Alaska and is almost 300 miles in length, challenging the salmon by its length and its strong, cold rapids. Therefore, Copper River salmon are strong and contain healthy stores of natural oils (Omega-3’s) and body fat, making the salmon extremely rich, flavourful and nutritious.  Read more

A Tribute to Spring

Spring Flowers

Guacamole with Tortilla Chips, Pistachios
Shaved Asparagus Salad with Lemon and Parmesan
Roasted Halibut with Gingered Tomato Mango Salsa
Mini Potatoes Anna
Mixed Berry Gratin
Chocolate Cookies

Gardens are bursting with colour and markets here in Vancouver are selling gorgeous fresh halibut, asparagus and berries. OK, the asparagus and berries are not exactly local yet, they are from California, but they do taste more like the real deal at this time of the year. This menu is a tribute to my favourite season, Spring: full of colour, new growth, and promise. I hope this menu lives up to your spring expectations! Read more

Moroccan Dinner for 6

Assorted homemade or purchased appetizers: hummus, baba ghanoush, olives, grilled flatbread or crackers, pistachios
Orange and Grated Radish Salad with Orange Blossom Water
Moroccan Chicken
Couscous with Tomato and Onion
Roasted Butternut Squash and Red Onion with Tahini Sauce and Za’atar
Tarte Tatin with Apples, Raisins and Orange Blossom Water

While testing recipes using preserved lemons and preparing a dinner menu, I began with the main dish, Moroccan chicken, a recipe recently given to me by my cousin, Daphne. I then drew inspiration from two wonderful cookbooks: Paula Wolfert”s “The Food of Morocco” and Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi’s “Jerusalem, a Cookbook”. I simplified the menu by purchasing the hummus and baba ghanoush, and serving them with olives and sesame crackers. Read more

Preserved Lemons

I picked up a bag of Meyer lemons at Granville Island and preserved them to use in several recipes that I have collected. Typically, preserved lemons are used in Moroccan and Middle Eastern cooking but, since gaining in popularity in North America, they are turning up in a wide range of recipes for salads, pastas, relishes and desserts. Read more

In Praise of the February Braise

Braised Halibut with Garbanzo Beans and Chorizo
Braised Halibut 2

Braising is one-pot cooking at its finest and this halibut dish is a simple and comforting way to usher in February in Vancouver. While I would not normally buy halibut out of season, I found this recipe online at redonline and decided to test it with halibut fillets. The combination of smokey, spicy chorizo sausage, garbanzo beans (the original recipe called for chickpeas which are similar but smaller), and tomatoes, produces a deep and complex flavour that would complement many less expensive types of fish and chicken too. We ate this with a crunchy baguette to dip into the sauce.

Braising is a combination cooking method using both dry and moist heat and one pot from start to finish. Mostly, this method is used to slowly cook tough cuts of meat to tenderize them while producing a flavourful sauce. The difference in this recipe is that the sauce is cooked for an hour to develop its flavour, then the fish is added, making it a good dish for entertaining because you can make the sauce hours or even a day in advance, then reheat it on the stove, plunk in the fish and finish in the oven.

Here I have used a copper casserole that belonged to my mother, but any heavy pan with a snug lid will work as long as it is large enough to accommodate the fish in one layer.

Braised Halibut

Serves: 4
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 1 ½ hours

2 links Spanish or Mexican chorizo, cooked or uncooked
2 shallots, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
6 Roma tomatoes, roughly chopped
2 fresh thyme sprigs
1-14 oz. can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1 c. dry white wine
2 c. chicken stock
4 x 6oz. thick fillets halibut
2 T. fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Heat a flameproof casserole dish until medium hot, then add the chorizo and fry for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the oil is released. Add the shallots, garlic, thyme and tomatoes and cook for a further 3-4 minutes.

Add the chickpeas and stir well, then add the white wine and chicken stock and bring to the boil. Cover with the lid and bake in the oven for one hour, then remove and place the halibut on top of the chickpeas. Cover again and return to the oven for a further 10-15 minutes, or until just opaque. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for five minutes before removing the lid.

Carefully lift out the fish and place in individual shallow bowls. Stir the parsley into the chickpeas, season with salt and pepper, and serve alongside the fish.

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