Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Basil shrimp scampi

Oh. yum.

1 1/2 pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/6 cup butter
4 tablespoons minced garlic
1/4 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
salt to taste

Rinse shrimp and set aside. Heat butter in large skillet over medium heat. Cook garlic 1 or 2 minutes or until softened but not browned. Add shrimp, green onions, wine and lemon juice; cook until shrimp are pink and firm, about 1 to 2 minutes on each side. Do not overcook. Add chopped basil and salt before serving.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Fresh spring rolls

1 zucchini, grated
1 carrot, grated
1/4 head cabbage, grated finely
1/4 cup fresh herbs (basil, mint, and cilantro are great!)
5-6 green onions, chopped
1-2 cup glass Vermicelli noodles (cooked, drained, cut and cooled)
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp lime juice
pinch ground ginger

1 head leaf lettuce, washed
Spring roll rice papers (galettes de riz)

Toss together all ingredients together (except lettuce and wrappers) in large bowl. Submerge wrappers in hot water until pliable, about 15 seconds. Place about 2 tablespoons of vegetable mix on wrapper and roll them like a burrito.

Place on lettuce leaves to serve (and keep from sticking!). Serve with a dipping sauce.

Dipping sauce recipes

Saturday, April 25, 2009

French toast with zucchini bread

Cut one loaf of zucchini bread into 1/2 inch slices.

In a pie plate, mix:
3 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
pinch of cinnamon

Melt 1 tsp butter in a frying pan on medium heat. Dip zucchini bread slices in mixture to coat both sides. Place coated pieces in pan, frying until brown on both sides.

Serve with...all kinds of stuff! Powdered sugar, maple syrup, sliced fruit, sauce caramel, whipped cream, crème fraîche...

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Chawarmas de Rodaïna

The other day I was craving the Lebanese chawarmas I grew up eating in West Africa. I got this recipe below from a childhood friend. this is as authentic as it gets! I've translated her recipe, and at the end of the post is the version I adapted from hers based on ingredients I had on hand.

Pour 1kg de viande de boeuf émincé:
2 tomates émincées
2 oignons émincés
1 filet de vinaigre de vin
1 filet d'huile végétale
2 cuil à café de 7 épices
du sel

Bien faire mariner la viande avec tous ces ingrédientspendant 1h avant de l'enfourner pendant 1/2 heure.

For 2.2 lbs of chopped beef:
2 chopped tomatoes
2 chopped onions
splash of red wine vinegar
splash vegetable oil
1 tsp 7 spice mix

Marinate meat with the ingredients above for 1 hour before baking in the oven for 30 minutes.

Pour la sauce (le tarator):
2 cuil à soupe de Tahiné à diluer dans le jus d'1 gros citron et 1 grand verre d'eau
du sel
un peu de persil haché

For the sauce, called tarator:
2 tsp tahini diluted in the juice of a large lemon and 1 cup water. Salt to taste. Chopped parsley.

Adapted recipe

For the meat:
1 turkey leg, roasted and meat pulled off the bone
1 tsp spice mix (cloves, cinnamon, thym, black pepper and ginger)
1 tomato, sliced
1 onion, sliced
1 tsp red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp olive oil

Toss turkey with oil, vinegar and spices. Spread out on a baking sheet and layer onions and tomatoes on top. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes.

Crushing spices

1 tomato, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
sliced cucumber (opt)
dill pickle (opt)
mint leaves (opt)

Tarator sauce:
1 Tbsp tahini
2-3 cloves crushed garlic
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 cup plain yogurt

Blend well.

Serve with fresh pita bread. Place turkey down the center, then add toppingss and tarator. Roll up like a burrito and go to town!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Albondigas soup

This came from Simply Recipes, my favorite recipe site.

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 large garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup of tomato sauce (I used more)
3 quarts of chicken stock or beef stock OR water
2 large carrots, sliced
1 pound ground beef
1/3 cup of raw white rice
1 raw egg
1/2 cup of chopped fresh mint leaves and/or parsley
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 cup of frozen or fresh peas
Dried oregano, crumbled
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Heat oil in large (5 qt) heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Add onion and minced garlic and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Add tomato sauce and broth mixture. Bring to boil and simmer. Add carrots and string beans.

Prepare meatballs. Mix rice into meat, adding mint land parsley leaves, salt and pepper. Add raw egg. Form beef into 1-inch meatballs.

Return soup to gentle simmer. Add meatballs to soup, one at a time. Cover and let simmer for 1/2 hour. Add peas towards the end of the 1/2 hour. Add a few pinches of oregano and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Garnish soup with chopped fresh cilantro.

Friday, April 17, 2009


2 cups flour
2 tablespoons of cream of tartar
2 tablespoons of cooking oil
1 cup salt
2 cups boiling water
food coloring

Mix together the first four ingredients in a bowl. Pour in boiling water over it and stir with the strong wooden spoon. Once cool enough to handle, knead well. You can add a few drops of food coloring if you want .

Asian cucumber soup

2 English cucumbers, peeled, seeded and cut into 1 inch pieces
2 chicken breasts, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
2 tsp chicken bouillon

Dissolve the chicken bouillon in 1.5 litres of water. in a large saucepan. Heat to boiling, then add the chicken. Cook for five minutes. Add cucumbers. Cook until just soft.

That's it! Trust me - it's surprisingly good and every bit as simple as it sounds.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Aunt Betty Ann's broccoli salad

I set out to recreate my Mom's brocoli salad, a recipe she got from her Aunt Betty Ann. The end result omitted the Cheddar cheese, used my father-in-law's recipe for coleslaw dressing (plus 1/4 cup buttermilk and 1/4 cup sour cream), added carrots and cabbage. (Oh, and I blanched the broccoli for 20 seconds to perk up the color a bit.)

1-2 heads broccoli, cut into florets, raw or blanched
1/2 cup chopped onion, red onion if you have it
6-8 slices bacon, well-cooked and crumbled
2-3 carrots, grated
1 rib celery, chopped
1 wedge cabbage, chopped

Dressing: Whisk until smooth.
2 Tbsp mayonnaise
2 Tbsp white vinegar
2 Tbsp sugar
1/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup sour cream or crème fraîche
1/2 tsp yellow mustard
freshly ground pepper

Mix vegetables. Pour dressing over top and stir until coated. Refrigerate at least two hours. Kiss your fingers and say 'Mwah!'

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Sweet and sour chicken

2-3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 green pepper, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 red pepper, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 carrot, thinly sliced
1 large onion, sliced into 8-12 wedges
1 can pineapple chunks or rings, with juice
1 Tbsp oil

Sweet and sour sauce
1/2 cup vinegar
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup pineapple juice from can
1/4 cup ketchup

First, make the make sweet and sour sauce. In a large frying pan, mix vinegar, sugar, salt, orange juice, pineapple juice and ketchup. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes or until it has evaporated to the consistency of maple syrup. Add pineapple chunks to the sauce and set aside.

Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Cut chicken into bite-sized pieces. Cook in frying pan until no pink remains. Add green and red peppers, carrot and onions for three minutes. Add to sweet and sour sauce and heat.

Serve the chicken over hot white rice, with sweet and sour sauce pour over the top.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Buttermilk oven-fried chicken

I was looking for a recipe for oven-fried chicken that a) didn't have a crumb coating à la Shake-n-bake, b) wasn't a pain to make, c) taste like real fried chicken. Tada! This recipe from Cooking Light is it.

1 cup low-fat buttermilk
4 bone-in chicken breast halves or legs, skinned
1/3 cup flour
1/3 cup finely crushed crackers OR biscottes
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons butter

Preheat oven to 425°.

To prepare chicken, combine buttermilk and chicken in a shallow dish, turning to coat.

Combine flour and crushed biscottes in a shallow dish. Transfer chicken from buttermilk to a work surface. Sprinkle chicken evenly with 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper. Working with one chicken breast half at a time, dredge chicken in flour mixture, shaking off excess; set aside. Repeat procedure with remaining chicken and flour mixture.

Melt butter in a large ovenproof nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken to pan, meat side down; cook 4 minutes or until golden brown. Turn chicken over, and bake at 425° for 32 minutes or until a thermometer registers 165°.