Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Super Bowl Pulled Pork Sandwiches with Purple Slaw

Okay, that isn't actually the pulled pork pictured above, almost fooled you though.  I was so annoyed because I accidentally deleted the photo while I was organizing my photos the other day. So this will just have to do.

Today and tomorrow I'm going to post recipes I think would be great for any Super Bowl party.  The best part is they're all recipes where you don't have to spend time in the kitchen when you would rather be watching the game with your friends.

Ingredients for Cajun spice:

3/4 Cup salt

1/4 Cup ground cayenne pepper
2 Tbs ground black pepper
2 Tbs paprika
2 Tbs onion powder
2 Tbs garlic powder

Ingredients for the barbecue sauce: 
1 1/2 Cups of apple cider vinegar
1 Cup of yellow mustard
1Cup of ketchup
1/2 Cup of brown sugar, packed 
2 Cloves of garlic, smashed
1 Tsp kosher salt
1 Tsp cayenne
1/2 Tsp of ground black pepper

For the pork:

Prepare the Cajun rub. Rub the spice mixture all over the pork. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or up to overnight.

Preheat the oven to 300F. Put the pork in a roasting pan and roast it for about 6 hours. Roast the pork until it's falling apart.

While the pork is roasting, make the barbecue sauce. Combine the vinegar, mustard, ketchup, brown sugar, garlic, salt, cayenne, and black pepper in a saucepan over medium heat. Gently simmer, stirring, for 10 minutes until the sugar dissolves. Take it off the heat and let it sit until you're ready for it.
When the pork is done allow the meat to rest for about 10 minutes.

While the pork is still warm, pull the meat using 2 forks. Using 1 to steady the meat, use the other to pull shreds of meat off the roast. Put the shredded pork in a bowl and pour half of the sauce over. Stir it all up well so that the pork is coated with the sauce.

Ingredients for the coleslaw: 

1 Head of red cabbage, shredded
2 Carrots, grated
1 Red onion, thinly sliced
1 1/2 cups mayonnaise 
1/4 Cup of Dijon mustard
1 Cup of apple cider vinegar 
1 lemon, juiced
1 Cup of sugar 
3/4 Cups of canola oil 
Kosher salt and ground pepper, to taste

For the coleslaw:

In a large bowl, combine cabbage, onion, and carrots. Sprinkle with sugar, and mix well. In a small saucepan, combine vinegar, oil, salt, mustard, and pepper. Bring to a boil. Pour hot dressing over cabbage mixture, and mix well.

Serve pork on a soft bun with sauce and coleslaw. 

Monday, January 30, 2012

Porchetta

This was delicious!  I love about that it cooks slowly all Sunday afternoon while you go out and enjoy your day.  When you return home your house is warm and cozy and it smells so so good.

This was another "Star-tested" recipe found in The Toronto Star.

Ingredients:

4 Pounds of Boneless pork shoulder
20 Fresh sage leaves
Leaves from 3 sprigs of thyme
Leaves from 3 sprigs of Rosemary
2 Large garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbs of fennel seeds
1 1/2 Tsp of kosher salt
1 1/2 Tsp of ground pepper
2 Tbs of extra virgin olive oil
1/2 Cup of red or white wine

For the pork:

Preheat oven at 400F.

With a  sharp knife, score pork skin in cross-hatch diamond pattern, making deep cuts.  Finely chop sage, thyme, rosemary, and garlic together.  Transfer mixture to a small bowl.  Add fennel, salt and pepper.  Stir well.

With a pairing knife, make 10 cuts all over pork while stuffing with herb mixture. Tie pork with kitchen string.  Brush oil over skin and rub remaining herb mixture all over the pork.  Place in oven, fat side up. and roast for 30 minutes to crisp up the skin.  Reduce heat to 250F.  Roast for 90 minutes.  Pour wine over pork; baste with wine and any accumulated juices.  Continue roasting, basting once every hour, until internal temperature is 170F, skin is well browned and meat is tender, about 3 hours.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Meatballs for Baby

It's true, you really should try introducing foods a few times to your baby becuase you never know when they could start liking it.  I was so disappointed when Jane didn't want these for dinner the other night and they were quickly becoming a snack for Phil and I popping one or two in our mouths when we opened the fridge.  I decided to bring them out one more time, and success!  I wish I could  say the same for bananas.

Feel free to use your baby's favourite vegetables, or sneak in something they might not like so much, because there's a good chance they won't notice. 

Ingredients:

1/2 Pound of  ground turkey or chicken (you can also use beef or pork)
1/4 Cup of corn
1/4 Cup of peas
1/4 Cup of zucchini, chopped
1 Small onion, chopped
1-2 Cloves of garlic, minced
1 Tbs of parsley, chopped
Pinch of slat and pepper
1/2 Cup of unseasoned breadcrumbs


For the meatballs:

Preheat oven to 350F.

Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl with your hands.  Form into meatballs.  Cook on parchment-lined tray in oven for about 15-20 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 165-170 using a meat thermometer. 

Friday, January 20, 2012

Shrimp and Chicken Dumplings



I don't usually sit down on the job but  I was assembling a lot of dumplings.  Look at Jane just playing in her favourite drawer when she could be helping, the nerve.



Chinese New Year is on Monday.  How about cooking these scrumptious dumplings on the weekend if you're feeling festive? 

This recipe makes enough for about a billion people.  Okay, not really, but it definitely felt like it as I was assembling all the dumplings.  If you can procure somebody to help I would definitely recommend you do so.  It actually makes about 24, or more if you have extra filling.  If you're a vegetarian try shrimp and crab. 

Ingredients:

8oz of ground chicken 4oz of shelled and deveined shrimp, cut into small pieces
1/2 Cup of cabbage, finely shredded
1 Tsp of grated ginger
2 Tbs of low-sodium soy sauce
1 Tsp of rice wine vinegar
1/2 Tsp sesame oil
Pepper, freshly ground
1 packet of dumpling wrappers (round-shaped)
2 Tbs of canola oil, for pan-frying
Water, for steaming
Chili pepper sauce, for dipping

For the dumplings:
Combine all the ingredients together to make filling. Use a spoon to mix well.  Assemble the dumplings by placing a piece of the wrapper on your palm and spoon 1/2 a tablespoon of the filling onto the centre of the wrapper. Do not overfill.  Dip your index finger into a small boil of water and moisten the outer edges of the wrapper.  Fold the dumpling to form a half-moon shape and pinch the edges. Press and seal tightly. Arrange the wrapped dumplings on a plate lined with parchment paper to avoid the dumpling from sticking to the bottom of the plate. Repeat previous steps until the filling is used up.

Heat some oil in a small skillet or pan over medium heat. Arrange 8-10 dumplings on the skillet. Pan-fry the dumplings until the bottom turns light brown, about 2 to 3 minutes.  Add 1/4 cup of water to the skillet and turn the heat to high. Cover the skillet or pan with its lid and let steam. Turn the heat back to medium as soon as the water has completely evaporated.  Add some oil to the pan again and continue to pan-fry the dumplings until the bottoms turn golden brown and become crispy.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Amaranth

Have you heard of it?  I hadn't until I read about it in Sprout Right (you know the baby food book I refer to over and over again).

It's very similar to quinoa and it's probably the healthiest thing you could eat.  Filled with protein, iron, zinc, copper, and nearly all nutrients.  It's highest in folic acid, calcium, and vitamin E.  Actually, it has three times as much calcium as milk.  Jane loves it and so do I! I've been giving it to her for breakfast with some fruit and cinnamon.  I would love to hear if you have your own recipes for it.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Fall-Off-the-Bone Roasted Chicken Thighs


Late Sunday night Phil handed me an article he saved me from The Toronto Star.  It was something about the 'top 10 recipes of 2011'.  So far I've made one of the recipes and was very impressed.  This was one of the best chicken recipes I've tasted, and I make pretty good chicken.

There were two things that sold me on this recipe.  First, chicken thighs are my favourite part if the chicken because they're so juicy and reasonably priced,  Second, I love recipes where I already have all the ingredients.

Ingredients:

12 chicken thighs
1/3 Cup of Dijon mustard
1/3 Cup of low-sodium soy sauce
Juice from two lemons, squeezed
1 Tbs of olive oil
1 Tbs of dried fines herbes (or mix of parsley flakes, chives, tarragon, chervil leaves)
1 Tsp of fennel seeds
Kosher salt (I skipped this because of the soy sauce)
Cracked black pepper
About 2 cups of chicken stock

For the chicken:

Preheat oven to 350F.
Place the chicken in a single layer in a baking dish.  In a bowl, whisk mustard, soy sauce, lemon, and oil.  Pour over chicken; turn to coat evenly.  Sprinkle on mixed herbs and fennel.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes.
Remove foil; baste with juices.  Add stock as needed so tops of chicken remain exposed; stir to turn up any bits that have formed on the bottom of the dish.  Baste again.  Roast 1 hour.  Tops of thighs will turn caramel colour.  Transfer chicken to platter.  Serve liquid as gravy.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Monday

Hi.  How was your weekend?  We tried out a new burger joint called The Works and took Jane around in her new sled she got for Christmas.

I also tried a Shiraz Cabernet  Sauvignon from South Africa for $11.95 and was quite impressed.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Chicken Curry

When I'm at work I go for Indian buffet at least once every two weeks, so now that I've been off on Maternity Leave I've been craving it like crazy!  Maybe Phil noticed because he got me a "Curry Lovers" cookbook for Christmas. 

I was very pleased with how this dish turned out.  The chicken was so tender.  I think the recipes in this cookbook are more authentic than the restaurant food I've been having, less cream and salt.  Actually, so far none of the recipes have even called for it. 

Adapted from Curry Lovers by Roopa Gulati

 Ingredients:

5 Tbs of canola oil
1 1/s Tsp of cumin seeds
8 Green Cardamom pods
2 Dried bay leaves
1/2 Tsp of black peppercorns
2 Red onion, finely chopped
3 Green chillies, seeded and chopped
1 28oz. Can of whole tomatoes, strained
2 Tsp of tomato paste
1 1/2 inch piece of ginger, peeled and shredded
6 Cloves of garlic, minced
6 Chicken thighs, skin and bone removed
1/2 Tsp of turmeric
1/2 Tsp of chilli powder
1 Tsp of garam masala
1 Tbs of fresh cilantro, chopped

For the curry:

Heat the oil in a cast iron pan on medium heat.  Add the cumin seeds, cardamom, bay leaves, and peppercorns.  Stir the spices around in the oil for about 30 seconds.  Add the onion and the chillies, turn the heat to low and fry for 5-10 minutes, until the onion is just beginning to colour.  Stir in the tomatoes and mash with a potato masher or the back of your spoon.  Add the tomato paste, ginger, garlic, and cook for 5 minutes.  Turn the heat to medium and add the chicken, turmeric, chilli powder, and garam masala.  Continue cooking, stirring all the time, for about 10 minutes, or until the chicken is half-cooked.  pour in 1 cup of hot water, turn the heat to low and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked.  Scatter cilantro before serving.  Serve with basmati rice.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Vactioning with a Baby


Phil and I are trying to plan a trip that's baby-friendly, affordable, and sunny.  We've looked into renting a condo in Florida but it seems so expensive. We could go on an all inclusive trip for that kind of money, but is that worth it with a baby?  I'm thinking we need at kitchenette or at least a microwave now that she's eating solids.  I go back to work in April and wouldn't mind going somewhere before I do.  Any tips??

Fish Tacos


How was your weekend?  The weather here was unseasonably warm.  Jane and I took advantage by meeting Beth for breakfast and taking a walk downtown, and more walking with Phil to the library (they have a great children's section). We finished off the weekend with fish tacos last night.  I told Phil it reminded me of our Mexico trip a few years ago.  All we were missing were Coronas to wash it down. 

Ingredients for the tacos:

4-5 white flaky fish, like cod
1/4 Cup of canola oil
1 lime, juiced
1 tablespoons chili powder
1 jalapeno, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
8 flour tortillas

 

Ingredients for the garnish:

Shredded purple cabbage
Hot sauce
Sour cream or plain yogurt
Thinly sliced red onion
Chopped cilantro leaves
Tomato Salsa

For the tacos:

Place fish in a medium size dish. Whisk together the oil, lime juice, chili powder, jalapeno, and cilantro and pour over the fish. Let marinate for 15 to 20 minutes.

Heat a grill pan to medium-high heat.  Remove the fish from the marinade flesh side down. Grill the fish for 4 minutes on the first side and then flip for 30 seconds and remove. Let rest for 5 minutes then flake the fish with a fork.  Place warm tortillas on a plate. Divide the fish among the tortillas and garnish with any or all of the garnishes.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Chickpea Curry and Potatoes with Cumin












What a quick and easy meal, I'll also add cheap, and a great alternative to meat. It's worth stocking up your spice rack with Indian spices, because once you have the essentials you can make a curry out of anything. 




Jane loved the chickpea curry.  By the way, that little hair clip was a present from her friend Michael to keep all that new hair out of her face.  

Both recipes were adapted from Curry Lovers by Roopa Gulati.  


Chickpea Curry:

Ingredients:
 2 Tbs of canola oil
1 Onion, chopped
1 1/2 inch of fresh ginger, minced or finely chopped
1 Tsp of turmeric
1/2 Tsp of garam masala
1/2 Tsp of chili powder
28 Oz. can of whole tomatoes, juice strained
14 Oz. can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
Juice from 1 lemon (or lime)

For the curry:

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over low heat.  Add the onion, ginger, and cook until softened.  Turn the heat to medium, add the spices, and cook for about 30 seconds.  Add the tomatoes and mash them up with a spoon or potato masher.  Cook, while stirring, until the curry has darkened and thickened.  Stir in the chickpeas, lemon juice, and about 2/3 cup of water.  Let simmer for about 10 minutes before serving. 

Potatoes with Cumin:

Ingredients:
3 Tbs of canola oil
1 1/2 Tsp of cumin seeds
1/2 Tsp of Turmeric
1/2 Tsp of chili powder
1 1/2 Inch of fresh ginger, minced or finely grated
1 Pound of Yukon gold potatoes, cut into bite size pieces

Heat the oil in a large frying pan, with a lid on, set over medium heat.  Toss in the cumin seeds and stir around the oil for about 30 seconds, until they have darkened.  Turn the heat to low, add your spices and cook for another 30 seconds.  Add the potatoes, stir until coated with spices, and cover the pan.  Cook on low heat for about 30 minutes, or until the potatoes are cooked. 











 I served the curry with Boston lettuce, alfalfa sprouts, carrot, and red endive salad.   The dressing was white balsamic vinegar, salt and extra virgin olive oil.