Archive for January, 2013

January 25, 2013

masala hash

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This dish is a fiery collision between trailer park cooking and indian spices, and it is amazing!

Hash. Maybe this stems from a potato rich european country (Ireland I am looking at you), in theory it sounds simple, even boring, fried meat and potatoes, but man add a dozen layers of indian depth and you are onto something. Starting with roasted sweet potatoes, yams and russet potatoes seasoned with sea salt and Chamela Giri’s garam masala, slathered in ginger spiced vindaloo ground beef and onions garnished with bright fresh cilantro and chunks of creamy avocados. Can you say comfort food. I can’t help but believe you will enjoy this yummy concoction as much as our household did.

This recipe couldn’t be simpler to bring together:

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January 22, 2013

balsamic fig + currant oat bars

baslamic fig oat bar

A few years ago, my sister-in-law and I made a huge batch of balsamic fig spread after picking stunning figs from her fraiser valley neighbor. I haven’t got my hands on any fresh figs since and my cheese and cracker platers have been missing that sweet spread for so long! Well when I was placing a big bulk grain order with our wholesale organic food supplier I noticed they had dried mission figs for a pretty good price, so I ordered a bag and today I set to work testing out a little batch of jam to see how well they would reconstitute and puree. Success! Sweet balsamic maple success.  This amazing jam needed a perfectly golden baked “oattie” welcome to my pantry so I whipped up an old school (super easy) oat and jam bar.  I will be processing a bigger batch of this jam soon and will post canning details then, for now here is the small quick batch recipe I used, and the details on how to make a lovely oat bar. 

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January 21, 2013

vegan banana rum bread with coconut glaze

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I finally got sick of looking at 5 black mushy bananas occupying prime real-estate in my freezer and set them out to thaw… destine for some banana bread of sort. I scanned through my goto banana bread recipes (most of which use sour cream or butter) and opted to experiment with a vegan version. The result was nice and not to sweet, but dense perfectly moist and layered with some lovely tropical flavors… dark spiced rum, coconut, cardamom, apple, and banana. If you don’t have frozen overripe bananas lurking in your freezer and your using freshly browned ones I would recommend you roast them as your bringing the oven up to temp, to add a deeper banana flavor.

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January 19, 2013

fish cakes

fish cake mix

We were gifted some lovely fresh lake fish yesterday, and after a town day spent perusing cook book after cook book I was inspired to make fish cakes, with a bit of an Asian kick. I don’t buy a lot of cook books in fact even if I own them I rarely read them, although I do enjoy some good internet food porn almost daily, but today I decided to spend a whopping $12 on a food magazine (I know crazy right) but this new quarterly called Lucky Peach just called to me… the articles are written by chefs I adore, like Anothony Bordain and even Fuchsia Dunlop (whom I have spent many a  night dreaming of schzeuan peppers and dan dan noodles after read her inspiring book), the mag is stunning and artsy and thick and lush without a million tacky ads, but the ad I did find was from my chef / knife aficienato and proviyer bud Kevin of Knifeware, home to the rest of my hand forged japanese knife collection / obsession… love the mag, love my knifes (here the first one I fell for), and love my evening inspiration.. but now I am totally off track here, expect maybe that the flavors of asian are again calling to me tonight!

These golden potato pillows of fish were seasoned with chili, cilantro, lemon and  perfectly seared dolly varden trout, these little fish cakes were dreamy, I served them atop a bed of sesame roasted rice noodles gently laced with the last of our garden fresh red cabbage and some bok choy and onions. These fish cakes may read a little involved but actually took pretty little effort, here is how they all came together:

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January 16, 2013

beef + beans

beef + beans

This is a fabulous combination of flavors, and if your a fan of beef and broccoli then likely you will love this… I myself don’t really enjoy any western style deep fried gooey sweet chinese foods, but I do love deep rich ethnic flavors, and I am sure I would enjoy eating my way across China, if given the opportunity. I made this dish using (of course) our happy local beef, and actually I used a pack of stew meat, which I beat senseless with a cast iron pan, and it was melt in your mouth buttery… and I mean buttery. I think if you are buying meat from a store you might want to use a flank steak or something similar… most folks around here break down their beef into a few choose cuts (roasts, T-bone and sirloin steaks) and the rest is burger and stew.. which means a lot of the stew meat we get is actually really nice steak cuts. So bear that all in mind when choosing a cut for this recipe, and if your still with me I will stress again the importance of knowing your meat! Source it from farmers who live near by, folks you can ask about the way their animals are fed and treated, and avoid buying meat from supermarkets! In fact meat, dairy, corn and soy products are all pretty terrible at the conventional level… I do my very  best to diligently avoid these products all together.

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January 10, 2013

coconut hemp couscous

coconut hemp couscous

Sometimes in the middle of winter you just need a sumer-time feeling dish, this recipe is all things bright and citrus, fresh and zippy. With flavors of coconut milk, cilantro, lemon juice, ginger, garlic, jalapeño and winter greens like hearty escarole and artichoke, finished with a hearty sprinkle of hemp hearts this vegan dish would be perfect with a frosty girly drink and you can imagine yourself on a sandy beach somewhere, rather than a snow-covered mountain side!

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January 4, 2013

roasted winter salad

roasted squash and pear salad

What do you do when you can’t bring yourself to buy lettuce in the middle of winter but need a salad? Hit the pantry and make a roasted winter salad. Same great effect as a green salad but with so many more complex flavors and textures: Roasted butternut squash and sweet pears, on a bed of shredded carrots, slivers of red onion and chard, chunks of feta cheese finished with maple toasted almonds and a drizzle of maple mustard balsamic dressing. This is a great solution to a winter hankering for a cold veggie salad.

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