Showing posts with label vegetable. Show all posts
Showing posts with label vegetable. Show all posts

Easy flavourful Mashed Potatoes

2 lbs potatoes
1/4 cup butter
1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp salt depending on preference
ground black pepper to taste
chopped parsley optional
Brown the butter in a pan, until there is an aroma of a nutty flavour.  Make sure not to burn the butter.  
Boil the potatoes until it is cooked, drain and mash the potatoes.  Mix the potatoes with the browned butter, salt, pepper and buttermilk.  Add some chopped parsley and mix, this is optional.  Serve the mashed potatoes warm.   
This recipe is adapted from the smitten kitchen cookbook.
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Pickled celery

1/4 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup water
1 tbsp kosher salt
1 1/2 tsp sugar
2 stalks celery thinly sliced

Mix everything together in a jar and leave the mixture in the fridge for about an hour before enjoying it tossed in a salad or on its own :)
The longer the pickle is kept the more tastier it is.  This recipe is from The Smitten Kitchen cookbook

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Potato pancake

1 baking or russet potato grated about 1 1/2 cups
1 onion or 1/4 cup
1/4 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 to 3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp or more black pepper
1 egg lightly beaten
oil to fry
fried egg optional to serve
hot sauce or ketchup optional to serve
chives or coriander leaves to garnish

To make the latke use a grater or food processor and shred the potato and onion*.  Then put the shredded mixture into a clean cloth or cheesecloth and squeeze to remove the water.
*Instead of grating the onion can add chopped onion to the flour mixture.

Mix the flour, baking powder, salt, pepper, egg and the mixture until everything is well coated.
Heat a cast-iron skillet and put about a tbsp of oil then put about 1 1/2 to 2 tbsp mixture.  The amount of mixture that is put depends on the size of the pan, how thick or thin you prefer the pancakes.  Use the back of the spoon and make a round shape.  Cook the latke in medium high heat for about 4 to 5 minutes until the edges are golden brown, then flip and cook the other side for another 4 minutes or more.   Reduce the heat if the potato pancakes are becoming brown too fast.
Repeat until the mixture is finished.  I served it hot, topped with fried egg and garnished with coriander leaves and hot sauce.
If you are make a batch a head of time, warm the latkes in 300F oven for about 5 minutes.  We can also keep the latkes warm in a preheated baking tray in the oven to serve it hot.
All rights reserved on photographs and written content Torviewtoronto © 2012 unless mentioned. Please Ask First

Moroccan Spicy eggplant, tomato and garlic salad

Morocco is a cookery book written by Jeff Koehler.  There are more than 70 Moroccan recipes and awesome pictures in the book.  The rich colourful food pictures are presented beautifully.  The author shares about the landscape, culinary history and ingredients in the beginning of the book.  The content is separated into bread, savoury pastries, soups and legumes, street food, fresh and cooked salad, meats, eggs and poultry, fish and shellfish, couscous, sweets and desserts and drinks.

The book reflects North African cuisine that combines textures, bold flavours, sweet and savoury.  I like how the author describes about buying the food from the souq or market and making, touching and feeling the food when we eat.  The author points out that eating is not an individual experience it is about sharing, equality and sense of community.
Moroccan tables are round as opposed to square so guests can easily take the food and be accommodated.  The food presentation is very important, even when preparing the simplest dish.  I like how the author says "Ainek misanek," which means "your eyes will be your measure" so we have to use our finger and eyes as a guide to decide how long we have to cook, how and when to add the spice to our taste etc.  This is very important when we cook as it makes all the difference.

Spicy eggplant, tomato and garlic salad from the book.
3 eggplants (about 2lbs)
6 garlic cloves unpeeled
1/2 cup olive oil (I reduced the amount of oil to 1/4 cup)
3 tomatoes peeled, seeded and chopped, juices reserved
1/4 tsp sweet paprika
1 pinch cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes
freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp fresh parsley chopped

Peel some of the eggplant skin and discard.  Quarter the eggplant lengthwise then cut into 1" pieces.
Steam the eggplant and garlic in a double broiler by covering it snugly for about 25 minutes until the eggplant becomes soft.  Remove the garlic and cool.  Squeeze the garlic from the peels and discard the peels.  
In a skillet or sauté pan heat oil, over medium heat and add tomatoes, garlic, paprika, cayenne or red chillie flakes.  Season with salt and pepper.  Cook stirring until the tomatoes become red and pulpy for about 10 minutes.  Stir in the eggplant and cook covered over medium heat, stirring and mashing the ingredients frequently for about 20 minutes.
Garnish with parsley and serve.

Multicultural food festival
Atrium, a one-stop-shopping and office complex located in downtown Toronto, will be hosting “A World of Flavour” multicultural food festival from October 1-5, 2012.  Each day of the festival they will feature amazing deals, free food samples by local retailers and a grand prize draw for $1,000 in Atrium gift cards from the food retailers. On October 4th, Celebrity Chef Rose Riseman will be at Atrium to conduct a two hour internationally inspired cooking demonstration and host a meet and greet after the show.

All rights reserved on photographs and written content Torviewtoronto © 2012 unless mentioned. Please Ask First

Carrot zucchini cupcakes

carrot zucchini cupcakes
Carrot zucchini cupcakes

1 1/2 cups flour

1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup sugar 
1/2 cup unsalted butter melted and cooled slightly
2 eggs
1 cup shredded carrot (1 large)
1 cup shredded zucchini (1 small)
1/3 cup milk

Whisk flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.  In another bowl whisk the sugar, butter and eggs separately.  Add the shredded carrot and zucchini to the egg mixture with a spatula and beat until it is mixed. Stir in the flour mixture and milk alternately in three additions beating until smooth.

Scoop the batter into a prepared muffin pan and bake in a 350F oven for 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown and tops of the cupcakes spring back when lightly touched. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes.  Remove from pan and cool completely on a rack.
For a variation we can add 1/3 cup sweetened flaked coconut to the batter.

This recipe is from the book 150 Best cupcake recipes by Julie Hasson.  Cupcake fans will really like this book.  There are lots of recipes to choose from depending on our preference and mood. The content of the book is separated into introduction, chocolate, fruit, nuts, adults only, kids, with spices, new twist, vegan and frostings. The sources and the index are very helpful.

The author explains the basic tips and techniques on how we can decorate, the tools and equipment, types of ingredients and the differences between different chocolate, coffee, diary etc.  This is good for people who are learning to decorate and novice bakers; it may also refresh the knowledge of advanced bakers.

The recipe is excerpted from 150 Best Cupcake Recipes by Julie Hasson © 2012 Robert Rose Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved. All rights reserved on photographs and opinion of the written content Torviewtoronto © 2012 unless mentioned. Please Ask First

Cauliflower fritters

cauliflower fritters
cauliflower cut into 1" flowerets
boiling water
1/4 tsp salt

Leave the cauliflower in salted boiling water for 5 minutes before putting in the batter and frying.

1 cup chickpeas or began flour sifted
3/4 cup water
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp ground pepper
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper optional

Put the flour in a bowl and gradually mix the water until it becomes a thick batter that will coat the vegetables.  It may not be necessary to add all the water.  Add all the other ingredients to the batter and mix well.  

oil to fry 1 to 2" high

Heat oil in a medium high heat.  When the oil is hot dip the cauliflower in the batter and fry until the all sides are golden brown.  When the cauliflower is dropped into the oil it should rise to the top and not stick to the bottom, put a few cauliflower flowerets at a time without crowding the pan.  If the oil is too hot it will brown too fast, if this happens reduce the heat.  

Remove from the oil and drain on a paper towel.  Serve the fritters hot on its own or with sauce.

I made this cauliflower fritters or pakora recipe by adapting the batter ingredients of the Vegetable pakoris from Madhur Jaffrey's 1st published book, An Invitation to Indian Cooking.  This book was published in 1973.  It has easy to make dishes and interesting stories about how the author first started to cook and share recipes that led her to write this book.  The beginning of the book has samples menus and details about spices.  Although, there are no pictures in the book it has lots of flavourful recipes.  The author explains about the methods, spices and cooking procedures in detail as it is written for people who are not familiar with Indian cuisine.

All rights reserved on photographs and written content Torviewtoronto © 2012 unless mentioned. Please Ask First

Caramelized carrots

6 carrots peeled and thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves minced
1 tsp sweet paprika *
1 tsp sugar
1/4 cup water
1 tbsp vinegar **
salt to taste
1 tbsp minced parsley for garnish

* I used 1/2 tsp chillie powder
** I used apple cider vinegar

Combine everything except the vinegar, parsley and salt.  
Cover and cook the combined ingredients over medium low heat for about about 12 to 15 minutes until carrots are lightly caramelized.  Add the vinegar cook for a minute then remove from heat.  Add salt, parsley and serve.
This recipe is from the book Cooking at the Kasbah.

All rights reserved on photographs and written content Torviewtoronto © 2012 unless mentioned. Please Ask First

Bitter melon curry

1 1/2 cups (2 to 3) bitter melon sliced
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp salt
hot water


1/2 tbsp coriander seeds
1 to 2 dried red chillie ground to taste
1 tbsp coconut grated

1 tbsp coconut or olive oil
1 tbsp onion
1/2 tbsp curry leaves
1/2 tsp garlic chopped
1/2 tsp grated ginger
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/4 to 1/2 tsp salt to taste
1/2 tbsp tamarind pulp
1/4 cup water

Let the sliced bitter melon soak in the hot water with the lemon juice and salt for about 20 minutes.  Then squeeze the bitter melon and throw out the water.  I usually put only salt to remove the bitterness, but this time I added lemon juice as well which helped. 
Grind the coriander seeds, red chillie and coconut together and keep it aside.  
Heat oil in medium heat, and sauté the onion, curry leaves, ginger and garlic.  Add the turmeric and bitter melon without the water; sauté for about 2 to 3 minutes.  Add the ground spices and cook covered in low heat until the bitter melon is cooked.
Extract the tamarind pulp with 1/4 cup water and add to the bitter melon.  Mix and let it cook for another 2 to 3 minutes or until the flavours have incorporated.  Remove from heat and serve as a side dish.
First time planting a Bitter melon plant in our backyard.
This picture is after a few weeks of planting it.

This bitter melon image goes to black and white wednesday hosted at Divine food and art.  
The recipe goes to Gayathri's Walk through the memory lane event and MLLA #50.  I am also sending this to the 30 minutes meal mela as I served it with plain white rice and other curries.

All rights reserved on photographs and written content Torviewtoronto © 2012 unless mentioned. Please Ask First

Garlic beef with olives

1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 cups beef cut into 2" cubes
2 cups tomato chopped into cubes
1/2 tbsp cumin ground
1/2 tsp black pepper ground
1 cup pitted whole green olives from a container
10 to 15 cloves of garlic whole
3/4 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp parsley minced

Heat oil on medium heat and cook the beef for about 3 to 4 minutes until it is lightly browned.  Add tomato, cumin, pepper, olives and mix.  Then nestle the garlic cloves among the meat.  Cover tightly so the water will not escape while it is cooking.  Cook on low heat for about 45 minutes to 1 hour, depending on the meat.  Check in about 40 minutes into cooking to see if the meat is cooked.

There will be about 4 to 5 tbsp of liquid left.  Remove from heat and add the lemon juice and parsley.  Serve hot with crusty bread.

This recipe doesn't have any salt.  Recipe ingredients inspired and adapted from the book Cooking at the Kasbah.

Have a blessed Ramadan everyone.

All rights reserved on photographs and written content Torviewtoronto © 2012 unless mentioned. Please Ask First

Herbal rice porridge

kola kanda herbal porridge
This is a famous herbal breakfast known as kola kanda (herbal leaf rice porridge).  This porridge can be enjoyed any time of the day. We usually eat it with a piece of jaggery.
kola kanda herbal porridge
1 cup red rice
2 cups gotukola leaves or mukunuwenna chopped
3 cups water
1 3/4 cups coconut milk
1 tsp salt
jaggery optional to serve

Wash and drain the rice. Cook the rice in generous amounts of water until the rice is very soft.
Puree the gotukola leaves in a blender with 3 cups of water and strain through a sieve. Use about 1 cup water strain, then puree again with another 2 cups strain until the leaves are dry and the juices are extracted.
Add the strained herbal water to the rice with the coconut milk, salt and boil for 3 minutes.

All rights reserved on photographs and written content Torviewtoronto © 2012 unless mentioned. Please Ask First

Pasta with spinach, almonds and Nudo garlic flavoured oil

I had a good time at the Nudo olive oil taste testing event last week.   I am very impressed by the taste of this delicious flavoured Nudo olive oil.  One taste of this oil and you'll know how uniquely flavourful it is.
I tasted a few simple, healthy and delicious food preparations from the chef, Nicole Rumball at All the Best Fine Foods.  I made this pasta dish at home, which is an adapted version of the orecchiette pasta the Chef served.

2 tbsp Nudo garlic flavoured olive oil 
1/2 cup chopped spinach or collard
1/4 to 1/2 tsp chillie flakes
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1 cup pasta uncooked

Cook the pasta according to package instructions.
Heat 1 tbsp oil and sauté the spinach or collard, then add the sliced almonds.  Add the chillie and salt.  Toss this to the cooked pasta, drizzle a tbsp of Nudo garlic flavoured oil and serve hot.
I found that we don't have to use a lot of this oil to get its flavour.

Nudo olive oil is unique in taste and is made differently compared to other extra virgin olive oil that is in the market.  Nudo is an artisanal olive oil that is cold pressed by a small group of farmers in Loro Piceno La Marche, Italy.  The olives are pressed within hours of picking so it is fresh with flavour.  This high quality low acidity oil has high proportions of beneficial antioxidants.
I tried a few recipes with this oil and found it gives a delicious special flavour and taste that we really enjoyed.  We like the aromatic smell of the flavour and the taste, which is prominent.

The flavoured Nudo oils are stone ground with the flavouring ingredients such as lemon, garlic, basil or Sicilian chillie.  I really enjoyed tasting the flavoured oils at the event.  I couldn't pick a favourite as all of the oils are delicious.  I liked the spice in the chillie flavoured olive oil, the citrus flavour in the lemon Nudo olive oil, the taste of the flavourful herb in the basil olive oil and the delicious instant taste of garlic in the garlic flavoured oil.    
When the olives are pressed with the flavouring ingredients it is more intense and has the real flavour it is supposed to have, unlike the infused oils in the market.
The production of Nudo olive oil is done in a small scale.  All the ingredients are from Italy and most products are certified organic; soon all the products will be organic.  
The oils are packaged in recycled tin containers, which are cute, eco friendly and preserves the quality of the oil compared to glass bottles.  The flavoured oils are in 250ml containers and the cold pressed extra virgin oil is in 500ml.
Nudo olive oil is available at All the Best Fine Foods *, online and at these retailers from many parts of the world.  
Olive grove Image from Nudo site
Check out Dolce Vita diaries to see delicious recipes from the owners of Nudo, Jason Gibb and Cathy Rogers.  With the initiative of making consumers from all over the world feel closer to their food Nudo has an adopt a tree program.  We can adopt a tree from the olive groves and receive information, photos and oil from the tree two times a year.  This program provides consistent reliable payment at a fair price to the small scale farmers without depending on harvest.  This advance commitment to tend their trees organically helps the labour intensive work of the farmers, as they make this healthy oil with passion for tradition and love for the real olive oil.   

*All the Best Fine Foods is a speciality gourmet food store located at 1101 Yonge Street, Toronto.  Jane Rodmell the author of All the best recipes is the founder of this speciality store.  The store has lots of high quality, new, exclusive food that is fresh and frozen.  They have an artisanal cheese room, gourmet food, different types of mayonnaise, mustards, pastas, preserves, coffee, cakes, oils, gift baskets and lots more.  
All the Best Fine Foods sells seasonal soups, freshly prepared sandwiches, salads, side dishes, vegetarian specialties, casseroles that would be good to serve at the cottage, picnics, backyard, dinning etc.  There are no chemical, additives or preservatives in their food.  They also service catering and event planning services.  It is a destination for people who enjoy high quality natural food that is from local farms.  
All rights reserved on mentioned photographs and written content Torviewtoronto © 2012 unless mentioned. Please Ask First

Leek potato soup and Olive oil tasting event

1 tbsp oil
1 leek
1 cup potato cubed
1 bay leaf
1 cube of chicken or vegetable stock *
4 to 5 peppercorn
1 1/2 cups of water
2 tbsp cream (half and half or whipping cream)

*The soup cube already has salt so I didn't add any salt.
Heat oil and sauté the chopped leaks, potatoes with the bay leaf.  Add the peppercorns, soup cube and water.  Let it cook covered on low medium heat till the potatoes are cooked for about 15 to 20 minutes.  Keep it aside to cool and puree the mixture in a blender.  The bay leaf can be removed or left in the soup before pureeing.  

Add about 1/4 cup water if needed and the cream.  Reheat for a quick minute if you want to serve the soup warm.
My version of this soup goes to JC100.

Nudo olive oils taste testing event will be held on June 14th 12:30 to 2:30 at All the Best Fine Foods.
Located at 1101 Yonge street Toronto.
Jason Gibb, the co-founder of Nudo olive oils will be hosting a tasting of a new range of artisanal olive oils made from 100% natural Italian olives straight from the groves of Le Marche, Italy.  Nicole Rumball the executive chef of All the Best Fine Foods will provide samples of delicious lunch dishes for us to taste made with Nudo oils.
Follow the event on twitter the Hashtag is #nudotoronto
See you there :)

This recipe goes to Soup kitchen and Souper sunday

All rights reserved on photographs and written content Torviewtoronto © 2012 unless mentioned. Please Ask First

Cooking at the Kasbah: Red bell pepper and garlic confit

Morocco and Andalusian culture fascinates me and I thoroughly enjoyed this book, Cooking at the Kasbah by Kitty Morse. This book reflects the beautiful culture and tradition of Al Maghreb Al Aksa (the land where the sun sets).  It starts off with the colonial history of Morocco, which influences its culture and cuisine.  

Kitty mentions that the art of making ouarka the paper thin dough for b'stila originated in Morocco. Couscous is the staple diet of Morocco and mint tea traditions also started there.  

Coconut oil review/giveaway and Asparagus side dish

1 bunch asparagus chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 tbsp coconut oil
2 tbsp onion
1 tbsp curry leaves
1/4 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp chillie flakes
1/8 tsp turmeric powder
1 to 2 tbsp coconut grated
Heat the oil and add the mustard seeds. Then add the onion, curry leaves, asparagus and spices. Cook covered or in low heat till the asparagus is cooked to liking. Add the coconut towards the end and cook for about 2 minute. Remove from heat and serve as a side dish with rice or flatbread.

I used this Gold label virgin coconut oil. I like using coconut oil to make dishes and wanted to share this product with all of you.
We have always used coconut oil in cooking as it gives a fabulous taste and it is traditionally believed to have lots of benefits. I don't have any health claims on this post so please use it at your own discretion.

This Gold label virgin coconut oil is made in rural areas of Philippines using 100% organic coconut that are hand selected. The production is done in a small-scale as a family business taking great care and pride. Their products are repeatedly tested to ensure that it contains highest amount of antioxidants available. The trees and family producers are certified organic under USDA standards. The families are trained according to the Good Manufacturing Practice standards and re-certified every year.
This oil has a shelf life for more than 2 years. Store the oil away from sunlight. The oil solidifies under 76F; it doesn't need to be in the fridge.
The oil can be used for all types of cooking purposes such as baking, frying, in soups, salad dressing, desserts and also as a hair treatment.

A little about the process :)
Fresh coconut meat is shredded then cold pressed using traditional methods with the pure coconut water to make the coconut milk extract which is then allowed to sit for about half a day until the oil naturally separates from the heavier water. The oil is filtered from the coconut solids. Nothing is added to make this oil so it is natural.

The Tropical Traditions coconut oil is sold online.
If you want to win Gold label virgin coconut oil please leave a comment on this post and subscribe to tropical traditions newsletter.
Giveaway is open to Canada and USA ends May 2nd.

Follow their Facebook and Twitter to get to know about sales and giveaways.
Follow my Facebook and Twitter so you know when the winner is announced.
Update: The winner is Saraswathi

Disclosure: Tropical Traditions provided me with samples, I was under no obligation to write a positive review or host a giveaway.

All rights reserved on photographs and opinion of the written content Torviewtoronto © 2012 unless mentioned. Please Ask First

Kashi and vegetable meat soup

Kashi has been a pioneer in making tasty innovative health food dedicated to nutrition. Their products are wholesome, natural and include seven whole grains. All Kashi products have natural source of protein, fiber, whole grain and nutrients. The products are low in saturated fat and has no trans fat, artificial flavours, hydrogenated oils or cholesterol.

My first experience with Kashi was their cereal a few years ago, which became a favourite.
Kashi toasted cinnamon crisp cereal is a new addition to the Kashi line of products since January 2012.

The Kashi pita crisps is a light, crunchy cracker made with natural ingredients, 7 whole grains and sesame blend. The flavourful crisps come in 2 varieties original 7 grain sea salt and zesty salsa.
The pita crisps can be eaten on it own or served with hummus, dips, soup etc...
I served it as a side with this vegetable meat soup and we finished the whole packet of pita crisps :)

1 tbsp oil
1 tbsp coriander seeds
3/4 tbsp cumin seeds
1/2 tbsp fennel seeds
1/4 tbsp pepper seeds
1/2 tbsp salt
1/2 cup of meat with bones or more
1/4 cup of each carrot, cabbage, beans, celery, onion, tomato
3 to 4 cups broth or water

Grind the coriander, cumin and fennel coarsely or fine depending on your preference. If you want to taste the whole spices then grind coarsely and if you don't like to taste the whole spices grind it fine.
Heat the oil, add the ground spices and sauté then add the meat. When the meat changes colour add onion, tomato and the vegetables one at a time and mix. Add the broth or water with the salt and cook covered in medium heat until the meat is cooked. This can be done faster in the pressure cooker.
Serve it hot.

Kashi snack crackers can be served on it own, with dips or hummus. There are two varieties fire roasted vegetable and toasted asiago.
Next time you are at the grocery store make sure to check out Kashi to have as a snack or serve it at the next gathering or meal.

On a side note, a spring themed table decoration.
Pierce the narrow end of the egg with a sharp skewer or fork and remove the inside (which can be used for cooking)
Fill the eggshell with soil and place natural or artificial flowers. Place it in an egg holder or this paper egg holder.

All rights reserved on photographs and written content Torviewtoronto © 2012 unless mentioned. Please Ask First