Friday, March 25, 2016

Oven Fried Chicken- All the Goodness Without All the Oil

I love   I based my recipe on one I found on the site.  Fried chicken is a perennial favourite but who needs fried these days?  This oven "fried" version is for Aaliyah, my granddaughter and my sous-chef.

The best part of the chicken to use for this recipe is the drumstick.  Chicken breasts just get too dry and drumsticks have way more flavour.  The buttermilk marinade will guarantee even more tenderness.

This recipe serves 9 2-piece portions.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

A Taste of India- Murgh Malai Khorma (Chicken Cream Curry)

I am just back from India and in love with all Indian foods- an explosion of flavours!  This dish is easy to prepare.  Better still, I can use many of the spices I brought back to Canada!  You can buy them at any well stocked supermarket or Indian food store...

Indian dinner- Murgh Malai Khorma, Vegetable Jalfrezzi,
rice and naan.

Serves four to six.

Sauerkraut- eat it right out of the bowl or top your favourite dish... Pure gold!

Sandor Katz is the king of kraut... that's sauerkraut.  It's magical- fresh cabbage and a little salt and voila!  sauerkraut- full of live, health bacteria and great flavour.  This recipe is pure Sandor.

Gisele and I spent one Sunday morning chopping and tamping and stuffing into 1 litre canning jars to let them ferment until they are jars of goodness.  Now you could process and can like other "pickles" but don't be tempted- that would kill all the live bacteria.  After one week, you should be able to begin enjoying and the flavour will change as it ages.

To make approximately 6 litres.

Kimchi - Love it or Hate it- it's good for you! and it's awesome!

Koreans love their kimchi.  I had the pleasure of sampling homemade kimchi- delicious- but just couldn't find a store bought one I really liked.  So, here is a version that does the trick.  Kimchi is easy to make, the most challenging part was finding Korean chili powder in Ottawa.  Found it!

Every Korean family has its own recipe so feel free to adjust your batch to suit your preferences.  Make it as hot and spicy as you like, add whatever vegetables entice you, enjoy!

This recipe makes approximately 4-5 litres of kimchi.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

When it's Snowing Outside- Eat Creamy Tomato Soup

Last summer, I bottled litres and litres of tomatoes- perfect for making this winter comfort soup.  Your kitchen will erupt with the summer smells of fresh, fruity tomatoes...

Creamy tomato soup garnished with fresh tomatoes

This recipe will serve six.

Salad in a Jar- Kale

One of my favourite salad features kale as the main ingredients and is loaded with great, healthy vegetables and other stuff.  I've taken the ingredients and made them into a salad in a jar.

Begin with my original Kale Recipe.  Instead of mixing all the ingredients in one large serving bowl,  place all the ingredients in individual bowls to make filling the Mason jars easy.  You will need about six 500ml wide mouth Mason jars.

Place your ingredients in individual bowls.
Kale Salad- in a Jar

Fill the jars in layers beginning with the tomatoes.  Try to layer the different colours of vegetables, ending with the kale.  I usually add the dressing to the bottom of the jar, but with kale salad, I add it to over the kale layer to help soften the kale.  Top each jar with the toasted nuts.

Feel free to vary your vegetables depending on the season, what's at the greengrocer's, what's in your refrigerator.

It will keep in the refrigerator for about one week.


Salad in a Jar- Pomelo and Avocado Salad with Lime Dressing

Salad in a Jar- Pomelo 

Ever wonder what to do with a pomelo?  

It looks like a grapefruit but has extra thick pith and is a little sweeter than a regular grapefruit.  Well, this salad is delicious and provides a nice healthy break in the middle of winter.  

There are all kinds of variations but this is my favourite- for now.

Makes four salads in a jar (500 ml Mason jars)

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Jungle Maans- from the House of Diggi in Jaipur India

What better introduction to Indian cuisine than a celebratory dinner at the House of Diggi in Jaipur India!  House of Diggi is a Palace Hotel and that's where our group dined al fresco, enjoying great traditional India entertainment and a delicious buffet dinner.  Magic!

One of the dishes they are known for is the Jungle Maans.  I was honoured to be given the recipe (among many others) so I could make it at home and share it with friends.

I was able to find a masala mixture at a local market with the whole spices, ready to grind and use in this recipe.  Lucky me1

Welcome to the House of Diggi.

To serve four.

Baingan (Eggplant) in a Yogurt Sauce- for A Maharaja's Table

Another amazing state we visited in India in February was Orissa.  This state is located in Eastern India and is the home of traditional arts, crafts and textiles that predate many of the great empires of India.  We visited weavers and dyers in their workshops and homes- amazing!

For three nights, we stayed at the Palace Dhenkanal, home to the Raja of Dhenkanal and his family for generations.  It was a fabulous experience!  I was honoured with an informal cooking class with the palace chef.  This is what we made- so simple and so delicious.  Cooked outside over a small fire...
An amazing cooking class- outside, over a small fire.

We cooked in my favourite style- a little bit of this and a pinch of that... so the quantities are approximate.  Taste and adjust  the seasoning before serving.

Baingan in yogurt sauce

To serve four.

A Gujarati Specialty (and a great dessert)- Fada Lapsi

Where is Gujarati, you might ask?  Well, it is India's westernmost state, famous for its textiles.  I had the absolute pleasure of visiting a few villages near Bhuj, on the edge of the Kutch desert, all providing opportunities to explore the world of textiles- families of weavers, block printers and dyers- fabulous fabrics to see, feel and purchase.

You don't need a fancy kitchen to make this dish!  Cooking outdoors, over a small fire... 
We were invited for lunch at one of the villages.  I had the pleasure of spending time with the ladies as they prepared our food.  One of the dishes on the menu was daliya lapsi, a famous Gujarati dessert usually prepared for festivals and other special occasions.  This recipe combines "broken wheat" (that would be cracked wheat in Canada) with fragrant cardamom and a few other ingredients.  We certainly enjoyed it!  Here is my version of this dish.

Green Tea Lemon Power Bars- you'll get hooked on these!

When I fly, I love to take along healthy snacks- something that is hard to find on the airline snack cart.  These bars fit the bill.  I made a batch for my friend Susan who was off to South Africa a few years ago.  Next week, we're taking off for India - fourteen hours on the plane - and, of course, I am making a batch of bars.  They taste great, they are healthy, and they travel well.

These would be great to bring to the office, tuck into your children's lunch boxes, take along on a hike.

The list of ingredients is long, but the preparation is simple.  Feel free to substitute your favourite nuts, seeds, dried fruit... it's completely flexible.

Makes a lot of bars.