Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Curried Sweet Potato and Yogurt Soup

Winter is upon us, but that means fantastic warming soups such as this.  Casually slam down this fantastic soup that you easily prepared, and don't forget the it-was-nothing-don't-mention-it attitude.

You can, of course, prepare the body of the soup ahead of time, reheat, and garnish to order at the last minute.

I can only assume serving a stuffed pork roast immediately afterwards would blow minds.

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 large diced sweet onion
1 tsp curry powder
2 medium peeled, diced sweet potatoes
1 medium peeled, diced Idaho potatoes
4 cups reduced-fat chicken broth
2 cups plain yogurt
salt, to taste

dash of hot sauce, optional
chopped almonds, garnish
parsley, garnish
cracked pepper, garnish

In a large pot, heat the oil. Add onions and saute for 3-4 minutes until translucent.  Add the curry powder, and stir into the onions. Add sweet and Idaho potatoes and chicken broth; bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer soup 25-30 minutes.

Puree soup (stick blender is best), whisk in the yogurt, and season with salt to taste.  Add hot sauce to taste, if you like.

Serve hot, garnish each bowl with chopped almonds, cracked pepper and a sprig of parsley as shown.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Doughnuts!



I'm not one of those Krispy Kreme freaks, seeing as in Canada the closest we get to that is boxed versions in grocery stores...which likely are horrible compared to the real thing, so I ignore them. However, these? Hot and fresh from the fryer and drizzled with some buttery vanilla sauce? Rediculous. I hit them with some cinnamon-sugar as well.


2 (.25 ounce) envelopes active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water (105 to 115 degrees)
1 1/2 cups lukewarm milk
1/2 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1/3 cup shortening
5 cups all-purpose flour

vegetable oil for frying (350F)

1/3 cup butter
2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
4 tablespoons hot water or as needed




Sprinkle the yeast over the warm water, and let stand for 5 minutes, or until foamy.

In a large bowl, mix together the yeast mixture, milk, sugar, salt, eggs, shortening, and 2 cups of the flour. Mix for a few minutes at low speed, or stirring with a wooden spoon. Beat in remaining flour 1/2 cup at a time, until the dough no longer sticks to the bowl. Knead for about 5 minutes, or until smooth and elastic. Place the dough into a greased bowl, and cover. Set in a warm place to rise until double. Dough is ready if you touch it, and the indention remains.

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface, and gently roll out to 1/2 inch thickness. Cut with a floured doughnut cutter. Let doughnuts sit out to rise again until double. Cover loosely with a cloth.

Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in confectioners' sugar and vanilla until smooth. Remove from heat, and stir in hot water one tablespoon at a time until the icing is somewhat thin, but not watery. Set aside.

Heat oil in a deep-fryer or large heavy skillet to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Slide doughnuts into the hot oil using a wide spatula. Turn doughnuts over as they rise to the surface. Fry doughnuts on each side until golden brown. Remove from hot oil, to drain on a wire rack. Dip doughnuts into the glaze while still hot, and set onto wire racks to drain off excess. Keep a cookie sheet or tray under racks for easier clean up.

Stolen from http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/crispy-and-creamy-doughnuts/detail.aspx
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Friday, August 12, 2011

Pad Thai w. shrimp


Second try, got it right. Go me.

Ok, let's do this thing.

Soak your package of rice noodles in a large bowl of hot but not boiling water. After 10 minutes or so, check them now and then (nibble a piece) until it's "right". When they're ready to your liking, drain them and put them in a dry bowl to sit for later.

In a pot:

1/2 cup ketchup
1 tbsp Thai fish sauce (it smells like gym socks in the bottle but it's great in a sauce)
1 tbsp shrimp paste, from your local tiny asian grocery
1/4 cup (50 mL) lime juice
1 tsp chili flakes or hot sauce
2 tbsp (25 mL) vegetable oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp pepper
1 tbsp white vinegar
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup water

Put that on low heat to simmer, whisk it up until smooth, then prepare four small bowls, filled with...

chopped roasted peanuts, sliced green onions, shredded carrot, bean sprouts

Are the noodles ready yet? If so, get a wok smokin' hot on the stove, hit it with some oil, and toss a some shrimp in there. How much? A couple handfuls, make a decision already.

Once the shrimp are pink, toss in the carrots and bean sprouts, stir-fry that for a minute

Fire into the wok, your rice noodles, and then the sauce . Toss that all up, plate, dash some peanuts on there, a little more diced green onion, and a little cilantro if you have it. Go!
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Friday, April 22, 2011

Amatriciana, sort of

A notable Italian / Roman dish that I twisted for my own dark purposes.  Meaning, I had some chicken breast to use up, and not so much the traditional pork cheek.  Also, made with no chiles...my mom is visiting and I didn't want a medical emergency on my hands.


Ingredients:

4 slices bacon, diced
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes   
2 (14.5 ounce) cans stewed tomatoes
1 pound linguine pasta, uncooked
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese


Directions:

1.     Cook diced bacon in a large saucepan over medium high heat until crisp, about 5 minutes. Drain all but 2 tablespoons of drippings from the pan.
2.     Add onions, and cook over medium heat about 3 minutes. Stir in garlic and red pepper flakes; cook 30 seconds. Add canned tomatoes, undrained; simmer 10 minutes, breaking up tomatoes.
3.     Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a large pot of 4 quarts boiling salted water until al dente. Drain.
4.     Stir basil into the sauce, and then toss with cooked pasta. Serve with grated Parmesan cheese.


Saturday, April 02, 2011

Pork Ribs (Bone Dust dry rub)


Ingredients:

        1/2 cup paprika
        1/4 cup chili powder
        3 tablespoons salt
        2 tablespoons ground coriander
        2 tablespoons garlic powder
        2 tablespoons white sugar
        2 tablespoons curry powder
        2 tablespoons dry hot mustard
        1 tablespoon fresh ground black pepper
        1 tablespoon ground basil
        1 tablespoon ground thyme
        1 tablespoon ground cumin
        1 tablespoon cayenne

Combine, store in a big jar, slather on pork whenever you want to bring the flavor hammer.

In this case, rub into pork ribs, then wrap them up in foil, and set on a large pan that will contain leaks (melted fat).  Set your oven to 250C.  Three hours in there should do it.  Remove from oven, remove the foil, return the ribs to the oven for 30 minutes or so while you fire up your grill.  Brush your favorite sweet sauce on them, and set them (carefully!) on the grill long enough to get a bit of a char.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Hot and Sour Soup



Various recipies, various failures, finally I made a hot and sour soup I'm happy with.

Ingredients:

1 cake tofu (fresh, if possible)
2 ounces pork tenderloin

Marinade:

1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon cornstarch

Other:

1/2 cup bamboo shoots
1 handful of dried Asian mushrooms
6 cups water
1 cup chicken stock
2 teaspoons salt, or to taste
2 teaspoon granulated sugar
3 tablespoons soy sauce
4 tablespoons red rice vinegar, white rice vinegar, or red wine vinegar
2 teaspoon sesame oil
2 Tbsp cornstarch dissolved in 1/4 cup water
1 egg, beaten
3 green onions, finely chopped

White pepper to taste
Hot chili oil, to taste


Hot and Sour Soup Directions:

Slice pork very thinly. Mix marinade ingredients and marinate pork for 20 minutes.

Cut tofu into small squares. Cut bamboo shoots into thin strips and then into fine slices. To reconstitute the mushrooms, soak in warm water for 20 minutes. Pick them out of the water, give them a good squeeze to remove fluid, and then chop finely. Return to the "mushroom water" and set this aside for now.

Bring the water to a boil. When it is boiling, add the bamboo shoots, mushrooms, and pork. Stir. Bring back to a boil and add the tofu.
Stir in the salt, sugar, soy sauce and vinegar and sesame oil.
Test the broth and adjust the taste if desired, using white pepper and chili oil to suit your heat level.

Mix the cornstarch and water. Slowly pour the cornstarch mixture into the soup, stirring while it is being added. Let the broth come back to a boil. As soon as it is boiling, remove the broth from the stove.

Slowly drop in the beaten egg, stirring in one direction at the same time. Add the green onion and serve hot.
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