Archive | January, 2013

Thai Curry Glass Noodles with Tofu

29 Jan
Glass noodles with vegetables and tofu.

Glass noodles with a thai curry coconut sauce and vegetables with tofu.

  • 3 bundles of glass noodles*, soaked in boiling hot water for 15min to 20 min, drain well
  • 200g firm tofu, cut into large cubes
  • a handful of cilantro (include the stems), finely chopped
  • a handful of parsley (include the stems), finely chopped
  • 2 to 4 tbsps soy sauce
  • 1 can (400mL) coconut milk
  • 2 to 3 tbsps thai curry paste
  • 1 small bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (or substituting with ginger would also be ideal)
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1 sprig of green onion, chopped (optional)

1. Heat a wok on high.

2. Add in oil, onions, peppers and garlic. Sautee on medium heat until onions and peppers are soft (about 5 minutes).

3. Add the cream portion of the coconut milk, curry paste, parsley, cilantro and sugar.  Combine well.

Coconut sauce with cilantro, parsely, peppers, onions and tofu.

Coconut sauce with cilantro, parsely, peppers, onions and tofu.

4. Once the sauce begins to simmer,  add in tofu and 2 tbsps soy sauce. Cook until tofu is heated through.

5. Add in noodles, lime juice and another splash of soy sauce.  Mix well.

Glass noodles in sauce with soy.

Glass noodles in sauce with soy.

6. If the noodles are dry, gradually add in the liquid portion of the coconut milk until the noodles are of desired consistency.

7. When noodles are done, add in green onions and enjoy.  Serves two generously.

*Glass noodles are also known as cellophane noodles, thread noodles or crystal noodles.

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Beef Stroganoff

22 Jan
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Beef stroganoff with German egg noodles (spaetzle).

This recipe was inspired by Jamie Oliver’s version.

  • 1 lb of beef, sliced into 1/4 inch thickness (use a prime cut of beef if possible)
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • a few cremini mushrooms, halfed or quartered depending on their size
  • 3 pickles, finely sliced
  • 1 onion, finely sliced
  • 3 to 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup of plain yogurt (I used Astro’s Balkan Style Natural Yogurt)
  • 1/2 cup skim milk
  • 1 cup of parsley, finely chopped (include the stems)
  • 2 to 3 tbsps brandy (I used Serbian plum brandy)
  • 4 tbps olive oil
  • 2 sprigs green onion, chopped (optional, it’s mostly for colour)
  • rice or egg noodles, enough for two people

1. In a bowl, season beef with sea salt, pepper, paprika and sugar. Coat the beef well with the seasoning.

2. Heat a large pan on medium.

Pickles, garlic, onions, mushrooms and parsley gently cooking a large shallow pan.

Pickles, garlic, onions, mushrooms and parsley gently cooking a large shallow pan.

3. Add 2 tbsp oil, onions, garlic, pickles, parsley and mushrooms. Season lightly with sea salt and pepper. Sautee for about 5 minutes or until mushrooms are soft.

4. Temporarily transfer contents of pan onto a plate or bowl.

5. Increase burner heat to high. In the same pan, add oil, then beef. Sear the beef for a couple minutes on each side. Try not to over cook the beef.

Strips of beef searing in a pan.

Strips of beef searing in a pan.

6. Add in brandy and return the vegetables into the pan.

7. Turn off heat but do not remove pan from burner.

8. Add in yogurt, milk and green onions. Mix well.

9. Serve with rice or egg noodles.

Beef stroganoff.

Beef stroganoff.

Apples and Prosciutto

15 Jan
Apple wedges wrapped with  prosciutto.

Apple wedges wrapped with prosciutto.

Prosciutto wrapped around apple wedges is a simple easy healthy snack.  The salty and chewiness of the prosciutto slices is an ideal accompaniment to the crispy sweet apple.

  • one apple, cut into wedges
  • thinly sliced prosciutto

1. Cut the prosciutto into strips such that they are long and wide enough to wrap once around each apple wedge.

2. Wrap prosciutto strips around each apple wedge.

Enjoy!

Coconut Thai Curry Spinach

8 Jan
Coconut Thai curry spinach.

Coconut Thai curry spinach.

  • about 454 g baby spinach, roughly chopped
  • 1 can (400mL)  coconut milk
  • 1 to 2 tbsps of thai curry paste
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 small onion, finely sliced
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • soy sauce and/or sea salt (for seasoning)

1. Heat a large saute pan on high.

2. Once hot, scoop the coconut cream from the top of the can and add to the pan.

3. Add in garlic, ginger, curry paste and onions.  Turn down to medium heat.

Coconut Thai curry sauce with onions.

Coconut Thai curry sauce with onions.

4. Cook until onions are soft (about 5 minutes).

5. Add the remaining contents of the coconut can.

6. When the liquid begins to bubble, add in spinach gradually.  Stir often.

7. Add in sugar and 1 tbsp of soy sauce (or a sprinkle of salt). Mix well.

8. Allow spinach to simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes or until majority of the liquid has evaporated.  The spinach will turn a deeper green and its volume will reduce significantly.

9. Finished. This dish goes well with a bowl of steamed rice.  Enjoy.

Spinach and coconut Thai sauce simmering. As the dish simmers, the spinach will turn a deeper green and reduce in volume.

Spinach and coconut Thai sauce simmering. As the dish simmers, the spinach will turn a deeper green and reduce in volume.

 

Light Carbonara

1 Jan
Carbonara with chicken bacon.

Carbonara with chicken bacon.

Here is a healthier version of the Italian classic. (This recipe was inspired by Weelicious.)

  • 4 to 5 strips of chicken bacon, cut into small pieces
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • 2 small tomatoes*, roughly chopped
  • 2 to 3 tbsps extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • cilantro or italian parsley leaves (optional)
  • spaghetti, enough for two people (about 250g or 9 ounces)

1. Cook pasta as instructed. Drain pasta well when done.

2. While pasta is cooking, in a large sautee pan, add in oil, garlic and onions. Cook until onions are soft (about 3 minutes) on medium heat.

3. Add in chicken bacon.  Cook for another 5 minutes or until chicken bacon begins to brown.

Onions and chicken bacon sauteing in a pan.

Onions and chicken bacon sauteing in a pan.

4. In a bowl, add parmesan cheese and eggs. Beat.

5. Right before the pasta is finished cooking, gradually laddle in about 1/3 cup of the boiling pasta water to the egg and cheese mixture. Whisk mixture while adding in water.  (This technique is known as tempering and increases the temperature of the eggs without  scrambling it.)

6. By now the chicken bacon and onions should also be done. Turn off burner but do not remove pan from burner.

7. Add pasta, egg mixture and tomatoes to sautee pan. Mix well. There should be enough residue heat from the burner to warm the pasta and sauce.

Carbonara in a pan.

Carbonara in a pan.

8. Season with sea salt and freshly cracked pepper.

9. Dish out and garnish with cilantro or parsley.

*Other vegetables that go well with carbonara include sliced cremini mushrooms, asparagus, string beans and/or zucchini.