Tag Archives: garlic

Mushroom and Rice Soup

7 Jul
Mushroom and rice soup garnished with parmesan cheese.

Mushroom and rice soup garnished with parmesan cheese.

This recipe provides approximately four servings.

  • 1lb cremini mushrooms, finely chopped
  • about 5 dried shitake mushrooms, soaked with 2 cups of water for several hours until soft. Once ready, squeeze out any liquids (but save all the liquids) and then finely chop the mushrooms.
  • 1/3 cup rice (I used brown rice, but red or wild rice would also be ideal).
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsps unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsps extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsps honey or maple syrup
  • 2 cups broth (I used chicken broth but vegetable or beef is fine, too; or even water)
  • 1 cup skim milk
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 2 sprigs green onion, chopped
  • a few tsps freshly grated parmesan cheese

1. Heat a large deep pot on high. Once hot, add butter, oil, onions and garlic. Turn down to a medium heat. Cook until onions are soft (approximately 5 minutes).

Mushrooms, onion and garlic sauting.

Mushrooms, onion and garlic sauteing.

2. Add the cremini and shitake mushrooms. Sprinkle a little salt as this will help the mushrooms soften faster.

Soup (with no milk, yet) coming to a boil.

Soup (with no milk, yet) coming to a boil.

3. Once the mushrooms are soft add in bay leaves, honey/maple syrup, broth, liquid from the shitake mushrooms, rice and approximately 1 cup of water.

4. Allow soup to come to a boil, then turn down to a simmering heat.

Soup (no milk added yet) after one hour. It has become a warm taupe colour.

Soup (no milk added yet) after one hour. It has become a warm taupe colour.

5. Cover and simmer until rice is super soft (approximately 1 hour). After 1 hour, the soup will have turned a warm taupe colour.

6. Add in milk and green onions. Once the soup begins to boil, it’s ready.

After the milk is added and the soup has come to a boil, it's ready to be eaten. Enjoy.

After the milk is added and the soup has come to a boil, it’s ready to be eaten. Enjoy.

7. Dish into separate bowls. Garnish with grated parmesan cheese and serve.

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Spiced Baked Chicken

5 Feb
Season chicken thighs, baked.

Season chicken thighs, baked. Served with steamed green beans.

  • chicken thighs, trim fat, leave skin on
  • a few slices of garlic

For each chicken thigh, season with approximately

  • 1/4 tsp sugar 
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 tsp extra virgin olive oil

1. Massage spices (paprika, salt and pepper) into each chicken thigh.

2. Place 2 to 3 pieces of garlic slices underneath the skin of each chicken.

3. Rub oil on the bottom of each chicken.

4. Sprinkle sugar on top of each chicken.

5. Place chicken in baking dish.

6. Bake in a preheated 375º oven for 30 minutes. Then turn down temperature to 350º and bake for an additional 15 to 20 minutes.

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.

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.

 

Homemade Pizza

27 Nov

Homemade pizza. Toppings are bacon, cremini mushrooms and kumato tomatoes.

The following makes two thin crust pizzas. The original recipe can be found in the book “Cooking: A Commonsense Guide”.

Dough

  • 1 sachet dry yeast (about 8 grams)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 2.5 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup warm water

Two pizza doughs. Roughly shaped into a rectangle.

1. In a small bowl add the yeast, sugar and salt to the warm water. Cover. Leave for ten minutes or until foamy.

2. In a large bowl, add flour and make a well.  Add the yeast mixture to the hole and gradually add flour to yeast mixture to form dough.

3. Place dough on a clean floured surface. Knead the dough for several minutes.

4. Split the dough into two halves. Roll each dough ball into approximately 1/4 inch thickness. (Flour your rolling device, be it a rolling pin, jar, glass tumbler, etc.)

5. On a lined baking sheet, brush 1 tbsp of oil to prevent dough from sticking and to help form a golden crust. Place pizza dough on tray and tuck in edges to form a crust. Repeat for other pizza dough.

Sauce:

  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 14 oz crushed tomatos
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp sugar

Pizza sauce.

1. In a pot, add onions and oil. Cook until onions are soft (about 5 minutes).

2. Add in remaining ingredients. Simmer on low to medium heat until sauce thickens to a consistency similar to pizza sauce (about 15 to 20 minutes).

3. Spread half of the sauce onto each pizza dough.

Pizza dough with sauce.

Assembly:

1. Add a layer of cheese to the pizza and sauce. (I used a mixture of grated cheddar and mozzarella.)

2. Add the toppings of your choice (e.g. pepperoni, pineapple, feta cheese, olives, shrimp, ham, bacon, mushrooms, green peppers, tomatoes, onions, ground beef, etc.). TIP: Do not overload pizza with toppings to allow for more even baking in the oven.

3. Top with a light layer of more cheese.

4. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes in a 415º oven or until cheese is melted, bubbling and golden brown.

5. Let cool at least 5 minutes before eating.

Pizza imediately before baking.

Pizza immediately after baking.

The second pizza, which has bacon, green peppers, onions and tomatoes as its toppings.

A special thank you to Andrew who made much of the pizzas.

Vegetable Soup

2 Oct

Vegetable soup.

Serves 4 to 6.

  • 3 to 4 tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 1 small carrot, diced
  • 2 tbsps extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • chicken or vegetable broth
  • water
  • a handful of noodles* (optional)

(Feel free to add other types of vegetables such as celery, flat leaf parsley, corn, potatoes*, etc. Vegetable soup is a good way of clearing the fridge of old or extra vegetables.)

1. Heat a large deep pot on high.

2. Add in oil and onions. When the onions are soft, add in the tomatoes.

3. Cook until the tomatoes are soft and begins to release its juices.

4. Add in the carrots, green peppers, garlic and seasoning (paprika, bay leaf, salt and pepper). Mix well.

5. Add enough broth to cover all the vegetables, then add in an equal amount of water as broth.

6. Once the liquids come to a boil, turn down heat to a gentle simmer.

7. Cook for about 15 to 20 minutes or until the carrots are soft.

8. Then add in the noodles and cook until noodles are soft. The soup is now ready to be served.

*Since noodles and potatoes are starchy, by adding them to the soup, it will thicken the soup and you may wish to add a little more broth or water.

Corn Soup

18 Sep

Corn soup.

The following soup recipe makes 4 to 6 servings.

  • three ears of corn, husked and slice off the kernels, save the core
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 russet potato, peeled and diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • about 2 cups of chicken broth*
  • about 2 cups of water
  • about 1 cup of skim milk
  • 2 sprigs of onion, diced
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 2 bay leaves
  • freshly ground pepper, sea salt

1. Heat on high a large deep pot.

2. To the pot, add in oil, butter, onions and carrot. Cook on medium heat until onions are soft (about 5 minutes).

Onions and carrots sauteing.

3. Add in corn kernels, garlic, salt, pepper, paprika and bay leaf. Thoroughly mix and turn the heat back to high.

Spices added to the vegetables.

4. Add enough chicken broth such that all the vegetables are cover.

5. Add in an equal amount of water and the corn cores.

6. Bring to a boil.

Soup simmering with potatoes.

7. Turn down to a simmer and add in the potatoes.

8. Cook covered until potatoes and carrots are soft (about 20 to 25 minutes).

9. Remove the corn cores.

10. Remove the pot from the burner. Using a potato masher, roughly mash the soup. This will give the soup a thicker, creamier consistency.

After adding in the milk and green onions, return to burner.

11. Add in the milk and green onions. Return to the burner.

12. Once the soup is hot again, serve immediately.

*make the soup vegetarian friendly by substituting the chicken broth with vegetable stock or water.