Recipe: Leeks vinaigrette with cranberry shallot relish and toasted hazelnuts

Cranberries are one of the very few commercially developed fruits that are native to North America, and as such they are not very common in France. When I saw the bags of fresh red berries on the shelf in one of the bigger neighborhood grocery markets, I practically purchased the whole display! Not entirely sure what I was going to do together, I dumped the entire lot into a chest freezer, because if I know anything, it is that cranberries keep remarkably well in the freezer.

Still, it did not take long for me to think of an idea to take advantage of them. I absolutely love the thought of evolving classic French dishes by bringing a little of my own je ne sais quoi for their implementation and so chose flip the timeless leeks vinaigrette on its mind by keeping the leeks somewhat crispy and using lemon juice as the acid in their seasoning.

The standard vinegar and Dijon mustard-based dressing are then brought back into play for a cranberry and shallot love of sorts. I believe that the outcome is successfully fresh and sour, which pairs with the natural sweetness of the leeks. A perfect choice to lighten up a milder fall meal.

Leeks can be really filthy in between their vertical leafy layers, so be certain you wash them thoroughly before cooking. Nobody enjoys the feeling of sand between their teeth.

Servings: 4, as a side dish

Ingredients

4 medium-sized leeks

3/4 cup white sugar

3/4 cup apple cider vinegar

1 cup fresh (or frozen) cranberries

1/2 cup cold water

5 bits medium-sized shallots, root ends and skins removed

1/2 tsp salt

2 Tbsp grainy Dijon mustard

3 Tbsp smooth Dijon mustard

3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

4 sprigs fresh thyme

1/2 cup hazelnuts, oven toasted

3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

6 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1/2 tsp Fleur de sel

Strategy

Fill a medium pot with well-salted water, cover and bring to a boil.

Prepare the leeks by trimming 1/4 inch from each base, removing and discarding the root end. Slice off the dark green finish on peak of each leek and discard. Cut a 2-3 inch slit lengthwise on peak of each leek. Rinse under cold running water, carefully dividing all the layers to remove any dirt. Cut each leek in two, crosswise.

Prepare an ice bath by mixing two trays of cubes and one litre of water in a large bowl and set aside.

Carefully add the leeks into the boiling water and cook in a lively simmer till tender, seven to ten minutes. Take care not to leave them for a long time, as overcooked leeks may get slimy. To test doneness, insert a paring knife to the stalk. The blade should go in under mild pressure.

Once cooked, remove leeks in the boiling water and immediately transfer them to the ice bath. Allow to cool completely. Strain well, pat dry and book in a sealed container in the fridge until ready to serve.

To make the relish, halve each shallot and slice thinly lengthwise. Place in a small pot. Add sugar, water, vinegar, salt and cranberries and tightly cover with cling film. Simmer over medium-low heat and cook for 30 minutes until cranberries have burst, shallots are soft and translucent and liquid has reduced by half. Cool completely. Stir in both mustards and the olive oil.

Then, the hazelnuts. First, select thyme buds and discard stems. On a flat surface, like a cutting board, lightly crush toasted hazelnuts with the back of a tiny frying pan.

To complete, peel off and discard outermost layers of each cooked leek. Cut in half crosswise, then halve each piece lengthwise. Place leeks in a medium-sized bowl, add lemon juice, olive oil and salt and mix well by hand, letting the leek layers to separate and be well coated in the easy marinade.

Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Divide into 4 small bowls. Spoon two great spoonfuls of cranberry relish over each dish. Garnish with crushed hazelnuts and thyme. Serve immediately.

Keep any leftover cranberry relish refrigerated until future use.

Courtesy: The Globe And Mail

Recipe: Osteria Savio Volpe’s kale salad

I am featuring Osteria Savio Volpe chef Mark Perrier’s simple but delicious kale salad, which will soon be your new favorite starter.

Osteria Savio Volpe’s Kale Salad

4 packed cups dinosaur kale leaves

2 tbsp toasted breadcrumbs

2 tablespoon grated pecorino cheese

Lemon peppery dressing:

1 small clove garlic, finely chopped

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1/2 cup olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Garnish

1/4 cup toasted breadcrumbs

1/3 cup grated pecorino cheese

Strategy

Thinly slice kale leaves. Whisk together garlic, lemon juice and olive oil. Season well with pepper and salt.

Combine breadcrumbs, cheese and dressing. Toss with kale, massaging it a bit into the leaves.

Garnish with more breadcrumbs and pecorino.

Courtesy: The Globe And Mail

Recipe: Roasted Banana Cake

Bananas figure heavily into my baking routine. And, while both my sons did celebrate each of their first birthdays with festive, frosting-swathed banana cakes, most of my banana baked goods come in rustic form.

I bake banana bread periodically, usually bulked up with whole wheat flour and oats, oftentimes with a few spoonfuls of yogurt mixed in, sometimes spiced, most often no. They are tweedy loaves that behave nicely on the counter under a dome and take well to doorstopper slices for lunchboxes, too.

These breads suit the day to day, yet now and there is a need for fanfare, even if only faint – say the completion of a school project, or cleaned bedrooms, or that it’s a Tuesday. This cake uses the base recipe of my faithful banana bread, but takes a few lateral moves that change the feeling entirely.

Swapping in sour cream for the leaner yogurt adds richness. Roasting the bananas concentrates their flavour, the toffee-like notes of which get a bump from brown sugar. A rumpled carapace of scrunched walnuts and chocolate tops all.

For that chocolate, I go dark and bar, not chips. Since not stabilized, such chocolate is free to slouch into the gaps between the nuts. By ground coffee, I mean just that, not the powdered form, which doesn’t have the flinty edge crushed beans do. That combination of coffee, chocolate, and walnut is one for the ages, and the lulling sweetness of banana provides the ideal foundation.

I am fond of this cake when it’s quite tall and proud, so use a high-sided cake pan to achieve the effect (a Charlotte mold would also be fitting). If you don’t have a similar pan, the batter can be baked in a Pullman pan, or 9×2-inch round, adjusting the baking times as needed.

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Roasted Banana Cake

Softened butter and flour for greasing the pan

4 ripe bananas

1 cup walnut pieces

½ cup old-fashioned (large flake) rolled oats

½ cup full-fat sour cream

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup all-purpose flour

½ cup whole wheat flour

2 teaspoons finely ground coffee

1¼ teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon kosher salt

8 ounces (1 cup) butter, soft

1 cup packed light brown sugar

2 eggs, room temperature

3 ounces dark chocolate, chopped

A few tablespoons raw sugar (optional)

Method

Preheat an oven to 350F.

Butter a 8×3-inch cake pan, then dust with flour, tapping out excess. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, then place the 4 bananas, whole and unpeeled, on top. Bake until the skin is deeply blackened on both sides, but not split, 20 to 30 minutes. Flip once during baking and add the walnuts to the tray for the last 10 minutes of roasting (if the bananas release a lot of liquid, give the nuts their own tray or use a small skillet).

While the bananas are roasting, stir the oats, sour cream and vanilla together in a medium bowl. Set aside to soften.

Once the bananas are roasted let stand until cool enough to handle. Slit the skins and release the fruit into the bowl with the oats. With a fork or back of a spoon, mash the banana, and fold into the softened oats. Keep to the side with the walnuts on the tray while you make the cake batter.

In a small bowl, whisk together the flours, coffee, baking soda and salt.

Attach the beater to a stand mixer. Cream the butter and sugar together on medium high until lightened in colour and fluffed, about 5 minutes. Periodically scrape down the bowl and beater as you mix. Turn the speed down to medium, and add the eggs, one at a time and beating well after each addition. Scrape down the bowl and beater before adding the second egg. If the mixture looks curdled, it may be that the egg was too cold; increase the speed to medium-high and beat until smooth.

With the mixer on stir, spoon in half the dry ingredients. Once almost incorporated, scrape in the banana mixture. Let the machine run until the bananas are mostly mixed in, then follow with the rest of the dry ingredients. Remove the bowl, scrape the beater, and give the batter a few stirs by hand, making sure to get to the bottom of the bowl.

Tip the batter into the prepared pan. Crush the walnuts lightly in your hands, and sprinkle on top. Strew the chocolate over next, and raw sugar, if using. Bake in the hot oven until well risen, and a cake tester inserted in the centre comes out clean (chocolate doesn’t count), around 70 minutes.

Cool completely in its pan, set on a baking rack. The cake can be stored under a dome at room temperature for up to 2 days. It freezes beautifully.

Makes an 8-inch cake.

Courtesy: The Globe And Mail

Recipe: Seared scallops with sweet-and-sour Brussels sprouts

In October, Brussels sprouts reach the summit of the autumn seasonality and yield a more intense flavour. There are a number of ways to serve brussel sprouts, but my favorite is seared in a pan with caramelized the advantages that make a crunchy, charred snack that complements savoury autumn dishes.

As Brussels sprouts can be somewhat bitter, I love to bring just a small bit of sweet-and-sour flavour to create contrast in the dish.

Ingredients

8 scallops

Smoked paprika aioli

2 cups canola oil

Scallop abductor muscles (see directions)

2 cloves garlic

1 jalapeno

1/2 cup white wine vinegar

Smoked paprika 1 tbsp

2 egg yolks

1 tsp Dijon mustard

1/2 tsp salt

Juice of 1/2 a lemon

Sprouts

5 cups Brussels sprouts

1/2 cup honey

1/2 cup white wine vinegar

1 tbsp sugar

1 tsp salt

Juice of one lemon

2 tbsp butter

50 ml white wine

Garnish

1/2 cup guindilla peppers, diced

1/2 cup feta cheese (crumbled)

Strategy

First, clean the scallops. Wearing gloves with very clean hands, lay your scallops out on a cutting board. Pick up one scallop. Look on the side of the scallop to get a bit of muscle that’s slightly more yellowish in colour than the rest of the white flesh. That’s known as the abductor muscle. Using two fingers, remove the abductor muscle in the scallop and put it into a bowl. Repeat this step with another scallops. Place all the scallops in a food safe container and put in the refrigerator until later. Reserve the abductor muscles to the smoked paprika aioli.

Then make the aioli. Put a medium-sized pot over medium-high heat on the stove. Pour 2 tablespoons of canola oil. Once the oil is nearly at smoking stage, toss in the scallop abductor muscles. Sear each on one side for around two minutes — adding colour creates more flavour.

After the scallops have a nice golden brown sear, add the rest of the canola oil into the pot and turn down the heat to low.

Using a knife, slice the jalapeno and garlic and add them to the oil. The oil should be very low heat and the contents should be barely bubbling, at most. When the scallop, jalapeno and garlic have steeped for about ten minutes, then remove the pot from the heat.

Leave out the pot at room temperature to cool completely. After all of the contents are cool, strain the oil off, reserving it in a food safe container. Discard the other components.

In a blender, combine the vinegar, smoked paprika, egg yolks, Dijon mustard and salt. Blend them till combined. Put the blender to moderate speed and open up the little hole in the lid. Gently pour in a steady, thin stream of the flavoured oil. Add it in a little piece at a time to make sure the fat emulsifies with all the other ingredients. The contents from the blender should begin to thicken and look creamy. As soon as you’ve added in all of the oil, switch off the blender. Transfer the aioli into a small bowl. Squeeze in the juice of half a lemon, making sure to not allow any seeds drop in. Stir in the lemon juice, taste and add additional salt if necessary. Cover with plastic wrap and reserve until later.

Now it is time to create the Brussels sprouts. Blend honey, white wine vinegar, sugar, salt and lemon juice in a small pot and set over high heat. Bring the pot up to a simmer. Transfer the glaze to a food safe container and let it cool at room temperature.

With a knife, cut off the ends of the sprouts and then cut them in half lengthwise. Fill a medium-sized pot with water and set over high heat on the stove. Add a huge handful of salt and bring to a boil.

Add the brussel sprouts into the boiling water. Let them cook for 2 minutes while filling another bowl with cold water and ice. Strain off the boiling water and place the sprouts in the ice bath. Eliminate after two minutes, and put out on a baking tray lined with paper towel.

To complete the dish, place two non stick sauté pans on the stove, one big and the other moderate sized. Pour about two tablespoons of canola oil to both. In one pan, set the brussel sprouts cut-side down. Turn the heat of each element up to medium-high heat. Season both faces of the scallops with salt.

Allow the brussel sprouts cook, checking each to make sure they’re turning golden brown. As soon as they are golden brown on the cut side, then flip them in the pan. Pour in the reserved glaze and allow the sprouts cook for a couple more seconds. Toss them, season them with salt and move them to a medium-sized bowl.

Once the smaller pan begins to smoke, then add the scallops to the pan, flat side down. Let them sear until the face is golden brown also. After the face is seared, flip them in the pan. Add the milk and butter, taking the pan off from the open flame as possible to prevent flare-ups.

Utilizing a large spoon, baste the wine and butter mixture over the seared side of the scallop. Baste them over the heat for an extra minute or so, then remove them from the pan. You need to cook them to medium-rare for the best texture. Set them onto a paper towel, seared side up.

Plate the brussel sprouts {}. Garnish them with feta and guindilla peppers. Dot the smoked paprika aioli throughout the plate and sprouts, place the seared scallops around the plate and serve.

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Courtesy: The Globe And Mail

Recipe: An elevated spin on spiced carrots

This past September I cooked for a variety of private dishes and a few weddings on Salt Spring Island, B.C. It is a unique place, obviously beautiful and will be the home to an eclectic, vibrant community.

For a chef, the island is especially of interest, as during the summer it’s absolutely brimming with lovely local produce. There are two farmer’s markets weekly, and roadside farm stands are always filled with eggs, fresh fruits and vegetables. It truly is a chef’s dream.

I left this carrot dish for one of the weddings I did, because the farm where it had been held had a wealth of amazing baby carrots. My team and I jumped at the prospect of using them. We came up with this recipe after the typical inspiration-seeking on the world wide web, and a couple of rounds of Ramp;D with my sous chef.

I think preserved lemon leaves this dish. You can get it in almost any Middle Eastern grocer or in many specialty food shops. If you can not find it, zest a lemon and squeeze about a few tablespoons of its juice to the carrots for that struck of much-needed acidity.

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Servings: 4 as a side

Spiced carrots with raisins, toasted pumpkin seeds, fried garlic and preserved lemons

1 pounds of cleaned carrots cut into bite size pieces

5-6 cloves garlic sliced as thinly as possible

1/4 cup neutral flavoured oil

Salt

1 pinch ground clove

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1/2 tsp ground coriander

3/4 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp sweet paprika

1 tsp ground cumin

1 to 2 tablespoons white rice vinegar

1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil

1 heaping tablespoon raisins

1 tbsp preserved lemon, finely chopped

1 handful of flat leaf parsley finely chipped

1 green onion finely chopped

1 heaping tbsp pumpkin seeds, lightly toasted in a pan for 1 to 2 minutes

Strategy

Heat a pan of salted water over the stove until boiling. Boil the carrots until just cooked through. They shouldn’t be crunchy, but you do not want mush either. Strain and set aside.

Heat the oil in a skillet and place over medium-low heat. Fry garlic in the oil until light golden brown and crispy. Strain the oil out and put the garlic onto a paper towel to remove excess oil. These shouldn’t taste bitter. If they do, you’ve cooked them for a long time.

Mix spices together and set aside.

Place carrots into a mixing bowl. Dress with vinegar, olive oil and pinches of the spice mix to taste. Season with salt. Mix in the raisins, lemon, parsley and green onions. Taste again. Add vinegar, oil or salt to your taste.

Spoon out on a flat serving dish and scatter over fried garlic and pumpkin seeds. Serve immediately.

Courtesy: The Globe And Mail

Recipe: Oeufs cocotte, with Crazy foraged mushrooms, comté and herb pistou

There’s 1 thing I know I can rely on every year that will assuredly can lift my spirits in wet weather: mushroom hunting season! In France, where I live, cool rains bring out masses of improbable amateurs, young and old alike, who trudge deep into the woods in search of not-always-so-buried treasures. The grumpy old police captain that hangs around my favorite local brasserie turned up another week sporting an ear-to-ear smile as he presented multiple wicker baskets filled to the brim with cèpes he’d snagged earlier that morning. My polite inquiry as to where he’d been out picking, immediately saw the broad smile vanish from his lips as he craftily went about changing the subject.

This popular autumn pastime is not restricted only to professionals: Village pharmacists are required by law to be effective at identifying mushroom varieties, making it a hell of a lot easier to feel confident cooking up everything you forage. Still, it’s extremely important that you learn how to correctly identify mushrooms before you venture out in search of dinner. If you are a first-timer, be certain to go with someone who’s experienced and just eat fungi you have the ability to identify 100 percent favorably. An even easier option, for those not up to this job, is to go to the neighborhood market to get them straight from an experienced forager who has done all of the learning (and work) for you.

My version of the classic French recipe for oeufs cocotte is the best vehicle for any wild mushrooms you have the ability to get your hands on. Not to be confused for shirred eggs, these infants are cooked in a bain marie when swimming in rich and delicious freshwater blossom cream baths. Be certain that you serve alongside copious quantities of freshly toast crusty bread for dipping. This recipe can easily be developed to match just about anything savoury you happen to have available, but of course, I prefer wild mushrooms. After all, it’s the season!

Servings: 4

Ingredients

1 cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves

2 cups loosely packed fresh basil leaves

2 cups loosely packed fresh italian parsley leaves

1 tablespoon coarse grey sea salt

2 cloves garlic

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 lemon, zested

3 cups washed and loosely packed chanterelles (approximately 25-30 whole mushrooms of varying sizes). A mixture of cepes, oyster mushrooms, or other wild mushrooms of choice could substituted

2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

2 tbsp butter

Freshly cracked black pepper

1 cup whipping cream

1/2 nutmeg, freshly grated

2 bay leaves

4 medium-sized eggs

4 heaping Tbsp Comté cheese, grated

1 cup cooked wheat berries, wild rice, quinoa or other grain of choice

4 ceramic ramekins, or heatproof glass cups

Strategy

To produce the pistou, bring a small pot of water to a boil. Dip from the mint, basil and parsley leaves and give a good stir. Immediately strain and move the blanched leaves into a small bowl of ice water. Allow to cool.

In a food processor, process the salt, garlic and olive oil.

Strain the herbs from the ice bath and gently squeeze to remove any excess water. Add the herbs into the food processor and process until blended and relatively smooth, although cautious to not over blend. Taste and adjust salt or olive oil as necessary.

Next, begin to wash the mushrooms using a paring knife to trim away any nasty bits round the borders (optional: lightly run the blade edge along the stem trimming the surface as you work around it, hardly scratching off each stem’s surface). Trim all the stalks by a few millimeters. Tear each chanterelle in half (or in threes based on the size). Check the stalks for clean and bugs by trimming if necessary.

Heat a nonstick skillet over high heat. Working in batches, add half of the olive oil and cook half of the mushrooms until they begin to brown (about five minutes). Add 1 tablespoon of butter and allow to melt and brown around the mushrooms. Remove cooked mushrooms from the pan and season with black pepper. Proceed by cooking the next batch of mushrooms with the exact same pan. Set aside.

Heat cream to a boil over moderate heat, stirring often with a wooden spoon. Remove from heat, remove bay leaves and set aside until ready to assemble.

Bring a large shallow pot of water to a simmer. The quantity of water used will be dependent on the size of the ramekins you’re using. To get a bain marie, the water must grow up just under the border each ramekin. I tend to err towards not overfilling the pot because if needed, you can always add more hot water to make up the difference.

Prepare the oeufs cocotte by dividing the wheat berries evenly between each ramekin. Layer with grated Comté, followed with the mushrooms, again, dividing each equally among the dishes. Add a generous spoonful of pistou to each ramekin and then spoon the lotion evenly across every dish. Gently crack an egg into each ramekin.

Carefully lower the ramekins to the bain marie. Adjust hot water as required. Cook in a slow simmer for 10-15 minutes. Egg whites should be put, while the yolks should still be runny. Carefully remove each ramekin in the bain marie and serve immediately — the eggs will end up overcooked if left to sit for a long time.

Serve with toasted bread for dipping, in addition to extra pesto for people who simply just can not get enough herby, garlicky goodness.

Courtesy: The Globe And Mail

Recipe: Chiang Mai noodle soup

This outstanding dish has Islamic, Burmese and Thai roots. There is no standard recipe and variations vary from a curry-like soup with powerful cumin and coriander tastes to a model rich with coconut milk and less spice. This version comes from the cooking school at the Four Seasons Hotel in Chiang Mai. First, comes a recipe for homemade curry paste, but do not feel bad if you purchase it Thais also often get theirs from favorite vendor in the marketplace.

Red curry paste

2 shallots, peeled

3 cloves garlic, peeled

3 dried red Thai bird’s eye chili peppers

1 tablespoon galangal or ginger, peeled and chopped

1 tablespoon coriander stems and root, chopped

1 tablespoon kaffir lime zest or two lime leaves, slivered

1 tbsp shrimp paste

1 tablespoon lemongrass, chopped

Pinch of salt

Soup

1 pound fresh egg noodles, about 6 cups

3 tbsp vegetable oil

2 cups coconut milk

3 tablespoons red curry paste

1 tbsp curry powder

1 teaspoon fresh garlic, chopped, or 1/2 tsp ground turmeric

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp ground cumin

2 cup chicken stock

3 tbsp fish sauce

2 tablespoons coconut sugar or sugar

12 oz boneless, skinless chicken thighs, quartered

Garnish

2 tbsp coriander leaves

1/4 cup thinly sliced shallot

Condiments

Limes

Shallots

Chilis

Pickled mustard greens

Chili powder

Chili oil

Strategy

Red curry paste: Combine shallots, garlic, chili, galangal (or ginger), coriander, kaffir lime, shrimp paste and lemongrass in a mini-chop or food processor and pulse until finely chopped and pasty.

Soup: Bring water to boil in a pot and add 4 cups noodles, return to boil. Drain and put in soup bowls with the coriander leaves.

Heat wok with vegetable oil over high heat. Add remaining 2 cups noodles and fry until golden and crisp, about three minutes. Remove noodles to paper towel-lined plate and discard oil {}.

Insert 1/4 cup of the thick coconut milk to the wok and bring to boil. Add red curry paste and stir together, add curry powder, turmeric, coriander and cumin and cook until spices are toasted and fragrant, about two minutes. Add remaining coconut milk, stock, fish sauce and sugar. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low and simmer for three minutes. Add chicken and stir together. Simmer until chicken is cooked through, about eight to ten minutes.

Taste for seasoning adding more curry powder, fish sauce or lime as needed. Ladle over cooked noodles and top with fried noodles. Put garnishes in bowls. Dot soup with chili oil.

Courtesy: The Globe And Mail

Recipe: Chiang Mai noodle soup

This outstanding dish has Islamic, Burmese and Thai roots. There’s no standard recipe and variations range from a curry-like soup with strong cumin and coriander flavours to a version rich with coconut milk and less spice. This version comes from the cooking school at the Four Seasons Hotel in Chiang Mai. First, comes a recipe for homemade curry paste, but don’t feel bad if you buy it: Thais also often get theirs from favourite vendor at a market.

Red curry paste

2 shallots, peeled

3 cloves garlic, peeled

3 dried red Thai bird’s eye chili peppers

1 tbsp galangal or ginger, peeled and chopped

1 tbsp coriander stems and root, chopped

1 tbsp kaffir lime zest or 2 lime leaves, slivered

1 tbsp shrimp paste

1 tbsp lemongrass, chopped

Pinch of salt

Soup

1 lb fresh egg noodles, about 6 cups

3 tbsp vegetable oil

2 cups coconut milk

3 tbsp red curry paste

1 tbsp curry powder

1 tsp fresh turmeric, chopped, or 1/2 tsp ground turmeric

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp ground cumin

2 cup chicken stock

3 tbsp fish sauce

2 tbsp coconut sugar or regular sugar

12 oz boneless, skinless chicken thighs, quartered

Garnish

2 tbsp coriander leaves

1/4 cup thinly sliced shallot

Condiments

Limes

Shallots

Chilis

Pickled mustard greens

Chili powder

Chili oil

Method

Red curry paste: Combine shallots, garlic, chili, galangal (or ginger), coriander, kaffir lime, shrimp paste and lemongrass in a mini-chop or food processor and pulse until finely chopped and pasty.

Soup: Bring water to boil in a pot and add 4 cups noodles, bring back to boil. Drain and place in soup bowls with the coriander leaves.

Heat wok with vegetable oil over high heat. Add remaining 2 cups noodles and fry until crisp and golden, about three minutes. Remove noodles to paper towel-lined plate and discard oil from wok.

Add 1/4 cup of the thick coconut milk into the wok and bring to boil. Add red curry paste and stir together, add curry powder, turmeric, coriander and cumin and cook until spices are toasted and fragrant, about two minutes. Add remaining coconut milk, stock, fish sauce and sugar. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low and simmer for three minutes. Add chicken and stir together. Simmer until chicken is cooked through, about eight to 10 minutes.

Taste for seasoning adding more curry powder, fish sauce or lime as needed. Ladle over cooked noodles and top with fried noodles. Place garnishes in bowls. Dot soup with chili oil.

Courtesy: The Globe And Mail

Canada’s controversial queen of aspic and how the molded holiday jelly Can Spare us all

There’s nowhere to begin a story about aspic but using an aspic. So let us imagine one, a moulded mound of gelatin placed quivering and shimmering at the middle of a holiday table, no less embarrassing an addition to the festivities than your brother’s new girlfriend or talking politics with Uncle Jerry.

There is the title, for one. Aspic. Then there is that quiver and shiver, the texture or “mouth feel,” the strange flavour combinations and the entire idea of eating food suspended in gelatin.

“Aspic terrifies me …” author Philippa Snow confessed in a piece this summer for Eater London. “It can not help but make me think of David Cronenberg, or science-fiction, or the sort of food that is served in futuristic prisons in bad books. Soylent green was individuals, yes; but aspic appears like it might also be.”

Since Tatyana Tolstaya wrote in her short story, Aspic, at the New Yorker in 2016, “the title of the dish making the warmth of your soul fall, and no thick grey goat-hair shawl will save you.”

In regards to maligned foods, we ai not just talking Brussels sprouts.

Aspic dates back hundreds of years but in North America attained the height of its popularity in the 1950s and 1960s, when increasingly intricate and ingenious jellified creations became the trembling centrepiece of each well-appointed table.

The 1963 Joys of Jell-O cookbook features remarkable recipes, such as Ring-Around-the-Tuna, Hawaiian Surprise and Molded Chef’s Salad, where a meal of ham, lettuce and cheese is suspended uncannily at a ring of neon Jell-O, such as bits of debris floating through space.

But while aspics were then heralded as a trendy way to include “a dazzling, delicious rainbow of fresh vegetables to your dinner table” or “perk up the most humdrum lunch,” aspic, and its nearest sibling, jellied salad, shortly slithered out of favour, such as gelatin tipped from a mould until it’s fully set.

Nowadays, aspic is most likely to be featured in posts with such headlines as “The 9 Worst Retro Foods The Holidays Have Ever Endured,” “7 Gross Foods Your Grandparents Ate” and “Taste Test Out Of Hell: We Cooked a Whole Lot of Gross Recipes in the ’50s.” It’s been known in this publication as a “culinary horror series.”

It was through this unflattering lens which aspic first entered Maggie Parrish’s life, a technicolour fascination suspended in time in campy advertisements from the 1950s and reminiscent of her grandma’s creations as “the quintessential 1950s housewife.”

“I’ve always believed that the terror and the beauty of the complex fifties aspics were amazing,” states Ms. Parrish, who resides in Denver. “I enjoyed the kitschiness of it, and I have always been — what is the term — astonished I think? It is like writing a book with meals. It is just so complicated, and I think that is really what pulled me {}. I am not going to lie, the horror part of the aspic really drew me in also. It’s the entire thing.”

Ms. Parrish is the creator of Show Me Your Aspics, a Facebook group that since its founding last December has been the center of contemporary jellified food fandom online, amassing near 4,000 members and uplifting a strong community of, if not precisely aspic appreciators, at the open-minded and aspic-curious.

“Aspic is its own special art form to me,” says Julie Stephens, who resides in Nichols, Wisc., and conducts the team with Ms. Parrish. “It is horrifying and it is beautiful. It’s edible. I mean, who in their right mind decides to use lime and carrot Jell-O in exactly the same breath? The word needs to get out about that sort of thing.”

Though aspic was traditionally a savoury dish (hence its less-flattering nickname “beef Jell-O”), the world is changing, along with the conventional divisions between aspic and jelly salads as well as dessert jellies no longer use. Nowadays, basically anything in moulded gelatin form counts and will find an eager audience at Show Me Your Aspics.

If Show Me Your Aspics has turned into a thriving community, Mary Freebed Au is arguably its most popular celebrity. The 31-year-old from Victoria has been described variously as a mad woman, a genius and “the queen of aspic,” and is perhaps Canada’s greatest (and yes, probably just) modern abstract aspic artist.

She’s an aspic provocateur, a controversial figure in what is already, by its nature, a disarming food. Her creations almost defy description, a dizzying mixture of soft drinks, food balls, flavouring, and frequently, glittery eyeshadow.

One, formed within a security camera dome cover, contains “berry blend, diet peach fizzy, chocolate, milk, brandy extract, almond extract, lemon extract, cherry balls and eye shadow,” and yet another has extracts of almond, peppermint, vanilla, blueberry, strawberry, raspberry, lemon and orange in addition to soda, juice, fruit bits, gold eye shadow and “mass amounts of coffee whitener.”

A looming tower is made up of “water where onions and ginger were boiled, mint, mint extract, vitamin C, black pepper, dried basil, chickpeas, a boiled onion cut into rings, salad runoff, and cashew nuts,” as well as “green food colouring for aesthetics.”

Her pieces evoke revulsion, confusion, love and fascination, sometimes all at once.

“Was this made for human consumption. Because it’s amazing,” one person wrote, in response to a recent invention.

“that is horrifying why do I really like it so much I am so confused,” wrote another.

Of particular contention is the eyeshadow, which has prompted some amount of concern for the wellbeing of Mary, who unapologetically eats all her creations but is not much interested in debating the food security of shiny eyeshadow.

When newcomers in the group respond with alarm, weary Show Me Your Aspics veterans jump in to explain, on Mary’s behalf, that it is non-toxic mica dust and direct them to other threads in which the issue was discussed at length. You might agree on its digestibility or not, but be warned, if you harp on it too much in the category you will quickly find yourself out in your aspic.

As a group administrator statement made apparent after some especially vigorous debate: “If anybody has any problem with Mary Freebed Au’s gelatinous masterpieces and her choices of components, y’all can stuff it. It has been explained what she uses over and over and over. Get over it.”

In actuality, the community has not just gotten over it, but has adopted her unconventional vision. One of her jellies has been compared, with seeming sincerity, to Van Gogh’s painting The Starry Night.

“You’re a damned visionary,” a part of this group posted lately. “Thanks for posting articles in here regularly and #stunting on the normies. I feel honored and blessed to see your gelatinous creations{}”

Mary, whose real name is Tanja Guven, says she joined the Show Me Your Aspics on a whim, and was motivated by the group to create her initial aspic in June.

The University of Victoria student states that, in the middle of an extremely stressful period in her life, there was something about aspic she found profoundly relaxing and therapeutic, because: “It is clown food.”

“Aspics are a gorgeous trivial art form,” she said, in a conversation through Facebook messages. “They’re ephemeral, and frivolous. The sight of something so glowing and shimmering is the perfect defence against nervous moments{}”

Show Me Your Aspics’ founder, Ms. Parrish, says she has watched with interest how the team has gone from mostly being around quirky classic aspics, such as “the today posted-to-death spaghetti-O aspic” (yawn!) , to something new and evolving and creative, in large part due to Mary’s revolutionary additions.

“I love her so much and what she brings to the table. People have adopted her as this special part of the group,” Ms. Parrish says. “I would love to have other Marys from the group. I’d like to be another Mary from the group.”

Though a bundle of Knox Gelatine or any neon Jell-O powder is far removed from its corporeal roots, gelatin is made through the rendering of flesh and bone, the basis of life boiled down and cheerily reconstituted into Ring-Around-the-Tuna or Hawaiian Surprise.

In a recent exchange about how different foods float or sink in gelatin, 1 member observed, “it is a metaphor for life.”

“Lol. Aspic is life,” another responded.

In actuality, it kind of is.

Grandma Lil Pruden’s award-winning tomato aspic

1-28 ounce can of tomatoes

1 small can of cocktail shrimp, drained and rinsed

1 white onion

green onion

celery

salt and pepper

Worcestershire sauce

1 bay leaf

1 small package of unflavoured gelatin

Strategy

Set the can of tomatoes in a pot with an onion cut in half, a stem or two of celery and a bay leaf, and boil for around 15 minutes. Push the mixture through a sieve, collecting two cups of the juice and returning it to the pot. (You can top it up with water if you want to.) Add pepper and salt, a dash of Worcestershire, and bring to a boil.

Meanwhile, combine an envelope of unflavoured gelatin at a quarter-cup of cold water, then add it into the heated tomato juice and stir well. Pour into a mould or bowl and sprinkle in the miniature shrimp, some finely chopped celery and green onion.

Chill in the refrigerator until very jiggly, several hours or overnight. Dip the mold in warm water for around 10 seconds (do not get the aspic wet!)

Courtesy: The Globe And Mail

Does anybody want aspic in their Thanksgiving Day table? Yes, some do

There’s nowhere to begin a story about aspic but using an aspic. So let us imagine one, a moulded mound of gelatin placed quivering and shimmering at the middle of a holiday table, no less embarrassing an addition to the festivities than your brother’s new girlfriend or talking politics with Unclenbsp;Jerry.

“Aspic terrifies me …” author Philippa Snow confessed in a piece this summer for Eater London. “It can not help but make me think of David Cronenberg, or science-fiction, or the sort of food that is served in futuristic prisons in bad books. Soylent green was individuals, yes; but aspic appears like it might also be.”

As Tatyana Tolstaya wrote in her short story, Aspic, in the New Yorker in 2016, “the title of the dish making the warmth of your soul fall, and no thick grey goat-hair shawl will savenbsp;you.”

In regards to maligned foods, we ai not just talking Brusselsnbsp;sprouts.

Aspic dates back hundreds of years but in North America attained the height of its popularity in the 1950s and 1960s, when increasingly intricate and ingenious jellified creations became the trembling centrepiece of each well-appointed table.

The 1963 Joys of Jell-O cookbook features recipes that are notable, such as Ring-Around-the-Tuna, Hawaiian Surprise and Molded Chef’s Salad, where a meal of ham, vegetables and cheese is suspended uncannily at a ring of neon Jell-O, such as bits of debris floating throughnbsp;distance.

But while aspics were then heralded as a trendy way to include “a dazzling, delicious rainbow of fresh vegetables to your dinner table” or “perk up the most humdrum lunch,” aspic, and its nearest sibling, jellied salad, shortly slithered out of favour, such as gelatin tipped from a mould before it’s fullynbsp;set.

Nowadays, aspic is most likely to be featured in posts with such headlines as “The 9 Worst Retro Foods The Holidays Have Ever Endured,” “7 Gross Foods Your Grandparents Ate” and “Taste Test Out Of Hell: We Cooked a Whole Lot of Gross Recipes in the ’50s.” It’s been known in this publication as a “culinary horrornbsp;reveal.”

It was through this unflattering lens which aspic first entered Maggie Parrish’s life, a technicolour fascination suspended in time in campy advertisements from the 1950s and reminiscent of her grandma’s creations as “the quintessential 1950snbsp;housewife.”

“I’ve always believed that the terror and the beauty of the complex fifties aspics were amazing,” states Ms. Parrish, who resides in Denver. “I enjoyed the kitschiness of it, and I have always been — what is the term — astonished I think? It is like writing a book with meals. It is just so complicated, and I think that is really what pulled me {}. I am not going to lie, the horror part of the aspic really drew me in also. It is the wholenbsp;thing{}”

Ms. Parrish is the creator of Show Me Your Aspics, a Facebook group that since its founding last December has been the center of contemporary jellified food fandom online, amassing near 4,000 members and uplifting a strong community of, if not precisely aspic appreciators, at the open-minded andnbsp;aspic-curious.

“Aspic is its own special art form to me,” says Julie Stephens, who resides in Nichols, Wisc., and conducts on the team with Ms. Parrish. “It is horrifying and it is beautiful. It’s edible. I mean, who in their right mind decides to use lime and carrot Jell-O in exactly the same breath? The word needs to get out about that type ofnbsp;item.”

Though aspic was traditionally a savoury dish (hence its less-flattering nickname “beef Jell-O”), the world is changing, along with the conventional divisions between aspic and jelly salads as well as dessert jellies no longer use. Nowadays, basically anything in moulded gelatin form counts and will find an eager audience at Show Me Yournbsp;Aspics.

If Show Me Your Aspics has turned into a thriving community, Mary Freebed Au is arguably its most popular celebrity. The 31-year-old from Victoria has been described variously as a mad woman, a genius and “the queen of aspic,” and is perhaps Canada’s greatest (and yes, probably just) modern abstract aspicnbsp;artist.

She’s an aspic provocateur, a controversial figure in what is already, by its nature, a disarming food. Her creations almost defy description, a dizzying mixture of soft drinks, food balls, flavouring, and frequently, glitterynbsp;eyeshadow.

One, formed within a security camera dome cover, contains “berry blend, diet peach fizzy, chocolate, milk, brandy extract, almond extract, lemon extract, cherry balls and eye shadow,” and yet another has extracts of almond, peppermint, vanilla, blueberry, strawberry, raspberry, lemon and orange in addition to soda, juice, fruit bits, gold eye shadow and “mass amounts of coffeenbsp;whitener.”

A looming tower is made up of “water where onions and ginger were boiled, mint, mint extract, vitamin C, black pepper, dried basil, chickpeas, a boiled onion cut into rings, salad runoff, and cashew nuts,” as well as “green food colouring fornbsp;aesthetics.”

Her pieces evoke revulsion, confusion, love and fascination, sometimes all atnbsp;after.

“Was this made for human consumption. Because it is amazing,” one person wrote, in response to some recentnbsp;creation.

“this is horrifying why do I really like it so much I am so confused,” wrotenbsp;another.

Of particular contention is the eyeshadow, which has prompted some amount of concern for the wellbeing of Mary, who unapologetically eats all her creations but is not much interested in debating the food security of shinynbsp;eyeshadow.

When newcomers in the group respond with alarm, weary Show Me Your Aspics veterans jump in to explain, on Mary’s behalf, that it is non-toxic mica dust and direct them to other threads in which the issue was discussed at length. You might agree on its digestibility or not, but be warned, if you harp on it too much in the category you will quickly find yourself out on yournbsp;aspic.

As a group administrator statement made apparent after some especially vigorous debate: “If anybody has any problem with Mary Freebed Au’s gelatinous masterpieces and her choices of components, y’all can stuff it. It has been explained what she uses over and over and over. Get overnbsp;it{}”

In actuality, the community has not just gotten over it, but has adopted her unconventional vision. One of her jellies has been compared, with seeming sincerity, to Van Gogh’s painting The Starrynbsp;Night.

“You’re a damned visionary,” a part of this group posted lately. “Thanks for posting articles in here regularly and #stunting on the normies. I feel honored and blessed to see your gelatinousnbsp;inventions.”

Mary, whose real name is Tanja Guven, says she joined the Show Me Your Aspics on a whim, and was motivated by the group to create her first aspic innbsp;June.

The University of Victoria student states that, in the middle of an extremely stressful period in her life, there was something about aspic she found profoundly relaxing and therapeutic, because: “It is clownnbsp;meals.”

“Aspics are a gorgeous trivial art form,” she said, in a conversation through Facebook messages. “They’re ephemeral, and frivolous. The sight of something so glowing and shimmering is the perfect defence against tensenbsp;minutes.”

Show Me Your Aspics’ founder, Ms. Parrish, says she has watched with interest how the team has gone from mostly being around quirky classic aspics, such as “the today posted-to-death spaghetti-O aspic” (yawn!) , to something new and evolving and creative, in large part due to Mary’s innovativenbsp;developments.

“I love her so much and what she brings to the table. People have adopted her as this special part of the group,” Ms. Parrish says. “I would love to have other Marys from the group. I would love to be another Mary in thenbsp;group.”

Though a bundle of Knox Gelatine or any neon Jell-O powder is far removed from its corporeal roots, gelatin is made through the rendering of flesh and bone, the basis of life boiled down and cheerily reconstituted into Ring-Around-the-Tuna or Hawaiiannbsp;Surprise.

In a recent exchange about how different foods float or sink in gelatin, 1 member observed, “it is a metaphor fornbsp;life.”

“Lol. Aspic is life,” anothernbsp;responded.

In actuality, it kind ofnbsp;is.

Courtesy: The Globe And Mail