Archive for March, 2008
Coconut sorbet is one of the easiest things to make with one of the biggest flavour payoffs.
1 can coconut milk
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
pinch of salt
Make a simple syrup from the water, sugar, and the small pinch of salt (not too much or it might impact the freezing process). Take off the heat, whisk in the coconut milk. Cool in the refrigerator. When cold, process in an ice cream machine. Freeze and enjoy.
The coconut milk I used was the kind where you open the can and there is hardly any liquid and mostly cream. I find that sets up really well, but any decent coconut milk will work okay.
3 – seeds: black sesame, pumpkin, sunflower. I also took some Triscuits, pulsed them in the food processor and sprinkled the mixture on top of the cracker base. Cracker on cracker.
Lebneh is from Lebanon and tastes like the best sour cream you’ve ever had, crossed with cream cheese. It is about 10% fat, has a refreshing acidic tang, and goes really well with these pancakes. To some lebneh I added finely chopped basil leaves, thinly sliced scallion, extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper.
To make the pancakes I grated a small zucchini, put it in a tea towel and twisted the water out. Whatever way you do it try to get as much liquid out of the zucchini. Do the same thing with a couple of small Yukon Gold potatoes. Finally grate 3 jerusalem artichokes (sunchokes). I didn’t need to remove any moisture from those. In all you need about 1 pound of vegetables.
1 lb zucchini, potato, sunchokes, grated, moisture wrung out
3 scallions, sliced in thin rounds
1/2 cup parmigiano-reggiano, grated
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup all purpose flour
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste
Mix all the ingredients well. Heat a small non-stick frying pan, or crepe pan. Add some butter or vegetable oil. Spread a thin layer of the pancake batter in the pan out to the sides. Fry until golden then flip over to other side. You may need to add a bit more oil to the pan. When cooked through remove and keep warm until serving.
The slaw is a combination of julienned radicchio, orange and yellow carrot, red radish, and scallions with some dried wild oregano and a strong vinaigrette — evo oil, salt and pepper, Dijon mustard and organic apple cider vinegar adding bite. This is all tempered nicely by the lebneh.
Around the plate is some scallion oil which is simply blended scallions, sunflower oil, and salt.
Back in the day one of my favourite chocolate bars, after perhaps Kit Kat, and later the Twix bar, was the Cadbury ‘Crunchie’ bar. Very straightforward — chocolate covered sponge toffee. If I had have given it much thought, even as a 7-year old at the corner variety store, I might have made my own Crunchie bars and saved my allowance for more hockey cards. Turns out it’s a cakewalk.
Sponge Toffee, aka Honeycomb Toffee, or Cinder Toffee:
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1/3 cup corn syrup
3 T water
1 T baking soda
1 T white vinegar
Oil the sides and bottom of an 8″ square baking pan.
Put sugar, vinegar, corn syrup, and water in a tall-sided saucepot. Use a pot much bigger than the ingredients because when the baking soda is added to the caramel it will greatly expand in volume. Heat the mixture over medium-low heat, stirring until sugar has dissolved. Turn up the heat and bring to a boil, cover and boil for about 3 minutes, then uncover and boil until temperature reaches 285° F on a candy thermometer.
Remove from heat and stir in the baking soda, mixing well. Once you add the baking soda the mixture will foam up significantly. Remember science class back in public school where you add vinegar and baking soda? Same thing. Serious foaming. Air gets introduced into the caramel, hence sponge toffee. After you think the baking soda is dispersed you may want to stop mixing. If you keep stirring some of the air pockets trapped in the caramel will get pushed out. For a more bubbly result, leave it alone.
Pour the mixture into the oiled baking pan and leave to firm up. It doesn’t take long. Cut it or smash it into pieces. Drop the pan onto your kitchen counter — worked for me. Dip toffee pieces into melted chocolate and cool on waxed paper.
Salted caramel shot: basically a salted caramel ice cream recipe with the ‘fleur de sel’ level bumped up double. The salt prevents the mixture from freezing solid. I put the mixture in a whipped cream dispenser and charged with one nitrous oxide canister. Leave in the fridge for an hour then shake vigorously. Fill a shot glass with the mixture. Drink it down or dip the chocolate coated sponge toffee.
150 g semolina flour
100 g all purpose flour
about 1/2 a cup of warm water
For the filling:
1 shallot, fine dice
200 g ricotta
100 g mascarpone
1 egg yolk
1/2 bunch chard leaves
3/4 tsp sea salt
Sweat the shallot in a small amount of olive oil until softened. Blanche the chard leaves in boiling salted water. Remove and immerse in ice water. Wring out all the water. Chop finely. Blanche the chard stems. They will take longer than the leaves. When cool cut into fine dice. Add all the ingredients into a bowl and mix thoroughly. Put filling into a piping bag.
You can make your pasta in an electric mixer with a dough hook or knead it by hand. Rest the pasta wrapped in plastic wrap in the refrigerator for about an hour. Roll it out by hand or with a pasta machine. I’d recommend rolling the pasta out to the 2nd thinnest or thinnest setting your machine can produce. This pasta will cook fast. A minute or two tops.
The sauce is basically some more blanched chard leaves with some extra virgin olive oil, vegetable stock, salt, and pepper that has been buzzed with an immersion blender and finely strained. Heat gently and use some more stock to get the desired consistency.
Winter is wonderful — to a point. As we approach the most snowfall in Toronto since 1939 the solution is as follows: go to the grocery store and buy navel oranges, ruby red grapefruit, kiwi fruit, pineapple, and blackberries. Score a bottle of Angostura bitters from the top shelf that no one buys, and a can of coconut water and jelly. Instant summer.
This cake gets its kick from 3 kinds of ginger (fresh, powdered, and candied) as well as cayenne pepper. Another reason to make it — it stays moist for a long time.
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground cayenne pepper
grated nutmeg, to taste
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 oz candied ginger, fine dice
2 T maple syrup
4 T dark molasses
6 T corn syrup
3/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup water
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
2 T grated fresh ginger
Heat the oven to 350° F. I made this cake in a 10″ non-stick bundt pan. Any 9 to 10″ pan will work. You may need to grease and flour the sides first or use parchment paper.
Whisk the dry ingredients together to break up any lumps in the flour and evenly disperse everything.
In a mixing bowl whisk the maple syrup, molasses, corn syrup, brown sugar and vegetable oil. I used sunflower oil for this recipe.
Bring the water to a boil and add the baking soda. Stir, then add the previously mixed wet ingredients. Remove from the heat and add the grated ginger. Put contents into a mixing bowl.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet. Add the eggs. Mix well.
Using a spatula put the batter into your cake pan. Sprinkle the diced candied ginger on top. If the candied ginger is mixed in beforehand it tends to sink to the bottom of the pan. Bake about 45 minutes until a toothpick can be removed cleanly. Cool in the pan.