Sunday, January 31, 2010

Falafel inspired veggie burgers.


1 15-ounce (500 g) cans chickpeas
2 garlic cloves, minced
handful of parsley, minced
handful of cilantro, minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1 large egg
approx 1/4 cup flour or chickpea flour
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
A generous sprinkle of freshly ground black pepper
toppings of hummus, avocado, tomato, and sprouts.

  • Drain and rinse the chickpeas in a colander. Pour them into a large bowl. Mash with a potato masher.
  • Add the garlic, parsley, cumin, coriander, salt and pepper. Mix it up really well with your hands. Add the egg and continue mixing. Add the flour and continue mashing the mixture around with your hands until all is well-combined.
  • Form into thin patties.
  • Heat an even layer of olive oil over medium heat in a large pan. When a tiny bit of the chickpea mixture starts bubbling and frying, the oil is ready.
  • Fry until golden brown ( approx 5-7 mins per side), remove and let sit on kitchen paper to remove excess oil.
  • Add toppings of hummus, avocado, tomato, and sprouts.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Boiled eggs.

Boiled eggs are a seemingly easy thing to make but when done poorly they can have a dark green discolored coating on the yolk and the smell of sulfur. I love a well done egg, but really cannot stomach them when they are not properly cooked. There are many ways of boiling an egg, this method comes from Jacques Pepin's series "Fast food my way".

Find the bottom of the egg (the end that is the least pointy). Gently poke a pin hole in the eggs This allows the egg to release pressure when dropped in the boiling water. (see little bubbles below)

Gently boil the eggs for ten minutes.

There are two different ways to break the shells. First you can drain the water from the pot, and then quickly move the pot in circles to bang the eggs against the side to crack the shells. The other method is just to remove the eggs and put them in a bowl and move it in circles to crack the shells. I find the first method was more effective.

Immediately submerge the eggs in ice water until they are cool. This helps to remove that sulfur smell you can get in some boiled eggs.

Once the eggs have cooled, run under cold water over the eggs while you peel the shells off. This helps to more easily separate the shell from the membrane without tearing the egg white.

You are done! To tell if the egg is perfectly cooked, cut one in half. There should be no grey/green ring between the yolk and white, and the yolk should be cooked through and all the same colour of yellow. If you undercook them a little (as I did in this photo =P) next time you make them cook them for an extra minute. Finding the perfect time is the most difficult thing, and cooking time varies depending on your altitude (I am at sea level).

Monday, January 11, 2010

Fresh Pasta and red wine.

Marcato's Atlas 150 pasta maker is one of the recent additions to our kitchen. The boy had been going on forever about wanting one, so we decided to hit up cookworks and make his life long dream of fresh pasta a reality. I had never had fresh pasta before and really didn't understand why he was so into this idea, thinking pasta is pasta...meh. I now know how ignorant I was on this matter.

Our first attempt at noodles was a total success and not as difficult as I would have thought. The fresh pasta had so much more flavour and texture then any pasta I had ever had, making me realize every pasta I had ever eaten was a pale comparison to the real deal.

After our dinner we both agreed that we would never be buying pasta at the supermarket again. We made ours with meatballs, but in the future I would just do a marinara sauce so that I can eat way more noodles. All this plus it was so much fun!

  • Pasta:

  • 3/4 cup All Purpose Flour
  • 3/4 cup Semolina Flour
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • Thoroughly sift together all-purpose flour, semolina flour, and salt on a clean surface. Make a mountain out of the mixture then make a deep well in center. Break the eggs, oil and water into a bowl and beat with a fork. Pour the mixture into the well a little at a time, gradually incorporating flour from the sides of the well.
  • Knead dough for several minutes until it is smooth and springy (about 3 to 5 minutes). You'll know the dough is the right consistency when it does not stick to the counter and has a smooth surface. If it does stick, add a little flour. If it tears, add a little water. When done kneading, wrap dough tightly in plastic and allow it to rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  • SIDE NOTE: Don't leave the pasta to sit for too long. The dough will become too soft and will bunch up in the pasta maker when trying to make noodles.
  • Roll out dough with a pasta machine or a rolling pin to desired thickness. Cut into your favorite style of noodle or stuff with your favorite filling to make ravioli. Bring water to a boil in a large pot, then add 4 teaspoons salt. Cook pasta until tender but not mushy, 1 to 8 minutes depending on thickness. Drain immediately and toss with your favorite sauce.

  • Meatballs:

  • 225g ground beef (organic)
  • 225g pound ground pork(organic)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 egg
  • 60g freshly grated Romano cheese
  • 3/4 tablespoons chopped Italian flat leaf parsley
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 cup stale bread, crumbled
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • Combine beef, and pork in a large bowl. Add garlic, eggs, cheese, parsley, salt and pepper.
  • Blend bread crumbs into meat mixture.
  • Heat olive oil in a large skillet. Fry meatballs in batches. When the meatball is very brown and slightly crisp remove from the heat and drain on a paper towel.
  • Place cooked meatballs into Marinara Sauce and cook for 15 more minutes


1/4 cup of olive oil
4 cloves of garlic sliced in half
1 35oz can of imported Italian tomatoes
salt & pepper to taste
3 basil leaves, washed, patted dry and chopped
  • Place garlic and olive oil in a large sauce pan.
  • Turn heat to medium and cook garlic till soft and lightly browned.
  • Add tomatoes and crush with their juices.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Bring to a boil, then lower and simmer for 20-25mins.
  • Add chopped basil at the end, stir for one min.

Fondue and Champagne date night.

Right before Christmas my boy and I were walking through a department store and came across a 40% off sale of Le Creuset, meaning there was absolutely no way I was leaving the shop without the fondue pot that I had been eying up for the last five years. Once I had my lovely new pot home I looked through recipe after recipe of fondues. Feeling somewhat overwhelmed we decided we would start with a traditional swiss fondue. After hunting down the Swiss fire gel at a local specialty shop we were ready to make a winter picnic in our home. I love my new fondue pot!


1/2 lb Emmental Cheese (shredded)
1/2 lb Gruyere (shredded)
1 clove Garlic
2 cups Dry White Wine
1 tbs Lemon Juice
2 tbs Flour
3 tbs Kirsch
1/4 tsp White Pepper
Nutmeg and/or Paprika to taste

How to:

Rub the inside of the fondue pot with the garlic clove - add clove to pot or disgard
Heat up the White Wine & Lemon Juice - should be hot but do not boil
Reduce heat to low and slowly add cheese while stirring
Slowly add remainder of ingredients while stirring
If fondue is too loose add more cheese
If fondue is too stiff add more wine

To Dip:

Crusty Bread cut into cubes, making sure to have crust on at least one edge per cube
Veggies: broccoli, cauliflower, red peppers ( anything you like to eat )