Archive for September, 2010

Eggplant Dip (and Hummus)

My aunt makes the most amazing eggplant in the world. Unfortunately it is my aunt’s secret recipe therefore I cannot reproduce it here, but I am trying to make my own. After a few attempts I finally made a wonderful dip the other day. I would say that it is similar to  Baba Ghanoush since I kind of made it like I make hummus but since I haven’t really read up on what exactly makes up this wonderful dip I’ll just call my concoction “eggplant dip”.  Or rather: “great eggplant dip that is very good but not as amazing as the eggplant dip that my aunt makes”. This is a variation of an eggplant dip I saw on the Martha Stewart website. Following hers I made an ok dip, but I prefer mine.  As it is suggested on her site, you can also roast the garlic beforehand, though don’t make the same mistake that I made and burn the garlic and decide to put it into the dip.

Also I find that it tastes even better when it has been on the fridge for a while.

You will need:

  • 1 large eggplant
  • 1-2 clove of peeled garlic
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil (and more as needed)
  • Juice from ½ a lemon
  • Salt
  • 1 tbsp of tahini

Instructions:

  1. Roast the whole eggplant in the oven until it has collapsed onto itself. Take care to make sure it has not burned.
  2. When it is cool enough to handle, peel off the skin and remove the stem. Place the eggplant innards into the food processor.
  3. Add the salt, oil, tahini and garlic
  4. Blend in the food processor until mixed.
  5. Add the lemon juice and blend until it has fully blended
  6. Taste and add more oil, lemon, salt or garlic until you are happy.
  7. Store in the fridge in an air tight container.

Enjoy!

If you want to make Hummus, just replace the eggplant with cooked chickpeas (either cooked yourself or purchased cooked) and make sure to include some of the chickpea cooking liquid as it will help make the hummus smoother.

K

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Egg Fried Rice

I’m pretty sure this recipe also comes from the free French newspaper I get at the metro every day. That’s where a lot of my earlier recipes come from and I am currently going through all the dinner ones so I can see which ones are easy to make by myself.  Oops. I was wrong. This recipe comes from Allrecipes.com and originally had green beans in it as well, which I do not like, so I did not include.

  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 cup uncooked instant rice
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 small onion (I kind of think this might be too much onion, but that’s personal taste)
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten

1. In a pot, bring water and soy sauce to boil. Add rice, stir, cover, remove from heat and let stand 5 minutes (I’ve left it 10 minutes and it’s fine).

2. Heat oil in medium skillet over medium heat. Chop onion and add to skillet. Sauté for 2-3 minutes. Add egg and scramble.

3. Stir in cooked rice and mix well.

This is a really easy, really quick recipe. And you can do so much to it. I’m pretty sure any vegetables work in this dish.

T

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Buttermilk Scones

I got this recipe from a co-workers wife and then tweaked it a bit by adding cinnamon, because in my opnion cinnamon makes everything better. I’m like 99% sure that she is British, or at least her parents are, and I was told that they are real British scones. I might be wrong, but they are very yummy.

2 cups flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup butter, chilled
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 egg
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2/3 cup raisins
1 teaspoon cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 375.
2. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon. Cut the butter into cubes and distribute over flour mixture. With a fork, cut in the butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. 
3. In a small bowl, stir together the buttermilk, egg and vanilla. Add the buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture and stir to combine. Stir in raisins.
4. With lightly floured hands, pat dough into an 8 inch circle on an ungreased baking sheet. With a serrated knife, score into 8 wedges (don’t cut all the way through).
5. Bake 20-25 minutes, or until top is lightly browned and toothpick inserted in centre of scone comes out clean. Remove the baking sheet to a wire rack and cool 5 minutes.

You can subsitute other dried fruits instead of rasins (like cranberries but then you might have to take out the cinnamon) and I am going to attempt a chocolate chip scone with this recipe. I’ll let you know how it turns out.

Also, I use either two knives or a pastry knife to cut in the butter because I found it hard with the fork.

C

PS: Chocolate chips instead of raisin? Yummy!!

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New Food

A friend at work just came back from vacation in Holland and brought back some Dutch snack foods for us to try. And I kind of fell in love with one.

The stroopwafel:

 

Online it says it’s made of two thin layers of baked batter, with a caramel-syrup centre. Very good. Very addictive.

T

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Pecan Chicken

I think I got this recipe from the free French newspaper that they hand out at the metro station, but I am not sure. This recipe has buttermilk and Dijon mustard, two things I do not particularly like the smell of, although I don’t mink the taste (usually) when it is cooked.

  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
  • 2 cups crushed pecans
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

1. Flatten chicken breasts between wax paper, until 2.5 cm thick.  (Yeah, I don’t actually measure this. I just like hitting it with the meat tenderizer.)

2.  In a medium bowl, combine buttermilk and mustard. Pour mixture into re-sealable plastic bag and add chicken breasts. Refrigerate at least 1 hour.

3. Preheat oven to 350F.

4. Place crushed pecans in shallow dish. (The original recipe says to salt and pepper the individual pieces of chicken, but we just added them to the pecans.) Press chicken pieces lightly onto the pecans until chicken is covered. (We only had 1 cup of pecans and it was definitely not enough.)

5. Heat oil in a big skillet and cook chicken until golden.

6. Transfer to a baking dish and bake at least 10 minutes, or until chicken is done.

Verdict: I know C and our mom liked it, but there was something off in the taste for me. It might be the mustard, which I don’t particularly like uncooked, although I have had it cooked before and I know I liked it then.

T

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Pizza Style Pasta

This is super easy, super yummy super
 
3 cups of Penne pasta noodles, cooked
2 cups pizza sauce
1 cup sliced pepperoni
2 cups grated mozzarella, divided
 

1. Mix all ingredients except 1/2 cup of cheese
2. Place in a lightly greased oven dish and top with rest of cheese.
3. Bake at 350F for 20 min.
 

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The Search for the Perfect Pancake Part 4: Better Be Good to Me Pancakes

This was taken from the cooking sisters of Eat Shrink and Be Merry: Greta and Janet Podleski.

1 and 1/3 cup all purpose flour

2/3 cup oat bran

2 tps baking powder

1tsp baking soda

1 and 1/3 cup buttermilk

1/2 cup mashed ripe banana (aka one banana)

2 tbps melted butter

1 egg

1tbsp maple syrup

1/2 tsp vanilla

3/4 cup fresh blueberries

Combine flour, oat bran, baking powder, baking soda in a large bowl. Whisk together buttermilk, mashed banana, egg, syrup and vanilla in another bowl. Add wet ingredients to the dry one and mix until just blended. Fold in blueberries.  Cook on 325 degree griddle for about 2-3 min. per side. 

These are the best pancakes so far, but they aren’t the ones for me.  They are saturated with the taste of banana. Who know one banana could flavour so many pancakes and this recipe does make a lot.  They were very thick which is how I like my pancakes  but they were missing something.

Maybe it has something to do with the yogourt and stawberry sauce I was supposed to top them with but didn’t.

Oh well

C  

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