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"A gourmet who thinks of calories is like a tart who looks at her watch." - James Beard


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Friday, August 31, 2012

Breakfast (or Lunch) Sandwich


An egg sandwich is a nice, filling breakfast but also a tasty lunch. This one has salami and provolone cheese on a crusty Italian roll. 


First, beat some eggs and add some salt, pepper and green onions or chives.  Pour into a hot, non-stick pan and swirl to coat the bottom.


Once it is cooked on the bottom, flip it over to cook the other side.


Meanwhile, slice the roll and top once side with sliced provolone cheese and the other side with sliced salami (this is salami with proscuitto but any kind will do).


Once the omelet is cooked, roll it to fit the bun and add it to top the salami.


Then top with the cheese and bun.


Slice in half to serve. Tasty!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Souvlaki


Where I live, there's not much of a food scene.  We have some decent restaurants and things are improving, but it's not exactly known as a culinary destination. But we've had a little bit of food truck culture for over 20 years.  Sammy's Souvlaki is a stationary food truck that's been serving souvlaki, gyros and fresh cut french fries to drunk students when the bars close since I was in high school.  



Souvlaki is easy to replicate at home. The most important ingredient for me is super fresh pita bread.  It's not easy to find it absolutely fresh but when I do, dinner plans go out the window and I pick up some pork and yogurt to make souvlaki.



Previously I showed you how I make tzatziki, which you'll need for this recipe. One little tip I didn't mention is to grate the cucumber, then place it in a strainer with a little salt to remove most of the liquid.  Squeeze it dry before mixing into the greek yogurt with some minced garlic.



You'll also need pork tenderloin. You can use boneless pork chops instead if you like. Boneless chicken thighs are also great in this. 


Just dice the meat into even sized chunks.



Then take some fresh oregano and garlic.



And chop in a mini food processor with some olive oil, salt, pepper and red wine vinegar or lemon juice.


Once chopped, marinate the pork for at least an hour, preferably several hours or overnight. 



Once marinated, thread the meat onto wooden skewers you've soaked in water for at least 30 minutes.  Longer skewers would be better but I used what I had.



Grill the skewers until just cooked through, don't let them get dry and tough.  



Here's the super fresh pita bread. I love whole wheat pita but regular white pita is fine too.  You can place it on the grill for just a few seconds to warm it through.



When the pork is done, bring it in to assemble the souvlaki.



Generously spread the tzatziki over the pita.



Then slide the pork off the skewers onto the pita.



This can be topped with tomatoes and onions but I'm not a fan of raw tomatoes so I use lettuce and onions.



Fold the bottom of the pita over slightly so the filling won't fall out, then roll up like a burrito and enjoy the deliciousness!



This is one of my favourite things to eat and the pictures turned out pretty well too!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Turkey Curry Buffet


Here's a lame confession: I've always wanted to try turkey curry as immortalized in Bridget Jones' Diary.  Turkey curry is actually a great way to use leftover turkey. It's a completely different flavour profile from a traditional turkey dinner so it doesn't feel so much like leftovers.  

I used this recipe from Mark Bittman.  This curry uses coconut milk but you can use whatever curry sauce you like.  


Here are the ingredients.  It seems like a lot but it's very simple to make.  You'll need onions, garlic, fresh ginger, canned tomatoes (diced is best), coconut milk and spinach.  I also added frozen peas.


For the spices you need a teaspoon each of ground corriander and cumin and 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper and tumeric.  


In a tablespoon of hot oil in a pot, sauté the onions, garlic and ginger.


Add the spices.


Toast the spices for a few minutes until fragrant.


Then add 1 cup chopped tomatoes with juices.


And add the coconut milk.  Don't worry, this'll look much better when it's done.


Simmer for about 10 minutes.  


Dice 2 cups cooked leftover turkey.


And add to the curry sauce.


Add in some frozen peas.


And a few handfuls of baby spinach.


Mix the turkey, spinach and peas into the curry and heat until warmed through.


Serve over basmati rice.  This is a basmati and wild rice blend. 
You can make the curry a little spicier if you like. It's a really nice way to use leftovers.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Portobello Quinoa Salad


Here's another hearty, vegetarian main dish salad.  With protein-rich quinoa and meaty portobello mushrooms, you won't miss the meat.


There are a couple of methods for cooking quinoa.  You can boil it in a pot full of water like pasta, then drain when cooked, or you can cook it more like rice in just slightly more water than grains. The water will be absorbed into the quinoa as it cooks.  I don't have any preference and usually just use whatever method the recipe calls for.  


For this one, use the rice method.  Boil 1 cup of water and add 2/3 cup of quinoa plus a sprinkle of salt and hot chili flakes.  Simmer, covered for about 12 minutes then remove from heat, let stand covered for 5 more minutes and then fluff with a fork.


For the salad you'll also need portobello mushrooms, pepper, cucumber and salad greens - spinach, romaine or a mixed blend.  


For the dressing/marinade you need sesame oil, rice vinegar, honey, fresh ginger and garlic.


Mix 2 minced garlic cloves and 2 teaspoons finely grated ginger with 1/4 cup rice vinegar, 3 tablespoons sesame oil and 2 teaspoons honey.  


Take your portobello mushrooms...



... remove the stems and scrape out the gills with a spoon.  Brush both sides of the mushrooms with the sesame ginger dressing.


Grill the mushrooms along with a seeded red or green pepper over a hot grill until charred and tender.


Meanwhile, slice ribbons of cucumber with a vegetable peeler, turning the cucumber to slice each side.


Chop the grilled pepper and add to the quinoa along with 2 tablespoons of the dressing.


To assemble the salad, dress salad greens with lightly with the sesame ginger dressing.


Add to the plate with the ribbons of cucumber.


Top with a grilled portobello mushroom cap.


Then top the mushroom cap with the quinoa pepper mixture and drizzle more dressing over top.
This is a hearty, healthy salad.  It's full of protein and nutrients and tastes great!