Monday, March 30, 2009

England here we come

Nine months of waiting are finally over. Rob and I leave for England in a few short hours. Aggie gets her own holiday from us with lots of people coming to stay with her at our place.
Details when I return.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

660 Curries ~ Tart-Hot Beef with Malt Vinegar and Cayenne

I have had this book languishing on my shelves for almost a year now (maybe 6 months)and poverty finally made me dig it out. I had some frozen beef stew meat in the freezer and no budget. I have almost every spice you could imagine, but this recipe only requires a few. And I had some time on my hands.
The effort was minimal but the result was spot on. I served it with fresh mango, coconut rice, peas and cauliflower and my own homemade flatbread.

Gosht Vindaloo
Serves 4
1/2 cup malt vinegar (umm, I am poor right now, so I used what I had on hand. Coconut vinegar).
2 teaspoons cayenne
1/2 teaspooon ground turmeric
1 lb boneless beef stew, cut into 1 inch chunks
2 tbsp canola oil
4 oz pearl onions, peeled cut in half lengthwise ( again with the budget. Regular onion, 1/2 inch dice)
5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
6 dried red thai chilis or cayenne, stems removed (only had fresh on hand)
1 tsp coriander seeds, ground
1 teaspoon cumin seeds, ground
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tbsp chopped cilantro for garnish

Combine vinegar, cayenne and turmeric. Toss with meat and allow to marinate for 2hrs or overnight.
Heat oil in a sauce pan over medium high. Add onion, garlic and chili and cook for about 5 minutes.
Add beef and marinade. Cook until marinade has evaporated, 12 - 15 minutes. Add spices and salt, cook for a minute or two.
Add 1 cup of water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and cook until meat is fork tender and sauce is reddish brown ~ 40-45 minutes. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


I have to admit, every time I make meatballs, I think of Sher. Weird, I know, but we all have our ways of remembering...
Anyway, Mission Use Food From The Freezer Because we Are To Poor To Buy New Stuff (heretofore known as Operation FreezerRaid) is underway. This easy dinner came from a pound of ground pork lurking in the freezer.

Pork Meatballs in Gravy
Serves Four

1lb ground pork
1 onion, finely diced, split
1 egg
1 tsp worcestershire sauce
herbs, to taste ( I used sage and oregano.)
salt and pepper
1/4 cup breadcrumbs

Combine ingredients, using only half of the onion. Cook a small piece to test for seasoning. Form meatballs and sear in a sauce pan over medium high heat. Set aside meatballs. In the same pan, using the fat from searing the meatballs, cook the remaining onion till soft and sweet. Add 2 tbsp flour and cook, stirring, for a minute or two. Add 1 cup of red wine, cook for 3 or 4 minutes. Add two cups of chicken stock and return the meatballs to the pan. Simmer for at least 30 minutes. (Longer is better.) Season sauce and sdjust for thickness.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Maple Soy Salmon

It has been months since I have had salmon ~ I went through this phase of not enjoying. I know, sacreligious when you hail from BC. Anyway. Rob made this for dinner the other hight and it brought me back to the salmon loving fold...

Maple Soy Salmon

1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup soy sauce
2 tbsp fresh ginger
2 salmon fillets

combine ginger, soy and maple syrup. Marinate salmon for 2-3 hours. Strain marinade and reduce to a glaze.
Sear salmon for 1 minute, turn and transfer to a 400F oven for 5 minutes or until just cooked through. Drizzle with glaze and serve with your favourite sides (we had bok choy and rice).

Monday, March 23, 2009

Sablefish with Miso Butterscotch and Braised Leeks


Last year, on my New York trip, I experienced a flavour combination that I could never forget. At Tailor, I had pork belly with miso butterscotch. The salty and sweet were so perfect together, I kept wanting to try it at home. Finally, I got brave.

4 tablespoons butter
1 cup of packed brown sugar
¾ cup heavy whipping cream

In a heavy saucepan, melt butter over low to medium heat. Then add all dark brown sugar at once and stir with wooden spoon until sugar melted. Cook for about 3-5 mins until sugar resembles molten sand. Whisk in Cream (off heat and be careful, bubbling happens) and cook for another 10 minutes, stirring occaisionally. Finish with miso paste to taste.

The sablefish is simply seasoned with salt and roasted. The leeks braised with ginger. The result was decadent and every bit as good as I imagined. Rob wanted to eat the butterscotch straight up, but I wouldn't let him. There would be pork belly for dinner the next night.....<

Sunday, March 22, 2009


This is embarrassing! How long has it been since I posted??
Well, I have been busy ~ I took Level 2 First Aid, I .... okay, fine, I haven't been busy, I have been lazy.
A mere 8 days from now, I will be taking off for my holiday in England and 17 days from now, I will be turning 30. I will admit to some trepidation as I eye 30 ~ realizing that I am not invincible, I will not remain forever young is a little bit of a reality check. I never really thought about the future before, but it seems to be all that is on my mind these days.
I am very much looking forward to this holiday. For the first time since 2001, Rob and I will be enjoying more than a long weekend together (16 days) AND I will be returning to the UK for the first time in 4 years ( I think, it may have been 5). Rob and I are hiring a narrowboat from Black Prince for 14 days and cruising the Avon Ring. I will get to meet up with my friends Louise and Lorna and hopefully eat some good food, drink, shop for old stuff etc.
I am very grateful that several of my friends and family will be staying with Aggie the cat while we are away, making the trip even more stress free.