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Thursday, February 17, 2011

Sunday, February 6, 2011

oven-baked red snapper & shiitake parcels

This Japanese style recipe is so delicious and easy, yet very very healthy.  It takes no time at all and you are rewarded with an amazingly flavorful meal. 

4 red snapper fillets (100g each)
1/2 tsp vegetable oil, for brushing
8 caps fresh shiitake mushrooms, stems discarded
8 thinly sliced pieces of broccoli
4 slices of lime, sliced thin
4 Tbsp sake
4 tsp GF soy sauce
1 tsp. ginger juice (squeezed from grated fresh ginger)
tin foil

1. Preheat the oven to 325°F
2. Put each snapper fillet on a piece of foil (about a 12"square), and brush with vegetable oil.
3. Arrange 2 shiitake mushroom caps, 2 or three slices of broccoli and a slice of lime on top of each fish.
4. Pour portions of the the sake, soy sauce and ginger juice over each parcel.
5. Gather together the edges of the foil, seal tightly and bake the parcels on a baking tray in the preheated oven for 10-12 minutes.  Plate each parcel individually and allow your guests to open their own parcel.

WE loved this dish.  The fish is steamed perfectly in a mere 10 minutes

Saturday, February 5, 2011

chocolate mango inside-out roll with dipping sauce

what?!  um yes.  so delicious.


(makes 1 roll of 8 pieces)

For the ISO
1/2 nori sheet
200g raw sushi rice
220 ml water
30 ml rice vinegar
15g sugar
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp hazelnuts, finely chopped
50g mango, cut into strips
50g melon, cut into strips
50g strawberries, sliced into thin strips
100g plain dark chocolate, finely grated

Dipping or drizzling sauce 
220g plain dark chocolate melted

to prepare the sushi rice-
1. Rinse your rice well, between 3-5 washes until it runs clear in a fine mesh sieve. Set aside and drain for 1 hour.
2.  Put the rice and water into a heavy saucepan with a lid. Heat over medium/high heat and bring to a boil.  Don't lift the lid.  It should take about 5-7 minutes to come to a boil.  Reduce heat to low and cook for another 5-7 minutes.  Turn off heat. Don't lift lid but let rice stand for another 10 minutes.
3. While the rice is standing. Make your own sushi vinegar in a non reactive bowl with the rice vinegar/sugar and salt, stirring until sugar and salt are dissolved.
4. Transfer the hot cooked rice to a flat based bowl. Use a spatula to gently spread the rice out evenly. Using the back of the spatula sprinkle the sushi vinegar over the rice.  Use the spatula to cut through the rice and turn it over in sections to distribute the vinegar.  Have someone else fan the rice (with a fan or a magazine) as you turn it to cool the rice quickly and it will absorb the vinegar mixture.  Don't stir or mix the rice as it will get mushy.  just turn it.

Directions for the inside-out rolls

1. Place the nori sheet on a chopping board and cover it with the prepared sushi rice.  Turn it over and spread the honey over using the back of a spoon, then cover it with the hazelnuts, mango, melon and strawberries.  Roll it up to make an inside-out roll (use a rolling mat and saran wrap to make this easier), then flip it over and roll it in the grated chocolate until coated.
note: there are hundreds of free online sushi rolling tutorials, just look for inside-out rolls.

2. Cut the roll into 8 pieces , drizzle with melted dark chocolate. Serve extra melted "dipping" chocolate along side for any chocoholics.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Parsnip & Sweet Potato Fries with almond butter coating


3 parsnips, peeled & cut into uniform fry shape
2 small yellow sweet potatoes, peeled & cut into uniform fry shape
3 Tbsp natural almond butter
1 Tbsp Olive oil
1 tsp (I used more) sea salt


1. Preheat your oven to 400°.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2.  In a medium bowl, mix your almond butter, olive oil and sea salt together.  Add your cut fries to the bowl and stir to coat evenly.  Lay your fries out on the parchment lined cookie sheet and bake for 35-40 minutes.

Note:  every recipe I read like this claimed the fries were crispy.  They are not crispy using this method.  So I don't know what those people are talking about.  I tried cooking a few a bit longer and they simply burnt.  It's possible that I might try pre-baking the fries at a low temperature to dry them out a bit before coating in nut butter next time.  That might work but anyhow, we didn't mind the texture to be honest.  So what if they're not crispy!  See, the thing is, they taste really great!  We had no problem devouring the entire pan.  Next time I make them I might add a little fresh ground black pepper to the mix as well to make them a bit more savory.  :)

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Tom Yum Goong - Hot & Sour Soup

It's -24°c outside right now.  Perfect weather for soup!

Fish or Chicken Stock:

1 pound fish bones (sole cod or other white fish), OR 1 chicken carcass, broken into pieces OR 1 pack of chicken wings (We used a whole chicken but kept aside the breasts and thighs etc. )
1 onion, quartered
1-inch piece fresh ginger, bruised
1 lime leaf
6 cilantro stems, stalks and roots bruised
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste


1. Wash your fish or chicken bones in cold water first.  Place in a saucepan and cover with 6 cups water.
2. Bring to a boil, skim if necessary.
3. Add the onion, ginger, lemongrass, lime leaf, and cilantro. Season with salt and pepper.  Return to a boil, turn heat down and simmer for 20 minutes only (no lid), for the fish stock.  For the chicken stock- simmer half covered for 30 minutes.  Remove from heat.
4. Cool, strain into a clean pot and get ready to make the soup. 

Hot & Sour Soup


3 cups chicken (or fish) stock
1 1/2 cups water
1 lemongrass stem
4 red bird's eye chilies, seeded and finely sliced
1-inch piece galangal, peeled and finely sliced
3 lime leaves, torn into pieces
1 ready cleaned squid tube, cut into rings
1/2 pound cooked shrimp  (shelled is easier to eat obviously)
4 button mushrooms, sliced
juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp. sucanat (sugar)
3 Tbsp. fish sauce
1 red chili, seeded and finely sliced for garnish
cilantro leaves for garnish


1. Place the stock in a large saucepan with the water.  Heat gently.
2. Trim the root from the lemongrass and slice the bottom 2 inch section into very fine slices.  Bruise the remaining stalk and add all this to the stock with the chilies, galangal, and the torn limes leaves.
3. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer gently for 10 minutes.
4. Remove the bruised lemongrass, add the shrimp, squid rings, and the mushrooms, then add the lemon juice, sugar, and fish sauce a bit at a time until you have the right balance of flavours.
5. Serve in bowls with red chili slices and cilantro garish.

I chose to start with a chicken stock rather than a fish stock and it was very delicious!  This soup is of course HOT and SOUR so be aware of the number of chilies you use.  Use less than I have if you can't take the heat.  :)