Sunday, July 8, 2007

Cranberry Sauce Recipe

The good thing about cranberry sauce is that once you have the base down, you can dress it up a bit.

1 cup (200 g) sugar
1 cup (255 mL) water
4 cups (1 12-oz package) fresh or frozen cranberries

Optional Pecans, orange peel, raisins, currants, blueberries, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice.

1 Wash and pick over cranberries. In a saucepan bring to a boil water and sugar, stirring to dissolve sugar. Add cranberries, return to a boil. Reduce heat, simmer for 10 minutes or until cranberries burst.

2 At this point you can add all number of optional ingredients. We typically mix in a half a cup of roughly chopped pecans with or without a few strips of orange peel. You can add a cup of raisins or currants. You can add up to a pint of fresh or frozen blueberries for added sweetness. Spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg or allspice can be added too.

3 Remove from heat. Cool completely at room temperature and then chill in refrigerator. Cranberry sauce will thicken as it cools.

Cranberry sauce base makes 2 1/4 cups.

Cranberry sauce base makes 2 1/4 cups.

Crab with Hazelnuts Salad Recipe

Most crab lovers know that fresh crab pairs well with avocado. But have you ever tried it with roasted hazelnuts (also called Filberts)? I got this idea from an appetizer prepared by an Oregon chef (where they grow a lot of hazelnuts). It's lovely.

1 1/2 cups fresh lump crab meat
1/2 cup chopped roasted hazelnuts
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
1 Tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley
2 Tbsp lemon juice (or 3 Tbsp Meyer lemon juice)
1 Tbsp olive oil
Freshly ground pepper
Salt to taste
4 large pieces of butter lettuce, rinsed and patted dry

In a medium sized bowl mix the hazelnuts, celery, onion, parsley, lemon juice, olive oil, ground pepper, and salt. Gently fold in the lump crab meat, trying not to break up the crab too much.

Make individual servings, about a half cup each over a piece of butter lettuce.

Serves 4.

Arugula Pesto Recipe

We have a 3 ft by 6 ft patch of arugula growing in our garden and for the last two months I've been looking for ways to make use of it. By the way, arugula (a.k.a. rocket) grows like a weed and re-seeds itself every year. The bugs and snails don't seem to touch it (they go for the lettuce instead). Clotilde of Chocolate and Zucchini is always a great source of inspiration and I remembered her intriguing recipe for Pesto de Roquette. I had heard that walnuts are good in pesto so I tried making the arugula pesto both ways - one with pine nuts and one with walnuts. I think the arugula pesto with walnuts is better. The strong, meaty flavor of the walnuts balances out the astringency of the arugula, a good blend of flavors. I've made pesto both with mortar and pestle and with a food processor. The food processor method is definitely easier but the mortar method produces larger pieces of the arugula (it could be that my mortar is too small for this task).

I prefer a mild garlic flavor that you can achieve by using roasted garlic. The 1/2 raw garlic clove is added for a little kicker. The first time I made this pesto it was with only raw garlic and it was a little overwhelmingly garlicy. Using roasted garlic is a great way to still have the garlic flavor but without the intensity.

2 cups of packed arugula leaves
1/2 cup of walnuts
1/2 cup fresh Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
6 garlic cloves, unpeeled
1/2 garlic clove peeled and minced

Brown 6 garlic cloves with their peels on in a skillet over medium high heat until the garlic is lightly browned in places, about 10 minutes. Remove the garlic from the pan, cool, and remove the skins.

Toast the nuts in a pan over medium heat until lightly brown, or heat in a microwave on high heat for a minute or two until you get that roasted flavor. In our microwave it takes 2 minutes.

Food processor method (the fast way): Combine the arugula, walnuts, roasted and raw garlic into a food processor. Pulse while drizzling the olive oil into the processor. Remove the mixture from the processor and put it into a bowl. Stir in the Parmesan cheese.

Mortar and pestle method (photo pictures pesto produced this way): Combine the nuts and garlic in a mortar. With the pestle, grind until smooth. Add the cheese and olive oil, grind again until smooth. Finely chop the arugula and add it to the mortar. Grind up with the other ingredients until smooth.

Because the pesto is so dependent on the individual ingredients, and the strength of the ingredients depends on the season or variety, test it and add more of the ingredients to taste.

Mix with freshly prepared pasta of your choice. You may need to add a little bit of water or more olive oil to mix the pesto more evenly with the pasta.

Makes enough pesto sauce for an ample serving of pasta for four people.

Chilli Chicken recipe



Boneless chicken cut into small cubes(1 whole chicken)
1 tablespoon tomato sauce,
1 tablespoon chili sauce,
2 tablespoons Soya sauce,
2 tablespoons vinegar
Salt to taste,
6 green chilies
4 big onions (chopped),
1 heaped tablespoon corn flour,
2 eggs,
1 teaspoon ajinamoto,
Refined cooking oil

Wash the chicken pieces and dry them. Marinate the pieces with 1 tablespoon Soya sauce, 1 tablespoon vinegar, 1/2 tablespoon tomato sauce, 1/2 table spoon chili sauce and enough salt.
Beat the eggs and pour them on the chicken pieces. Add half a tablespoon corn flour and mix well the whole mixture. Allow it to stand for 2 hours.

Drain excess liquid and store in a container. Heat oil in a pan and fry the chicken pieces. Keep the fried pieces in a separate container. In the left over oil fry the green chilies and chopped onion slightly. Pour the excess liquid stored earlier. Stir continuously. Add the chicken pieces. Pour the rest of the sauces and a pinch of salt. Mix the 1/2 tablespoon corn flour with a little of water and pour in the pan. Add the ajinamoto. Stir well and serve hot.