Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Scallops and Bok Choy with a horseradish emulsion

I love this recipe. It's sweet and salty and has a little bit of a kick. It's fantastic and very simple.

Generally I hate beets. Beets and peas. For this meal, I was able to get over my contempt for beets and do something delicious (I don't think I will ever be able to enjoy peas, I've hated them since before I could talk, just ask my parents). The beets were roasted instead of boiled or coming from a jar, the baby bok choy was fresh, and the scallops were giant and delicious.
My Uncle John has been telling me that you have to have the pink scallops instead of the white scallops. The seafood lady at costco told him that the pink scallops are supposed to be the females and are sweeter than the white ones. I didn't notice too much of a difference between the two, but you should try and let us know if there is any difference.

We totally stole this recipe from WrightFood and only improvised a little (substituting baby Bok Choy for Russian kale)
Serves 2

8 large scallops (lightly salt and pat them dry with paper towel to draw out the water)
3 large beets (you could use more or less depending on your liking)
4 sprigs fresh time (I'm sure dried thyme would be fine though)
4 heads of baby Bok Choy
garlic scape or just 1 clove chopped garlic
1 tbsp butter
Salt and pepper
2 egg yolks
2tbsp melted butter
1 tsp creamed horseradish

  1. Preheat oven to 425F
  2. Wash the dirt off of the beets. Put enough water into a roasting pan to just cover the bottom of the pan and a glug of oil. Toss in the thyme and and the beets. Move it around to coat the beets in oil. Cover with tin foil and put into the oven to cook for 45min to an hour depending on how large the beets are. You'll know they're done when they are knife tender.
  3. When beets are done, allow to cool until cool enough to handle. Take paper towel and remove the skin. Slice into 1/4in pieces.
  4. While beets are cooling, slice the bok choy into quarters. Add butter, garlic scape and a little oil to a pan, and sautee at medium heat until tender.
  5. At the same time, in another pan add some oil to another pan, put on medium heat. Put scallops in, and allow both sides to brown. They will not brown if you don't pat them dry first.
  6. Everything should finish at about the same time. Plate it nicely then throw all the ingredients for the emulsion into a blender, and blend for a couple seconds. Then drizzle on top of everything!

Naan Bread

So now that we've made a couple of recipes using the Naan bread, and had a piece pretty much every day after work or class, it is finally time to put up the recipe.

We made a simple dip using the yogurt that was left over, some fresh dill, garlic and a little lemon juice. Then we just tear up the bread, dip, and enjoy.

The recipe is incredibly simple. Geoff used to make this at his last job all the time.

1 c water
2 eggs
2 teaspoons yeast
1 c plain yogurt
1 tbsp brown sugar
1/4 c oil

8 c flour
1 tbsp salt
1tsp baking soda

  1. Put all of the wet ingredients in a large bowl but don't mix and let it sit in a warm place for 20 minutes (to activate the yeast)
  2. Add 4 c flour, baking soda and salt. Mix until all the flour is absorbed into the dough.
  3. Slowly add remaining 4 cups, using your hands to knead the dough into a ball (you might not need the entire remaining 4 cups, but it should be close. You'll know when the flour stops joining the rest of the dough)
  4. Cover with a dark cloth and let sit to rise (We let it sit overnight)
  5. Section the dough into about chunks that are about 1/2 to 1 cup, depending on how big of a bread you'd like. The dough should keep in the fridge for about a week, but you could probably freeze it to make it keep longer.
  6. Preheat oven to 400F
  7. put a little bit of flour down and onto a rolling pin. Roll out the sectioned dough as flat as possible.
  8. Put on a baking sheet and bake for about 2-4 minutes each side. You'll know when to flip when its all poofing up and the bubbles in the bread are just starting to brown.
  9. Brush with a little bit of butter when you take it out of the oven and serve however you'd like!

Homefries and Eggs Benedict with a twist

There is a restaurant here in Ottawa that makes a killer egg's Benedict. I've only had it once but I still can't stop thinking about how good it was.

A couple of weekends ago, we decided to recreate it.

Instead of English muffins, we used fresh buttery croissants, peameal bacon instead of ham, a perfectly poached egg and some spinach that had been lightly boiled until wilted.

I'm not going to lie, we didn't make the holandaise sauce this time. We just melted butter and added a prepared mix from Knorr. I'm not proud... but it tastes good and it's easy and you don't have to worry about it separating. If you want a recipe for holandaise, here is one we've made before.

1 can white potatoes, they can be whole but the sliced potatoes are easier
1.5 tbsp butter
whatever seasonings you'd like (we used some cayenne pepper, and garlic)

Fry it all up until slightly browned. You don't need to boil the potatoes or anything since they already have been at the factory.

Butter Chicken

Geoff and I made butter chicken about... 3 months ago. We took pictures, and even uploaded them to our blog. Somehow we have been able to write twenty or so recipes up since this and have completely neglected this one.

It was really good. My mom and sister had been telling me that they have been making butter chicken from a jar for months. They kept bragging about how good it was and how nice it was to have my grandparents move out of my mom's house (there was a fire and they stayed at my mom's house until there house was redone) so they could continue to make butter chicken whenever they wanted without my grandparents complaining.

Finally I had been convinced that I needed to try butter chicken. I decided to make it from scratch since anything homemade has to be better than from a jar. I'm still not sure that what we made and what my sister and mom make is the same thing, but it was delicious.

Recipe from Taste Buddies

6 skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into bite-size pieces (we used 3 chicken breasts)
150ml natural yogurt
1 1/2 tsp chili powder
3 bay leaves
4 green cardamom pods
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp of grated ginger
2 garlic gloves, crushed
400g can of diced tomatoes
1 1/4 tsp salt
1 tbs of butter
1 medium white onion, chopped
2 tbs of chopped cilantro
1/4 cup of cream
1 cup of water
Steamed basmati rice to serve

  1. Mix the yogurt, chili powder, bay leaves, cardamon pods, cloves, cinamon, garam marsala and salt in a bowl. Add the chicken to the bowl and cover it.
  2. Melt the butter in a pot. Add the onion and cook until translucent. Add garlic and ginger, cook for about 2 minutes over medium heat.
  3. Add the chicken mixture to the pot and cook for about 5 minutes.
  4. Add the tomatoes and the water, stir. Bring to a boil.
  5. Once boiling, turn the heat down to low and add 1 tbs of cilantro. Stir well and then cover. Gently simmer for about 30 to 35 minutes.
  6. Just before serving, stir 1/4 cup of cream into the pot. Garnish with remaining cilantro and serve on white rice.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Naan Pizza

We've made a few Naan pizzas before, but this is finally our first with our own homemade Naan. I've had this medley of ingredients in the back of my head for a long time and it turned out even better than I expected.

Before you go ahead and put Pesto sauce on your Naan, this is not made with Pesto sauce. We blended some fresh rosemary, thyme, green onion, garlic scapes, a bit of parsley and chives into a bit of oil to make the layer of sauce underneath all the veggies.

Ingredients (besides the green sauce):

1 Large piece of Naan bread
1 tomato, sliced
1 handfull of mushrooms, sliced
some green onions, chopped
Some artichoke hearts
1 Red pepper, sliced
2-3 pieces of Pemeal bacon
Cream Cheese
Goat Cheese
Mozzarella Cheese

1. Lay the green onion, mushrooms, and red pepper on a pan, toss in salt, pepper and oil and roast in the oven until everything is soft. Meanwhile, fry the pemeal bacon until both sides start to brown.
2. Coat the naan with mixed herbs.
3. Throw the roasted veggies, artichokes, and bacon onto the Naan.
4. Spread slices of Mozzarella Cheese over the veggies.
5. In a medium bowl, mix a good chunk of goat cheese and cream cheese together to make an even consistency.
6. Lay the slices of tomato on top of the Mozzarella and top with a small ball of the goat cheese and cream cheese mixture.
7. Throw the pizza into the oven until the cheese starts to brown and enjoy.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Garlic Scape Scampi

Geoff and I have been getting organic vegetables delivered to our door for the last year. It's always a great surprise to find out whats in the vegetable box. This week we received garlic scape.
I had never even heard of them before now. After a quick search on tastespotting, we were able to come across several recipes. Most of the recipes had the scape blended and made into a pesto. That seemed pretty boring to us, so we decided on this amazingly tastey dish from Closet Cooking. The recipe was fast and tastey. We definitely recommend trying this out.

The Ultimate Naan Sandwich

Finally, we've gotten around to make a batch of fresh Naan bread. I learned how to make this at a restaurant I worked at for a short time. Its so simple and always delivers tastey results. The recipe for the Naan is soon to come, but to start off what will be a number of posts including Naan bread, here is an absolutely fabulous sandwich that you'll be making for yourself every lunch once you try it.

Instead of simply melting butter on the freshly cooked Naan, I made a quick aeoli sauce by mixing some fresh garlic, salt, pepper, and lemon juice into some mayo. Just put in as much of the ingredients until you like the taste. This can be used as an excellent dipping sauce with strips of Naan bread for an appeteizer.

After coating one side of the freshly cooked Naan in the aeoli sauce, I put some fresh greens, sliced tomato, green onions, radish and a big slice of fried pemeal bacon on one side of the Naan. Then I just folded the empty side over, holding everything together with a couple toothpicks and cut into two pieces. For a touch of added spice, I sprinkled some cayenne pepper over the sandwiches and the plate.

Fresh Salad with Orange Dressing

I've been meaning to try and make my own orange-tasting salad dressing and this is what I came up with. It was very different than your typical salad and looked so delicious in these bowls.


1.5 cups of plain yogurt
1/4 cup honey
Juice and zest of 1 orange
Splash of lemon juice
Splash of vanilla extract

The salad itself consisted of mixed greens, some fresh cloves, sliced strawberries and half a can of mandarin oranges. It makes a very nice side dish to any meal.