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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Two Recipes from the Cookin' Canuck

Ok, I'm making up for lost time and posting two great recipes I found on the Cookin' Canuck Blog by a fellow ex-pat Canadian who is now living in the U.S. She too was used to a wide array of multi-cultural tastes back home and now brings them to the table with some really good & easy recipes - that can be made with suburban grocery store ingredients. So if you get a craving for a little 'world party in your mouth' and you're living without the benefit of some good ethnic take-out, (do we really need another designer hamburger joint?), then these two dishes provide an excellent DIY solution. I intend to go back to her blog and check out her other recipes, like the caramel, apple ice cream sundae....thanks Dara!

~ Enjoy!

Braised Country Style Ribs Recipe in Ginger & Hoisin Sauce

Braised Country Style Ribs in Ginger Ale & Hoisin Sauce

My notes:
1: Make more sauce than is called for
2: I added spicy Chinese garlic/chili paste to heat things up.

2 lbs. country-style (boneless) pork ribs
1 tsp kosher salt
3/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp canola oil
1 tbsp peeled and finely chopped fresh ginger
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 cup good-quality ginger ale
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
2 tbsp hoisin sauce
2 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp arrowroot or cornstarch
2 tsp water

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Season pork ribs with kosher salt and black pepper. Heat canola oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Brown the pork, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Remove the pork to a plate and set aside.

Turn the heat to medium and remove all but 1 teaspoon of the oil. Add chopped ginger and garlic. Sauté for 30 seconds. Add ginger ale, chicken broth, hoisin sauce, and soya sauce. Stir with a whisk until the hoisin sauce dissolves. Add the pork ribs to the pan and turn to coat. Cover the pan tightly with foil and cook in the oven until the meat is very tender, turning occasionally, about 2 hours.

Lower the oven heat to 200 degrees F. Remove the ribs from the braising liquid, place in an oven-proof dish, and keep warm in the oven.

Skim fat off the surface of the liquid. Set the saucepan with the braising liquid over medium heat and boil until the sauce reduces by half. In a small bowl, stir together arrowroot or cornstarch and water. Whisk into the sacue and cook for an additional 5 minutes.

With two forks, shred the pork into bite-sized pieces and stir into the sauce. Serve over rice. Garnish with sliced green onions.

Make-ahead: Once the ribs are cooked, remove the foil and let cool completely. Cover the saucepan and store in the fridge for up to two days. When ready to use, uncover and skim off the fat. Reheat the ribs over medium heat for about 10 minutes. Remove the ribs from the pan, keep warm, and follow the directions above for finishing the sauce.

Serves 4 to 6.


Mum's Savory Beef & Potato Curry Recipe
Mum’s Chicken & Potato Curry

Yield: 4 servings

From the kitchen of Cookin Canuck.


2 tsp canola oil
2 Gala apples, cut into 1/4-inch dice (I wasn't sure about the apples, but it was delicious)
3 green onions, sliced
2 tbsp minced fresh ginger
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 jar (10 oz.) mild curry paste (I use Patak's) (I used Patak's Madras curry for some heat)
8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1/2 cup water
1 can (14 oz.) light coconut milk
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
4 tsp water
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
1/2 tsp kosher salt
8 small red-skinned potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch dice


Heat canola oil in a large saucepan set over medium heat. Add apples, green onions and ginger and cook, stirring frequently, until apple begins to soften, 8 to 10 minutes.
Add garlic and saute for 30 seconds.
Turn heat to medium-low and add Patak's curry paste and cook, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes.
Turn heat back to medium and add chicken thighs and 1/2 cup water. Cook, turning chicken frequently, for 10 minutes.
Add coconut milk and turn chicken to coat.
In a small bowl, stir together cumin, coriander and 4 teaspoons water to make a paste. Stir into the curry. Add cayenne pepper, if desired. Season with salt.
Add potatoes, cover pot with lid ajar, turn heat to low to medium-low and simmer for 1 to 2 hours, or until chicken is cooked through and the gravy thickens.
Serve with basmati rice, naan, raita, mango chutney and diced cucumbers, tomatoes and bananas.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Epicurious' New England Clam Chowder (from Skipjacks)

Skipjack's New England Clam Chowder Bon Appétit | November 2000 recipe was a family favorite recipe long before we moved down to New England. I still haven't tasted any other restaurant chowder that I'd consider worthy competition. With this recipe, you can prepare the broth as thick and gloppy or thinned down as you like by adjusting the amount of flour and type of cream you use; but just be warned that the quantities listed makes A LOT of chowder. (Photo credit -

~ Enjoy!

Skipjack's (in Boston MA) calls for shucked fresh clams in their chowder; we've substituted canned clams, which are easier to use. Serve with oyster crackers, if desired.
Yield: Makes 8 (first-course) or 4 (main-course) servings

3 8-ounce bottles clam juice
1 pound russet potatoes, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
3 slices bacon, finely chopped
2 cups chopped onions
1 1/4 cups chopped celery with leaves (about 2 large stalks)
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 bay leaf
1/4 cup all purpose flour
6 6 1/2-ounce cans chopped clams, drained, juices reserved
1 1/4 cups half and half
1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce

Bring bottled clam juice and potatoes to boil in heavy large saucepan over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat.

Melt butter in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add bacon and cook until bacon begins to brown, about 8 minutes. Add onions, celery, garlic and bay leaf and sauté until vegetables soften, about 6 minutes. Stir in flour and cook 2 minutes (do not allow flour to brown). Gradually whisk in reserved juices from clams. Add potato mixture, clams, half and half and hot pepper sauce. Simmer chowder 5 minutes to blend flavors, stirring frequently. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Refrigerate uncovered until cold, then cover and keep refrigerated. Bring to simmer before serving.)

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Paula Deen's Sausage, White Bean and Swiss Chard Soup

Stop the presses! A Paula Deen recipe that doesn't call for butter or deep frying? And it's good? This Sausage, White Bean, and Swiss Chard Soup is yummy - REALLY EASY, and may be even healthy (?).

Her recipe is probably excellent as is, but I accidentally bought & used sweet sausage instead of hot, and compensated by adding some diced andouille sausage along with the swiss chard. I also added a good squeeze of lemon juice and a bit of grated rind. Sorry, I couldn't get a picture of the soup, but you can see it through the link to the soup page above.

~ Enjoy

Sausage, White Bean and Swiss Chard Soup


1 (1.22-pound) package lean hot Italian turkey sausage, casings removed
1 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
4 cups chopped Swiss chard, stems removed
2 (15 1/2-ounce) cans great Northern beans, drained and rinsed
Salt and freshly cracked black pepper
Mini cornbread muffins, optional


In a large Dutch oven, cook the sausage, onions, and garlic over medium-high heat until the sausage is browned and crumbly, about 6 minutes. Drain, if necessary. Stir in the broth, Swiss chard, and beans. Add salt and pepper, to taste. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat, and simmer until Swiss chard is tender, about 20 minutes. Serve immediately with mini cornbread muffins, if desired.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Pioneer Woman's Chipotle Steak Salad

It's hot. So a steak salad for dinner sounded like a great idea to satisfy a hungry family -- and the not-really-wanting-to-cook, me. The Pioneer Woman's Chipotle Steak Salad is really easy and tasty - especially if you take advantage of the salad bar at the grocery store to augment the lonely lettuce and tomato you might have in the house. My husband LOVED the dressing and is thrilled that there is some left over to use with other meals.

Just a couple of caveats that I noticed:
1) Pioneer Woman suggests a really large quantity of mayo for the dressing because she made extra to keep in the fridge. You might want to adjust the amount you use to meet your needs. I also added a bit of lime juice to thin it out.

2) The marinade makes the steak really tasty, but it didn't do anything to tenderize it. Tough meat was the only downside. Maybe it would have been better if I had let it sit longer than 2 hrs? Or maybe I'll add some lime juice to it the next time to introduce an acid?
(photo source: Ree Drummond, Pioneer Woman)
~ Enjoy

30 ounces, weight Mayonnaise
11 ounces, weight Chipotle Peppers In Adobo Sauce, Reserve 2 Tablespoons Adobo
1 whole Flank Steak
3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
½ teaspoons Ground Cumin
1 teaspoon Oregano
1 Tablespoon Honey
24 ounces, weight Salad Greens (spring Mix)
4 whole Roma Tomatoes, Sliced
1 whole Cucumber, Sliced
1 whole Red Onion, Halved And Sliced

Preparation Instructions
Dressing: In a food processor or blender, combine mayonnaise with canned chipotles. Blend until totally combined. Transfer to a separate container and store in the fridge.

Marinade: In a separate bowl, mix olive oil, Worcestershire sauce, cumin, oregano, honey, and reserved adobo sauce. Whisk to combine.

Pour marinade over flank steak, coating both sides. Cover and marinate in refrigerator for at least two hours.

Remove flank steak from fridge. Grill over high heat, only about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes per side until rare/medium rare. Remove from heat and allow meat to rest a few minutes. Slice very thin shingles of meat on an extreme diagonal.

Mound salad greens on a each plate. Drape strips of warm steak over the sides of the greens so that they’re cascading downward. Lay tomato and cucumber slices on one side of the plate, and place red onion slices on top.

Drizzle the whole salad with chipotle dressing. The warm meat on the cool salad, combined with the flavorful and spicy dressing, is out of this world.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Gluten Free Chocolate-Orange Tart from Midwest Living

Chocolate-Orange Tart

From: Midwest Living

I think you're going to like this dessert whether you prefer your food gluten free, or not. It's not complicated and is elegant enough to bring to a dinner party. The sophisticated chocolate- orange flavor comes from marmalade and liqueur (that's another word for 'booze darling' for all of you Ab Fab fans).

I suggest using dark chocolate instead of semi-sweet to cut the sweetness (which was my only complaint when I made it the first time). I even experimented and used a dark chocolate/orange flavored Lindt bar on my second try, and it turned out great.

~ Enjoy!

Servings: 10 to 12 servings
Prep: 40 mins
Total: 1 hr 10 mins
Rated : Not yet rated

1 recipe Almond Crust (see recipe below)
3/4 cup whipping cream
6 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped, or one 6-ounce package semisweet chocolate pieces (1 cup)
2 tablespoons Grand Marnier, other orange liqueur, or brandy (optional)
1/3 cup orange marmalade
1 ounce white chocolate

1. Prepare the Almond Crust and set aside.
2. For filling, in a small saucepan, heat whipping cream to simmering. Remove from heat; whisk in semisweet chocolate until smooth. Whisk in Grand Marnier or other liqueur, if you like. Cool until filling begins to thicken, but is still pourable, about 30 minutes.
3. Spread marmalade over bottom of cooled crust. Pour the chocolate filling over marmalade. Cover; chill for about 20 minutes or until filling isn't quite set.
4. Using a vegetable peeler, shave the white chocolate and sprinkle over the tart. Cover and chill for about 2 hours or until filling is firm. Makes 10 to 12 servings.
Almond Crust
Combine 1-1/2 cups toasted blanched almonds and 1/4 cup packed brown sugar. In a food processor bowl or blender container, process or blend, a portion at a time, until nuts are finely ground. Transfer to mixing bowl. Stir in 1/4 cup all-purpose flour (omit for gluten free and reduce butter accordingly - I pour it in slowly until it the nuts are incorporated, but not soaked). Add 1/4 cup melted unsalted butter or regular butter, stirring until well combined. Press mixture onto bottom and 1 inch up sides of a 9-inch tart pan with removable bottom, or a 9-inch springform pan. Bake in a 325 degree F oven about 20 minutes or until golden and firm to the touch. Cool on a wire rack.
Make-Ahead Tip
Prepare tart up to 24 hours ahead. Cover and refrigerate.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

(Chocolate) Peppercorn Cookies for Valentine's Day (or breakfast?)

See, this is why I don't have homemade chocolate cookies in the house - While friends like Tucker and Shannon stay thin by baking and dropping off, I tend to eat their treats for breakfast....

Today's recipe comes from Tucker, who dropped off these delicious and surprisingly named, Peppercorn Cookies yesterday. After one bite, I was addicted to the incredible chocolate beginning with the hint o' heat aftertaste. (hence the breakfast thing). I just had to share the recipe for Valentine's Day so you can either bake and drop off, or sit and enjoy ~

I found an internet version of the recipe (since that's the raison d'etre of the blog) on and added Tucker's version in red so you get the real deal. The big differences are that Tucker's cookies are chocolate based (yumm) and she rolls the dough into a log in order to slice the cookies.
~ Enjoy

Prep Time: 20 mins Total Time: 30 mins Yield: 48 cookies

3 cups unbleached flour (Tucker uses 1.5 cups)

3/4 cup unsweetened powdered cocoa -

2 teaspoons baking powder No baking powder

1 cup butter, softened 12 T butter, softened

1 teaspoon cracked black peppercorns ( a generous t. (or more) 1/8 t ground pepper

1 pinch cayenne 1/8 t cayenne

1 tablespoon ground ginger no ginger - however, I think this would be nice

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon 3/4 T cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves no cloves

1 3/4 cups sugar 1 cup sugar

1 1/2 t vanilla

1 egg

powdered sugar for dusting

Heat oven 375'. 350'

Combine flour and baking powder.

In another bowl, cream butter till it is pale yellow and fluffy. Gradually beat in sugar and spices, then egg. And finally, gradually beat in flour.

Roll dough into 12" log. Chill till firm ..Slice into 1/4" slices. Arrange on greased cookie sheet and bake 10-12 minutes at 350 degrees. Watch them closely since it's hard to tell if they're burning!! Sprinkle with powdered sugar when cool.
Knead dough on floured surface a few times. Divide it into 3 pieces and roll each piece to 1/8" thickness. Cut with cookie cutters and place onto ungreased (or parchment-lined) baking sheet. Bake until edges are golden, about 10-12 minutes. Cool on wire rack.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size: 1 (1022 g)
Amount Per Serving % Daily ValueCalories 92.9 Calories from Fat 36 39% Amount Per Serving % Daily ValueTotal Fat 4.0g 6% Saturated Fat 2.4g 12% Cholesterol 14.5mg 4% Sugars 7.3 g
Sodium 44.1mg 1% Total Carbohydrate 13.4g 4% Dietary Fiber 0.2g 1% Sugars 7.3 g 29% Protein 0.9g 1%

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Fig and Blue Cheese-Stuffed Pork Tenderloin

OMG - I now have a signature dish. Even though I only used this Cooking Light recipe as a basis for my dinner last night - it was the perfect guide to a perfect meal.

If you like the taste combination of figs and blue cheese, you're going to love this. I started by using what I had in the house: A small pork loin blade roast (not tenderloin), Stonewall Kitchen's Fig & Ginger jam (I'm sure any Fig jam will do - you can find it by the cheese/deli displays) dried thyme, salt/pepper and blue cheese crumbles - that's it.
All I did was mix the jam, blue cheese and thyme together (you can choose your own taste concentration between figs & blue cheese depending on the ratio you use). I molded it into a log that would fit my roast, wrapped it in plastic and froze it - this is a trick to keep it from melting all over the pan when it's cooking. I then cut a slit, length-wise into the meat without piercing the end. Stuffed my frozen cheese log inside, seasoned with salt and pepper and threw it into the oven at 450 degrees for 10 mins to brown. I then removed it, spread A BIT of diluted fig jam on top and put it back in the oven at 325 degrees to finish cooking.

When it was done, I removed the pork for slicing and added a bit of white wine to the drippings and the bit of melted fig/cheese mixture in the pan to create a sauce. It was very easy and tasted like a really good restaurant meal. Not a bad use for a $4.00 piece of meat.
(photo: Cooking Light - Randy Major)

~ Enjoy

Monday, January 17, 2011

Chicken and Black Bean Chili

Hi, I'm back. Actually, I've been trying new Internet recipes but I haven't been happy enough to post them (one was a Caribbean red bean recipe to try to recreate the really yummy dish I had at Johnny Longboat- ok, who's the joker who said you didn't have to soak the beans first??? And the other recipe was a creative way to deal with Christmas left overs. Trust me, the turkey enchilada recipe lived up to it's name!).
So here we are with an easy chicken and black bean chili from . It should actually be called 'chipotle' chili because the recipe calls for chipotle chili and I, may have added more than suggested. Still really good. My only tweaks were to use chicken thighs, not add all the water, and instead of adding green pepper sauce, I added hot Pace Picante Sauce. Ok, I also added a couple of pieces of broken taco shell to the mixture to thicken it in a gluten-free friendly way. After I added my requisite cilantro, all was good with the world. (photo: courtesy of Sherry who posted her version on the website.)
~ Enjoy!