Sunday, November 23, 2014

Break free from the dressing doldrums

I always make the same salad dressing:

2 parts oil
1 part vinegar
Dijon mustard
Maple syrup
Salt and pepper

Don't get me wrong - it's a good backpocket option, but I think I'm guilty of overuse. Which is why it was so exciting when this very different dressing popped up on my radar. It's originally intended for fattoush salad, but I think you could put it on anything you want.

2 teaspoons paprika (or sumac if you can get it - I couldn't)
2 teaspoons warm water
1 to 2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 small garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
4 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Fattoush also involves chopping ingredients into tiny pieces and adding fried pita pieces, which really, are both great ideas pretty much all the time.

-Recipe courtesy of Smitten Kitchen

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Chickpea stew with couscous, for camping or otherwise

So on the expert and helpful advice of M. Cohen, I planned a few meals for an early fall camping trip (more collected camping recipes and suggestions from M. Cohen forthcoming, ideally in cute zine form). This meal was in the plan, though I believe what actually happened was a huddled dinner of sandwiches and then a quick retreat to the tent to get out of the rain and wind. Fall. It's not like summer. BUT this recipe was just as good cooked in my temperature controlled kitchen the next evening.

Date and Chickpea Stew with Couscous

What you'll need:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 15-oz can diced tomatoes
2 15-oz cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 cup pitted dates, sliced
juice of one lemon
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1 cup couscous
1/2 teaspoon salt

The stew:
1. Heat the olive in a pot or large cast iron pan and saute the onion until browned (7-10 minutes).
2. Add the spices and garlic and cook briefly (30 seconds). Then add the tomatoes, chickpeas, and 1/4 of water. Cover and simmer (10 minutes).
3. Add the dates and lemon juice, continue to simmer to taste.

The couscous:
1. Boil 1.5 cups of salted water (you can add stock or bouillon for more flavor).
2. Stir in the couscous, remove the pot from the heat source, and cover.
3. The best part.... fluffing! Use a fork to ruffle the couscous just before you're ready to eat.

Place couscous in bowls and top with the stew and some chopped cilantro. Enjoy!

-Recipe courtesy of Dirty Gourmet.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Louis Drummond's Avocado Margaritas

Hey y'all!

A guest post from none other than Gail!

Louis Drumond's Avocado Margaritas

1oz tequila

1/2 oz triple sec

1oz fresh lime juice

1oz simple syrup

1/4 ripe avocado

Leaf or three cilantro

Blend with equivalent of a 14oz glass worth of ice cubes

Gail says: "Story is, invited Derek and his 4 boys to Prouts Cocktails and a quick-snap e-convo ensured over the course of the week.

Louis + his wife Vickki run a resto in the interior of BC.

Shake + Smile"

Saturday, April 26, 2014

anti-oppression margaritas

After extensive testing, I decided there are many many ways to make a drinkable margarita, but if a person wants to keep one's friends as friends, it might be a good idea to invest in some sort of juicing apparatus that isn't giving your friend a fork and a bag of limes. Disclaimer aside, here is one of my favorites. For best results, drink on my porch.

A few preliminary thoughts:

Tequila is magical. Also sort of like a drug. There are loosely three kinds but anything you buy should be 100% agave. Blanco is clear - just distilled agave. Resposado is aged in oak barrels for up to 1 year, and anejo between 1-3 years. Or to put it another way: blanco $, reposado $$, anejo $$$.
Conveniently, blanco is great for margaritas.

Simple syrup is a 1:1 mixture of water and sugar. Heating the water helps the sugar completely dissolve, so maybe make this ahead of time and store it in a jar in your fridge so it's cold when you feel like a drink. I don't think it ever goes bad. I may or may not still be using a jar of ss that I made last summer and that may have traveled to the Gaspe and back. I promise not to serve you a drink with the 2013 vintage. I will make a new batch for this summer.

Also ratios instead of measurements - infinitely preferable and great for growth potential. Not like unsustainable inequitable capitalist growth, like more friends on your porch growth.

The breakdown:

1 part tequila
1 part simple syrup
1 part lime juice (fresh is best)
a squeeze of orange juice in every glass
chunky salt for the rims (si quieres)
lime slices for the rims

Tips for the salt: slice a lime into smiley sections and make perpendicular cut across the centers of the sections. Use this cut in the lime to wet the rim of the glass and then twist gently in a pile of salt (the tops of yogurt containers are great salt-holders). Return the lime slice to the rim of the glass as a garnish. Probably wash the lime before you do any of this.

Por arriba
Por abajo
Al centro
Y al dentro

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Buckwheat pancakes

My favourite brunches are usually savoury but the past two weekends's I've found myself cooking these buckwheat pancakes - easy to make with ingredients you may have around - and been very pleased. I find they are a bit more savoury and flavourful than your average pancake, and that they lend themselves to many delicious toppings. The recipe is from the Rebar cookbook.

1/2 cup buckwheat flour
1/2 cup unbleached flour
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups buttermilk (or DIY by putting 1 1/2 tbsps vinegar in a bowl and pouring 1 1/2 cups milk on top, letting it sit for 5 - 10 minutes to curdle)
2 tbsp molasses
butter for cooking
1 cup hazlenuts for topping 

Preheat oven to 200 degrees celsius.

1. Mix together flours, baking soda and baking powder and salt. In another bowl whisk eggs then add buttermilk and mollases. Mix. Combine wet and dry ingredients, not stirring too much.

2. Cook on a medium-hot buttered pan. I use a cast-iron pan, and if I ladle in a 1/3 of a cup batter they usually cook with a couple of minutes on the first side and a bit less on the second. I flip once the pancakes have a few bubbles.

Put the finished pancakes into the warmed oven to hang out while you make the rest.

I particularly love these pancakes with berries and toasted hazelnuts and maple syrup. I chop about a cup of hazlenuts and toast them while I'm cooking the pancakes.