Sunday, August 27, 2017

Cod with Lemon and Dill Pesto and Wine Roasted Tomatoes

When it comes to white fish, most people think of something breaded or battered and deep fried. As it’s usually inexpensive, it’s not considered a kind of fish for haute cuisine, but I say that if you’re clever, you can turn even the simplest ingredient into something that will wow your guests.

Take this dish.

I take the Canadian classic, Cod, and combine it with tomatoes, fresh herbs, and white wine. The result is a dish that tastes as good as anything you’d get in a fancy restaurant for a fraction of the price and without the pretentious ambiance. Though I do use dill for this recipe, basil would be great too and any leftover pesto is a great addition to tuna or egg salad, or even salad dressing!

Here’s How You Do It

Difficulty Level: Medium -Easy
Prep  time: 5-10 Minutes

Cook Time: 35 Minutes

Ingredients

1 Large White Fish Fillet or 3 Small Ones – I used cod, but use what’s easy to get

1 ½ Cups Chopped Tomatoes

2 Cloves of Garlic, peeled and finely chopped

1 ½ Cups White Wine

1 Green Onion, thinly sliced

2 Cups Fresh Dill, cleaned and cut in half

Zest of 1 Lemon

1 Lemon, thinly sliced – You can use the same lemon you got the zest from.

1 Teaspoon Salt

½ Cup + 1 Tablespoon of Olive Oil, divided

1 Tablespoon of Butter

Fresh Pepper

Equipment

1 Food Processor – this is one of the rare occasions where you DO need a food processor. If you can’t afford one, ask around. You may have a relative or friend who’ll let you use theirs in exchange for a little of the pesto.

1 Baking Pan

Measuring Cups and Spoons

One Fine Mesh Grater or Lemon Zester – Available in dollar stores

1 Regular Spatula

1 Rubber Spatula

1 Knife and Cutting Board


Preheat the oven to 350 0F.

In a baking pan, add the tomatoes, green onion, and 1 Tablespoon of Olive Oil.

Pop the pan in the oven and walk away for 20 minutes.

Pour the wine into the pan and walk away for another 10 minutes – this will allow the wine to reduce a bit and marry with the tomatoes.

Add half the minced garlic and the butter and pop it back in the oven while you get your fish ready.

Put the remaining garlic in your food processor with the lemon zest, dill, and salt and pulse until finely chopped.

With the food processor running on low, slowly add the half cup of Olive Oil through the feeder spout until a loose pesto forms. You may need to pause the food processor halfway through and scrape the inside of the bowl with a rubber spatula to ensure even mixing.

Pat your fish filet(s) dry to remove any excess moisture and smother it on both sides with your pesto. Season with a little fresh pepper.

Take the pan out of the oven and push the tomatoes to the sides.

Put your pesto smothered fish in the middle and top with the lemon slices.

Bake for 15 minutes or until the juices of the fish have turned a milky colour.

Serve with rice or potatoes and your veg of choice.

Enjoy!

-Samantha R. Gold

Questions? Comments? Requests?

Bring it on!

I can be reached at:  for.the.culinarily.challenged@gmail.com

Trolls will be unceremoniously deleted and dismissed.






Monday, August 14, 2017

Asian Style Pulled Pork



Pulled pork is one of the more popular dishes out there. Every food blog and cooking show has their own version and everyone claims theirs is the best. I attribute this dish’s popularity in part to the various food networks’ shows about barbecue and the fact that it’s an inexpensive and tasty way to feed a crowd.

The secret to a good pulled pork dish is 3 things: A tough cut of pork like shoulder or butt, a whole lot of time and patience, and an amazing sauce. Tougher cuts of meat require more time to cook, but they’re way tastier and cheaper than pricey cuts like loin and filet and the fat gives them extra moisture.

When it comes to pulled pork sauces, everyone seems to go the Southwestern route so I’m trying something different. This version combines the sweet, sour, salty, spicy flavors of Asia, and like most modern pulled pork recipes, I’m doing mine in a slow cooker, not the barbecue. The advantage to the former is that you can walk away and live your life while the cooker is gently cooking and tenderising your meat! No slow cooker? No problem! I’ve included instructions for making this in the oven too.

Try it! It’s heaven in a sandwich or on a bed of rice or noodles and a side of stir fried veggies!

Ingredients

PORK

2 Pounds Bone-in Pork Shoulder with fat and skin removed – you can do this yourself or get the butcher to do it

1 Cup of Water

RUB

1 Teaspoon of Garlic Powder

2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar

1 Teaspoon of Salt

1 Teaspoon of Chinese Five Spice Powder – Available in the spice section of your grocery store

1 Tablespoon of Korean Chili Powder or Regular Chili Powder – The former is spicier and can be found in Asian markets, but use what’s easiest to find

2 Tablespoons of Vegetable Oil

SAUCE

¼ Cup Soy Sauce

½ Cup Hoisin Sauce

½ Cup of Ketchup

2 Tablespoons of Honey

2 Cloves of Grated or Crushed Garlic

1 Teaspoon of Peeled and Grated Ginger

½ Teaspoon of Sesame Oil

1 Tablespoon of Vinegar

¼ Cup Sriracha (Thai Chili Sauce) – This may seem like a lot, but the other ingredients will dull its potency quite a bit. If you can’t handle ANY heat, leave it out.

½ Teaspoon of Wasabi paste or powder (Optional)

Equipment

Tongs

1 Frying Pan

1 Sauce Pan

1 Whisk

2 Small Mixing Bowls

1 Slow Cooker or Deep Pot with lid

1 Ladle

Mix the vegetable Oil and other rub ingredients together and rub all over the pork.

Heat your frying pan on high and sear on all sides until the very outside layer of the pork is brown.

Put in your slow cooker or pot with lid.

Add a cup of water.

IF USING A SLOW COOKER, turn it on low, put the lid on, and walk away for 6 to 8 hours or until the meat falls off the bone.

IF USING A POT, put the lid on, and stick it in the oven on the lowest temperature possible. Walk away for at least 4 hours or until the meat falls apart when you try and pick it. DO NOT LEAVE THE HOUSE. You don’t want to burn it down. This is a good time to do all the at home chores you’ve been neglecting.

When the meat is ready, turn off the heat and using your trusty ladle, scoop any accumulated liquid into a small saucepan.

Add all the sauce ingredients and bring it to a boil, simmering and occasionally whisking until at least a third of the liquid has evaporated and the sauce has thickened.

Using a couple of forks, shred the meat, making sure to remove the bone and any cartilage.

Pour the sauce in with the meat and stir everything to combine.

Put the pot back on medium heat for 5 minutes so meat and sauce have a chance to really come together.

Serve and Enjoy!

-Samantha R. Gold

Questions? Comments? Requests?

Bring it on!

I can be reached at:  for.the.culinarily.challenged@gmail.com

Trolls will be unceremoniously deleted and dismissed.





Sunday, August 6, 2017

Beef Stroganoff


The weather is hinting that summer is on its way out, and with it comes cooler winds and a craving for heavier, heartier food.

Beef stroganoff is one of the best and heartiest comfort foods there is. Sadly it has fallen off our menus, and I blame processed foods’ lame TV dinner versions and the modern obsession with food porn for this. A comforting dish of savory beef, mushrooms, and onions in a rich creamy sauce, it’s not the prettiest dish on earth, but it’s heaven on hot buttered noodles.

Try it.

It may become a new favorite!

Here’s How You Do It

Difficulty Level: Medium -Easy
Prep  time: 15-20 Minutes
Cook Time: 60 Minutes

Serves 4 to 6 Depending on Appetites

Ingredients

1 Pound of Stewing Beef, Thinly Sliced

2 Cups Button Mushrooms, thinly sliced – these are the regular thin mushrooms you typically find in blue or orange tubs in the grocery store – they’re also the cheapest mushrooms you can buy

2 Cups of Coarsely Chopped Onions – 2 medium onions should do it

½ Teaspoon of Paprika

Salt and Pepper To Taste

2 Cups Beef or Chicken Stock – Fresh, Instant, Canned or from a carton is just fine. Use what’s easiest for you

2 Tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce

1 Teaspoon of Soy Sauce

1 Tablespoon of Butter

1 Tablespoon of Olive Oil

1 Cup of Red Wine

1 ½ Cups Plain Greek Yogurt – Sour Cream is traditional for this dish, but I prefer Greek Yogurt because it’s a bit more tart, allowing you to cut back on the salt

¼ Cup All Purpose Flour, sifted – Sifting it will keep the flour from forming lumps when it hits the list.

Equipment

1 Large Pot with Lid

1 Mixing Spoon

Measuring Cups and Spoon

1 Knife and Cutting Board

1 Fine mesh sieve – For the flour


In a pot on medium high heat, melt the butter and olive oil together.

Add the onions and mushrooms and sauté until soft; about 10 minutes.

Season the beef with the paprika, salt, and pepper, and add it to the pot.

Stir everything together until the meat is no longer pink.

Add broth, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, broth, and wine.

Bring to a boil.

Lower the heat and simmer for 45 minutes, stirring every once in a while to let the liquids reduce a little and keep the bottom from burning.

Stir in the flour, breaking up any lumps.

Continue simmering until the dish has thickened a bit.

Stir in the Greek Yogurt until you can’t tell it apart from the rest of the dish.

Simmer for another 5 minutes.

Serve and Enjoy!


-Samantha R. Gold

Questions? Comments? Requests?

Bring it on!

I can be reached at:  for.the.culinarily.challenged@gmail.com

Trolls will be unceremoniously deleted and dismissed.