Easy Hot and Sour Soup with Shanghai Noodles

Crunchy wood ear, soft tofu cubes, silky egg ribbons, tangy vinegar, and an umami-laden chili broth makes the classic hot and sour soup a delicious bowl of bold flavours and textures that are surprisingly easy to throw together. If you’re celebrating Chinese New Year, you’re going to want to start the feast with this appetizer, or do what I did and throw in fresh Shanghai noodles to soak up the delicious soup and make it into a main.

While hot and sour soup was never much of a fixture at our family’s Chinese New Year’s dinners (a good chunk of my family can’t even handle the spice of black pepper), my mom and resident Chinese-cooking expert Uncle Simon gave me some tips when I was developing this recipe. For them, the key is using “toban jan”, a fermented paste made of chilies and beans used throughout in Sichuan cooking. This is what’s going to give you that deep reddish-brown colour and that signature spicy umami kick. You can find this in the Asian aisle at the supermarket and it goes wonderfully with tofu, chicken, stir-frys, and on top of rice and noodle dishes. Think of it as Chinese sriracha.

For the sour component, I was advised by both of them to use ketchup. I love them both (especially if they’re reading this post) but I substituted the ketchup with a sharper, less sugary rice vinegar that turned out quite well. If any readers decide to listen to my mom and use ketchup, please tweet me @karonliu and let me know how it goes. A tip I did use was cooking the noodles separately in water rather than in the soup. This is because the noodles have a light coating of flour, which would leave a chalky taste in the broth.

One final note: wood ear mushrooms are sold dried at the Chinese grocer and need to be soaked in boiling water for 30 minutes before they’re ready to be eaten. Shimeji mushrooms can be found fresh at the Asian grocer (along with the Shanghai noodles), but if you can’t find them use another slightly chewy mushroom like enoki or shiitake.

Hot and Sour soup recipe Food Network Canada

Ingredients:

For the soup base
1 litre no salt-added chicken broth
3 tablespoons Chinese chili-bean paste (the anglicized name is “toban djan”)
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoon cornstarch

For the pork
1/2 pound pork loin, sliced into long and thin strips (about a cup)
1 teaspoon dark soy sauce
1 teaspoon light soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated ginger

For the toppings
4 wood ear mushrooms
2 ounces shimeji mushrooms (about a cup)
1 cup firm tofu, cut into cubes
1 large egg
4 ounces fresh Shanghai noodles (about 1/4 package)
Chopped green onions for garnish

Directions:

    1. If your wood ear mushrooms are dehydrated, reconstitute them by soaking them for 30 minutes in boiling water. Do this ahead of time, or even the day before. Store the hydrated mushrooms on a plate with a damp paper towel draped on top.
    2. In a medium-sized soup pot, bring the chicken broth to a boil.
    3. In the meantime, mix all the ingredients for the pork together (meat, soy sauces, sugar, cornstarch, and ginger) in a bowl. Set aside and let marinate for five minutes.
    4. In a slightly oiled pan, sear the marinated pork until it starts to brown, about one or two minutes. Set aside.
    5. When the broth is boiling, add the chili paste and vinegar. Stir until the paste has completely dissolved. Chop the wood ear mushrooms into smaller slices and add them to the pot along with the simeji mushrooms. Stir and add in the cornstarch to thicken the soup. Bring to a boil and add the tofu and pork. Whisk the eggs together and add them to the boiling soup very slowly in a thin stream. Keep the soup to a simmer.
    6. Bring a fresh pot of water to a boil and cook the noodles until they are al dente, about two to three minutes. Drain and set aside.
    7. To plate, pour 3/4 of the soup into a large bowl. Pile the cooked Shanghai noodles high on top in the centre, and then ladle the rest of the soup around the noodles. Garnish with green onions and serve immediately. Serves two as an appetizer, or one as a main dish.

734863_10151322355189438_2070375187_n Karon Liu is a freelance food writer based in Toronto who is slightly lactose intolerant but will otherwise eat and cook anything.

1 Dish, 2 Meals: Mixed Mushrooms with Caramelized Shallots and Spinach

If the thought of king oyster mushrooms, shallots and spinach sizzling in butter whets your palate, then follow me to your future dinner options, involving quick, meatless weeknight meals.

Thanks to a few store-bought helpers and a bright, no-fuss side of lemony greens, these quick-cooking vegetables make a gorgeous meal that tastes just as good the next day.

Butter Sautéed Oyster and Cremini Mushrooms with Caramelized Shallots and Spinach

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Ingredients:

3 large shallots, halved and thinly sliced
3 king oyster mushrooms, halved and thinly sliced
6 to 8 large cremini mushrooms
2 cups fresh baby spinach
2 tablespoons, olive oil
1 tablespoon, butter
Coarse salt and cracked black pepper

Directions:

  1. In a medium saucepan, heat butter and olive oil over medium-low heat. Add shallots and cook until caramelized and soft, about 10 minutes. Add mushrooms and continue to cook for another 10 minutes. Fold in baby spinach, add salt and pepper.

Mixed Mushroom Tart with Caramelized Shallots and Goat Cheese

mushroom-tart-with-spinach-shallots-goat-cheese

Ingredients:

1 sheet, frozen butter puff pastry
3 large shallots, halved and thinly sliced
3 king oyster mushrooms, halved and thinly sliced
6 to 8 large cremini mushrooms
2 cups fresh baby spinach
2 tablespoons soft goat cheese, crumbled
2 tablespoons, olive oil
1 tablespoon, butter
Coarse salt and cracked black pepper

For the egg wash:
1 egg, whisked
1/2 tablespoon milk

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Roll out thawed puff pastry and place on a baking sheet. Fold over about 1/4-inch to form a border and brush the edges with the egg mixture. Bake until golden, about 12 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, heat butter and olive oil over medium-low heat. Add shallots and cook until caramelized and soft, about 10 minutes. Add mushrooms and continue to cook for another 10 minutes. Fold in baby spinach, add salt and pepper. Set aside.
  3. Top the pastry with the shallot/mushroom mixture and drop the goat cheese on top. Bake for another 10 minutes.

For the Salad:

Baby salad greens
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons)
1/2 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

  1. Place the salad greens in a large bowl.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Pour enough dressing on the salad to moisten. Toss and serve.

Mixed Mushroom Quiche with Caramelized Shallots and Goat Cheese

Mushroom-spinach-shallots-quiche-recipe

Ingredients:

1 pre-made pie crust
3 large shallots, halved and thinly sliced
3 king oyster mushrooms, halved and thinly sliced
6 to 8 large cremini mushrooms
2 cups fresh baby spinach
2 tablespoons soft goat cheese, crumbled
2 tablespoons, olive oil
1 tablespoon, butter
Coarse salt and cracked black pepper

4 large eggs
2/3 cup half and half
1/3 cup whole milk
Coarse salt and cracked black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

For the egg wash:
1 egg, whisked
1/2 tbsp milk

Directions:

    1. Preheat oven to 450°F. Brush pie crust with egg mixture and bake until light golden brown, about 13 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 325°F.
    2. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, heat butter and olive oil over medium-low heat. Add shallots and cook until caramelized and soft, about 10 minutes. Add mushrooms and continue to cook for another 10 minutes. Fold in baby spinach, add salt and pepper. Set aside.
    3. Whisk eggs, half and half, salt, pepper and nutmeg in large bowl to whisk. Stir sautéed mushroom/shallot mixture and goat cheese and pour the filling into the crust.
    4. Bake quiche until puffed, golden brown, and just set in the centre, about 40 minutes. Cool and cut into wedges.

For the Salad:

Baby salad greens
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons)
1/2 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

  1. Place the salad greens in a large bowl.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Pour enough dressing on the salad to moisten. Toss and serve.

BonnieMo Bonnie Mo is a Toronto-based editor and the face behind Food Network Canada’s Food Fetish column. She’s also a contributing editor over at slice.ca.

Vegan Greek Salad with Mushroom Souvlaki

Just because you’re going meatless today doesn’t mean you won’t be satisfied. This recipe is Greek-inspired but instead of the traditional lamb souvlaki you might normally see in a dish like this, the star of this big salad is a flavourful mushroom walnut “meatless” patty. You could even make great meatballs with this recipe and use them in a simple spaghetti and tomato sauce.

NOTE: This recipe is for 4 servings with the exception of the tofu feta. But the tofu feta is a great thing to keep in the fridge and use for lunches and other dinner ideas.

Vegan-Greek-Salad-with-Mushroom-Souvlaki-vegetarian-Food-Network-Canada-Hot-for-Food-Blog

Tofu Feta Ingredients (make 1 day ahead):

1 x 350g brick extra firm organic tofu
½ cup rice vinegar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
½ cup almond milk (or soy milk)
1 teaspoon dried basil
½ teaspoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons sea salt

Directions:

  1. Remove the tofu from the packaging and drain the excess water.
  2. Cut it lengthwise in half, then into strips, and then cut the strips into cubes.
  3. Whisk the remaining ingredients together in a glass storage container that has a fitted lid. Submerge the tofu cubes in the mixture, place the lid on the container and refrigerate it.
  4. It is preferred to marinate the tofu at least overnight as it gives it a stronger flavour, but you could do it as for as short as 3 hours.

Creamy Cucumber Dressing Ingredients:

¼ cup olive oil
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1/3 cup shredded cucumber
2 tablespoons vegan mayonnaise
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon ground mustard
¼ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon ground pepper
½ teaspoon agave nectar (can substitute honey for non-vegans)

Directions:

  1. Make the dressing ahead of the mushroom walnut patties and leave it the fridge until you’re ready to serve the salad.
  2. You can either whisk all these ingredients together until combined or blend them in a blender for a creamier, smoother dressing.

Mushroom Walnut Patties Ingredients (makes 8 patties, 2 per serving):

1 tablespoon ground flax
3 tablespoons water
1/3 cup yellow onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup mushrooms
2 teaspoons coconut or grapeseed oil (for frying)
1 teaspoon fresh thyme
1 cup raw walnuts
½ cup all-purpose or whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons tamari (or soy sauce)
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons fresh parsley leaves
1 teaspoon onion powder
½ teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon ground mustard
¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
¼ teaspoon sage
¼ teaspoon ground pepper
¼ teaspoon sea salt
1-3 tablespoons coconut or grapeseed oil (for cooking the patties)

Directions

  1. In a small bowl whisk together ground flax and water. Place it in the fridge for 15 minutes to allow it to thicken.
  2. Heat a pan to medium and sauté onion, garlic, and mushrooms in 2 teaspoons of oil for approximately 5 minutes. In the last minute of cooking add in fresh thyme.
  3. Put the sautéed mushroom mixture in a food processor along with the thickened flax mixture, walnuts, flour, tamari, tomato paste, parsley, onion powder, cumin, ground mustard, smoked paprika, sage, pepper, and salt. Process the mixture until a smooth pâté-like consistency is formed.
  4. Form 2 ½ wide x ¼” thick patties with the mixture using your hands. You may need to dampen your hands with a little bit of water to keep the mixture from sticking.
  5. You can either bake the patties on a lightly oiled baking sheet for 10 to 12 minutes at 375°F and flip them half way through or pan fry them.
  6. To pan fry, heat a large pan to medium heat with 1 tablespoon of oil. When the oil is hot, place the patties in the pan and fry for 1 to 2 mins a side until golden brown. Don’t overcrowd the patties in the pan. Depending on the size of your pan you may want to only do 2 to 3 at a time. Add more oil to the pan for the next batch.

Greek Salad Ingredients:

8 to 9 cups arugula
1 cup cherry tomatoes
½ cup sliced kalamata olives
½ red onion, thinly sliced
1 cup tofu feta cubes (as per above recipe)

Directions:

  1. Assemble the salads starting with a bed of arugula and add in olives, halved cherry tomatoes, and top with thinly sliced onions.
  2. Place warm mushroom walnut patties on top of the salad.
  3. Crumble tofu feta on top and drizzle with the creamy cucumber dressing.
  4. Garnish with fresh ground pepper and serve immediately.

See more from hot for food on their YouTube channel.

Gratinée’s Seared Lemon-Pepper Beef Carpaccio

This Seared Lemon-Pepper Beef Carpaccio served with a handful of baby arugula and slivers of Pecorino Romano with garlic aioli and slices of toasted Ciabatta bread, literally it took minutes to make.
The one caveat about simple food is that you really do need the best quality ingredients you can find. There is no hiding with elaborate sauces and cooking methods.

You will need a nice chunk of beef tenderloin (fillet). Don’t attempt it with an inferior cut of meat. Make sure you put it in the freezer for a couple of hours before searing; even though the heat will defrost the outside, it will be easier to slice in very thin pieces, which is what you want.

Beef-Carpaccio-Crostini-_gratineeblog

Ingredients:
(Serves 2)
5-ounce piece of beef tenderloin
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 Tablespoon lemon pepper*
1/2 Tablespoon salt
Handful of rosemary leaves
Pecorino Romano cheese (or Parmesan)
Baby arugula
1 Tablespoon capers

For the aioli:
1 large egg yolk
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon lemon juice, more to taste
Sea salt
Cracked black pepper

Beef-Carpaccio_gratineeblog_nov14

Directions:

  1. Finely chop the rosemary leaves and spread on a clean cutting board to mix with the salt and lemon pepper. Rub the olive oil on the outside of the meat and press into the salt mixture.
  2. Heat a cast iron pan on the stove on maximum heat. Sear the tenderloin on each side for one minute–until just brown; immediately remove from pan and place back onto the cutting board. Holding the meat with tongs, slice very thinly with a sharp chef’s knife and press each piece with the backside of the knife to thin it down further. Arrange on a platter.
  3. To make the aioli, press garlic into the egg yolk with a fork to develop the flavour; add lemon juice, salt and pepper. Whisk a few drops of olive oil into the egg yolk until it starts to thicken and emulsify. Continuing to whisk, start pouring the rest of the oil in a very slow and thin stream until the aioli is completely thickened.
  4. Garnish carpaccio with capers, thinly grated slivers of cheese and a couple handfuls of arugula. Add small dollops of aioli and serve the rest on the side.

* lemon pepper is a seasoning of cracked black peppercorns and granulated lemon zest and can be found where you might buy better qualitiy spices

Darina Kopcok Darina Kopcok is a food writer and photographer based in Vancouver, BC. She writes the blog Gratinée, for which she also develops, styles and shoots each recipe. In addition to photographic training from Langara College, she holds an MFA from the University of British Columbia. She has a passion for Italian cuisine and French culinary technique.

Darina Kopcok is part of the Lifestyle Blog Network  family.

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1 Dish, 2 Meals: Pan Roasted White Miso-Glazed Cod

Resist the lure of takeout with a homemade version of your favourite sushi joint entrée. The rich *marinade of white miso, sugar, soy and sesame oil, soak deep into the flesh of this light and flaky fish, transforming an economical, easy-to-find ingredient into a surprisingly simple weeknight treat.

Here, I made two completely different meals using many of the same ingredients. One; a hearty and elegant offering of nutty purple Thai rice paired with tender, quick-braised baby bok choy and the other; an even lighter meal of mellow white miso soup that cooks up in a snap. The addition of fresh herbs, a squeeze of citrus and hot pepper—and of course, the silky miso cod—elevates this quick, humble soup to superstar levels.

Cod_2

Pan Roasted White Miso-Glazed Cod
*Marinate the fish the night before or if you’re pressed for time, at least 30 minutes before.

Ingredients:

3 Tablespoons mirin
3 Tablespoons sake
1/2 cup white miso paste
1/3 cup sugar
Six 6- to 7-ounce skinless cod fillets, about 1 1/2 inches thick
Vegetable oil

Directions:

  1. In a small saucepan, bring the mirin and sake to a boil. Whisk in the miso until dissolved, add the sugar and cook over moderate heat, whisking, just until dissolved. Add toasted sesame oil.
  2. Transfer the marinade to a large baking dish and let cool. Add the fish and turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or overnight, if you have time.
  3. In a medium non-stick pan, heat vegetable oil. Scrape off majority of marinade from the fish, but don’t rinse. Cook, without disturbing for about 3-4 minutes. Gently flip and cook other side for another 3-4 minutes.

Miso_cod_soup1

Mellow White Miso Soup with Cod, Baby Bok Choy, Sriracha and Lime

Ingredients:

4 Tablespoons miso paste (to taste)
4 ounces of somen noodles
2 green onions, tops removed thinly sliced
Small handful of cilantro
Baby bok choy, trimmed and halved
Fresh squeezed lime juice, to taste
Sliced Thai chilies (to taste)
Sriracha, to taste

Directions:

  1. Cook the somen noodles in salted water and drain. Run cold water over the noodles to stop them from cooking, shake off any excess water and set aside.
  2. In a medium sauce pan bring 4 cups of water to a boil. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and remove from heat. Pour some of the hot water into a small bowl and whisk in the miso paste to avoid clumping. Stir this back into the pot. Adjust amount of miso to your own liking.
  3. Add bok choy and simmer until tender.
  4. Divide noodles between 3 or 4 bowls, and pour the miso broth and bok choy over them. Add cooked miso cod, green onions, cilantro, Sriracha, lime and chilies to taste.

White Miso-Glazed Cod with Purple Rice and Braised Baby Bok Choy

Cod_rice1

Braised Baby Bok Choy

Ingredients:
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
6 pieces of baby bok choy, trimmed, and halved lengthwise
1/4 cup homemade or low-sodium chicken stock
3 Tablespoons soy sauce

For Purple Rice
*Cook rice according to package directions. Feel free to substitute chicken or vegetable broth instead of water and add a knob of ginger to add more flavour.

Directions:

  1. Cook dice according to package directions.
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until hot, but not smoking. Add bok choy and cook, turning once, until just beginning to turn golden, about 2 minutes. Add stock and soy sauce. Cover, reduce heat to medium and simmer until bok choy is tender, about 5 minutes. Transfer bok choy to a serving platter, reserving cooking liquid in skillet.
  3. Cook liquid over medium-high heat until it is reduced by half, 1 to 2 minutes.
  4. Arrange rice, miso cod and braised bok choy on a plate, and drizzle leftover braising liquid over rice, if desired.

BonnieMo Bonnie Mo is a Toronto-based editor and the face behind Food Network Canada’s Food Fetish column. She’s also a contributing editor over at slice.ca.

BS’ in the Kitchen’s Banh Mi Sandwich

I was little frightened when my room-mate Nathan told me I was going to be in charge of cooking something for “Ethnic Potluck 2014?, a potluck with all the kitchen staff from Ayden Kitchen & Bar. Naturally it’s a little intimidating cooking with chefs of that level, and knowing I had to make a dish from another country didn’t help! Fortunately I got Vietnam, which I felt was one of the less intimidating submissions amongst places such as Peru, Croatia, Morocco, & more. After doing some research, given my love of sandwiches, I knew the Banh Mi was the way to go!

Banh Mi Sandwich

Prep Time: 30 mins
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 45 mins
Serves: 10-15

888_banh-mi-sandwich3

Ingredients:

BBQ Pork
1.5 kilograms pork shoulder (thinly sliced)
1/2 cup lemon grass (finely minced)
4 Kaffir lime leaves (finely chopped)
5 cloves garlic (minced)
2 large shallots (minced)
3 Tablespoons sesame seeds
4 Tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 Tablespoons salt
1 Tablespoon pepper
2 Tablespoons honey
3 Tablespoons fish sauce
1 Tablespoon sesame oil
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
Zest of 1 lime
Juice of 1/2 lime
2 teaspoon fresh grated ginger

Do Chua (Pickled Vegetables)
1 large carrot
1 large daikon radish
4 cups warm water
3 Tablespoons sugar
2 Tablespoons salt
6 Tablespoons rice vinegar

Banh Mi Sandwich
2 large baguettes (about 2 feet long)
Butter
Japanese mayonnaise
150 grams of head cheese
200 grams pork liver pate
Fresh ground pepper
1 Cucumber (sliced lengthwise ¼ inch thick)
1 jalapeno
1 bunch of cilantro
Juice of 1/2 a lime
Grated ginger

888_banh-mi-sandwich2

Directions:

  1. To make your pork shoulder easier to slice, put it in the freezer for about 30-45 minutes, then remove it and cut it into thin strips.
  2. In a large sealable bowl or bag, combine pork and other ingredients, mix, and marinate for 24 hours in the refrigerator.
  3. Cut your carrot and daikon into skinny strips about 3-4 inches long.
  4. Add salt, sugar and rice vinegar to warm water and stir until dissolved, then add vegetables and let pickle for up to 24 hours in the refrigerator.
  5. Once everything has been marinated and pickled, dump the Do Chua in a strainer to allow all the pickling liquid to drain. While Do Chua is draining, cook the pork on the barbecue on medium-high heat for about 10 minutes until cooked through. If pork is too thin for the barbecue grill, you can either skewer the pieces, or cook on a grate fine enough so the pork doesn’t fall through.
  6. If you don’t have a barbecue, spread pork out on a pan and broil on high until cooked through.
  7. Once pork is done, squeeze juice of half a lime, and grate fresh ginger on top, then let it rest.
  8. While the pork rests, slice the baguettes in half, spread with butter and broil in oven until lightly toasted.
  9. Once baguette is toasted, spread a generous amount of Japanese mayonnaise on both halves of the baguettes.
  10. Spread 100 grams of pork liver pate on the bottom slice of each baguette, grind fresh pepper on the pate if it’s not very peppery.
  11. Place a generous amount of cilantro on the baguette (lots of cilantro is important)!
  12. Place enough cucumber to cover the sandwich (I used two long slices per baguette).
  13. Follow up with a generous amount of Do Chua.
  14. Place the BBQ pork on next, then the head cheese, and finish with jalapenos to taste (I ended up doing one with no jalapenos) and your top slice of baguette.
  15. Slice in to individual portions and enjoy!

100x100_BS Carlene and Bob Deutscher are the dynamic sibling duo behind BS’ in the Kitchen. While Carlene leans towards the sweeter side of things, baking up delicious desserts, you can count on Bob to cook up something savoury! Aside from blogging on BS’ in the Kitchen, Carlene works in marketing & communications, and sidelines as a lifestyle & wedding photographer, while Bob operates his own media company, with a focus on food photography, and videography!

Carlene and Bob Deutscher are part of the Lifestyle Blog Network family.

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1 Dish, 2 Meals: Skillet Turkey Sausage with Rainbow Kale

Turkey and Kale skillet recipe

A steaming bowl of pasta need not be heavy or labour-intensive. This light, turkey sausage and rainbow kale dish hits all the right flavour notes and is done almost as fast as it takes for the pasta to cook.

My advice is to take the extra few minutes to brown some bread crumbs. While not essential to the flavour, this step lends the dish a wickedly awesome crunchy texture that resembles the best bits of a baked pasta, without even turning on your oven.

Meal 1: Turkey Sausage and Kale Orecchiette with Toasted Panko and Parmesan

Turkey and Kale Orecchiette pasta

Ingredients:

2 cups rainbow kale. chopped
1 lb. dried orecchiette
1/2 lb. turkey sausage, casings discarded and meat chopped
3 large garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
2 tablespoons sea salt, plus more, to taste
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
* Add a pinch of red pepper flakes for a bit of bite

Directions:

1. In a pan over medium-low heat, warm 1 tablespoon olive oil, add the bread crumbs and stir to coat. Season lightly with salt and cook, stirring often, until the crumbs are an even, deep golden brown, about 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.

2. Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil, add 2 tablespoon salt and the kale and cook until tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Cool under cold running water, drain and squeeze gently to remove excess moisture. Chop coarsely and set aside.

3. Cook pasta until al dente according to the package directions.

4. Meanwhile, warm the 1/3 cup olive oil over medium-low heat. Add sausage and garlic and cook, stirring and breaking up meat with the back of a wooden spoon until browned, about 7 minutes. Add the kale and stir to combine for about 2 minutes. Season with salt.

5. When the pasta is ready, scoop out and reserve about 2 ladlefuls of the cooking water, drain the pasta and return it to the pot. Add the sausage mixture and cheese and toss well over low heat to combine, adding some of the cooking water, if needed.

6. Top each portion with a sprinkle of the toasted bread crumbs and more cheese.

 

Meal 2: Garlicky Turkey Kale Soup with Pasta, White Beans and Tomatoes

Stretch your kale and turkey sausage mixture by turning it into a soup. This bright and healthy meal is surprisingly filling and thanks to the addition of white beans and tomatoes, there’s even more deliciousness in every bite.

Use homemade broth if you have it, otherwise, a low sodium boxed version is just as delicious.

turkey kale white bean soup

Ingredients:

6 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup white beans
1 pint of grape tomatoes, quartered
Cooked turkey and kale mixture
Cooked orecchiette
Salt & pepper to taste
grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese to taste

Directions:

1. In a medium pot, heat 6 cups of chicken broth to a low simmer. Add 1/2 cup white beans and heat through, about 2 minutes.

2. Add cooked sausage and kale and cooked orecchiette and heat until ingredients are hot.

Serve immediately.

BonnieMo Bonnie Mo is a Toronto-based editor and the face behind Food Network Canada’s Food Fetish column. She’s also a contributing editor over at slice.ca.

BS’ in the Kitchen’s Chicken and Dumplings

So I’ve been thinking, rather than trying to cook things off the top of my head, throwing this and that together, I should pick a few recipes to try cooking each week from magazines, blogs, and cookbooks. I’m hoping it not only gets me cooking with different ingredients, but just gets me cooking more in general! I have been eating too many sandwiches for supper lately…

To start it off, gracing the cover of the February issue of Bon Appetit is a delicious looking meal of Chicken & Dumplings, something I have never cooked before. Since I had all the ingredients on hand, I thought it would be the perfect start! But I quickly realized that the last step calls for 2.5 hours of simmering and seeing as I’m cooking for myself, I can’t possibly dedicate that much time to my supper. So naturally, I made a few modifications and put the whole process on fast forward. Of course, it was still delicious, but if you really want to develop those flavours, follow the full Bon Appetit recipe, simmering and all!

888_chicken-dumplings1

Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 40 mins
Serves: 2-4

Ingredients:

3 slices of bacon
1/4 cup flour
4 small chicken thighs
Salt & pepper
2 handfuls mushroom
1/2 a medium yellow onion
3 cloves garlic
1/4 cup dry white wine
3 sprigs thyme
1 bay leaf
4 cups chicken broth

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Dumplings:
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp nutmeg
Pinch of ground pepper
1 large egg
1/8 cup whole milk

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Directions:

1. In a deep pan on medium heat, cook bacon until crisped. Remove to paper towel lined plate.
2. Season chicken thighs with salt & pepper, toss in a bowl with flour, dredging the chicken. On medium heat, cook the chicken skin side down until golden brown, about 10-15 minutes. Flip and cook for another 3-5 minutes. Remove chicken from pan.
3. Add chopped mushrooms to pan, cooking until beginning to soften, about 5-7 minutes. Add chopped onion, cooking until onion is soft and translucent.
4. Add crushed garlic to pan with mushrooms and onions, cooking for about 2-3 minutes until beginning to brown, but not burning.
5. Add wine, broth, thyme, bay leaf, and place chicken thighs, skin up, back in the pan. Simmer on just above medium heat.
6. While liquid is working towards a simmer, prepare dumplings. In a bowl, combine dumpling ingredients, mixing together to form a slightly lumpy batter.
7. Once broth is simmering, add in teaspoon-sized bits of dumpling batter, cooking until they have doubled in size, about five minutes. If you don’t have enough room for all the dumplings, remove the cooked ones with a slotted spoon, and prepare the rest.
8. Once your dumplings have been made, and the liquid is thickening up, place the whole pan in the oven and broil for about 5-7 minutes, until the chicken skin gets crispy again.
9. Remove from oven and serve!

100x100_BS Carlene and Bob Deutscher are the dynamic sibling duo behind BS’ in the Kitchen. While Carlene leans towards the sweeter side of things, baking up delicious desserts, you can count on Bob to cook up something savoury! Aside from blogging on BS’ in the Kitchen, Carlene works in marketing & communications, and sidelines as a lifestyle & wedding photographer, while Bob operates his own media company, with a focus on food photography, and videography! Carlene and Bob Deutscher are part of the Lifestyle Blog Network family.