Four Easy Tips to Make the Perfect Soufflé

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I’m never really sure who comes up with these national food days for various ingredients and dishes, but nonetheless, they always seem to be a fun excuse to make something delicious.

Since February 28th is National Chocolate Soufflé Day, obviously, it’s only natural to try to whip a few up for yourself (and some friends — don’t be greedy) at home. Making soufflés can be a little intimidating, especially if it’s your first go at it. To make sure you get the tallest, puffiest soufflé of them all, here are four tips from Top Chef Canada season 4 alum and pastry chef extraordinaire, Karine Moulin.

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How to make a perfect soufflé:

1. Make sure to properly brush the melted butter and then coat the inside of the ramekins completely with sugar. This is what makes soufflés rise evenly and achieve full height.

2. Once prepared, soufflé batter needs to be baked immediately. The longer it sits out at room temperature the less height you will have with the final products.

3. Run your eggs under warm water before using. This will help you get more volume and great height with your soufflés.

4. When it comes to getting creative with a soufflé batter, avoid using whole fruit like pieces of apple or other fresh fruit in the mix as this will prevent the soufflés from rising.

Karine Moulin will be baking these beauties all weekend long at her restaurant, Yellow Door Bistro, in Calgary. If you’re a little too far away to pop into Yellow Door for a soufflé, don’t worry, Moulin has shared her no-fail recipe with us!

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Karine Moulin’s White Chocolate and Lemon Soufflé

Serves: Six 4oz ramekins

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
8 large organic egg yolks
10 large organic egg whites, room temperature
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (or gluten-free flour)
1 cup white chocolate shavings
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (plus the zest of 2 lemons)
1 vanilla bean cut in half, remove the seeds
1 cup whole milk

Directions:

  1. Brush melted butter inside each ramekin, and coat with sugar. Using your index finger, level off the top surface of the ramekin, to make sure there is no butter or sugar on the top of the lip.
    Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Whisk together yolks, flour, zest, and 2 tablespoons granulated sugar.
  3. Bring milk to a simmer in a small saucepan. Slowly pour milk into yolk mixture, whisking constantly to prevent yolks from cooking. Return mixture to pan, and whisk until thick like a pudding, about 1 to 2 minutes. Strain through a sieve, and whisk in butter and lemon juice.
  4. Beat whites until foamy. Gradually add remaining 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, and beat until stiff peaks form. Stir a third of the whites into the yolk mixture. Gently fold in the remaining whites using a rubber spatula.
  5. Next, fold in the white chocolate shavings and fill each soufflé dish until it is 3/4 full, removing any excess batter from rims.
  6. Place ramekins onto a baking sheet and let cook in oven until soufflés rise and are golden on top, about 16 to 18 minutes.

Dan-Clapson-Avatar Dan Clapson is a food writer and culinary instructor based out of Calgary. He is constantly creating new recipes and striving to expand his culinary horizons. He thinks yam fries are overrated.

Homemade Vegan Calzones

We say, why bother with the big sloppy slices when you can fit a calzone nicely in your hand with no mess!

If you feel like making your pizza dough from scratch, check out our step by step post here.

Vegan Calzones

Cook Time: 30 Minutes
Yields: 6 Servings

Ingredients:

1 package of pre-made pizza dough from the deli section of your grocery store
1/3 cup all-purpose or whole-wheat flour (for rolling out your dough)
1 can pizza pasta sauce
1 package Daiya jack-style wedge or mozzarella-style shreds
1 1/2 cups sliced mushrooms
3/4 cup chopped green pepper
1/2 cup basil leaves
1 green onion, thinly sliced
1 Tablespoon dried chilli flakes
1/4 cup olive oil

 

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 450°F.
  2. Remove the fresh pizza dough from the bag and place the ball of dough on a lightly floured surface.
  3. Cut the ball in half and each half into thirds, for a total of six smaller balls of dough.
  4. Lightly flour a rolling pin and continue to lightly flour your rolling surface as you go to prevent the dough from sticking. Roll out one small ball of dough until it is approximately 7-8 inches wide. It doesn’t have to be a perfect circle or oval.
  5. Place 1 to 2 Tablespoons of pizza sauce on the surface of the dough with a spoon and leave about a 1/2 inch of space from the edge of the dough.
  6. Place your toppings on one half of the sauced part of the dough. Try to have a bit of cheese on the bottom and the top. If you’re using the Daiya jack-style wedge, cut the whole wedge into 6 even strips or chunks and use one piece per calzone.
  7. Fold the dough over the toppings. Then fold both edges upward and pinch together simultaneously around the circumference of the calzone. Then take a fork and press the prongs of the fork into the folded and pinched edge for extra reinforcement.
  8. Lightly oil a baking sheet with about 1 Tablespoon of olive oil. Place finished calzones on the baking skeet and brush each with another tablespoon of oil on the surface and the edges of the calzones.
  9. Bake for 15-18 minutes until crispy and golden brown on the edges.
  10. Once baked, let the calzones sit for a few minutes before serving or cutting in half.

Read the full post on the w dish blog here.

See more from hot for food on their YouTube channel.

1 Dish, 2 Ways: Pork & Shrimp Wontons

Whether you like your wontons slurped or crunched, one thing’s for certain; little pouches of savoury pork dumplings are always a deeply satisfying meal, no matter what time of year.

If you need a little push, make the Lunar New Year a culinary excuse for finally trying your hand at making homemade wontons. Thanks to handy store-bought wrappers, it’s easier than you think.

The trick is learning how to properly fold the wontons so that the filling doesn’t ooze out during the boiling or frying process. But truth be told, even if they don’t look like they’ve been assembled by a dumpling master, as long as they hold together, they’re going to taste absolutely delicious.

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Serving Size: approximately 60 wontons
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 10 minutes

Crispy Pork Wontons with Chili Oil Sauce

Ingredients:
12 store-bought wonton wrappers

For the Filling:
8 ounces ground pork
4 ounces raw shrimp, minced
3 Tablespoons chives, finely chopped
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon fish sauce
½ teaspoon sesame oil
½ teaspoon Chinese rice wine or sherry
¼ teaspoon sugar
3 dashes white pepper

For Frying:
1 cup canola oil

For the Chili Oil Sauce:
½ Tablespoon Chinese black vinegar
2 Tablespoons soy sauce
½ Tablespoon dried chili flakes
1 Tablespoon oil

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Directions:

  1. Combine the pork with the rest of the ingredients for the filling in a medium bowl. *Assemble the dumplings.
  2. Heat 2 to 3 inches of oil in a wok or stock pot to 350°F for deep-frying. Gently drop the pork dumplings into the oil and deep fry in batches.
  3. Deep-fry until they turn golden brown. Dish out with a slotted spoon, draining the excess oil by placing hot dumplings on a wire rack or dish lined with paper towels.

*How to wrap the dumplings:

  1. Place a piece of wonton on a flat surface about 1 Tablespoon of filling onto the wrapper, being careful not to overfill.
  2. Dip your finger in a bowl of warm water and circle around the filling, and fold over to form a triangle shape.
  3. Using both thumbs and index fingers, press and squeeze both sides of the dumplings towards the centre to form the folds. Seal the dumpling by dipping your index finger into a small bowl of water and circle around the outer edges of the wonton wrapper.
  4. Place them on a floured surface or baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap or a damp cloth to prevent drying.

Pork Wonton Soup

Ingredients:
12 store-bought wonton wrappers

For the Filling:
8 ounces ground pork
4 ounces raw shrimp, minced
3 Tablespoons chives, finely chopped
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon fish sauce
½ teaspoon sesame oil
½ teaspoon Chinese rice wine or sherry
¼ teaspoon sugar
3 dashes white pepper
2 cups, water (for boiling wontons)

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For the Soup:
6 cups homemade chicken stock or store-bought chicken broth
Green onions, to taste
Salt and white pepper, to taste
Wontons, soba noodles or noodles of choice

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Directions:

  1. Cook noodles, drain under cold water to stop cooking and set aside.
  2. In a medium pot, bring water to boil. Working in batches, gently lower dumplings into the water and let boil for 2-3 minutes. Remove from water and cover to prevent drying.
  3. Bring chicken broth to a boil and season with white pepper and salt to taste.
  4. Place dumplings in soup bowls, add hot broth and garnish with chopped green onion.

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BonnieMo Bonnie Mo is a Toronto-based editor and the face behind Food Network Canada’s 1 Dish, 2 Ways column. She’s also a contributing editor over at slice.ca. For more recipe ideas, visit bonniemo.ca, or catch her on Instagram @bonniemo

Chinese Crispy Beef & Broccoli Noodles with Kung Pao Chili Oil

Chinese New Year is upon us! Time for firecrackers, dancing dragons, cornstarch and red everything! Being a connoisseur of Chinese Christmas takeout, not to mention an avid customer at late-night Chinese food joints, I will be celebrating the year of the goat with tons of greasy eats! If crispy beef, chow mein, Kung pao, and beef and broccoli made a baby, it would be this recipe. Not traditional in any sense, but definitely great for celebrating. Happy Chinese New Year!

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Yields: 4 Servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 2 ½ hours

Ingredients for the Kung Pao Chili Oil:

1/3 cup canola oil
2 Tablespoons sesame oil
1 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorns
½ teaspoon grated ginger
½ teaspoon grated garlic
2-3 teaspoon red chili flakes
¼ cup chopped peanuts
1 red hot long pepper, sliced thinly
1/8 teaspoon Chinese 5-Spice
½ teaspoon sesame seeds

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Ingredients for the Crispy Beef & Broccoli Noodles:

1 package (425 grams) flat, fresh rice noodles or dried wonton noodles
¾ – 1 pound Sirloin cut thinly into ¼”-thick strips
¼ cup cornstarch
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
1/3 cup canola oil for frying
Salt for seasoning

½ pound broccolini, stems removed
1 teaspoon sesame oil
3 teaspoon grated ginger
2 teaspoon grated garlic
3 Tablespoons Shaoxing wine (or dry sherry)
3 Tablespoons dark soy sauce (regular soy if fine too)
1 Tablespoon rice vinegar
2 teaspoon sugar
½ teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups mung bean sprouts

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Directions for the Kung Pao Chili Oil:

  1. Heat the canola and sesame oil over high heat for 2 minutes in a small sauce pan.
  2. Turn the heat off and immediately add the Sichuan peppercorns. They will sizzle at first. Let steep for 2 hours.
  3. Remove the Sichuan peppercorns from the oil and discard. If you like that strange mouth-numbing sensation from those peppercorns, just leave them in! (Personal preference is to remove them.)
  4. Add the grated ginger, garlic, and chili flakes to the oil.
  5. Turn the heat back on to medium-low. Fry for 2 minutes once you see that it has started to sizzle. Don’t let the garlic burn!
  6. Turn the heat off and let steep for 15 minutes.
  7. Combine the chopped peanuts, red hot long pepper, Chinese 5-Spice, and sesame seeds in small Mason jar (or bowl) and pour the chili oil over top.

Directions for the Crispy Beef & Broccoli Noodles:

  1. Cook the noodles in a large pot of salted boiling water until just cooked through.
  2. Drain into a colander and immediately run cold water over the noodles to stop the cooking. Set aside.
  3. Combine the cornstarch, salt and pepper in a medium bowl.
  4. Heat the canola oil in a wok, or large frying pan, over high heat.
  5. When the oil is hot. Dredge the pieces of beef in the cornstarch, shake off any excess and fry for 4-5 minutes until the outer edges are golden brown and crispy. Note: do this in batches! Don’t crowd the beef in the oil or else it won’t fry properly and will become gummy. Add more oil to the wok as needed between batches and make sure to dredge the beef in the cornstarch just before placing it in the oil.
  6. Remove the beef to drain on a paper towel lined cooling rack or plate. Season with salt.
  7. Drain out any excess oil left in the wok after frying.
  8. Return the wok to the stove and turn the heat down to medium-high.
  9. Add the broccolini to the hot wok with ¼ cup of water. Toss frequently
  10. Once the broccolini has cooked through, with a slight crunch, and the water has evaporated, remove it from the wok.
  11. Immediately add the sesame oil to the hot wok. Add in the ginger and garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds to a minute.
  12. Add the Shaoxing wine, dark soy sauce, rice vinegar, sugar, and salt to the wok.
  13. Once the sauce is bubbling, add the noodles, broccolini and sprouts. Toss until everything is warmed through and the sauce has thickened. Taste for seasoning and adjust accordingly with salt.
  14. Plate the noodles and broccolini, top with the crispy beef, and drizzle Kung Pao oil over top. Enjoy!

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Notes, Substitutions and Shortcuts:

  • If you can find “Milanese” sliced beef, which is extremely thin, use that! It’s perfect.
  • Substitute Chinese Egg Noodles if you cannot find rice noodles or wonton noodles at your grocery store.
  • You can get store-bought garlic chili oil and add chopped peanuts and fresh red hot long pepper slices to it instead of making the Kung Pao Chili oil.
  • Kung Pao Chili Oil will last for 2 weeks in an air-tight container like a mason jar. The longer it sits, the spicier it gets!
  • A good substitution for Shaoxing wine is a medium-dry Sherry.
  • Dark soy sauce will be thicker and more flavourful than regular soy sauce. But if you do not want to buy a whole bottle of dark soy for 3 Tablespoons, you can just use whatever soy sauce you have on hand.
  • This dish comes together very quickly. Make sure you have all your ingredients prepped and ready to go before you start frying that beef!

100x100_Danielle-Oron Danielle is a chef, bakery owner, and food blogger who thinks she’s Korean, but is actually Israeli. Also, Danielle does not eat like a lady.

Blood Orange Upside Down Cake

If there’s something we all love on Valentine’s Day it’s got to be something red and something sweet. This cake certainly has both!

Blood oranges are a deep red variety of orange that are in season this time of year. You can always use regular oranges or even opt for another fruit, like bananas if that’s your preference. This cake cooks quickly, is easy to make and is always a showstopper when you flip it out of the cake tin.

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Blood Orange Upside Down Cake

Ingredients:

For the Caramel:
½ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup water

For the Cake:
3 blood oranges, peel removed and cut into slices
1/2 cup butter, softened
½ cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
½ tsp vanilla extract
½ cup all purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup plain, 2% yogurt

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Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F. Start by making your caramel. Put the sugar and water in a small saucepan. Stir to dissolve the sugar and bring to a boil. Bubble until it turns a light caramel colour.
  2. Working quickly, pour the caramel into a round 9-inch cake tin. Carefully place the blood orange slices on the bottom of the pan. The caramel is still hot, so be careful!
  3. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time and mix until fully combined. Mix in the vanilla.
  4. In a small bowl combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Mix in the dry ingredients and the yogurt. Mix until fully combined.
  5. Place in the oven for 30-35 minutes, until the cake is cooked through and springs back when touched. As soon as the cake comes out of the oven, turn it out onto a wire rack. If you leave it, the caramel will set and it will be really difficult to turn the cake out!

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SONY DSC Miranda Keyes is a freelance food stylist, recipe developer and writer who used to live in London, UK but moved back to Canada for nanaimo bars, maple syrup and poutine. To learn more about her, follow her on Instagram @littlemirandapiggy and Twitter @mirandaak.

No-Cook Vegan Chocolate Cheesecake Hearts

These sweet, raw vegan cheesecakes are perfect for Valentine’s Day, and are a snap to make. A blender is the only required equipment for this recipe. Just blend, freeze and enjoy. Your family and friends won’t even realize that these rich, decadent delights are dairy-free and raw vegan! These desserts melt quickly, so store them in the freezer at all times and eat immediately.

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Ingredients:
2 1/2 cups cashews (unsalted, unroasted)
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup coconut oil
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
3/4 cup water

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Directions:

    1. Place all ingredients into your blender.
    2. Blend. Start slow and gently increase the speed. You may need to stop and start your blender a bit if your blender is getting hung up. If your blades won’t move, turn blender off, create an air pocket down the side with a knife, and then blend again starting on low. Keep blending until it’s very smooth, like a creamy chocolate fudge with no cashew chunks.
    3. Pour smooth mixture into a wide pan (or into silicone molds) and place in freezer.*
    4. Freeze until it reaches a firm, slice-able consistency (8 hours or so).
    5. Store in freezer at all times. To eat, just open the freezer, slice into desired shape and eat immediately.

*Heart-Shape Tips: If you don’t have heart-shaped silicone molds, this simple solution works well. Pour the mixture into a wide pan or glass dish. Smooth the mixture out using the back of a spoon — not too thick and about an inch or less deep. Freeze then slice into heart shapes. This recipe (when frozen for at least 8 hours) is super easy to cut into shapes.

Note: If your blender isn’t very powerful, consider soaking cashews in warm water for 1-2 hours before blending to soften them. After soaking, rinse clean and blend immediately.

100x100_laura-jane-rawtarian Laura-Jane The Rawtarian is a leading creator of simple, satisfying raw vegan recipes.

How to Make a Skillet Brookie

Many will declare that being single on Valentine’s Day is a terrible thing. For me, it’s the opposite: finding myself single on Valentine’s Day is something to be cherished. Think about it: Valentine’s Day comes with all kinds of pressure and expectations. People always ask “what are you doing for Valentine’s Day?” as though one absolutely must do something. Restaurants are packed and noisy, serving special menus to the masses.

I’d rather go without the clichés and all that forced romance. I welcome a night in to pamper myself. I bake myself something sweet and chocolaty to enjoy in front of the TV for a quiet, carefree evening.

This skillet “brookie” is the perfect dessert for one and combines two classic treats: a brownie and a cookie. Both the brownie and the cookie recipes make small amounts of dough so you can easily prepare them by hand. No special equipment needed. And if you don’t have a small skillet, you can always use a small cake pan or baking dish. This recipe calls for one egg total, split between the brownie and the cookie. Here’s how to measure out half an egg: crack it into a small bowl and whisk thoroughly so that you can divvy it up between the two recipes (half an egg corresponds to about 1 1/2 tablespoons).

Skillet Brookie For One

Brookie for V-day

Serving size: 1
Prep time: 25 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes

Brownie Ingredients:
1 oz (28 grams) good quality semi-sweet dark chocolate (I like to use the “Mi-Amère” chocolate from Cacao Barry)
2 tablespoons (28 grams) unsalted butter
1/2 large egg
1 tablespoon (12 grams) granulated sugar
1 tablespoon (15 grams) light brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons (18 grams) all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons (12 grams) cocoa powder
pinch of salt

Cookie Ingredients:
2 tablespoons (28 grams) unsalted butter, softened
2 tablespoons (25 grams) granulated sugar
2 tablespoons (28 grams) light brown sugar
1/2 large egg
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 tablespoons (45 grams) all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
pinch of salt
2 tablespoons dark chocolate chips

How to make a V-Day brookie

Directions:

    1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Butter a 17 cm (~6.5-inch) cast iron skillet or cake pan.
    2. Prepare the brownie batter by melting the dark chocolate in a microwave safe bowl at 50 percent power (about 2 minutes), stirring ever minute or so. Add the butter, and microwave again for an additional minute at 50 percent power or until the butter is melted. Stir well, then let cool before adding the egg, sugars, and vanilla. Add the flour to the bowl and sift in the cocoa powder to remove any lumps. Stir everything together with the salt. Set aside.
    3. Prepare the cookie dough by stirring together the butter and the sugars until they are well mixed. Add in the egg and the vanilla, and mix well again. Dump in the flour, baking soda, and salt, and stir until the dough comes together. Mix in the chocolate chips.
    4. Place a 3-inch heart-shaped cookie cutter in the centre of the prepared skillet and spoon the cookie batter inside the heart. Carefully lift up the cookie cutter to remove it, leaving behind the heart-shaped cookie. Spoon the brownie batter into the pan, smoothing it around the cookie heart.
      Bake the brookie 10 minutes then remove the pan from the oven and fix the cookie heart using the back of a knife to smudge it back into a heart shape. Put the pan back in the oven and bake for an additional 10 minutes or until set.

Optional: Serve with really good vanilla ice cream.

Janice Lawandi Janice Lawandi is a PhD-chemist-turned-baker with a serious sweet tooth, working as a recipe developer and food stylist in Montreal, Quebec. To learn more about Janice, visit her blog Kitchen Heals Soul.

1 Dish, 2 Meals: Smoky Stewed Chickpeas with Sautéed Vegetables

It’s true; I’ve fallen hard for this fancy reinterpretation of your standard beans-on-toast and I’m willing to bet even the biggest skeptic of this humble dish is going to want to tuck into its warmth and smokiness with wild abandon.

Inspired by Yotam Ottolenghi’s recipe in Plenty More, my cheat version of his amazing five-hour, slow-cooked dish (which you should really give a try when you have time) doesn’t miss a flavour beat, despite being speedy.

Instead of using dried chickpeas and slow cooking them in an onion and pepper mixture over a simmering flame until they turn unbelievably soft, I sautéed the vegetables to caramelize them a bit before pureeing the sauce to help mellow out the flavours. That paired with every weeknight chef’s secret weapon, the canned chickpea, makes this one comfort food dish that will make you happy it’s February in Canada.

Here I’ve made it two ways: on toast with a poached egg (because juicy, runny eggs just make everything better), and a crispy pita pizza with a few scoops of creamy labneh (Lebanese cream cheese).

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Ingredients:

1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, coarsely chopped
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 1/2 teaspoons tomato paste
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
2 red bell peppers cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 large tomato, peeled and coarsely chopped
1/2 teaspoon sugar

Directions:

  1. In a large saucepan, heat oil, and add onion and red peppers and cook until soft, about 8 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add tomato paste, cayenne, paprika, salt and black pepper to taste and stir to combine. Add mixture to a food processor and mix to make a paste.
  2. Over medium heat, return paste to the saucepan and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, before adding the tomato, sugar, chickpeas and (a scant) 1 cup water.
  3. Bring to a low simmer, cover the pan and cook over low heat for 20-25 minutes, stirring occa-sionally and adding more water when needed to maintain a sauce-like consistency. Remove the lid and cook for 15 more minutes.

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Smoky Chickpea Pizza with Labneh

Ingredients:

3 Pitas
1/2 Tablespoon olive oil
4 Tablespoon labneh
Fresh parsley
3 eggs
2 cups stewed chickpeas

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Brush pitas with olive oil, spread a thin layer of chickpea mixture over and make a small well in the centre.
  2. Crack an egg in the middle of each pita and bake for 8-12 minutes until it’s cooked to desired doneness.
  3. Finish with fresh parsley and a few scoops of labneh. Serve immediately.

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Smoky Chickpeas on Grilled Toast with Poached Eggs & Zahtar

Ingredients:

4 slices bread, brushed with olive oil and toasted on both sides
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
4 poached eggs
2 teaspoons zahtar

Directions:

  1. Place a piece of warm toast on each plate and spoon the chickpeas on top.
  2. Arrange a poached egg on top, followed by a sprinkle of zahtar and a drizzle of olive oil.

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.

Winter Squash Fettuccine with Crispy Pancetta & Pecorino

Butternut squash made a really great base for the pasta sauce, giving it lots of flavour and creaminess, without the heavy richness you would get from a sauce like Alfredo. The saltiness of the pancetta and pecorino was a great compliment to the slight sweetness of the butternut squash.

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Winter Squash Fettuccine 

Original recipe via Bon Appetit

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Serves: 4

Ingredients:

1 Tablespoon olive oil
4 ounces pancetta (chopped)
1 Tablespoon finely sage (chopped)
3 cups butternut squash (chopped)
1 small onion (chopped)
2 cloves garlic (chopped)
Salt & pepper
2 cups chicken broth
12 ounces fettuccine pasta
1/4 cup finely grated pecorino, plus more for serving.

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Directions:

  1. Heat oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Once heated add chopped pancetta, cooking until crisp (about 8-10 minutes). Toss with sage, before removing to a small bowl.
  2. Add squash, onion, and garlic to pan, season with salt & pepper. Cook about 8-10 minutes, until onions begin to turn translucent.
  3. Add chicken broth, bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.
  4. Simmer about 15-20 minutes, until liquid is reduced by half.
  5. Once cooled slightly, puree in a blender, or with immersion blender, add more salt & pepper if necessary.
  6. In a large pot, cook fettuccine until al dente. Reserve 1 cup of pasta cooking water.
  7. In your pan, combine pasta, squash puree, and a 1/4 cup of pasta water. Cook over medium heat, adding more pasta water as necessary, until pasta becomes coated with sauce, about 2 minutes.
  8. Mix in 1/4 cup of pecorino, and season as necessary.
  9. Serve pasta with pancetta and sage, along with freshly shaved pecorino.

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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Vegan Scallops with Spaghetti, Crispy Kale and Pomegranates

It’s definitely a romantic move to cook your lover dinner on Valentine’s Day. But ain’t nobody got time for meat and dairy on this occasion, especially if you still want to have enough room for dessert! So open up your minds and hearts this holiday and cook a vegan meal together. You’ll be left feeling satisfied but not stuffed with this light and flavourful pasta dish.

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Vegan Scallops with Spaghetti, Crispy Kale and Pomegranates 

Prep Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 60 minutes
Serves: 2, generously

Ingredients:

6 oyster mushrooms
3 cups hot water
1/3 cup rice wine vinegar
1 package brown rice spaghetti (approximately 340 grams – we recommend tinkyada organic brown rice spaghetti)
3 Tablespoons olive oil
1/8 cup finely chopped shallot
1 garlic clove, minced
1 cup finely chopped leek
1 cup white wine
1 cup pasta water (reserved from cooked noodles)
2 teaspoons sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon dried chilli peppers
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
3 cups roughly chopped lacinato kale (stems removed)
1/8 cup pomegranate jewels

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Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F and start boiling your pasta water with 1 teaspoon sea salt.
  2. Trim the tops and woody bottoms of the oyster mushrooms, leaving the solid part of the stems. Cut the stems into medallions about 1-inch thick. You can cook the tops of the oyster mushrooms too (they just don’t look like scallops) or use them in another recipe. You should have about 14 medallions.
  3. In a bowl combine 3 cups of hot water with 1/3 cup rice wine vinegar and submerge the mushroom scallops in the mixture for 30 minutes at room temperature. Place a small bowl or plate bowl that fits within the main bowl on top of the mushrooms to ensure the mushrooms are submerged and not floating.
  4. While the mushrooms are marinating toss roughly chopped lacinato kale with 1 Tablespoon olive oil and 1 Tablespoon lemon juice. Bake for 12-14 minutes until crispy, but still green. Once baked turn the oven off and set the kale aside until you’re ready to assemble the whole dish.
  5. Cook your pasta until al dente and reserve 1 cup of the water for creating the sauce.  Drain the pasta (do not rinse it) and leave it to sit in a colander until the scallops and sauce are done.
  6. Heat a large pan to medium with 1 Tablespoon olive oil. Place the mushroom medallions in the pan and brown on one side for 3-4 minutes. Flip the medallions and season with 1/2 teaspoon sea salt and 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper. Brown on the other side for 3-4 minutes.  Remove the scallops from the pan and place on an oven safe plate/dish and place them in the oven to stay warm while you complete the sauce.
  7. Turn the heat under this pan down to medium-low if it’s become quite hot from cooking the scallops. Immediately add another 1 Tablespoon olive oil, 1/8 cup finely chopped shallot, 1 minced garlic clove, and 1 cup of finely chopped leek. Sauté this for 2-3 minutes until fragrant, stirring frequently being sure not to burn the garlic and shallot.
  8. Then mix in oregano, basil, and chilli peppers, cooking for another 1-2 minutes.
  9. Add in white wine and pasta water. Bring the heat back up to medium (if you need to) to simmer, stirring frequently for 10-12 minutes as the sauce reduces. Add 1/2 teaspoon sea salt and 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper near the end.
  10. Reduce the heat to low and toss the cooked spaghetti noodles in the sauce for 1-2 minutes until evenly coated and most of the sauce is absorbed.
  11. Transfer the pasta to serving dishes and top with crispy kale, scallops, and pomegranates. Drizzle with a little more olive oil if desired.

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