Tag Archives: quick and easy

Roasted Tomato Tart Two Ways

After what feels like an eternity, suddenly the trees are in bloom, gardens are being planted and now, the season’s first sun-ripened tomatoes are starting to roll in. Just like that, we’re heading into summer. Which begs the question. Can comfort food be fresh? The answer is a resounding heck, yeah.

The balsamic and burrata tart is like a pizza-fide version of my favourite antipasto plate, splashed with a hint of tart balsamic and nestled on a bed of buttery puff pastry. It’s basically akin to having a built-in bread bowl. But it’s the combination of creamy burrata, blistered toma-toes and the pop of fresh herbs that makes this dish something I’m going to dream about for weeks.

That’s not to say I don’t love the simplified tomato tart any less. These intense, blood-red tomatoes set atop a smattering of melted cheese turns into something extraordinary when you add the one-two punch of fresh basil and oregano.

Cook Time: 25 minutes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Serves: 4

Burrata Tart with Arugula Salad

Balsamic, Burrata & Roasted Tomato Tarts
Inspired by Donna Hay

Ingredients:
2 sheets butter puff pastry, thawed
1 pint red & yellow tomatoes, left whole
4-6 ounces burrata cheese
1/2 mozzarella, shredded
3-4 slices thinly sliced prosciutto
1 clove garlic, minced or grated
4-6 sprigs of fresh oregano, leaves chopped
4 large fresh basil leaves, torn
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp olive oil
Salt + pepper

Burrata Tomato Tart Bonnie Mo

Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Stack two pieces of puff pastry one on top of the other and press gently to adhere. Cut into a large circle.
3. Place on the prepared baking sheet, score the puff pastry along the sides about 1/2 inch, to make a small border. Inside the border, pierce with a fork. Lightly brush with olive oil.
4. In a bowl, whisk together the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, garlic and oregano. Add tomatoes to the balsamic mix and toss.
5. Sprinkle puff pastry with mozzarella and arrange tomatoes. Add any remaining balsamic mix-ture left in the bowl.
6. Bake for 22-25 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and pastry is golden.
7. Let stand for 3-5 minutes and top with torn burrata and prosciutto. Garnish with fresh basil.

Cherry Tomato Tart on Puff Pastry

Cheesy Cherry Tomato Tarts

Ingredients:
1 sheet butter puff pastry
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1 Tbsp chopped basil
1/2 Tbsp chopped oregano
1/3 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/3 cup grated Gruyere cheese
Olive oil, salt, pepper

Cherry Tomato Tart with Herbs & Cheese

Directions:
1. Thaw frozen puff pastry according to directions. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
2. Place chopped cherry tomatoes on a paper towel facing down to drain for about 30 minutes (this will keep them from being to wet and making the tart soggy). Toss in a bowl with olive oil, salt, pepper and the chopped herbs.
3. Unroll the thawed pastry and cover with plastic wrap. Roll out the pastry slightly. Transfer to a baking sheet and score the puff pastry along the sides about 1/2 inch, to make a small border. Inside the border, pierce with a fork. Lightly brush with olive oil.
4. Sprinkle puff pastry with cheese and top with the tomato mixture, facing the cut tomatoes up.
5. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and pastry is golden.

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.

Spicy Fried Shrimp: 1 Dish, 2 Ways

Every time I fry up a batch of shrimp, I vow to make it a regular part of my dinner rotation. They need very little embellishment and will bend to just about any culinary whim. That, on top of the fact that they literally take less than 5 minutes to cook, you really have to wonder why you’re not eating more shrimp.

Like the name implies, I dialed up the heat with these spicy shrimp with a whack of fresh Thai chilis. This is where the dish can really become your own. If you only want a breath of spice, ease into it with one or two chilis and leave out the seeds. On the other hand, if you like to sweat a little while you’re chowing down your food, leave the seeds in and ramp up the chili count to as high as you dare.

For a more subtle version, the Sriracha butter sauce has a mellower heat, as the fat content in the butter transforms the Sriracha into a buffalo wing-like flavor — I particularly like a generous squeeze of fresh lime juice to help brighten it up. Feel free to toss your cooked shrimp right in the bowl, or keep it on the side for dipping.

Both of these spicy shrimp dishes can be eaten with rice, over noodles, in a salad or on their own as an appetizer with a cold drink. Napkins not included.

Cook Time: 5 minutes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Serves: 2

Spicy Fried Chili Shrimp

Spicy Fried Shrimp with Thai Chilis

Ingredients:
16-20 medium to large shrimp, shell on
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp fresh ginger, think sliced
3 green onions, chopped
3-4 Thai chilis (more or less, depending on how spicy you like it)

Directions:
1. Rinse and pat shrimp dry. In a large saucepan or wok, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add ginger and garlic and stir constantly, being extra careful not to burn the garlic, about 1 mi-nute.
2. Add shrimp and chilis and stir fry until almost cooked, about 4 minutes.
3. Add green onions and cook for another 30 seconds.

Sriracha_Shrimp

Spicy Shrimp with Sriracha Butter

Ingredients:
16-20 medium to large shrimp, shell on
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup butter
1 cup Sriracha
Juice of 1 lime
1 tsp salt
½ tsp sugar

Directions:
1. Rinse and pat shrimp dry. In a large saucepan or wok, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add ginger and garlic and stir constantly, being extra careful not to burn the garlic, about 1 mi-nute.
2. Add shrimp and stir fry until almost cooked, about 4-5 minutes.
3. Meanwhile in a small saucepan, melt butter over low heat.
4. Combine Sriracha, lime juice, salt and sugar in a blender and whiz for about 30 seconds, slowly adding the melted butter.
5. Toss in a large bowl with cooked shrimp or keep on the side as a spicy dipping sauce.

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.

Gnocchi with Brown Butter Sauce: 1 Dish, 2 Ways

There’s nothing quite like slow-melted butter turned slightly brown and nutty, wafting throughout the house to whet the palate and get you excited about dinner. But when you toss a few fresh sage leaves into the mix, you’ve got an incredibly easy and delicious sauce that’s ready in less than 10 minutes.

This super-fast meal is both elegant and simple to throw together and thanks to a few last-minute flourishes — like a generous dusting of your best-quality parmesan and toasted pine nuts — this minimal-ingredient dish suddenly becomes restaurant worthy.

Tip: While you can certainly make your own gnocchi, this sauce works well on the packaged version.

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Serves: 4

panroasredgnocchi

Fried Gnocchi with Brown Butter Sage Sauce

Ingredients:
1 package potato gnocchi
2 Tbsp butter
1/2 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted

Brown Butter Sage Sauce:
1/4 cup unsalted butter, cold
15-20 fresh sage leaves
1/2 lemon, zest finely grated
Kosher salt & cracked black pepper
1/2 cup parmesan, coarsely grated

Directions:
1. In a small saucepan, toast pine nuts over low heat until golden, being careful not to burn, about 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
2. In a medium sauce pan over medium-high heat, melt butter, swirling occasionally. When the butter has almost completely melted, stir in the sage leaves. Cook until butter turns slightly brown and nutty and the sage leaves are slightly crisp, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat.
3. In another skillet, heat butter and olive oil over medium heat. Add gnocchi in a single layer and fry on one side until crisp, about 1-2 minutes. Gently flip and fry one the other side for another 1-2 minutes.
4. Add fried gnocchi and lemon zest to the pan with the brown butter sage sauce and stir until coated. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with grated parmesan and toasted pine nuts and serve immediately.

gnocchibrownbutter

Gnocchi with Chili Brown Butter Sauce & Crispy Sage

Ingredients:
1 package potato gnocchi

Brown Butter Sage Sauce:
1/4 cups unsalted butter, cold
15-20 fresh sage leaves
1 Tbsp red pepper flakes
Kosher salt & cracked black pepper
1/2 cup parmesan, coarsely grated

Directions:
1. In a medium sauce pan over medium-high heat, melt butter, swirling occasionally. When the butter has almost completely melted, stir in the sage leaves. Cook until butter turns slightly brown and nutty and the sage leaves are slightly crisp, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from the heat.
2. Add gnocchi and chili flakes to the pan and stir until coated. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with grated parmesan and serve immediately.

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.

Thai Lettuce Cups: 1 Dish, 2 Ways

These Thai-inspired wraps brimming with fresh vegetables and herbs are the perfect way to welcome spring. You can choose to add chicken or go vegetarian and opt for the quinoa option, but both make for a quick and healthy weeknight dinner and lunch leftovers.

For the vegetarian version, I used cabbage leaves instead of traditional lettuce — a decision that turned out to be pure genius. Not only was I able to double-stuff them, but they were less fragile than their butter or iceberg counterparts and less likely to have their contents spill out on to the plate. Just be sure to use the inner, most tender parts of the cabbage.

These wraps are completely customizable, so feel free to toss in those bits of almost-forgotten vegetables you’ve got floating around — cucumber, peppers, bean sprouts or mushrooms come to mind — to pump up the nutritional value even more.

888_Thai-Lettuce-Cups-Chicken

Prep Time: 25 mins
Total Time: 30 mins
Serves: 6

Ingredients:

For the Chicken:
1 pound ground chicken
2 small cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons ginger, minced
2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
1 green onion, chopped
2 tablespoons lemongrass, minced
1/4 large red pepper, finely chopped
1 tablespoons fish sauce
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons oil

10 large lettuce leaves

For the Thai Dipping Sauce:
1/2 cup fish sauce
1/2 cup water, boiling hot
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup distilled white vinegar
2 garlic cloves, minced
1-2 red Thai chilies, stems removed and minced

Thai Chicken Lettuce Cups

Directions:

1. In a large skillet on medium-high heat, fry ginger and garlic in oil for about 1 minute.
2. Add ground chicken, breaking up with the back of a wooden spoon and stir-fry for 6 minutes.
3. Add cilantro, green onion, lemongrass, fish sauce, crushed red pepper, salt and pepper, and re-move from heat. Set aside.
4. Meanwhile in a medium bowl, whisk together fish sauce, water, sugar, and vinegar until sugar dissolves. Whisk in garlic and chilies. Set aside to cool.

888_Thai-Vegetable-Lettuce-Cups

Ingredients:

For the Quinoa Thai Cups:
1 cup quinoa, cooked
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon lemongrass
1 large carrot, grated
1/2 red pepper, finely chopped
1tablespoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon cilantro, chopped
1 green onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper to taste
1 lime, squeezed
2 tablespoons oil

12-15 cabbage leaves

Thai Peanut Sauce:
1 cup peanuts
3 small cloves garlic, minced
2 limes, juiced
1 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons honey
2 teaspoons water
2 tablespoons lemongrass, minced
4 teaspoons vegetable oil

888_Thai-Lettuce-Cups-Peanut-Sauce

Directions:

1. In a large skillet on medium-high heat, fry ginger and garlic in oil for about 1 minute.
2. Add cooked quinoa, stir-fry for 2 minutes. Add water chestnuts, stir-fry for 2 minutes. Stir in cilantro, green onion, lemongrass, crushed red pepper, salt and pepper, and remove from heat. Set aside.
3. Meanwhile for the Thai Peanut Sauce, combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor, and puree until the mixture resembles chunky peanut butter.

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.

1 Dish, 2 Ways: Easy No-Bake Weeknight Lasagna

In these final halcyon days of winter, I’ve mentally set fire to my coat and am two seconds away from dragging the BBQ out of the garage and starting an herb garden. And while these extended sunny evenings don’t exactly put me in the mood for cranking up the oven, I’m not quite ready to give up comfort food just yet.

Enter the no-bake lasagna. This dish boasts all the flavours of this heartwarming dish —homemade tomato sauce, melty cheese and succulent ground beef — in a fraction of the time.

While there’s no shame in simply breaking up plain old lasagna noodles for this recipe, I opted for prettily-shaped fiorelli pasta, which has lovely petal-like edges that not only reminded me of lasagne noodles, but expertly capture the sauce.

The best part of this dish is that you can stretch your leftovers to make a killer soup. A spoonful of ricotta on top is an unexpected topping that mimics the richness of your typical baked variety and the beefy tomato broth helps satisfy your inner cold-weather soup addict.

So go ahead and embrace winter just a little longer.

Easy-no-bake-lasagna-recipe-weeknight

Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Serving Size: 6

Ingredients

For the sauce:
1 can, San Marzano tomatoes
1 Spanish onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
4 large fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

For the lasagne:
3/4 package fiorelli pasta
1 lb. ground beef
1/2 yellow onion, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons, olive oil
kosher salt, to taste
fresh ground pepper, to taste

1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cup spinach, chopped
1/2 cup ricotta

For the soup:
All of the above ingredients, plus…
6 cups beef broth
1 cup homemade tomato sauce (see above)
Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste

Directions for No-Bake Lasagna:

1. In a large saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Sweat onions and garlic until onions are translucent, about five minutes.
2. Add canned tomatoes and gently stir, being careful not to break the tomatoes (it can make them bitter). Stir occasionally. Let simmer for at least 30 minutes. Add basil and puree with immersion blender. Set aside.
3. In a large skillet, add olive oil, onions and garlic and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, letting the oil get infused with the flavours. Add ground beef and break up with a wooden spoon. Cook until there is no more red in the ground beef, about 12 minutes. Drain fat from beef.
4. Ladle prepared tomato sauce into skillet with the beef and cook for an additional 10 minutes. Add cooked noodles directly to skillet and stir to combine. Stir in tomatoes, spinach and gently stir.
5. Serve in individual bowls and garnish with a spoonful of ricotta, grated mozzarella and basil.

Easy-no-bake-Lasagna-soup-recipe

Directions for Lasagna Soup:

1. Cook pasta to al dente according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
2. In a large saucepan, bring broth and tomato-ground beef sauce to a boil.
3. Add cooked noodles and stir. Ladle into bowls and garnish with a spoonful of ricotta, grated mozzarella and basil.

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

Collard Green Scrambled Egg Wrap

Being new to collard greens, I am quite the fan — the large, hearty leaves make a great vehicle for other ingredients. Although this isn’t an entirely healthy recipe (see: bacon & cheese), using a collard green as a wrap instead of your typical tortilla is a great alternative for breakfast if you’re looking to eat more veggies and cut down on carbs. Of course, if you want deprive yourself, you can omit the bacon and cheese, making it super healthy. But I say spoil yourself and stick with the good stuff!

Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 25 mins
Serves: 1

888_Collard-Green-Scrambled-Egg-Wrap1

Ingredients:

2 slices of bacon
2 collard green leaves
2 eggs
2-3 slices of cheddar cheese
1 slice of red onion
3 cherry tomatoes, chopped
Handful of chopped green onion
Salt & pepper
Butter

888_Collard-Green-Scrambled-Egg-Wrap2

Directions:

1. Place bacon in a pan, turn to medium heat. Flip bacon once the first side has browned.
2. Add red onion to the pan and continue cooking until desired crispness, then remove bacon and onion, placing bacon on paper towel.
3. In the same pan, lay your collard green leaves one over the other, cooking covered for about 5-10 minutes until tender. Remove to plate once done.
4. In a bowl, scramble eggs, add tomatoes, green onions, and salt & pepper to taste.
5. Add butter to pan if needed, cook eggs to your liking.
6. On top of collard greens, add cheese, bacon, onions, and eggs. Fold collard greens over top of egg mixture, rolling until leaves overlap one another, allowing them to stick to one another.
7. Serve 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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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.

Winter-Squash-Fettucine-3

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.

Winter-Squash-Fettucine-2

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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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: 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 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

888_chicken-dumplings2

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.

 

Made Easy: How to Get Perfect Crispy Skin on Fish

When cooked properly fish skin can be one of the best parts of a filet, not unlike how you secretly want to just eat the skin off a piece of fried chicken. Aside from a crunchy, chip-like texture, the benefits of keeping the skin on the fish is that it has doses of omega 3’s and its helps lock in the moisture when cooking over high heat. Here are a few tips on getting an even, caramelized texture when searing a piece of fish, skin-on.

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Pat it Dry
Before cooking, take a paper towel and pat down the entire fish to remove any excess moisture. The most common problem home cooks have when cooking fish is that the skin sticks to the pan or becomes soggy. This is because when the skin is wet, the water turns into steam, steaming the skin rather than crisping it up. Placing a wet filet on to a hot oiled pan will also result in tiny droplets of hot grease jumping off the pan and on to you (remember, water and oil don’t mix). You can also sprinkle some salt or dust a bit of flour on to the skin to further remove moisture.

Heat it up
Much like last week’s omelet tip, make sure the oil in the pan is hot enough to prevent the food from sticking to the pan. Use flavourless oil that can withstand high temperatures such as vegetable or avocado so that it won’t overshadow the delicate flavours of the fish. Olive oil will smoke under high heat and turn bitter, so save it for the salad dressing. When the oil is hot enough over medium-high heat, it should shimmer and become less viscous.

Sear it
Place the fish skin side down on to the pan. If the oil is hot enough, the fish should sizzle upon contact. Let the skin crisp and slightly harden for a minute as flipping it too soon will tear the skin. When the skin gets crispy, it’ll easily slide around the pan. Once that’s achieved, turn down the heat down a bit so that the skin doesn’t burn. Flip the filet over and continue to finish cooking the fish.

Let it Rest
Once the fish is opaque and no longer translucent, take if off the heat and let it rest on the plate for a few minutes. Cutting into it immediately would make all the juices leak out.

Make the Sauce
As the fish is resting, pour in two or three tablespoons of chicken stock (or vegetable stock) into the pan and scrape it down with a spatula over medium-low heat. If you’re cooking salmon, add in a splash of maple syrup. If you’re cooking a milder fish like cod or tilapia, add in a few squeezes of lemon juice. When the sauce has slightly thickened, pour it over the fish, or some steamed vegetables on the side.

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.

Related:

Made Easy: Sriracha Chicken Salad Sandwich

I like to call this my “Absent-minded lunch” for those times when I have a million other things going on and don’t have the attention span to keep an eye on the stove. By boiling the chicken breasts, it keeps them juicy unlike grilling or roasting, which can dry-out the bird if you’re not paying attention. This also works for frozen chicken breasts; just toss them into the boiling water and they should be ready in 20 minutes.

I prefer shredding the chicken for a finer texture that’ll keep the meat from falling out (don’t you hate it when cubes of chicken fall out of your sandwich?). Make this the night before for a delicious packed lunch the next day.

Sriracha Chicken Salad Sandwich

ChickenSaladSandwich_foodnetwork

Ingredients:

1 boneless, skinless chicken breast
2 thick slices sandwich bread
2 Tablespoons mayonnaise
1 teaspoon Sriracha sauce
1/4 cup onion, finely minced*
Chili flakes (optional)

ChickenSaladSandwich_shreddedchicken_foodnetwork

Directions:

  1. In a pot of boiling water, boil the chicken breast until it is no longer pink in the middle.
  2. Using a fork (and another fork or a pair of tongs to hold down the chicken), shred the chicken into thin threads.
  3. In a bowl, mix the shredded chicken, mayonnaise, Sriracha, and chili flakes together.
  4. Assemble the sandwich. Serve with a side of crudités.

*The key to a good chicken (or tuna) salad is to have a sweet crunch in the mix. If you don’t like onions, you can try for milder green onions or even apples that have been diced into tiny bits.

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.

Related:

How to Make Eggplant Parmesan

FN_RReardin_20June

Each and every day we have to settle the same two annoying questions hanging over our heads. The first, what am I going to wear? And the second, what should I have for dinner?
It’s only too easy to fall into a food rut and get tired of your old favourites. Pasta? Had that yesterday. Stir fry? So sick of it. Chicken? Wouldn’t mind if I didn’t see chicken again for a while.
Luckily, there’s a delicious dinner idea loved by all, but it’s one that tends to be overlooked. And, because it just so happens to be in season, we’re sharing our favourite, ridiculously easy recipe for Eggplant Parmesan.

Ingredients (serves 4):

1 eggplant, peeled, thinly sliced
1 egg, beaten
1 ½ cups Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
2 cups marinara sauce
Mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
Parmesan cheese, grated
Dried Basil

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Dip eggplant slices in beaten egg, then in breadcrumbs. Place slices on a baking sheet and place on the middle oven rack for five minutes. Flip the slices over, and bake for another five minutes.
  2. Remove the eggplant slices from the baking sheet, and cover with parchment paper. Scoop dollops of sauce onto the pan, one scoop for every slice of eggplant. Place an eggplant slice on each dollop, cover with sauce, then lay slices of mozzarella cheese on top. Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese, then, top with basil.
  3. Bake until golden brown, about 30 minutes.

headshot Renée Reardin is a lifestyle writer and stylist living in Toronto. To learn more about her, visit www.reneereardin.com, and follow her on Twitter @reneereardin.

 

Related:

How to Make Your Own Cereal

FN_RReardin30May

Sure, we all love a fancy breakfast now and then, but the truth is, we’re quite happy starting every day with a hearty bowl of cereal.

But this simple meal can run a little pricey. If you’re eating cereal for breakfast seven days a week, and maybe for dinner every now and then (guilty), you may find yourself going through almost two boxes a week.

Cereal is actually super easy to make yourself. For about $15 a month, you can customize your morning breakfast bowl, using only six ingredients!

FN_RReardin_30May2

All you need is the base (bran flakes are perfect), granola (I chose honey-flavoured, but you can choose cinnamon, hemp, cranberry, coconut, etc.), two toasted nut options (such as chopped walnuts or sliced almonds), and two dried fruit options (like cranberries, strawberries, or blueberries).

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The result? Endless options for a healthy, nutty, crunchy, delectable breakfast (or dinner) cereal!

headshot  Renée Reardin is a lifestyle writer and stylist living in Toronto. To learn more about her, visit www.reneereardin.com, and follow her on Twitter @reneereardin

Related:

How to Build the Perfect Veggie Picnic Sandwich

veggie sandwich

Well, we made it. We’re done with April’s showers, and have moved onto the blooming buds and clear skies of May. This means one fantastic thing for us office folk: time to move our lunches outdoors for a midday picnics.

It’s the glorious pick-me-up we wait for all winter long. The sunny skies and fresh breezes of spring allow us to step away from our gloomy, stuffy workspaces and venture into the great outdoors for a totally rejuvenating lunch break. Now that we’ve set the scene, next up is the menu du jour. Do you really think it’s a good idea to bring that traditional salad of yours to the breezy park? Think again.

To ensure you get your healthy serving of veggies while keeping you neat and stain-free, we’re sharing the easy ingredients you need to build the perfect hearty and delicious veggie sandwich. With only eight essential items, this budget-friendly meal is bound to become one of your go-to favourites. Now excuse us, we’re taking our entire hour lunch break today.

Ingredients:

Multi-grain bread

Mustard

Tomatoes

Sprouts

Mixed Greens

Onions

Cheddar Cheese

Avocado

 

renee-headshot Renée Reardin is a lifestyle writer and stylist living in Toronto. To learn more about her, visit www.reneereardin.com, and follow her on Twitter @reneereardin.