Sushi Devilled eggs

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I made this up on a whim. I bought Wasabi Mayo at Trader Joe’s and felt like making devilled eggs. I threw crap from the fridge on them and it turned out sorta like a maki roll. minus the eggs. And nori. But whatever.

Ingredients:

  • Hard boiled eggs
  • Mayo (I used TJ’s wasabi mayo, but you could just mix wasabi paste or powder into any mayo)
  • Thin strips of smoked salmon
  • coconut aminos to drizzle on top
  • sesame seeds and green onions for garnish

Mix yolks with mayo like for any devilled egg, garnish the other stuff on top. Eat it. The end.

If you use compliant ingredients, this can be whole30 compliant (i.e. make your own Mayo, the TJ’s stuff is delicious but has crap in it).

Chocolate Raspberry Torte

This recipe was a happy accident. The photos are rushed because, at the time, I did not realize the full impact that this freaking phenomenal dessert would have on my taste buds. Such a shame. I will have to take better photos next time I make it. Because, I’ve already decided there will be a next time. It was pretty  much a miracle because I am a terrible baker. Maybe it’s because this didn’t need to be baked.

Last night was my mother in law’s birthday. We went over for cake. After she blew out her candles I noticed she wasn’t eating any. Turns out her ND has recommended she try out a grain free diet for a while to see if it helps with some health issues. Say what? So here we are eating the woman’s birthday cake while she sits and has nothing. No bueno. I said that was simply unacceptable and that they better show up at our house the next day for dinner so I can make the poor woman a proper grain-free birthday cake. The other challenge is that she doesn’t tolerate eggs well. A grain-free, dairy free, egg-free birthday cake? Challenge accepted.

I immediately started googling and hunting through my Pinterest board to find something suitable. Added challenge was that I had to work with what was in my pantry or what would be available at a quick trip to Farm Boy, so no trips to the store to get random ingredients. I found this White chocolate pie from Spunky Coconut and it inspired my creation. This recipe method and ingredients were largely inspired by the Spunky Coconut recipe, but with a new flavour profile with the dark chocolate and fruit. I really want to get my hands on some cacao butter so I can try out the white chocolate version!

Raspberry chocolate torte - serves 12 (or less if you are a pig like me ;) )

Crust:

  • 1 cup of hazelnuts, toasted
  • 1 cup of almond flour
  • 8-12 dates, depending on how big and juicy they are
  • 1T of coconut oil

Put all ingredients into the food processor and pulse until it becomes a bit crumbly. Press the ingredients into a springform pan. I used a 9″ one (I think). Push the mixture right up the sides like a deep dish pie crust. Put in the fridge to chill while you make the filling.

Filling:

  • 1 can of coconut milk
  • 1 packet of unflavoured gelatin (or a Tbsp if you have it in bulk)
  • 250g of dark chocolate (I used 72% from Trader Joes – half of one of those giant bars)
  • a few squirts of honey (probably optional)
  • 1T vanilla extract

Warm the coconut milk on the stove to a very low simmer. Add the gelatin until it dissolves. Stir in the honey and vanilla extract. Turn off the burner. Prepare a double boiler and melt the dark chocolate. Add the coconut milk mixture into the melted chocolate. Blitz for about 15 seconds with your immersion blender. Pour the filling into the crust and put back in the fridge for at least a few hours. I did it overnight.

Once the torte is fully chilled you can garnish it. Here’s what I did for a garnish.

Garnish:

  • shaved chocolate curls
  • toasted coconut flakes (just toss large flake coconut in a pan until it gets a bit toasty. sprinkle a wee bit of sugar on it (like 1/8 tsp, and a wee bit of salt)
  • fresh raspberries

Wash and dry the berries before arranging them on top of your chilled torte. I used almost 2 small packages full (the little ones…whatever size they are. a half pint maybe?). Then, sprinkle toasted coconut flakes around the edges to completely cover the torte. The last step is the chocolate shavings. I used a veg peeler to make them with the giant chocolate bar.

 

Chill until you serve it. Take it out of the fridge while your child has a 15 minute whine-fest about not eating his veggies  15 minutes before you eat so it is easy to cut. Serve with a nice bold cup of black coffee to balance the sweetness.

Burp… That was amazing. Mr. Foodie has requested it for his birthday!

Roasted Chicken and Garlic

So I roasted a chicken. With a shit-ton of garlic. And it was amazing.

Here’s how you make it: throw a million cloves of garlic in the bottom of a dutch oven. Ok, not a million – but at least a few heads.

You can lightly sear the chicken in a pan. Optional.

toss the heads of garlic in the pan for a few minutes with some oil.

Dump those garlic cloves into the dutch oven.

Place the chicken on top. Season liberally. My favourites are salt, pepper and a herb blend of some type. I used Epicure’s Holiday Seasoning.

Bake it in the oven, uncovered (at 375 degrees). Should take about 1.5 hours, depending on the size of your chicken. Use a meat thermometer to know when you’re done – it should read 165 when inserted into the deepest part of the thigh, but don’t touch the bone.

 

 

Chicken Kiev

Yeah, so I made this Chicken Kiev months ago. I also took crappy, rushed photos (too bad). I remember in my family restaurant watching the staff make this by the ton. It was a deceivingly easy process of making garlic butter, cutting the chicken, inserting the butter, breading, cooking. I’m skipping a load of steps, I’m sure. As a kid I thought it was super-fancy chicken fingers. But yeah. Chicken Kiev is delish.

What made me think about Chicken Kiev again was this:

Do you watch Orange is the new Black? WHY NOT? I really liked this show and it makes me sad that I have to wait so long for the new season. The episode with the chicken was amazing. I won’t spoil it, but watch it. Plus, Kate Mulgrew is faaaabulous as Red.

When LA Weekly asked Kate Mulgrew about her kitchen plans in season two, she replied:  “She’s going to find that elusive chicken [that Piper spotted in the prison yard]. And she is going to make Chicken Kiev and it’s going to be the only silent scene ever shot for Orange Is the New Black because the women are going to be so dazzled, so overcome with pleasure, that they’re just going to eat the Chicken Kiev in absolute blissful silence. That’s my dream.”

Chicken Kiev!

Step 1: Make your garlic butter. Mix chopped fresh parsley and garlic with your (salted)  butter. Roll it into a log inside parchment paper and put it in the fridge to harden. If you don’t do dairy, you could use ghee for this.

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Step two: Butterfly or otherwise cut open your chicken. I was working with what i had thawed, or I may have cut them a bit differently. Shove that butter in there.IMG_7716

Step three: I tied them up to hold the butter in. (haha. Silly girl. Butter never actually STAYS inside Chicken Kiev!)

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Step four: “bread” them. You could use breadcrumbs if you aren’t-so-paleo. I used a mix of almond and flax meal with a touch of salt and pepper. On the left hand side you see the leftover chicken tenders made into chicken fingers for the kiddo (And me. I won’t lie, I love chicken fingers…)

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Bake it. Eat it. That’s all.

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Danish Soup

This post has been in my draft queue for quite a while. Every time I get writing,  I need to stop and walk away as it makes me too emotional. I love food (duh), but food was a big part of my upbringing and family life. This past year, things changed.

My grandparents immigrated from Denmark to the middle of nowhere Northern Ontario in the 1950s. While a mining job brought them to the area, they eventually were drawn back to their “roots” so to speak. In Denmark, Grandpa was a butcher and Grandma was a cook. First, the family had a butcher shop and then a family restaurant. The restaurant has been in our family since the 1970s. Grandpa, grandma and the kids worked various jobs over the years, off and on.  It’s always felt like home. We have many Danish family recipes, many of which are deliciously unhealthy, but

My uncle had been running the restaurant for the last several years. This past fall, he passed away very suddenly from a heart attack, while renovating the restaurant in the off season. My kind, generous, happy-go-lucky uncle is sadly missed every day… I am surprised how emotional I get when I think about how unfair it is that he was taken from us too young. I can’t even look at a photo without tearing up.

One night, he randomly knocked on my door and I was stunned to see him standing there smiling and waving into the window as I stomped to the door wondering who would have the audacity to knock on my door at 7:30 pm on a weeknight. He was quite possibly the last person I expected to see standing there given that I live 1000 km away from my hometown. He was in town just for the night running an errand with his extended family and although I had missed his call earlier he took the chance to stop by anyway. We had coffee, we laughed, and he showed me how to properly use my knife sharpening steel. I knew if anyone could teach me it would be him. I think of him every time I sharpen my knives.

I also think of him every time I make one of our family recipes, like Aebelskiver (definitely not healthy by any stretch of the imagination – I even have the pan my grandma brought over from Denmark in the 50s!), and most especially Danish Soup.

I don’t know if Danish Soup has a real name, or if it’s just some weird family recipe that we completely made up, but it is damned delicious. Trust me.

Danish Soup

Start some chicken stock. You’ll have leftover bones etc. after you make some roasted chicken. This can be made in advance, but please don’t be lazy and use canned broth. Please don’t!

Once your stock is ready (or thawed!), add your veggies. You need carrots, onions, celery and leeks. Leeks are crucial or you’re not doing it right! 

Then, you’ll make some meatballs! This little meatball press gadget is another one that I got from Grandma – No idea what it’s actually called or where you’d get one – but I’m fairly sure that it is even older than my mom, never mind myself! 

Meatball (Danish Meatballs. Frikadeller)

  • 1lb ground pork
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 1 egg
  • 6 tbs of flour (optional – I leave it out to be paleo friendly)
  • 1 cup of milk or club soda (guess which one I use!)
  • salt, pepper, and allspice. A good 1tsp of each. Maybe more all spice. I love the all spice.

Mix all the ingredients together until smooth. I use an electric mixer. You should too. Load it up into your magic meatball press thing. (Or, use a spoon). You can also pan fry these, but I cook them in the soup when I’m making the soup.

Here’s my lame photo of the finished product. Now, Danish soup usually always has  dumplings in it as well. I’ve yet to paleo-fy these, but if you want to live dangerously, the recipe is just a choux pastry cooked in the soup, instead of baked.

The soup was always quite popular at our family restaurant. When it was on special and I would be eating lunch there, 7 year old me would go up to the pot and scoop myself out a bowl with nothing but dumplings and broth. Mmmm.

The next time I make this I’ll update with better photos. But, I needed to get this post off my chest right now… It’s been nine months, and I still miss you. :(

 

p.s. When you panfry the meatballs they are also delicious.

 

Salsa Verde

So I’ve started a vegetable garden again. Trying to grow some veggies from seed. Last year I was successful in growing kale from seed which surprised me as I have a black thumb. I am going to plant some tomatillos (or try….) because I really love them and I don’t see them at the grocery store very often.

Tomatillos make a mean Salsa Verde, or green salsa! The jarred ones from the grocery store don’t even compare, but if it were my only option I like the Herdez brand.

Salsa verde - Makes two 500ml jars

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This recipe is kind of a wing-int approach. I eyeballed everything.

Take a bunch of tomatillos and char them in a cast iron pan. IMG_7579

Chop some white onion and a hefty portion of cilantro, garlic, salt and pepper. Add in a jalapeno pepper (remove the membranes and seeds if you don’t like the heat). Blitz in your vitamix (or food processor, or hand blender, or you could chop it  by hand into itty bitty pieces if you are so inclined.

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Pour it into jars. Store in the fridge. Eat with a spoon. Serve on top of chicken, steak, fajitas, nachos if you are so inclined..

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Thai inspired zoodle soup

I’m obsessed with zucchini noodles. I could eat them with everything and anything. So good. I want to eat them for every meal! I made a delicious soup featuring my current favourite vegetable.

I made a turkey for Easter. Which is always delicious, but after a while the typical turkey leftovers get boring. I needed a new flavour to use up the very last bit of meat.

I started with some bone broth from my Easter turkey. I used chicken, but beef would work too. I simmered it with some lemon grass stalks, fresh ginger, garlic cloves, and coriander seed. I should have threw in a star anise too but I forgot.

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After simmering the broth for about an hour, I strained it. then added chopped turkey breast and my julienned zucchini. Use a julienne peeler for the “noodles” (Usually you would add some salt and let the moisture sweat out for 30-ish minutes then squeeze out the moisture. But since I was putting it in soup I didn’t bother with this step). I simmered this on medium heat for about 10 minutes.

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Then, I poured my delicious soup into a bowl and topped with chopped green onion, cilantro and a drizzle of sriracha. It hit the spot. My tastebuds thanked me for a change of pace.

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