Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Wild Leek Stir-fry

A few years ago, my sister Julia moved to Bancroft and started telling me about wild leeks.

Wild leeks, though technically not poisonous when eaten raw, make you smell so bad that the stench actually comes through your pores.

Wild leeks cooked, on the other hand, are sweet and delicious; especially when stir fried with some peppers, ginger and chicken.

I didn't have a scrap of this left over, everyone devoured it!

Wild Leek Stir Fry with Peppers and Chicken
(adapted from Canadian Living Magazine; May 2009)
Serves 4

1/4 C sodium-reduced soy sauce
1 tbsp  cornstarch
2 tsp rice wine vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp grated gingerroot
1/4 tsp pepper
1 lb ground chicken
4 oz  wild leeks (about 30)
2 bell peppers, I used red and yellow, sliced into strips
2 Tbsp oil
1 pinch red pepper flakes
1 tsp (5 mL) sesame oil

In bowl, whisk together soy sauce, cornstarch, vinegar, garlic, ginger and pepper. Set aside.

Meanwhile, separate green and white parts of leeks; halve white parts lengthwise and cut leaves in half diagonally. Set green and white parts aside separately.

In large frying pan, heat oil over high heat; stir-fry chicken.  Sprinkle in some pepper flakes. Remove chicken from pan and set aside.

Over high heat; stir-fry white parts of leeks and the peppers.  Return chicken and green parts of leeks to wok; stir-fry for 1 minute. Add sauce and a few Tbsp of  water or chicken stalk.
Stir until greens are limp.

Serve over rice with additional soy sauce if you want it.

"We love vile leaves." ~Jibs

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Wild Mushroom Toasts

We went to the market this morning.

When Clara was little we used to go almost every Saturday.

It was so good to go again.

Early on in the morning, we found a vendor selling a variety of wild Ontario Mushrooms.

They looked so good.

We bought quite a few different variety of mushrooms, including a very black smoky one, and brought them home.

So that we could really taste all the different flavours of the mushrooms, we kept it simple and made some sauteed mushrooms on toast.

I'm not sure, but I think this may be the best thing I have ever tasted.

Wild Mushroom Toasts
(Adapted from Jamie at Home by Jamie Oliver)
Serves 2

Extra Virgin Olive Oil
11 ounces wild mushrooms, a good variety if possible
2 cloves garlic, 1 peeled and halved, 1 minced
2 Tbsp fresh herbs, I used parsley, torn up or minced
salt and pepper
1 or more pinches red pepper flakes
1 Tbsp butter
1 lemon
slices of sour dough baguette

1.  Heat a very large, heavy frying pan over med-high heat.  Mushrooms should fit in a single layer so they brown.  As Julia Child says, "Don't crowd the mushrooms!"
Drizzle pan with a olive oil. Tear large mushrooms into bite size pieces, leave small ones whole.
Toss mushrooms into the pan and combine with the oil.  Add minced garlic and parsley. Toss the pan again.
Add a  pinch of salt and some pepper and the chili flakes.
Lower heat and fry for a few minutes.

2. Once the mushrooms brown, add butter and a  squeeze of lemon.  Not too much lemon, just enough to give the mushrooms some brightness.  Toss again.

3.  Toast  and butter the bread.  Then rub the bread with the inside of garlic halves.
Top with mushrooms.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Curried Lentil Burgers

These lentil burgers are Super!

I highly recommend you make them and then top them with thick yogurt and mango chutney.

Mango Slaw would be a wonderful side with these.

I served them with some roasted sweet potato because I ran out of the stuff to make Mango Slaw...If not, I would have definitely made it again!

Curried Lentil Burgers
(adapted from Moosewood)

1 C dried red lentils
2 C water
1/2 tsp ground tumeric
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 C chopped onion
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 C celery, diced
1 C red pepper, diced
1 Tbsp grated gingeroot
1 Tbsp curry powder
1/2 ground cinnamon
2 C cooked rice (I used basmati)
3/4 C walnuts, peanuts or cashews, roasted and finely chopped
1 Tbsp lime juice
1/4 C parsley, finely chopped

Preheat oven to 400*.

1. Rinse and drain the lentils. Put them in a small saucepan with the water. Bring to a boil, add turmeric and 1/2 tsp salt. Cover, lower the heat to low and simmer 20 mins or until very soft. If there is liquid left, drain the lentils.

2. Meanwhile, in a skillet over medium heat. Cook onions and garlic in oil until soft, about 6 mins. Add celery and peppers, cook another 6-7 mins. Add a splash of water if it is sticking.
Add ginger, curry, cinnamon, the rest of the salt and cook another minute.
Remove from the heat and add cooked rice, lentils, lime juice, nuts, and parsley.

3. When mixture has cooled to handling temperature, form into patties (a heaping half cup each) and place on a well oiled baking tray.

4. Bake for 20 minutes. Cool slightly before handling.

**Top with thick, plain yogurt, lettuce and fruit chutney.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Mango Slaw

When Clara was little we used to frequent this little Thai restaurant in our neighbourhood.

One of the things we ordered a over and over was their mango salad.

The restaurant has since closed but tonight I really felt like eating that mango salad.

This mango slaw is better than any I have eaten at a restaurant.

It has so much in each bite.

Sweet mango, spicy chili, tangy lime and crunchy cabbage.

I will be making this one a lot this summer!

Mango Slaw
*The recipe calls for shredded cabbage and carrot. I used 1 bag of PC coleslaw mix which has cabbage, carrot and broccoli.

1 ripe but slightly firm mango, peeled and thinly sliced
1 1/2- 2 C shredded cabbage
1 C shredded carrot
1/4 C thinly sliced fresh mint leaves
1/4 C lime juice, about 2 limes
2 Tbsp maple syrup or brown sugar
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 Tbsp Olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced (optional)
1 pinch red pepper flakes or 1 minced chile
1 Tbsp fresh ginger, grated

In a large bowl toss together mint, carrot, cabbage and mango.

In a mason jar or small bowl, mix lime juice, maple syrup, salt, oil, garlic, red pepper flakes and ginger.

Toss together salad and dressing. Let stand 20 mins, if possible, so the flavours blend.

Thinking about Clara's many trips to the Thai restaurant, reminded me of this picture.
Jim's first solo trip with Jim and I to Starbucks.
He thought it was pretty great...and felt that at a place this fancy he should take off his rubber boots!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Vegetarian Night

When little Jimmy saw his plate tonight he said, "Where's the meat?!"

The boy loves meat.

Once I assured him that he'd eaten enough meat today already, he quickly forgot and totally enjoyed his dinner.

Tonight we ate two of my very favourite vegetarian dishes from Moosewod Cooking for Health.

The first is a curried millet that has lots of rich curry flavour, sweet raisins and parsley.

To go with it, some spiced kale with sweet potato also featuring curry but with a little more kick because of the chili flakes and garlic.

Both dishes are very filling and satisfying.

Curried Millet
(Moosewood Cooking for Health)

1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1/2 tsp whole black mustard seeds (optional)
1/2 C minced yellow onion
3/4 C millet
1 1/2 tsp good curry powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 C vegetable stock
1/4 C chopped golden raisins
1/2 C minced parsley

1. In a saucepan over med-high heat warm the oil. Toss in the mustard seeds and cook 1-2 mins or until they pop. (Watch out you don't get a pop on the face.) Add onion, cook 3 mins. Add millet, cook 3 more minutes, stirring constantly. Add curry and salt. Cook a minute or until fragrant. Add stock, bring to a boil. Cover millet and cook 20 mins on low heat.

2. Stir in raisins and parsley. Fluff with a fork. Cover and let stand 10 mins.

Spiced Kale with Sweet Potaotes
(Moosewood Cooking for Health)

4 C sweet potato, peeled and diced (1/2 inch cubes)
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp black mustard seeds (optional)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 tsp good curry powder
8 C kale, remove stalk and chop
1/4 tsp kosher salt
2 Tbsp vegetable stalk or water
1 Tbsp soy sauce
black pepper

1. Steam or boil sweet potatoes until tender. Set aside.

2. Warm oil in a large pot, add mustard seeds cook a minute or 2 until they start to pop. Add garlic and stir 30 seconds. Add red pepper flakes, curry, salt and kale. Stir a few mintues.
Add stalk and soy. Cover and cook until kale is softened, a few minutes. Stir in some black pepper and serve.
(These two are pretty special.)

Monday, April 2, 2012

Bean Plants II

Our bean plants have done well and, on this sunny April day, we potted them.