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Pork meatballs with peaches, lime, and basil on coconut quinoa

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 ½ tablespoons finely grated or minced fresh ginger
  • 3 garlic cloves, grated or minced
  • 1 ¼ teaspoon ground cumin, plus more for serving
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons kosher salt, plus more as needed
  • 1 pound ground pork (or turkey or chicken, or vegan meat)
  •  cup panko or other plain bread crumbs
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil, plus basil leaves for serving
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons wine (dry white, rosé or red), or use broth, orange juice or water
  • 2 cups diced ripe peaches or nectarines (about 3)
  • ¼ cup thinly sliced white or red onion, or scallions
  • 1 lime, halved
  •  Quinoa cooked in coconut milk for serving 

PREPARATION

  1. In a large bowl, mix together ginger, garlic, cumin and salt. Add pork, panko and basil. Using your hands, gently mix everything together, making sure not to overwork the mixture. (Otherwise, the meatballs get tough.) Form into 1 1/4-inch balls.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium-high, then add the oil and let it heat up until it thins out. Add meatballs in one layer. Cook, turning and shaking the pan, until meatballs are browned all over, 5 to 7 minutes.
  3. Pour the wine into the skillet and move meatballs over to one side of the pan, scraping up the browned bits. Add peaches, a pinch of salt and 2 tablespoons water to the empty side of pan. When peaches are simmering, cover the pan, lower the heat to medium, and let cook until the meatballs are no longer pink at their centers, and the peaches juicy and tender, about 5 to 10 minutes longer.
  4. Uncover the pan. If the mixture seems too runny, let it cook down for another minute or so. The peaches should break down into a chunky sauce. Hard or unripe peaches may take a few extra minutes.
  5. Add the onions to the pan and mix them in so they wilt slightly. Squeeze lime juice all over everything, then taste and add salt and lime juice, as needed. Sweeter peaches will need more lime juice, tart ones, less.
  6. Serve the meatballs sprinkled with more cumin and garnished with torn basil leaves, over the rice or greens.

Best squid and broccoli dish of all time!

Ingredients

Squid with broccoli

  • 1 kilogram squid
  • 2 onions, quartered
  • 2 sticks celery, sliced diagonally
  • 1 kilogram broccoli, cut into florets, stalks sliced diagonaly
  • 4 shallots, sliced diagonally
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 2 teaspoon green ginger, grated
  • 1 tablespoon cornflour
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tablespoon dry sherry
  • 2 chicken stock cubes
  • 3 tablespoon oyster
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Method

Squid with broccoli

  • Hold squid firmly with one hand. With the other hand, hold head and pull gently. Head and inside of body of squid will come away in one compact piece. Remove bone which will be found at open end of squid; it looks like a long thin piece of plastic.
  • Clean squid under cold running water, then rub off the outer skin. (Some large food stores have squid available, already cleaned, ready for cooking).
  • Cut squid lengthwise down centre. Spread squid out flat with the inside facing upwards. With sharp knife make shallow cuts across squid in diamond shape; this helps tenderise squid and make it curl attractively when cooking.
  • Heat oil in pan or wok, add squid, cook until it curls, remove from pan, drain on absorbent paper. Add onions, celery, broccoli and ginger to pan, saute 3 minutes.
  • Blend cornflour with a little of the water until smooth, add remaining water, dry sherry, crumbled stock cubes, oyster sauce, soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar and salt; mix well.
  • Add to pan, stir until sauce boils. Return squid to pan, cook until heated through. Put on serving dish, top with shallots.

Banitsa with onion and lapad (Patience Dock)

Banitsa
Banitsa

Homemade banitsa with onion and patience dock (sorrel or spinach works). Probably one of the best things I’ve ever made!
Recipe (I added dock and onion)

Homemade sour cream scones with cream cheese, arugula and bacon with maple and jalapeño glaze.

It all started with this 7 ingredient sour cream cookie recipe. The cookies didn’t taste like cookies at all (not sweet) but more like scones…I will disclose that I added more baking soda than the recipe called for but it doesn’t matter, these ain’t cookies. I decided to dip half of them in brown sugar and kept the other half as “savory scones”.

Ingredients:

  • Bacon
  • Onion
  • Brown sugar
  • Maple syrup
  • Jalapeños (fresh)
  • Scones
  • Cream cheese
  • Arugula
  • Orange juice (optional)

Marinate slices of smoky bacon with a little chopped onion, chopped jalapeño, brown sugar and maple syrup for 30 mins or more.

In a frying pan on low heat, cook the bacon with the marinade for about 10 minutes, flipping once, until the bacon is crispy and the sugar and maple syrup turn into a gooey caramel. If you need to slow down the caramelization then stir in a few drops of orange juice. Let cool for 2 minutes.

Assembly:

1- Cream cheese on scone.

2- Arugula and chopped fresh jalapeño.

3- Bacon with some of the caramel.

Tom Yum Roasted Chicken.

I love Tom Yum soup, who doesn’t? I decided to take all the ingredients and famous flavors of the soup and apply it to a roasted chicken.

Ingredients:

• 1 chicken

• 1 cup chicken stock

• 1 can of coconut milk (reserve 2 tablespoons for serving)

• 2 large tomatoes cut in 1/2

• 2 large onions cut in 1/4

• a handful of mushrooms cut in 1/4

• 5-6 cloves of garlic, peeled, left whole

• 1 stick of lemongrass

• 2-3 carrots (to lift the chicken out of the liquids to help it brown)

• a thumb sized piece of ginger cut in 1/2

• a handful of parsley

• 2 big tablespoons of green curry paste

• 2 chilies if your curry paste isn’t spicy (optional)

• salt and pepper

• peppercorns (optional- see “Over the Top!’ section*)

• a handful of chopped cilantro for plating (optional)

• dried chili flakes for garnish (optional)

How to Start

1- Cut the chicken along the backbone, this is called the spatchcock technique.

2- Rub the green curry paste between the skin and the flesh as well as the back/interior of the chicken. Try to keep the exterior skin clean and dry.

3- Cut all the other ingredients and place them at the bottom of a roasting pan. Season the veggies. If your curry paste is very salty, don’t use very much salt. Make sure you place the carrots in the middle, they are used to elevate the chicken and helps you get that beautiful crispy brown skin.

4- Pour the chicken stock into the pan.

5- Lay the parsley on top of the carrots, then place your rubbed bird on top making sure she uses up as much surface area as possible (because we love crispy skin). Brush the skin with some coconut milk and lightly season.

Over the Top!

This step is optional, I just wanted to try out a couple techniques I’ve recently seen.

Optional- With a BBQ skewer or a thin knife, poke holes into the breast and thighs and stuff a peppercorn into each hole. Once the chicken is cooked, the peppercorns are super tender and you can eat them. Also, the meat gets infused with the pepper which is amazing!

Optional- Get out your marinade injector and pump up the chicken with coconut milk!

Cooking

Low and slow. This tiny chicken took just over 2 hours to roast. Start by loosely covering the the bird with aluminum foil, only using the bottom element of my oven.

Baste the bird. Every 20 minutes check up on the bird and baste her with coconut milk.

Uncover. Once the liquids in the pan are bubbling away and have reduced (you will also see that the veggies are cooked and the juices of the bird are running clear), remove the foil and baste again.

Browning. My oven allows me to adjust the temperature of the top and bottom elements separately…I guess set yours to “Bottom element heating with grill” or convection? The top element is now on (keeping the bottom on too) and keep an eye out on the bird. Keep on basting with coconut milk, it makes the skin so sweet and delicious. Tent the areas that are crisping up too fast (usually the wings) with aluminum foil.

Let rest. Once you are happy with the golden brown colour, remove from oven and let rest loosely covered for 10-20 minutes.

Time to eat! Discard the parsley, lemongrass and ginger and transfer the soupy gravy and vegetables into a serving bowl/dish and pour the 2 tablespoons of reserved coconut milk in a circular motion over the dish. Place the chicken on top and garnish with cilantro (I only had parsley), some nice flaky salt and chili flakes.

Juicy, spicy, sweet, salty and wonderful!

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