Saturday, April 23, 2011

Apricot Chutney

After a recent weekly trip to a new favourite restaurant in Sofia, a couple of friends decided that I needed to figure out how to make the Apricot Chutney to accompany my Chapatis when preparing Indian meals at home. So, here it is…

What You'll Need:

Dried Apricots - 450 grams (about 16 oz), finely diced
Garam Masala - 1 tsp
Honey - 1 1/4 cups
Apple Cider Vinegar - 2 cups
Fresh Root Ginger - 1 tsp, grated
Salt - 1 tsp
Golden Raisins - 1/2 cup
Water - 2 cups

What You’ll Do:

Put the dried apricots and Garam Masala into a medium pot and add the honey, vinegar, ginger, salt, raisins and water. Mix thoroughly with a spoon.

Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 30-35 minutes, stirring occasionally.

When the chutney has thickened to a fairly stiff consistency, spoon it into 2-3 clean jars and leave it to cool.

Store it in the refrigerator.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

J and J Pad Thai

Jaime has always been great at experimenting with Asian foods, so when she told me we’d be making Pad Thai for dinner - I wasn’t surprised. The end result was incredible! Consequently, Pad Thai has turned into a family favourite. It’s so simple and pleasing. So if you’re one of those individuals who always orders Pad Thai when dining out, or you just love Asian recipes, then this one is for you!

What You’ll Need:

8 oz. dried Pad Thai rice noodles, OR enough for 2 people (linguini-width)
Tofu cut into cubes and fried
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium onion, finely chopped
Chinese cabbage or Bok Choy, roughly chopped
Broccoli, chopped
2-3 carrots, chopped
2 cups bean sprouts
2 green onions, sliced
Fresh coriander/cilantro
1/4 cup ground (or well-chopped) peanuts (OR substitute cashews or slivered almonds)


3/4 Tbsp. tamarind paste (available at Asian/East Indian food stores)
1/4 cup hot water
3 1/2 Tbsp. soy sauce, we like Braggs Liquid Amino (or gluten-free soy sauce)
1/2 to 2 tsp. chili sauce (to taste), OR 1-2 fresh red chilies, minced
3 Tbsp. brown sugar or 2 palm kernels
3 Tbsp. smooth peanut butter


3-4 Tbsp. oil for stir-frying 2-3 Tbsp. vegetable stock
lime wedges for serving

What You’ll Do:

I like to make my sauce first so it’s ready when everything else has been cooked. Start by dissolving the tamarind paste in the hot water. Add the other sauce ingredients and stir well to dissolve the sugar. Add as much or as little chili sauce as you prefer, but don't skimp on the sugar (you’ll need it to balance the sourness of the tamarind). Reserve.

Bring a pot of water to a boil and remove from heat. Soak noodles in the hot water for 6-10 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water. Tip: Noodles are ready to drain when they are soft enough to eat, but still firm and a little bit "crunchy". The noodles will finish cooking when they are fried.

Place your wok (or large frying pan) over medium-high heat. Add 1-2 Tbsp. oil plus the garlic and onions. Stir-fry 1 minute to release the fragrance. Add broccoli and carrots and cook for 3-5 minutes.

Add the Bok Choy plus the stock. Stir-fry 2 minutes, or until Bok Choy is bright green and slightly softened. Add fried tofu.

Now add the drained noodles and 1/3 of the sauce. Stir-fry everything together for 1 minute using 2 utensils and a tossing motion (like tossing a salad).

Add a little more sauce and continue stir-frying in the same way for 1-2 more minutes, or until the noodles begin to soften and become sticky. Reduce heat to medium if noodles begin to stick and burn.

Add the bean sprouts plus the remaining sauce. Stir-fry to incorporate everything together for 1-3 more minutes, or until noodles are done. Noodles are cooked to perfection when they are soft but still deliciously chewy and a little bit sticky.

To serve, scoop noodles onto a serving platter. Sprinkle with the green onion, coriander/cilantro, and ground nuts. Add wedges of fresh-cut lime on the side. Serve immediately and ENJOY!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Vegan Waffles

(Courtesey of TripWow TripAdvisor)

Why are you still buying frozen waffles when you can make them yourself? It really is quick and easy. Short on time? Then make ‘em a weekend tradition. You can look forward to fresh homemade waffles weekly and then freeze the extras to pull out when you are in a rush. Just eight ingredients and a few stirs of the whisk and you’re ready to go!

What You'll Need:
3 teaspoon of Energizer Egg Replacers mixed with 4 tablespoons water, this is equal to 2 eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 3/4 cups soy milk
1/2 cup canola oil
1 tablespoon sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

What You'll Do:
Preheat waffle iron. Beat egg replacers in large bowl with a whisk until well mixed. Mix in flour, soy milk, oil, sugar, baking powder, salt and vanilla, just until smooth.

Spray preheated waffle iron with non-stick cooking spray. Pour mix onto hot waffle iron. Cook until golden brown. Serve hot.

You can purchase a waffle iron just about anywhere, Target, Bed, Bath and Beyond, Macy's, their everywhere. Prices range from about $20 - $150. Mine was an engagement gift purchased from William-Sonoma over 14 years ago and still works great. Thank you Gulie!