Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Spiced Cod with Orange and Pepper Salad

My sister visited this weekend from Calgary, with in hand, a copy of the Sobeys grocery store publication, Inspired. There are lots of great recipies I want to try in this one.

Spiced Cod with Orange and Pepper Salad

2 large seedless oranges, segmented
1 yellow pepper, thinly sliced
1 tbsp dinky grated ginger
2 tbsp chives
2 tbsp orange juice
1 tbsp + 11/2 tsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
1/4 tsp chili powder
1/4 ground cinnamon
1/4 ground cumin
1/4 smoked paprika
2 cod fillets
1/4 tsp each salt and pepper
1/4 cup chopped trail mix

Preheat oven to 400 C. Place orange segments in a bowl along with 2 tbsp orange juice. Gently mix in the yellow pepper, ginger, chives and 1 1/2 tap olive oil. Set aside.

Mix spices in a bowl. Pat one side of the dish with the spices.

Heat the remaining oil on medium-high heat in an ovenproof skillet. Place the cod spiced side down. Cook for 1 min. Transfer to oven, bake for 10 min. Turn and broil on high for 5 min. Remove from oven and season with salt and pepper.

Divide salad onto plates and top with chopped trail mix.

Place cod on plate and serve.

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Bruschetta, Ribs with Tequila Barbecue Sauce and Sweet Corn on the Cob

It's as tasty as it looks.

I found this rib recipe in the BC Liquor Store publication, Taste, way back in December 2009...I've tried it several times and it's always so delicious!
I put my own spin on the old favourite this time by adding a 1/2 tsp of liquid smoke.
It's a keeper!

Ribs with Tequila Barbecue Sauce

1 lb pork spareribs
Salt and pepper

1/2 cup ketchup
2 tbsp soy sauce
1/4 cup orange juice
zest and juice of 2 limes
1/2 cup tequila
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp liquid smoke

Preheat oven to 375 F.
Rinse ribs and pat dry. Cut into portions of 3 ribs each and season with salt and pepper. Arrange in a single layer in a shallow roasting pan. Cover with foil and bake for 1 1/2 hours.

Combine ingredients for sauce. Refrigerate.

Best BBQ sauce EVER!

Remove pan from oven. Using tongs, dip ribs into BBQ sauce to evenly coat and return to pan.

Bake uncovered, basting with sauce for 30 min.
Serve immediately.

Bruschetta with Tomato and Basil

6 ripe plum tomatoes
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
6-8 fresh basil leaves, chopped.
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 baguette French bread or similar Italian bread
1/4 cup olive oil

Prepare the tomatoes first. Parboil the tomatoes for one minute in boiling water that has just been removed from the burner. Drain. Using a sharp small knife, remove the skins of the tomatoes.
Once the tomatoes are peeled, cut them in halves or quarters and remove the seeds and juice from their centers. Also cut out and discard the stem area.

Make sure there is a top rack in place in your oven. Turn on the oven to 450°F to preheat.

While the oven is heating, chop up the tomatoes finely. Put tomatoes, garlic, 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, vinegar in a bowl and mix. Add the chopped basil. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Slice the baguette on a diagonal about 1/2 inch thick slices. Coat one side of each slice with olive oil using a pastry brush. Place on a cooking sheet, olive oil side

down. You will want to toast them in the top rack in your oven.
Once the oven has reached 450°F, place a tray of bread slices in the oven on the top rack. Toast for 5-6 minutes, until the bread just begins to turn golden brown.

Align the bread on a serving platter, olive oil side up. Either place the tomato topping in a bowl separately with a spoon for people to serve themselves over the bread, or place some topping on each slice of bread and serve.

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Gourmet Veggie Burgers, Rice Salad and Chocolate Mousse Cake

Gourmet Veggie Burgers with Rice Salad

When Mark and I go out for burgers, he will often opt for the veggie option, so when he said that this was 'the BEST veggie burger he's ever had', I take it as a very large compliment! It has a load of ingredients, but well worth the effort.
The rice salad was a nice side, and pretty simple!

An Assortment of Ingredients

Gourmet Veggie Burgers
Makes 6-8
½ onion diced
1 clove garlic minced
1 tsp cumin
1 tbsp chilli powder
1 tsp oregano
¼ cup parsley chopped
½ 19 oz can black beans, drained, roughly pureed
2 tbsp sesame oil
¼ cup almonds chopped
2/3 cup sunflower seeds chopped
1 cup fine bread crumbs
¼ cup soy sauce
3 eggs
1 cup carrots grated
 1 cup oats
Flour for dredging
Vegetable oil for cooking

Saute onions and garlic in oil – let cool. In a large mixing bowl, add all other ingredients. Mix well with hands. Form patties – lay on baking sheet. Dredge lightly in flour. Return to baking sheet. Heat vegetable oil in large pan. Brown burgers (3 min each side on med heat).

The original recipe called for a Tzatziki spread, but I serverd my burgers on large Kaiser buns, topped with red leaf lettuce, sliced grape tomatoes and a Dijon-mayo spread...but Mark suggested having it without condiments altogether.
Dinner is Served!

Rice Salad

Serves 4
Sea salt and ground black pepper
½ cup wild rice
½ cup brown rice
A few sprigs of fresh basil, mint and parsley
150 ml roasted red peppers from jar
Zest of one lemon

Cook rice according to package. Once cooked, drain rice in a strainer and spread it out on a tray to help cool.  Chop peppers, herbs, chile and zest lemon.

Lemon dressing:
6 tbsp olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt and pepper to taste
Combine rice, herb mix, and dressing – mix well.

Chocolate Mousse Cake
½ cup water + 1 tbsp
1 cup dark chocolate chopped
½ cup unsalted butter
5 large eggs, separated
¾ cup hazel (filbert) nuts, ground
1 cup sugar

Preheat oven to 350.
Grease and flour 9 inch springform pan.
Soak Chia seeds in water.
Melt butter and chocolate in a heatproof bowl over pot of boiling water. Allow to cool.
Beat egg whites wit 1/3 cup sugar until soft peaks form.

In a large bowl, beat the yolks and remaining sugar until pale yellow in colour.
Pour chocolate mixture over egg yolks and fold. Then fold in the ground hazel nuts and Chia seeds.

Finally, fold in the egg whites. Pour mixture into pan. Bake for 50 min. Cool on wire rack. Decorate with icing or melted chocolate.
Yummy Yummy Chocolate Cake!!

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Moroccan Grilled Eggplant with Tomato Sauce

Contemporary Vegetarian

This was a pretty tasty dish. An interesting spin on a veggie lasagna - grilled eggplant slices resembling lasagna noodles.
This combination of spices and seasoning were very unusual for me, but surprisingly delicious.

Moroccan Grilled Eggplant with Tomato Sauce

2 tbsp olive oil
1 large sweet onion , finely chopped
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
2 carrots, finely chopped
28 oz (796 ml) can crushed tomatoes
1 cup (250ml) dry white wine or veg stock
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 tsp each ground cinnamon, cumin and coriander
1/4 cup golden seedless raisins
1/2 tsp each salt and pepper
1/2 cup fresh coriander, chopped

Heat oil in large saucepan with tight fitting lid. Add onion, carrot and celery and sauté until soft and onion is slightly golden. Add tomatoes, wine/stock and paste. Bring to a boil. Cover,reduce heat to simmer and cook gently for 20 min. Remove lid. Stir in cinnamon, cumin, coriander and raisins. Add salt and pepper to taste. Simmer uncovered for 15 min, stirring occasionally, until thickened. Remove from heat and stir in 1/4 cup fresh coriander.

2 eggplants
2 ripe tomatoes, thinly sliced
1/3 cup pine nuts
Olive oil for brushing

Preheat oven to 350F (180C). Trim stem from eggplants and slice lengthwise into 1/4-in slices. Brush both sides with oil. Grill on BBQ until golden and softened, or lightly brown slices in frying pan. Remove to a baking sheet and set aside. To serve, spread a ladle of sauce over bottom of12 cup baking dish to coat. Cover with a single layer of eggplant slices. Repeat layers ending with sauce. Overlap tomato slices on top and sprinkle with pine nuts. Bake for 30 min. Allow to rest for a few min. Sprinkle with remaining coriander and serve.

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Grilled Trout with Roasted Tomato Salsa & Lemon Drizzle Cake for Desert

On the menu this Tuesday was a delicious trout meal...I triumphed today. Triumphed over the cold dead fish eyes staring me down...you know what I mean! I've always felt very uncomfortable having to come face to face with that head still on there.

Today, with knife in hand, I was fearless. I unwrapped my brown paper package and did the business. Yay for me!

Grilled Trout with Roasted Tomato Salsa

Serves 2
2-5oz trout fillets, boned
1 tbsp squeezed lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste

Roasted Tomato Salsa
2 large garlic cloves, finely minced
1 small jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1 tbsp lemon zest
1 lb grape tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup kalamata olives, halved
1/4 cup olive oil
Salt and pepper
2 tbsp fresh basil, chopped
2 tbsp fresh dill, chopped
1/4 cup pine nuts

Combine lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Whisk to blend. Rub over fish and let stand at room temperature for 20 min.

Preheat oven to 350 F. Combine garlic, jalapeño and lemon zest in a bowl. Add tomatoes and olives and toss together. Drizzle with olive oil and spread mixture on parchment-lined baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper. Bake in centre oven for 15 min. Remove and transfer to a bowl. Fold in basil, dill and pine nuts. Set aside.

Lightly oil barbecue grill and preheat. Place trout skin side down. Grill for 8-9 min turning once. Serve fish topped with salsa.


Lemon Drizzle Cake
1-2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup sugar
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cup ground almonds
1 1/2 tbsp poppy seeds
Zest and juice of 2 lemons
1 cup self rising flour, sifted
Jamie Oliver's Nan's Lemon Drizzle Cake Recipe

Lemon Syrup
1/4 cup superfine sugar
7 tbsp lemon juice

Lemon Icing
1 1/4 cup icing sugar
Zest and juice of 1 lemon

Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease and flour bottom and sides of 8 inch springform pan.

Beat butter and sugar until light and creamy. Add the eggs one by one, beating each in well. Fold in almonds, poppy seeds, lemon zest and juice and the sifted flour. Spoon the mix into the pan and bake for 40 min. Allow cake to cool on a rack, but while the cake is still warm, make holes in the top with a toothpick and pour syrup over.

My New Cooling Rack!

Make the lemon syrup by heating the sugar and lemon in a pan until the sugar has dissolved. 

Icing: sift powdered sugar onto a bowl and add the lemon zest and juice, stirring until smooth. When the cake is almost cool, put I on a serving plate and pour the icing carefully over he top.

Yummy Lemon Drizzle Cake!

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Savoury Muffins

I made these muffins a few weeks ago and posted the pic to my Facebook account. They're not your typical muffin because of their savoury flavor, but they are quite delicious.
This one's for you Corina!

Antipasto Muffins

Salami, artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes and cheese go well together on more than a platter.

Makes 12 muffins

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsps. baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup olive oil
1 jar (6 oz.) marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1/2 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and chopped
1/3 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
3 oz. thinly sliced salami, chopped
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 375 F. Use paper liners to line a 12-cup muffin pan.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda.

In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, buttermilk and oil until well blended.

Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and stir until just blended. Gently fold in artichokes, tomatoes, basil and salami.

Divide batter equally among prepared muffin cups. Sprinkle with cheese.

Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until tops are golden and a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. Let cool in pan on a wire rack for 3 minutes, then transfer to the rack. 
Serve warm or let cool completely.

From The Province, April 25, 2011

My Very First Blog!

In memory of my dad, Brad Wilkinson.
July 4, 1953 - March 10, 2011.
He would be proud.

So the thing is, I've been learning how to cook since moving to Vancouver, December 2009. I started, trying to impress my boyfriend, Mark, and I've developed a real passion for creating interesting, delicious food...he HAS been quite impressed!

I love cooking, and I love taking pics of my wonderful creations.
Tuesdays are generally my day to make something new and exciting, hence, Tracy's Tuesday Dinners. I find inspiring recipes, shop for the ingredients, and get cracking.
My intention is to share my culinary delights with you - to take you through my experiences and experiments in the kitchen.

I hope my endeavors will be inspiring, helpful, and maybe a little entertaining.