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Monday, September 13, 2010

Risotto Milanese with Spinach

I've been really busy with school. I hope to catch up on my blogs soon!
This risotto is good but time-consuming.

20 ml. veg oil
20 gr. butter
½ minced onion
2 cloves minced garlic
125 gr. Arborio rice
500 ml. stock
Pinch of Saffron

Up to 30 ml. 35% cream
1 Tbsp Parmesan cheese

20 gr. baby spinach leaves (tear if necessary)

Sweat onion and garlic in oil/butter in a pot over medium heat. Heat up stock in separate pot; don't boil it, just so it's warm. Add uncooked rice to onion/garlic and stir to coat. Add saffron to stock.  Add 1/3 (~175 ml) of stock to risotto and stir. Reduce till 1 Tbsp of stock is left in pot. Then add next 1/3 of stock. Reduce again to 1 Tbsp. Add last 1/3 of stock and reduce down to 3-4 Tsp. Season.
Add spinach and stir. Add cream and cheese and stir.
What makes this risotto 'Milanese' or 'Milan style' is the inclusion of saffron. Saffron is THE most expensive spice in the world. It costs around $1500/lb. However it is very flavourful and a small container will last you a really, really long time. You will likely never need more than a couple strands for any recipe.

Thursday, September 9, 2010


If you don't like scones there is something really wrong with you and I don't know if we can be friends.

Makes approx. 18 x 2”scones
Bake at 385f in a convection oven for approx. 8 ~ 10 min. or at 425f in a conventional oven for approx. 10 ~ 12 min.

3 c. all-purpose flour
1/3 c. sugar
2½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
¾ tsp. salt
6 oz. cold butter
1 c. (approx.) buttermilk
3 oz. raisins (optional)

1 egg
1 tsp. cream

Sift dry ingredients together. Cut up the butter into pieces no smaller than ¼". Make sure the butter is cold! Using the very tips of your fingers, literally rub the butter in to the flour mixture. You want to squish the butter between your fingers. Add raisins here if wanted. Add in ¾ of buttermilk to start and mix with your hand. Add rest of buttermilk as needed and mix. Gather in to ball and add more milk if necessary. Place in saran wrap or a Ziploc bag and place in fridge for approx. 20 min.
Dust your work area and roll it out to ½ inch thick. Cut out with circular cutter, or just shape with your hand. Place on lined baking sheet. Brush eggwash on. Bake.

Scones are so versatile. You can really put anything in them. You can make them sweet or savoury. If you want something sweet, add raisins, or currants, any sort of dried fruit would work. For savoury, chives and cheese are amazing.  Just watch that you don't over bake. They shouldn't be a dark golden brown, more of a just browned colour. I would say the ones in the picture are fairly close to being over done.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

New England Clam Chowder

15 gr. butter
20 gr. salt pork
50 gr. onion, finely minced
30 gr. flour
650 ml. fish stock (150ml should be cold, 500ml should be warmed)

100 gr. potato, small dice
100g (1/3 small can) of clams with the juice
(Up to) 200 ml milk
50 ml 35% cream

Add butter to pot with salt pork over medium heat. Place in onions and stir occasionally until the onions are translucent (a.k.a. sweating). Turn heat off and add flour to the pot, and mix to mashed potato consistency. Place flour mixture in a new bowl and add in cool stock. Whisk well; there should be no lumps. When all is dissolved add in the warmed stock and mix. Place back in pot on high, stirring constantly. Bring to a boil. Turn on to low for 15min; after 10, add potatoes and clams. Turn heat up and season with salt and pepper. Add ~150mls milk to start but do not let boil. Add cream. Season to taste, and add the rest of the milk if you want.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Cranberry Pumpkin Loaf

It's almost pumpkin season!

Makes 1 -  23x13x8cm (9x5x3”) loaf pan
Bake at 330f in a convection oven for approx. 35-45 min. or at 350f in conventional oven for approx. 50- 60 min.

1 + 2/3 c. all purpose flour
½ tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. ground ginger
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
¼ tsp. ground cloves
½ c. sweet butter (also known as unsalted butter)
1 c. sugar
2 large eggs
1 c. pumpkin puree/canned pumpkin
¼ c. orange juice
1 tsp. vanilla essence
1 c. fresh/frozen cranberries
Butter and flour your loaf pan. Cream butter and sugar in your mixer. Sift dry ingredients together. Roughly chop the cranberries (squish first for easy chop). Add egg to the mixer slowly, in small amounts (should be at least 4-5). Remove bowl from mixer; add pumpkin, OJ and vanilla and fold in. Add dry ingredients but do not over mix; so mix until you don't see any flour and stop. Add in cranberries before dry is fully mixed.
For a neat garnish, mix ½ cup icing sugar with a little bit of water and stir. It should drip off your spoon in a nice steady stream. Drizzle over loaf.

This loaf is amazing. If you're not a cranberry fan, either reduce the amount or omit. I find a reduced amount would work. Their tartness really adds to the loaf.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Buttermilk Pancakes

I love breakfast, don't you?

150 gr. all purpose flour
10 gr. sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt                       
20 gr. melted butter, room temp.           
approx. 275 ml. buttermilk          
1 egg

Whipped butter rosette, orange sections, berries, icing sugar, syrup or mint

Combine dry ingredients and sift in a large bowl.  Combine butter, buttermilk and egg.Whisk the wet ingredients in to the dry. Let sit for 5-10min.
If you're feeling saucy, now would be the time to cut any fruit you're serving it with.
Heat vegetable oil in large sauté pan on medium heat. Using a 2 oz ladle spoon out batter in to pan. When they are ready to flip there will be gas bubbles on top and the nice brown colour underneath.

Don't have any buttermilk handy? Making your own is so simple. For every one cup of milk in the recipe, add one tablespoon of vinegar. So this recipe calls for 1 and 1/8 cups of buttermilk -- that means just over one tablespoon of vinegar. At waffly bits like 1/8 the ratio isn't that important.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Orange Date-Walnut Muffins

Makes approx. 12 muffins
Bake at 350f in a convection oven for approx. 12- 18 min. or at 375f in a conventional oven for approx. 15- 20 min.

1 c. all-purpose flour
1 c. whole wheat flour
2/3 c. light brown sugar (lightly packed)
2 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
1 Tsp. orange zest
1/3 c. orange juice
2/3 c. buttermilk
1 large egg
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
4 Tsp. melted butter
2/3 c. chopped dates
2/3 c. chopped walnuts
Sift dry ingredients (cinnamon and up) together, excluding the brown sugar unless it's really clumpy. Slice dates in half and cut into quarters. Zest and juice an orange. Make sure you chop the zest if you need to, so you aren't eating long strings of orange. You can supplement with store-bought OJ if you really feel like it. Melt butter in a small saucepan over the stove and combine with orange zest/juice. Mix nuts and dates into dry ingredients. Add wet ingredients (OJ and down) and combine. Place in a lined muffin tray by the spoonful. Place into oven. Should be springy to touch when done.

Don't know what zest is? It's the coloured rind of an orange or any citrus fruit. Once you hit the white stuff, it starts to get really bitter and you don't want to eat that. It's fairly easy to remove, you can use any sort of grater with small holes or a microplane. Again, just make sure you chop it really small if you intend to be ingesting it in food. Long strings like in the picture look nice on the plate but not coming out of your muffin.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Potato Leek Soup

With fall upon us, here's a super simple soup recipe.

30 gr. butter
100 gr. onion, small dice
150 gr. Leek, sliced
400 gr. Potato, ½ inch cube
1100 ml. vegetable stock                 
Garnish with 35% cream and minced parsley

Clean and slice all the vegetables. Slice the leek as small as possible. Slice potato in half, then in to thirds or fourths lengthwise depending on the size, then dice. Place the potatoes in a bowl of water.

Place butter in pot and let melt. Add onion and leek and coat with butter. Season with salt and pepper. Turn heat down and (optional) place a cartouche over top for a couple min. Add potatoes and stock. Simmer for 30-35min. Potatoes should be squishable when done. Pour ~half into food processor using ladle or use an immersion blender straight in the pot. Blend for couple minutes and strain through a mesh strainer if you care about it being completely smooth. It should still be hot at this point so season as needed and serve. If not, heat back up on the stove.