Sunday, August 23, 2015

Oven Simmered Asian BBQ Chicken #SundaySupper

I love finding leftovers in the fridge or freezer, even if I know I've put them in there for a specific reason. I mean really, leftovers from a whole roasted chicken have so much potential - there's the meat, of course, but also the lovely flavour-rich bones waiting to be cooked down into stock. The same thing happens when it's time to clean out the pantry - ours is a double-deep, one and a half times wide behmoth that holds everything we could hope for and more... sometimes to the extent that we lose items bought for a single recipe and never thought of again.

Oven Simmered Asian BBQ Chicken

It was in pursuit of more organized kitchen storage facilities that this recipe came to fruition. Between a hunk of roasted chicken meat from an early Summer roast, a half of a red onion from recent Greek salad making, green garlic from the farmer's market and some Asian BBQ Sauce from San J, I knew exactly where I was headed... a twist on my old favourite pulled BBQ meat sandwich filling. Since the meat was already cooked (albeit not dried out), I oped to tenderize it by marinating it overnight in the sauce, vinegar, ginger and garlic. The next day, mixed with onions and a little more chicken broth, it cooked it low and slow in the oven until the meat had absorbed all the flavour and was back to falling-apart tenderness. There was just enough sauce clinging to the meat and in the bottom of the dish to make proper sloppy sandwiches on toasted rolls or topping a bowl of freshly steamed rice and greens - and if my family is any indication a forkful right out of the fridge makes for a divine midnight snack!

This week, Amy of kimchi MOM is hosting a #SundaySupper celebrating Asian (and Asian-inspired) cuisine. Whether authentic or Asian-esque, you're sue to find something delicious!

Small Bites

Soupy Goodness

Big Plates

On the Lighter Side

Cheers!

Oodles of Noodles
Sunday Supper Movement 
Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Vegetable Beef Couscous Soup #TheRecipeRedux

While we don't start school for another couple weeks (thankfully!), I'm always thinking about ways to plan ahead for easier weeknight dinners. These days, with the beginnings of the garden harvest coming in (there's already a zucchini overload!), we're trying to clear out space in the fridge and freezer so we can re-fill it to our heart's content.

Luckily, produce (which is really only thing causing the freezer overflow) is perfect for tossing into sauces, stews, and most of all, soup. My latest foray into the frozen depths of the kitchen gleaned me a sizable container of last year's Harvest Ragoût as well as a bag full of cubed sirloin steak trimmed off of some behemoth cuts we brought home a month or so ago. With those two treasures as starting points, I knew I had the makings of a delicious, hearty soup on my hands! A dip into the pantry, herb garden and liquor cabinet gave me the finishing touches I needed - rich beef broth, hearty red wine, classical herbs and whole grain Israeli couscous. A little over an hour later, a nice big Dutch oven of stick-to-your-ribs flavour was waiting for the family to enjoy for dinner - perfect timing too, since the weather was just cooling off from the humid afternoon!

Vegetable Beef Couscous Soup

After the hustle and bustle of the holiday/vacation season, August is the time many families get ‘back to routine.’ The Recipe Redux gang is sharing our favorite recipes to help families get ‘back to the dinner table.’



Thursday, August 20, 2015

Chewy Vegan Velvet Brownies

There are three "main" camps when it comes to brownies - the chewy, the fudgy, and the cakey. Actually, if I wanted to be mean, I could say there were only two - the chewy/fudgy hybrid and "wrong". To me, any brownie with a cakey texture is just a single layered, possibly frosted, undecorated snacking cake that's acceptable to eat before dinner. But that's just me, and I won't judge (too much).

Chewy Vegan Velvet Brownies

Needless to say, this post is about the chewy, moreish variety of my favourite bar cookies. Now, most of the "good" or "best ever" brownie recipes out there rely on the copious use of butter and/or eggs in addition to melted chocolate (see this article for "official" ingredient tests), and I have nothing against those at all - these and these look scarily close to the decadent squares I used to scarf down in my youth - but these days so many of the people I bake for are vegan or trying to eat a "little better" even when indulging, and since I'm supplying the calories I figure I should probably make them a little less empty, don't you think?

I had been playing with the idea of gluten development and the "chewiness" factor in baked goods since having delicious success with Alton Brown's "The Chewy" chocolate chip cookie recipe, and while I love the flavour of whole-grain Kamut® flour in chocolate baked goods it lacks the structural protein that bread or all purpose flour contains. My solution? Try adding a spoonful of straight gluten to a vegan, melted chocolate brownie recipe and see what happens! The low-fat bars (adapted from Eggless Cooking and Amy's Healthy Baking) got extra flavour, sweetness and moisture from heirloom beets I had roasted and frozen from last year's crop and turned out spectacularly - just the right amount of chew without being tough, moist and full of slightly nutty, rich dark chocolate.

Chewy Vegan Velvet BrowniesOf course, I had to gild the lily after all that - why not give one of the queens of my personal brownie kingdom a crown? The topping I chose took the form of a contrasting light and silky tofu mousse which set up beautifully and added just a touch of "oomph" to the finished bars. While the combination of ingredients is highly unconventional, it is definitely one I will make again!

Monday, August 17, 2015

Tiny Berries in Lemon Balm Syrup

How has everyone's Summer been treating them?

Ah, yes... #sandbanksbeach #sandbanks #summer

Well, for the first time in forever, I was able to get away to Prince Edward County with my Dad and sister for a weekend of a little R&R. Between the sun, the sand and the water, it was fantastic and I can't wait to do it again next year. Dad and I took a drive around the area, making fantastic use of a morning to afternoon and popping into local artisans and funky shops along the way.

A fresh batch of #tomatoes @vickisveggies - DELICIOUS!Then, of course, there was the food that PEC is known for. First up on the "grand tour" was a farm I already knew and loved from their presence at the Brickworks Farmers' Market -Vicki's Veggies. There, I picked up a container of freshly-picked heirloom tomatoes that tasted like candied sunshine, while Dad grabbed a nifty looking weeding tool and some to-die-for hot sauce along with some green leafies. That hot sauce really was something - and as a self-proclaimed aficionado of the stuff I wouldn't have hesitated to buy one of each (and two of the "smokehouse" variety), had I the cash!

Picked up a little something for Mom @fifthtown #cheese #buffalomilk #wherethebuffalosroam #princeedwardcounty #eatlocalNext up came the Fifth Town Artisan Cheese Co., where I picked up a half-wheel of a cave-aged, washed rind buffalo milk cheese for Mom. While I couldn't taste it (curse you dairy intolerance), Dad gave it his seal of approval and eventually, so did Mom.

We capped our tour off with a visit to Picton's Bean Counter Cafe for a fabulous cuppa (me) and a gelato (Dad). The atmosphere there is enough to make you want to spend a whole day there, and with their veritable library of books lying around for guests to read you very well could!

As fantastic as the side trips through the County were, I actually came home with the most precious cargo courtesy of the very same trailer park we were camping in. The edges of the park's common "open field" areas were lined with bush upon bush of raspberries, and while I was a little late in the season I still managed to take two hours Sunday morning and pick a sizeable bowl to enjoy as a mid morning snack. I knew what I couldn't eat right away wouldn't last long in the fridge, and I really wanted to savour the flavour as long as I could while keeping the integrity of the berries as much as possible. The lemon balm on my kitchen counter flicked the "aha" switch over to overdrive and in entered this concoction: the tiny berries floating in a lightly flavoured lemon balm syrup, processed quickly in a waterbath. I'd love to tell you both the 1/2 cup jars I made are sitting prettily on the shelf, but only one got that far... the other became a moreish topping for my oatmeal midweek. I suppose it would be ideal on ice cream, yoghurt or pound cake too, but that involves waiting for dessert!

Hand picked #wild #raspberries from Prince Edward County. .. NEVER complain about the price of wild berries! #eatlocal #foragedfood #foodie #healthyfood


Sunday, August 16, 2015

Caramel Apple Granola - Back to School with #SundaySupper

Every year in the middle of August, I look at the calendar and immediately think "WHAT? School only just let out!". The thing I've come to realize is that the vacation season progresses in direct proportion to the amount of enjoyment experienced, which this year means that my break is almost over before it starts! That said, I will count myself lucky that I'm not in the boat some people are, where school is already back in session. To me, that's just so not right! August is one of the best months of the year, and perfect for enjoying outside - either in the markets, tending the garden, on the golf course or (like me) all three.

Caramel Apple Granola

Thinking ahead to the inevitable start of school, though, one thing always comes to mind - starting the day off right. Breakfast and snacks are beyond important for kids (and adults) during the busy day, and making sure they're a wholesome, balanced blend of protein, complex carbs and good fats means that the vending machines and cafeteria food don't beckon at 11AM. This granola, inspired by Flippin' Delicious, is packed full of large flake oats, protein powder, flax seed, apple butter and home-dried apples and sweetened with homemade vegan caramel sauce (I made this one with unsweetened soy milk). Definitely more of a snack or "addition" than a stand alone cereal (as most granola is) it makes for killer parfaits, pancakes and fruit compote bowls - not to mention decadent fruit crumbles for dessert!

This week, the #SundaySupper gang is sharing recipes for all things back to school – great lunches to pack, after-school snacks, quick and easy meals for busy school nights, sweet treats, and more. Our hosts this week are DB aka Foodie Stuntman of Crazy Foodie Stunts and Caroline at Caroline’s Cooking - thanks guys!

Getting Started On School Days

Ideas for the Lunchbox

After School Snacks

School Night Suppers

Sweets to End the Day

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? Its easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.