Thursday, April 26, 2012

Recipes from Another Blog...oops.

So Haydn mentioned in his last post that he was "supposed" to post a recipe from another blog. I should let you in on something here... we have a schedule. Kind of. Mostly. But you probably didn't know that. 

This is what it looks like: get the idea...

So this week we're on recipe from another blog or cookbook. Haydn's post was so sweet. Little Nan and her no knead bread. I need me some of that!

My post... is so lazy. Actually, my post is so sick. But I'm starting to feel better now so don't you worry your pretty little head about me.

That being said, I unfortunately haven't cooked anything in over a week because of the flu. So instead, I'll share some recipes from some blogs I want to make. In no particular order - except maybe the order I would eat them:

Tell me that isn't a breakfast, lunch, and dinner worthy of...... unbuttoning your pants at the table and laying flat out on the floor after because you've just gluttoned yourself to oblivion and back.

That's right. 

Stay tuned next week for an actual recipe from me - I promise.


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Oven Baked Kneadless Bread

The Lowdown:

How many times have you wished you could make fresh bread without all the hassle? Oh god. That sounds like it should be on a cheesy infomercial. "Are you sick and tired of bread baking taking over your life? Do you no longer get laid at night? Do headaches ruin your camping trips? Well then, have we got an offer for you! But wait, there's more! If you order now, we'll throw in this completely useless clip-on reading light for when you're baking in the dark. Side effects may include lycanthropy and/or feeling like a complete idiot when you look at your Visa statement."

I'm not sure where this recipe originated, but it was given to me by my lovely Nan. I know this post is supposed to be a combined effort between blogs where you look at other blogs and recreate one of their lovely recipes; however, I'm not here right now, and this message will self-destruct in five seconds. Well, actually it wont, as this isn't Inspector Gadget after all. But at this moment in time, I am either passed out on the beach, sipping on a hurricane, or swimming in crystal blue water. For that reason, instead of searching blogs for a recipe, I am recreating one of my Nan's. This is good for two reasons, I already have the recipe and I'll remain in her will after she reads this post.

 As you may know by now I'm not the most enthusiastic person when it comes to spending a lot of time doing one task. Impatience is the spice of life in my world. For this reason, bread was never something I ever even considered making. Seriously, who has the time to kneed, set, kneed, set, and whatever the rest of the process is. I barely have enough time to bore you with these posts, let alone spend 10 hours making a batch of bread. This is why this recipe was such a major breakthrough in my kitchensphere (the kitchen's version of an atmosphere. Its characteristics are similar to earth's; however, the hydrological cycle is much different).

If you have the same problem with time constraints, I hope you enjoy this easy, and highly customizable, version of bread making.

The Playlist:

3 cups Flour (I use 1 cup rye and 2 cups wholewheat)
1 3/4 cups Water
2 1/2 tsp Yeast (put into 1/8 cup water with a 1/2 tsp sugar)

The Skinny:

  1. Prime the yeast by putting it in the water and sugar mixture. Allow to sit for 5 minutes.
  2. Sift the flour and salt into a large bowl (or just dump it in and mix with a fork).
  3. Add the yeast slurry and water into the flour and mix until a ball has formed. This bread will be quite tacky. Cover with cling wrap and allow to sit for 5 hours.
  4. Put a generous amount of flour on a dry surface and coat the dough ball. This will make the bread less tacky.

    If you'd like add anything to the bread now is the time. Flatten the bread and add your extras then fold it to disperse it throughout the dough ball.

    A few of my favourites are: jalapenos and cheddar, rosemary and course pepper, and cinnamon and raisin.
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350*
  2. Put the dough in a greased bread pan and allow to sit for 1 hour.
  3. Bake for 45 minutes then remove from oven and allow to cool on a cooling rack.

Stay Rad - h

Featured in: Mandy's Recipe Box 33 Shades of Green Chef in Training Food Renegade  

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Fish in a Pinch

So I'm in the process of making some serious life style changes.

I've cut back on alcohol significantly - much to the detriment of my mind's well being, I'm sure.

I'm eating less cheese. Again, how will my brain survive?!

I'm keeping serious track of what I'm eating, when I'm eating, and how I'm eating.

I'm moving. A lot. Thank YOU Jillian Michaels, strange yoga videos that I'm not quite sold on, and Gaiam TV.

For the past few years I've lived and breathed and ate local, small scale, organic, seasonal, pastured food. But I haven't been the least bit discriminating against calories or fat. This in combination with a sedentary student lifestyle = pants don't fit no more. Seriously. There's a collection of clothing (3/4ths of my closet) that is boxed up in the laundry room yearning for the day they can live again.

I'm by no means obese. Or unhealthy. I don't consider myself over weight. What I do consider myself, however, is blech. I feel lazy. I feel tired. I feel bored. I feel generally just plain shitty.

So what to do? Change some things. I'm not sayin' you won't find me mowin down on some of these or this or this - what I am saying, is I'm gonna eat less of those things, find more balance, and make a point of gearing toward a less ass-expanding life plan.

I want to be strong. I want to be active. I want to be powerful. I want to be nourished. I want to laugh more. I want more love. And more joy. I want to live smaller. I want to feel good. I want more of fish in a pinch.

Fish in a pinch was a quick but very healthy dish I threw together in about 30 minutes that utilized our CSA produce, fresh in season locally caught halibut, and a stellar powerhouse seed called quinoa (yup! it's a seed, not a grain). Good energy foods give me good energy..... at least until I cave and decide to whip up a batch of these it just me or did all those "this" references contain bacon? Mmmmm bacon...

Fish in a Pinch:
pan seared Pacific halibut with cumin scented red quinoa, 
oven roasted tomatoes 
& Saanich Organics braising greens


2 6oz Halibut Fillets, pat dried & seasoned well with salt and pepper.
1 C Red Quinoa, well rinsed.
6 C Braising Greens (raw), roughly chopped.
1 Pint Cherry Tomatoes, halved.
5 Garlic Cloves, peeled.
2 Shallots, peeled and halved if large.
1 Tbsp Capers, rinsed.
1/4 C Kalamata Olives, roughly chopped.
2 C Chicken Stock or Water.
Juice of 1 Lemon.
Pinch of Cumin. 
1 Tbsp Fresh or Dried Italian Herbs.
2 Tbsp Blanched Almonds, toasted.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
Kosher Salt & Fresh Cracked Black Pepper.

What to Do:

Pre-heat your oven to 375 degree F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 

Place the tomatoes, garlic, and shallots on the paper, toss with a generous glug of olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Roast in the oven for approx 30 minutes or until everything gets nice and tender. Remove from the oven and set aside.

Meanwhile, bring chicken stock or water to a boil in a medium sized sauce pan with the juice of half the lemon, 1/2 Tsp of olive oil and cumin. Once boiling, add the rinsed quinoa, stir, cover, reduce heat to low and simmer 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, remove from the heat and let sit about 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork.

Once the quinoa is sitting, heat a non stick pan over medium heat with half a cup of water in it. Once the water is very hot, add the greens. Cover, stirring occasionally, until greens are wilted and tender - approx. 7 minutes or so. If the water evaporates before the greens are done cooking, simply add more water. Once they're tender, remove the lid and allow excess moisture to cook away. Remove greens from the pan and set aside.

Wipe out the pan and add a couple Tbsp of olive oil. Place back on the burner and allow to heat thoroughly but not smoke. Add the fish to the pan (skin side down if you've left the skin on) and let it crisp up for about 3-5 minutes. Gently flip the fish and continue cooking a further 3-4 minutes until fish flakes but is still moist. Remove from the heat and place the fish on a plate or wire rack to rest for a couple minutes. Cover with aluminum foil to keep warm.

As it rests, throw the greens back in the pan along with the tomato mixture, olives, capers and a little lemon juice. Heat through for about a minute. Plate, drizzle with a little good quality olive oil if you have it, about a Tbsp of the balsamic reduction & serve.


What do you make for dinner in a pinch? Do you have go-to meals? What do you do that makes you feel good & healthy? What are your food weaknesses? What gives you strength?


This post is linked up with Whole Foods Wednesday; Cast Party Wednesday; Simple Lives Thursday; Full Plate Thursday; Tastetastic Thursday; Fight Back Friday; Foodie Friday; Slightly Indulgent Tuesday; The Hearth & Soul Blog Hop via The 21st Century Housewife; Tasty Tuesdays.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Homemade Mustard Piquante

The Lowdown:

Addictions, like individuals, come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. Some people are addicted to drugs or alcohol. Some are addicted to food. Some are addicted to porno or war movies. Others are addicted to glue. And then, there are those who are like me - addicted to condiments (maybe a few of the aforementioned as well). Not just any condiments though. Mustards and hot sauces always catch my attention. No joke, I just counted seven types of mustard and five types of hot sauce in my fridge. That also wasn't including the left over packages of McDonald's hot mustard. I don't know why, but I just can't resist that yellow death.

I wish I could say that as I matured, my tastes matured as well. They didn't. I still love hotdogs, hamburgers, Kraft Dinner, pizza pops, and cream soda. So I started to think that maybe I should just start making these things at home. Really, if you take out all of the preservatives they aren't all that bad for you. In the end, everything is about balance. Unfortunately, I balance eating hamburgers from the quaint little chain known as McDonald's and homemade delicious food.

A dream of mine is to stumble across a restaurant that makes plain food, but has an extensive list of condiments. In this dream there are hundreds of condiments, all homemade of course, listed by cuisine region. They would be paired with food,  like wines are in most restaurants. The possibilities would be endless. Take a burger for example. How sexy would it be if you got to choose from dozens of mustards, dozens of BBQ sauces, or whatever you fancied. What if you took those classics and added spice, sweetness, savouriness, or tartness. What if you wanted a clubhouse with a tarragon, white wine mustard and a honey-lime, Cajun aioli? What if you wanted a Jamaican jerk ketchup to dip your fries in?

Well, these are all things that I want, and until now I never though about trying to make a homemade condiment. Why would you? They are cheap to buy, and chances are you have enough of them in our fridges to survive a nuclear fall out. But lets face it, we all got into cooking because we wanted to push our boundaries. Whether we want to cook to save money, cook to prove something, cook to explore flavours - we all want to push our personal expectations. To be honest, making mustard shouldn't be considered pushing any sort of boundary; however, it seems to be one of those things that nobody really thinks about. This was one of those times that I just let go, and said, "why not?"

If you're interested in the history of the mustard seed (which is quite interesting) click here.

The Playlist:

1/2 cup Ground mustard
6 tbsp Mustard seeds*
1 tsp Turmeric
4 tbsp Red wine vinegar (good quality)
1 Bhut jolokia, dried**
5 Chili pequin, dried
2 Thai chili peppers, dried
1/2 cup Red wine (or water or combination of both)

* White are the most mellow, red are much spicier (the nasal spicy), and black, if you can find them, are the spiciest.

** Using these dried allows for the flavour and a bit of the spiciness to come out. A fresh bhut jolokia pepper in this recipe would be way too much for the average person to handle.

The Skinny:
  1. Crush the red mustard seeds, with a mortar and pestle or coffee grinder, so that the majority of them remain intact.
  2. Grind the spicy peppers into a fine powder. I was given these peppers from a co-worker who loves spicy food. If you can't get a hold of these, feel free to use whatever peppers you like.
  3. Add all of the ingredients together and mix until a paste is formed. Place in a glass jar, seal, refridgerate and allow to sit for a few days before use.

Featured on: 33 Shades of Green, Mandy's Recipe Box, Chef in Training, Food Renegade

Stay rad - h

    Thursday, April 12, 2012

    RPI: Mission Fava Beans - Habas Con Jamon & seared ahi tuna


    ....the smell of hot, humid pavement, salty ocean air, and the waft of fresh baked bread and simmering kitchens...

    ....hear the rustling of trees high up above the old world buildings, scooters honking, and the gentle klinking of spoons in coffee cups....

    ...look at the rows and rows of patio canopies, tiny winding cobble stone streets, little old men with bottles of wine for breakfast with their little pastries...

    ...feel those cobble stones and bricks beneath your feet, the warmth from the Summer sun, beads of perspiration tickling down your back, the breeze coming off the Mediterranean, and the hunger in your belly because your internal time clock is all fucked up... taste all of it...

    That was how I first experienced fava beans. In a dish called Habas con Jamon (Spanish for broad beans* with Jamon**). And that's how I'm presenting it to you. 

    While in Barcelona we stumbled into a cafe for lunch one day and I found myself in absolute awe of a brilliant green dish that was placed in front of me. No where had I ever tasted anything so rich, so fresh, so buttery, and so perfect. Hello, fava beans. 

    I've been in love with them ever since and while they're only available briefly in the Spring here on Vancouver Island - and they're a bitch to prepare - I definitely get my fill. You can find them at The Market on Yates right now, or make a trip to your local farmer's market (i.e. The Moss Street Market). You won't be sorry.

    * You will need many more beans than you think. Once the casings are gone, there is significantly less volume than when you bought them. I recommend 1 and a half to 2 Lb per person with casings on. 
    ** Jamon is a very special cured meat from Spain made from Iberian pigs which is carefully produced with very stringent guidelines. If you can't find it you could substitute prosciutto but as I've discovered, it won't have the same flavor as the good stuff. Try your local artisan meat shop or Italian deli. You can get it in Victoria at Ottavio's Italian Bakery and Delicatessen.

    Habas con Jamon 
    (with seared ahi tuna)


    2 Tbsp Butter.
    1 Brown Onion, diced.
    175 g Jamon or Prosciutto, roughly chopped.
    2 Garlic Cloves, minced.
    4 Lb Fresh Broad (Fava) Beans.
    2/3 C Dry White Wine.
    3/4 C Chicken Stock. 
    2 Yellowfin Ahi Tuna "Steaks" - for more information on the right tuna to buy click here.
    Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
    Kosher Salt & Fresh Cracked Black Pepper.

    What to Do:

    First, prepare the fava beans. This does take a bit of time but it's very easy. Snap off the top end of the bean and gently peel off the seam (like peas). Then gently wiggle your fingers inside to open the pod. Pop out the beans and discard the shells to the compost.

    Now here's the time consuming part: the beans are tricky and have a second shell. You'll need to bring a large pot of water to a boil, dump the beans in, boil for about 30 seconds to loosen the second casing and then immediately drain and run cold water over the beans to stop the cooking process and maintain the brilliant green color. Now you can carefully made a tear in the outer coating near the "bum" of the bean (when you see them you'll know what I mean) and just gently pinch the bean out of it's casing. Tada! Bright green broad beans! Again, discard the shell.

    Once shelled you can begin the cooking process (much faster than shelling):

    Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat and add the onion, Jamon and garlic. Cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes, stirring often, until onion softens.

    Add the broad beans and wine and cook over high heat until the liquid is reduced by half.

    Add the stock, reduce heat to low-medium, cover and cook for 10 minutes.

    Uncover and cook for another 10, or until the beans are tender, and most of the liquid has evaporated, stirring occasionally, season well with black pepper.

    Meanwhile, heat a pan over high heat. Add a touch of olive oil once hot, place very cold, sushi-grade, line caught, ahi yellow fin tuna into the pan. Sear for about 20 seconds on both sides. Remove from the pan. Slice into 1/4" slices. And sprinkle lightly with salt.

    Serve beans hot, top with the tuna and saddle up with some crusty bread.


    What's your fondest (or least fondest) food memory?


    This post is linked up with the Hearth & Soul Blog Hop via The 21st Century Housewife; Tasty Tuesdays; Slightly Indulgent Tuesday;

    Tuesday, April 10, 2012

    RPI: Hearty Lamb & Fava Bean Pot Pie

    The Lowdown:

    For Easter we had my favourite meat. Lamb. Enough said. The meal will be discussed in a later post; but for now, all we need to know is that I fled the scene with the leftovers of a beautifully cooked lamb roast. As RPI is due tomorrow I figured tonight would be the best time to do it. Fava beans - check, lamb - check, bottle of wine - check. Now that we have the basics covered we can get to the good stuff. 

    I'm a huge fan of traditional British cooking (other than mushy peas). Perhaps it isn't traditional, so lets just say: I'm a big fan of home-style meals. With this in mind, I decided that a lamb and fava bean pot pie would be amazing!  I know traditionally, fava beans go well with liver and a nice chianti (thanks for that tip Mr. Hopkins), but tonight that isn't the case. Tonight is a simple, home-style meal. After all, summer is nearing and nobody will want this type of food until winter. Oh how much I'll miss soups, chilis, and hearty meals. Instead, it'll be boring salads and BBQ. One problem, my stupid strata council doesn't allow BBQs. Ack! Summer cooking is ruined! Ruined I tell you!

    Little known fact - if you do not own a rolling pin, a bottle of wine will work wonderfully! I've been cooking for over 10 years now and I still don't own one. Part of me believes that it is solely because after using a bottle to roll, it is perfectly acceptable to drink. Or drink then roll. Whatever works for you I suppose.

    Without further ado, here is my ode to home-style cooking!

    The Playlist:

    Puff Pastry

    1 cup Flour, sifted
    3/4 cup Butter, room temperature &cut into small cubes
    1/2 cup water (more if needed)
    Pinch of salt.


    2 lbs Lamb, cubed
    2 lbs Fava beans, casings removed.
    2 Onions, diced
    2 stalks Celery, chopped
    2 Carrots, chopped
    1 Yam, cubed
    1 Potato, cubed
    2 Turnips, cubed
    1 Parsnip, cubed
    1 can Tomato paste
    4 cups Beef broth
    1 cup dry Red wine
    3 dashes Worcestershire sauce
    1 tbsp Grainy mustard
    1 tsp Cayenne pepper
    1 cup Parsley, chopped
    1 sprig Rosemary
    Salt & Pepper

    The Skinny:

    1. Combined flour, salt and butter  into a large mixing bowl and mix. Ensure that each small cube of butter is coated in flour. Then form a well in the centre and add the water slowly, while mixing until it forms a dough ball. Wrap the ball in cling wrap and set it aside in the fridge for 20 minutes.
    2. Flour a surface and kneed the dough ball into a rectangle shape. Using a rolling pin (or bottle of win) in only one direction, roll out the dough into a elongated rectangle. Fold the top 1/3 of the rectangle towards the centre and then fold the bottom 1/3 towards the centre. Rotate 90* and roll the dough into another elongated rectangle. Fold into thirds again, wrap in cling wrap, and set aside in the fridge for an hour (longer if you can). Video instructions are provided here.
    3. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, and add all of the vegetables except for the fava beans and celery with a bullion cube and boil for about 10 minutes. Add the remaining vegetables and boil for another 5 minutes then strain.
    4. Add oil to the same pot and saute the onions and garlic until they start to become translucent. Add the lamb and cook on medium-low for 10 minutes then add the parsley, Worcestershire sauce, rosemary, mustard, wine, cayenne pepper,  and beef broth then cover and simmer for 30-45 minutes on medium-low.
    5. Add tomato paste to thicken. If the lamb filling isn't thick enough add cornstarch into enough water to make a slurry and slowly add the slurry into the lamb until desired consistency, ensuring to mix frequently. I used 2 heaping tbsp of cornstarch in 1 cup of water (I can't remember how much, but it was around there).
    6. Place vegetable mixture into individual oven safe dishes, or into a greased 8x12 dish. Put the lamb mixture on top of the vegetables. Finally, place the crust on the top and pinch the edges around the perimeter of the dish. Brush on olive oil or melted butter if desired. Add slits into the crust so that the inside can "breathe."
    7. Place into a pre-heated oven at 350* for 25 minutes or until pastry is golden brown. Remove from the oven and let set for 10-15 minutes. Serve and enjoy!

    Stay rad - H.

    Thursday, April 05, 2012

    Lazy Lady's Quesadilla

    This week feels like it's been tumbling out of control. I haven't been able to gain any footing at all and I can't seem to get on top of things.

    So goes the life of a graduating university student, I suppose.

    But a life that's barreling down the tracks with no brakes and no life vest (or maybe seat-belt is more applicable to a train analogy) results in lazy lady suppers.

    Right now I need something quick. Simple. Tasty. Healthy. And fun. Because we all need a little more fun in our lives. I don't know anyone who couldn't use more fun. I love fun!

    Speaking of fun.... You might want to be a part of this. Seriously. It's going. to. be. epic.

    What else is epic and fun? Quesadillas!

    I've linked in the ingredients listing to my recipes for salsa fresca and guacamole - this will double your prep/cooking time. To speed things up you could buy the pre-made stuff but let's be honest: that shit ain't near as good or good for you as fresh. And even when I'm in tears and flailing because I can't get a grip, I'm still willing to give up 30 minutes or so to prep my own salsa. Mmmmm salsa....

    Lazy Lady's Quesadilla
    (printable recipe)


    4 Large Whole Wheat or Corn Tortillas.
    1 Package Smoky Cheese - I used Little Qualicum Caerphilly, grated.
    1 Can Black Beans, drained and well rinsed.
    2 Large Ears of Corn (or a can, drained), shucked.
    1 Large Onion, peeled & sliced.
    Approx. 2 C Squash, peeled & cut into 1" cubes.
    Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
    Kosher Salt & Fresh Cracked Black Pepper.

    To Serve:

    1 Batch Guacamole.
    1 Batch Salsa Fresca.
    Sour Cream.

    What to Do:

    Multi-tasking time! Pre-heat your oven to 500 degrees F; & bring a large pot of water to a boil; Heat a large non-stick pan over medium heat.

    As that stuff heats, toss the squash in a couple good glugs of olive oil and a nice helping of salt and pepper. Arrange as a single layer on a baking pan.

    When your oven is hot place the squash in the oven for about 20 minutes. Remove when fork tender. Set aside; 
    Once your water is boiling, add the corn and cook for about 7 to 10 minutes, drain, allow to cool enough to touch and cut the kernels away with a steak knife. Set aside; 
    And lastly, once your pan is hot, add a couple glugs of olive oil, add the onions, mix well to coat, and slowly caramelize them until golden and delicious. Set aside.

    Now assemble! Place a tortilla on a plate. Sprinkle some cheese on one half of the tortilla. Top off with a nice helping of black beans, corn, caramelized onions, a bit of squash and if you like, a little more cheese. Fold the empty half of the tortilla over and lightly press down. Repeat four times.

    If you have a big enough pan, you can cook two of these bad boys at a time. Wash off your onion pan and lightly grease with a small amount of olive oil. Heat over medium heat. Slide the filled tortilla off the plate and into the pan. Allow to brown on one side (about 2 to 3 minutes) and the cheese to melt. Very carefully roll the little guy on the closed end to his other side and brown that side.

    Slide onto a cutting board. Cut into 3 or 4 wedges. Serve with Salsa Fresca, Guacamole, and sour cream.



    This post is linked up with This Chick Cooks; Cast Party Wednesday; Tastetastic Thursday; Full Plate Thursday; Simple Lives Thursday; The Hearth & Soul Blog Hop via The 21st Century Housewife; Slightly Indulgent Tuesday; Tuesday Talent Show; Tasty Tuesdays.

    Tuesday, April 03, 2012

    Leek Crisps w/ Lemongrass Chili Reduction

    The Lowdown:

    What do you do when you've been playing video games all day instead of cooking dinner for your guests? Well, if this is a problem for you, then I have the answer. I'm not going to lie, it happens more often than I'd like to admit. The answer is simple. Pray. Or on the other hand, you could rip through your kitchen and see what you have. When push comes to shove -- improvise. By improvise I mean to make something up that nobody has heard of so it sounds exotic.

    I've been thinking that leeks are the perfect shape to be used as a cracker for a while now. Okay, that too is a lie. It happened earlier in the day. Anyway, it was go time and I had no plan or no idea if I had the ingredients for my  non-existent plan. While hunting and foraging in my fridge I notice I had leeks and a mango that was bought for something else that didn't materialize. Perfect! The sweet and pine-like flavour of the mango would help tame the onionesque flavour of the leek.

    As for the sauce, well that was another story. I really wanted to incorporate lemongrass, which meant that ginger was a perfect secondary flavour. With those two things simmering in the frying pan I decided that spice would go well with this -- thus, a chili pepper. Now that all these ingredients were already started I may as well stick with the South East Asian theme. Really, I had no choice. It seemed like my only option remaining, considering people were coming over in 30 minutes. One day I will plan ahead. One day. Not today. Not tomorrow. Although it is ironic that I'm planning on not planning.

    I fed these to two very picky people (ugh the worst!), both of which didn't know what a leek was. Therefore, I feel like they were a good sample (guinea pig I mean) to test this creation out on. Fortunately for me they loved them. Unfortunately for me, they ate them all while I was preparing the main course. I guess you have to choose your battles, and hungry women are not the battles I'll be choosing anytime soon.

    The Playlist:

    (Printable Recipe)

    1 Leek, stalk only sliced into 1/4 inch circular disks.
    1 Mango, cubed (1 inch).
    1/8 cup Cabbage, julienne.
    1/8 cup flour.
    1 cup chicken stock.
    Pepper to taste.

    Lemongrass Chili Reduction

    1 Chili pepper, minced.
    3 inches Lemongrass, soft inner part minced.
    2 tsp Ginger, minced.
    1 tsp Chili powder (Thai if you can find it).
    1 tsp Corriander, ground.
    2 tsp sugar (or honey).
    2 tbsp Olive oil.
    3 tbsp Rice wine vinegar.
    3 tbsp Red wine vinegar.
    5 tbsp Chicken stock.
    2 tbsp Fish sauce. 

    The Skinny:

    1.  Place the leek disks into a shallow bowl and cover with chicken stock. Allow to sit, as the chicken stock will mellow out the leek's onion flavour.
    2. On medium heat add oil, chili pepper, lemongrass, and ginger. Stir constantly until lemongrass becomes fragrant (about 5 minutes). Then add the remainder of the reduction's ingredients except for the chicken stock. Cover and allow to simmer on low for 20 - 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
    3. Put flour and pepper into a shallow bowl (or bag) and coat the leek disks. Heat oil in a large pan on medium heat. Add the leeks and cover the pan. Fry the leeks for 2-3 minutes per side.
    4. While leeks are cooking remove the lid from the reduction. Add the chicken stock and turn onto high heat. Reduce the liquid by the desired amount. If you are pressed for time add 1/4 tsp of corn starch to form a paste (although its not quite as good this way).
    5. Place a piece of mango on each leek disk and drizzle lemongrass chili reduction. Garnish with the cabbage.
    6. The left over reduction (or a new batch) goes well as a dressing for a cabbage, sesame seed, and dried cranberry coleslaw.

    Featured in: 33 Shades of Green, Mandy's Recipe Box, Chef in Training