Archive | June, 2013

Steamed Asparagus With Poached Egg and Pesto

18 Jun

Asparagus with Poached Egg

I had this one night as a light dinner when I hardly had anything in my fridge.  I wouldn’t even call it a recipe as it is very easy to make.  For a bit more flavour add some lightly grilled prosciutto and/or Parmesan cheese.  It will be equally good for either breakfast or light lunch.

Ingredients (Serves 1):

  1. 1/2 bunch asparagus, washed and trimmed
  2. 1 egg
  3. 1 tbsp pesto

Directions:

  • Fill a pot with water.  Make sure you don’t add too much water – you only need enough to create steam.  Place the asparagus in a steamer basket and put it inside the pot.  Cover with a lid a steam for a couple of minutes – your asparagus should look bright green.
  • Place it on a serving dish and top with a poached egg topped with pesto.  Salt and pepper to taste.

 

Thai-Style Soup with Corn and Seafood

10 Jun

Corn and eafood soup, Thai-style

I’ve made this recipe for a few years now and it’s always excellent.  I shared this recipe with my friend and her boyfriend proclaimed at first bite that this was by far the greatest soup she made! This soup makes great leftovers.

Adapted from the Flat Belly Diet Cookbook

Ingredients:

  • 1 bag (16 oz) frozen corn kernels, thawed
  • 3 cups reduced-sodium vegetable broth, divided
  • ¼ canola oil
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into very thin strips
  • 1 small jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 8 scallions, sliced
  • 1 tbsp reduced-sodium fish sauce
  • ¾ lb mixed seafood
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  • ¼ tsp ground red pepper (optional)

Directions:

  1. Place 1 ½ cups of the corns and ½ cups of the broth in food processor or blender.  Process until smooth and set aside
  2. Heat oil in large pot over medium-high heat.  Add bell pepper and jalapeño pepper and cook for 3 minutes.  Add scallions and cook until vegetables are tender.
  3. Add fish sauce, reserved corn-broth mixture, and remaining corn and broth.  Cover and cook for 10 minutes, or until thickened.
  4. Stir in seafood, cilantro, and red pepper (if using).

How I Beat My Post-Vacation Blues

6 Jun
This Holodetz is my cousin's creation - she made a Swan Lake out of it.

This Holodetz is my cousin’s creation – she made a Swan Lake out of it 🙂

I had a pretty full list of things-to-do after I came from my trip and I started right away playing catch-up, yet I never really caught up.  I wasn’t working on the things I really wanted to be working on, I was feeling guilty about not getting back to people, and I didn’t feel like the fact that I wasn’t making much progress. Plus I had a moderately busy calendar of social events for the last two weeks in May.  Then I caught myself having a terrible thought – no more long vacations this year 😦

To beat my post-vacation blues I decided to make some dishes that we ate in Ukraine and France.  One of them is Holodetz.  This cold appetizer is traditionally served on Easter, Christmas and New Year and is one of those dishes that people in North America strongly dislike.  This dish is eaten in Europe and  known as “studen’ or “zalivnoye”  in Russia, “galaretki” in Poland, “rǎcituri” in Romania, “aspik” in Germany, and “pitcha” to Ashkenazi Jews.

I believe the texture (jiggly) is the hardest thing to get past.  Even though people do eat Jello-Os the meat jelly is not very appealing to them.  I do think the dish is fairly healthy – fat is separated from the the meat and broth, all the ingredients are simple and healthy, and think of the protein!  Give yourself a little pep talk you may actually like it!

Ingredients:

2-3 pork or beef knee bones or feet

1 lb chicken thighs

  • 1 large onion
  • 2 large carrots
  • 1/2 bunch parsley
  • several bay leaves
  • 1 tsp whole black peppercorns
  • salt to taste
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 sliced hard-boiled egg (for decoration)

Directions:

  1. Ask your butcher to chop the pork or beef foot (is using) in several pieces; wash well.
  2. Place the meat in a deep pot, cover with 1 1/2 amount of water.  Bring to a rapid boil and skim until clear.
  3. Tie the chopped onion, parsley, bay leaf, and peppercorns into a cheesecloth bag. Add the bag to the pot and cook on a very low heat for 4 hours or until meat has come off the bones.
  4. Remove the meat from the pot and let it cool.
  5. Discard the spice bag and strain the cooking liquid into a bowl. Add minced garlic, salt and pepper to the broth.  Strain the liquid  again and slightly cool in the fringe so you can scrape any solidified fat from the surface.
  6. Pick the meat from the bones and set it aside; discard the bones,  gristle, and chicken skin.
  7. Lay chopped meat, cooked carrot slices, and  egg slices and  in several serving bowls, pour the broth over and refrigerate until set.
  8. Serve with grated horseradish with beets or vinegar.
Our Easter appetizers

Our Easter appetizers

As Ukrainians say “Smachogo!” ( Bon Appetit!) 🙂

 

 

 

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