Hummus


hummusA bunch of us are heading up to my family cottage for the weekend to get outside, enjoy some fresh air and fires to warm up the chilly evenings, oh, and eat.

I make this for just about every gathering, family birthday party or any other excuse snack.
I’ve tried others and this one is it. Simple, light and perfect.

Since there’s company, I’ll pretend I’m fancy and liven this super easy appetizer up with homemade Furikake and a light olive oil.

Furikake is a Japanese seasoning (Furiakakeru which means sprinkle) is meant for sprinkling on rice and other dishes. Mine is a combination of roasted nori, toasted sesame and wasabi powder.

 

CLASSIC HUMMUS

1 15oz Can Garbanzo Beans (Chickpeas), drained and rinsed
3 Garlic Cloves, small & finely minced
1/3 Cup Tahini, roasted sesame paste
1/2 Lemon, juiced
1/4 Cup Water
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1/4 teaspoon Kosher Salt

Combine the drained beans with the remaining ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth. If you find it thick, add 1 tablespoon of water and combine. Taste and adjust your salt as necessary.

FURIKAKE
1/2 Cup White Sesame Seeds
3 Sheets Nori, roasted seasoned
1 teaspoon Dehydrated Onion Flakes
1/4 teaspoon Wasabi Powder
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/4 teaspoon Sugar

Heat a dry skillet over medium high heat and add the sesame seeds in one layer.
Shake the pan regularly to toast to a medium tan and the seeds become fragrant.
Remove from heat and pour the seeds into a bowl. Add the wasabi powder, salt and sugar, tossing well to coat and cool.
Break up the nori sheets and in the bowl of a food processor, (or just cut the nori into small pieces) combine the nori with the onion flakes and cooled sesame seeds until everything is small and sprinkleable.

Store in an airtight jar in the fridge for up to 3 months.

To serve, spread the hummus in a wide, shallow bowl or plate. Using a spoon, create a few swirls and pour over the olive oil. Sprinkle over the furikake.

Jerusalem Artichoke Chips


It’s April and finally graced with a nice day which was missing the typical showers.
I got excited and took to my garden to harvest the first of my fruits of labour.
(Well, some baby carrots were first, but they weren\’t exactly, you know, edible.)

The first things to come from gardens are often the last to go in. Things in the fall like garlic and these, Jerusalem Artichokes.

Also known as Sunchokes, they are tubers from the Sunflower family. They are quite hardy and easy to grow. Perfect raw or cooked they are an overlooked superfood. With lots of vitamin C, phosphorus and potassium, Jerusalem artichokes contain are also a very good source of iron. The taste is similar to that of a water chestnut or a potato, which makes it perfect for sautéing, soups and what I\’ve just discovered — chips!

Easy to make, all they need is a good scrubbing and a thin slice.
Heat a few inches of a versatile oil (I used Safflower) to 350ºF in a large saucepan. Working in batches, begin adding the sliced Jerusalem Artichokes. With a slotted spoon, occasionally flip them, cooking until they are lightly browned and crisp. Drain and cool on a paper towel.

I served mine with a quick mix up of \”Veganaise\” with a pinch of dried thyme and fresh lemon zest.

Know what? Even the kids ate them! How about that?

Daring Bakers – Vegan Cheesecake Pops


Twice busted. I’d been holding off making this month’s cheesecake pops due to birthday celebration purposes…

It’s my son’s turn at a birthday this week, so I thought that these would be just perfect, since the family will be en route for is Favourite Things Dinner. As part of his request the dessert had to be chocolate… with candy (no strawberries, like his sister likes).

To make a long story shorter, I would call this month’s attempt at veganizing the Daring Bakers challenge a fantastic disaster. The result was not exactly cheesy or cakey, but look forward to the results as the weather warms a little more

As for the actual challenge, I do indeed complete them twice, so you can find the original recipe over on my Food + Photography blog.

Surpisingly Easy Hors D’oeuvres That Don’t Involve Opening a Chip Bag.


I don’t know about you, but I typically go one of two ways when I’m on hors D’oeuvres duty; Chips and dip or stress with what will impress.

I like entertaining and I quite like the reputation that guests don’t need to eat before a gathering at my place. Lately I’ve found a few speedy plates that are quick to keep everyone happy and you chatty while you catch up with company.

The eggplant caviar only takes a bit of prep time with the roasting but with a food processor, everything was so speedy quick that I also threw together some whole grain flat bread in the meantime. Sure, you could buy crackers but this way, you not only know what’s in them, but it’s up to you and your taste buds to add what goes on them. Roll them out and cut them into dainty shapes or go fast and fun and leave them just so. They’re thin and crisp and cracking a piece off to spread some paté just lays things back a little.


Continue reading Surpisingly Easy Hors D’oeuvres That Don’t Involve Opening a Chip Bag.

Five Things And A Basket Of Peaches – Part Three


After so many sweet peaches I wanted something savoury. To get over the top of the mid-week peach, I decided on a chutney. Perfect along side anything roasted, grilled, atop some chèvre on a cracker, or as individual tarts with pistachio and parmigiana. You can make it as spicy as you’d like, or even double the recipe, it’ll last for a while in the fridge.

SPICED PEACH CHUTNEY

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1/4 Cup Red Onion, finely chopped
3 Slices Candied Ginger or 1″ fresh ginger, grated
1 Clove Garlic, minced
Juice and Zest of One Lemon
1 Tablespoon Red Wine Vinegar
1 Tablespoon Brown Sugar
3 Peaches, peeled
1 Green Scallion
1/4 teaspoon Sea Salt
1/4 teaspoon Coriander Seeds
1/4 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes, or one dried, red chili
3 Peppercorns
1/4 teaspoon Dried Cumin

Heat the oil in a large sauté pan.
Peel and finely chop the onion and sauté until translucent; about 3 – 5 minutes.
Peel and cube the peaches into small, bite sized pieces.
Using a mortar and pestle, crush the ginger, coriander, chili and peppercorns.
Add the garlic, spices and salt to the onion, followed by the peaches and sugar.
Once the peaches have begun to release their juices, add the vinegar and finely chopped scallion.
When the chutney has thickened, remove it from the heat and adjust any necessary seasonings.
Cool slightly and store in a seal able container or jar in the refrigerator.

Glamping Meals



Have no idea what I’m talking about do you?

I think I could say I’ve been glamping for years but it’s finally fashionable to go camping in style without baked beans from a can. Honestly, it’s the only way I know how to camp and now there’s a name for it.

Having just returned from my first camping trip in over five six years, I can safely say that we are all unscathed. A few mosquito bites richer but certainly not any hungrier, our almost rain-out of a weekend finished up a sunny success.

Expecting an onslaught of this glamourous “Glamping” camping, I began to imagine froufy pink Gucci tents, pocket dogs with their own inflatable beds and a/c adapters for hair drying in the wilderness. Being not much of that myself, I thought more about the food. We pitched our tents with another two families, so there was certainly no shortage of it! There was Portabella Pasta Alfredo, Red Pepper Fajita’s, Campfire Roasted Baba Ghanouj and Cast Iron Fritata and that was just the first day – kidding.

All this gourmet glamping almost, just almost made me long for that can of beans and a hot dog on a stick – but not quite.

BLACK BEAN & FRESH CORN QUESADILLAS

1 Can Black Turtle Beans
1/2 White Onion, finely chopped
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
2 Cloves Garlic, minced
1 Cup Filtered Water
2 Tablespoons Ground Cumin
1 Tablespoon Ground Coriander
1/2 teaspoon Salt
Freshly Ground Pepper, to taste
8 Soft Tortillas
2 Cobs of Corn
1 Tablespoon Sugar
Tomato Salsa

Set a pot of water to boil.
In a sauté or cast iron skillet, heat the oil and add the onion.
Once the onion has softened and become translucent, add the garlic.
Drain, rinse and add the beans.
Sprinkle over the spices and add the water allowing everything to absorb and simmer for about 3 – 5 minutes.
Remove from the heat.
Mash the beans with a fork, potato masher or a hand blender until they are smooth but recognizable.
Set aside.
Drop the freshly husked corn into the awaiting pot of boiling water and sprinkle over the sugar.
Once the water returns to a rolling boil, remove the pot from direct heat. Let the corn sit for 5 minutes <only> then pull it out of the water.
With a chef’s knife, cut the kernels from the corn cobs.
Lay out 4 of the tortillas and spoon over a thin, even layer of the bean mixture,dot with salsa and sprinkle with the fresh corn before topping with the 4 remaining tortillas.
Place the tortillas in a heated skillet, or on a grill over the campfire coals.
Cook until golden and crisp. Flip and repeat.
Slice into wedges and serve with additional salsa or guacamole.