here and there

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Green Garlic Pancakes

Chinese prepackage pancakes are found in my Asian supermarkets and the calorie count is over the roof.  I have seen recipes for them but have not tried them until seeing this recipe for Wild Green Pancakes in an email and decided to make them as I have fresh garlic growing in my garden.

The amount of liquid to be used in the recipe is not specific and the first two I made were too thick, the liquid needs to be very runny.  In total I added almost a 1/2 cup of water if not more.

I was surprise how plain tasting the pancake is even though it is seasoned with fish sauce, salt and pepper along with turmeric for color.  I  made her dressing and found it to be too acidic.

Green Garlic Pancakes
Fresh garlic leaves
2 eggs
1/2 cup rice flour
1/2 tsp grounded turmeric
1/2 cup water, may need more for a very thin batter
1 tsp fish sauce
salt and pepper
oil for frying the batter

Whisk together the eggs, add the flour, then whisk in water until batter very runny so that you can spread the batter easily in the hot pan to make a large circle before it starts to cook.

Heat a small caste iron pan until it is medium hot. Brush oil in the hot pan.  Pour  a small amount of batter and quickly swirl the pan so that you have a thin circular layer.

I added the finely chopped garlic leaves to the batter but you can add it before you cook the other side.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Asian style Chicken burgers

A recipe called Turkey in the Slaw was posted in our Metro paper used ground turkey with Asian flavours.  I like to use Asian flavors with coleslaw and was anxious to try this recipe.

I used ground chicken that I had bought in the supermarket and did modify the recipe.

1 lb chicken
1/4c diced red onion
2 -3 T of hoisin sauce
1 tsp Srirachi sauce
2 tsp soya sauce
1 tsp of sesame seed oil
chopped cilantro
1 grated med carrot

shredded cabbage
chopped red onion
 1 chopped apple
1 T hoisin sauce
1 tsp ginger minced
1 tsp sesame seed oil
1 tsp sirarchi sauce
chopped cilantro
sesame seeds
1 T of rice vinegar

I did not like the use of Hoisin sauce in the dressing as it did not add the "zing" to the coleslaw as suggested in the article.  I think I prefer the use of soya sauce in place of Hoisin as it gives the Coleslaw  a lighter and fresher taste.

Although chicken and turkey are a healthier choice than beef, the adding of all the other ingredients does add up in calories.  For example, Sesame seed oil is 130 calories per 15 ml.  I also can not get past the look and the feel of ground chicken when mixing it up into a burger.  I wonder if the texture of ground chicken or turkey is different if you do it yourself.  I certainly would like hearing from anyone that has ground chicken or turkey.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

The Canadian Garden

This is the twelfth posting for the Canadian Food Experience project.  The Theme for this blog is the Canadian Garden.

A recent email listed signs that indicated one is addicted to Gardening !  The one I identify with is: When your co-worker shows off her freshly-painted manicure, you proudly present the dirt under your nails.

It is the first week in May and Mother's Day is around the corner and I am so itching to get into my garden, but there is still snow on the ground and more to come!  

There is something so special as the snow melts and everything comes to life.  The seed catalogues that came in the middle of winter have been used for planning this year's garden with eager anticipation! 

My father was always experimenting with different vegetables.  I remember him planting Celery seeds into a framed box in the garden to protect it from the elements.  My father also did winter planting of radishes, lettuces and spinach in a sandy area.  The taste of the early harvest of lettuces, spinach, radishes was so welcome after a long winter. 

This year, my brother had ordered Sweet Potatoes from Vesey's to plant in Northern Manitoba.  Last year, he planted the Asian Long Beans I had purchased for him.  There is no comparison in freshness and taste of these beans to those bought in the Supermarket!

Asian LongBeans in Northern Manitoba

Picking Cucumbers in Northern Manitoba

JalapeƱos in Northern Manitoba

When I look at my tiny garden plot in the city, I remember my Mom's huge garden on the farm that she planted every year and preserved the huge yield of vegetables by canning, freezing or storing the root vegetables in a root cellar.

Nellie's garden

Excess garden yields were commonly shared or swapped with others for something that may not have been as plentiful in one's garden. Nothing was wasted!

Tons of Pickling cucumbers in Northern Manitoba

My gardens have always been most successful in other provinces, until moving to Calgary. However, every spring, I am optimistic in planting my garden, especially with tomatoes as I try different strategies.  I am usually pleased with the results until I taste a sun kissed tomato from Saskatchewan or Manitoba and weep!  Tomatoes just don't like the cool evening temperatures in Calgary.  Yet, the small yields from my Calgary garden are most appreciated!

In recently years, I have starting growing garlic.  In travelling through the Okanagan Valley, I picked up two garlic bulbs, Persian Rose and Yugoslavian White at a Farmer's Market in Penticton which I planted that fall.

Garlic growing this year inspite of the snow
 Gardening is very Canadian.  I grew up with gardening as a necessity to now being a hobby for me.  

Everyone at this time of the year is talking Backyard gardening! 

Last week a new immigrant from Vietnam was asking me if the tomato that she took from her neighbor's garden and planted last fall would produce tomatoes for her this year!

While on my recent trip to Toronto, the Hotel Bell Hop from India was eagerly waiting for warmer weather to plant his vegetables.  The smile on his face while talking about his garden was full of expectation!

This year I look forward to planting with my grandchild, her first garden.  She is ready to go!

My recipe for this Blog brings many memories when my Aunt from Thunder Bay would visit our farm and make soup using the fresh vegetables from the garden, that she picked that morning.  I remember waking up and hearing her busy in the kitchen as she chopped the vegetables for the soup.

Spring Borscht

as dictated by my Aunt Florence

2 pork chops or a small pork roast 
3 cups of young beets, julienned, use the whole plant 
Use any new vegetables you may have in the garden
carrots, peas, onions, string beans, small baby potatoes
Fresh parsley and dill
1/2 to 1 cup heavy cream
vinegar, salt and freshly ground pepper
Garnish with fresh dill

The beauty of this soup is the julienned matchstick sized vegetables and the rich colour and clarity of the broth, not to mention the delicacy and taste of tender young vegetables.  

Place meat in a stock pot; cover with water. Bring to boil; cover pot, turn down heat and gently simmer.  Patiently skim off the soup until broth is clear.  When meat is tender, remove meat from the bone.  Strain the broth through a double layer of cheesecloth.  Add herbs and the prepared vegetables that have been julienned to the meat stock.  Add more water to cover the vegetables.  Bring to boil, then reduce heat to simmer until vegetables are cooked. Check vegetables often as young vegetables cook very quickly.  

Finishing touches before serving:

Remove the dill and parsley. Remove soup from the heat, add the cream slowly to the hot broth as you stir it.  Do not let the soup boil. Add a dash of vinegar, season with salt and pepper.  Garnish each bowl of soup with fresh chopped dill.