here and there

Monday, February 27, 2017

Breakfast pizza for Cheesefare Sunday

Yesterday for Cheesefare Sunday, I made Breakfast Pizza.  In reading up about CheeseFare Sunday, I found that Cheesefare is connected to Maslenitsa which is believed to be the oldest Slavic holiday.  I had no idea of all the activities that are planned all week from welcoming "Lady Maslenitsa” to burning a doll made of twigs and straw dressed in bright clothing symbolizing saying good bye to Winter and welcoming Spring. My husband and I saw a similar custom done in Switzerland.  All week, crepes with different fillings are popular; crepes symbolizing warmth and the sun!  What a great idea! 

Since, I had No Knead dough in the refrigerator, I used this for the Pizza base. 

The pizza base was first baked at 450 degrees for 8 minutes. 

Mix about a tablespoon of Olive Oil into the Cottage cheese and layer over the caramelized onion.  Add grated mozzarella cheese.  Sprinkle chopped fresh Parsley over the cheese. Make a small indentation for the raw egg.  

Next time, I will add a ring of onion or bell pepper to drop the egg into as one of the eggs did escape, so to say! 

Bake the pizza for 10 to 15 minutes, start checking at 10 minutes if you want the yolks runny!

This is a delicious pizza without any meat, especially the second day.
What I really wanted to add to the Pizza was fresh grated Horseradish, but the Horseradish in my garden was covered with snow! This pizza would be great for a picnic as is great cold.

Breakfast pizza with Cottage cheese and eggs

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Peking Duck , two ways

Recently we joined friends at a downtown Chinese Restaurant and enjoyed Peking Duck two ways. Actually there is also another way, three ways to enjoy the duck which is to finish by having a soup made from the duck bones. 

The presentation of the Peking duck always amazes me in how the duck is beautifully craved. The chef craves the duck starting with the crispy skin on the breast of the duck, the rest of the duck skin, then thin slices of the duck is added as in this picture. 

With the craved duck comes slices of cucumber and green onion, along with Chinese Pancakes. Hoisin sauce and hot sauce is also included.

Our friend has shown us previously how to assemble the wrap using a small bowl which was provide for this.  Layer the Chinese Pancake first into the small bowl, a layer of hoisin sauce, then a slice of  duck along with the cucumber and green onion. This is easily wrapped using the bowl as the form.

The second way to eat Peking Duck is in a lettuce wrap.  For this dish, the minced duck is sautéed in a wok with vegetables served on a bed of crisp rice noodles.  A plate of  Iceberg leaves was brought with the minced duck. The minced duck is wrapped in this icy cold crispy Iceberg lettuce leaf.   Since there was some crispy duck left, I did use it in my wrap. One could also use the Chinese pancake as a wrap for the minced duck, but the crunch of the icy cold lettuce cuts through the fatness of the duck.   

Other dishes, Chinese fried rice with Shrimp and BBQ pork, Tempura Squid and Curried Shrimp arrived after the two dishes of Peking Duck.  

When In Beijing, the year before the Olympics, we did have Peking Duck in one of the restaurant that was was known for its Peking Duck.   Here we only did Peking Duck one way, with floured crepes. 
The Quanjude restaurant is one of the oldest restaurant know for it's Peking Duck when 
established in 1864 during the Qing Dynasty Legend has it that the imperial recipe was bought from a retire chef from the palace. 

The condiments were set out for the Peking Duck on each table. 

Quanjude Restaurant in Beijing

The duck was craved in front of us and then plates of Duck were served to each table.

On each table were bamboo steamers with hot steamed Chinese Pancakes or flour Crepes.

The Peking duck was served to each of us.  

With the current news covering the increase of refugees crossing the Manitoba border, the conversation quickly turned to this topic.  Our Chinese friend talked about the hardship his great great grandfather had endured when brought along with 17,000 others to British Columbia to work on the railway in the 1980's. How his uncle's as avery young man had travel from there to Montreal to work at his family's laundry in Montreal.  Chinese workers who were given the most treacherous jobs worked for half the pay of their white workers and also need to pay for their food, cooking and camping gear.  The railway was completed in 1885 with many reminding in Canada.  

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Pannenkoeken, Dutch Pancake

 Last week, a cousin was visiting with family and I decided to take her to a very popular weekend brunch place, 40 minutes waits would suggest that it is.

Apple slices with bacon; Bacon and egg

However, on a regular day, although the place was half full, the food served was not as hot and delicious as it is during a busy weekend!

Gifts are always nice to receive.

This long weekend, I decided to make Pannenkoeken for brunch

I decided to use the following crepe recipe as the batter used in the restaurant for the Dutch pancakes is much thicker than mom's crepe recipe

1 1/2 c flour
2 c milk
2 eggs
Whisk eggs and milk together
Add the flour gradually whisk making sure there are no lumps

In the restaurant there are many traditional savoury and sweet varieties.  
I like the apple and raisin one without any syrup or bacon. I have found the bacon to greasy 

Of interested is the specials they have every month, this month's special being Butter Chicken, last time we were there, it was Thai chicken. 

The batter is poured on to a medium hot pan. The pan is tilted quickly to cover the pan with batter.  I believe the secret of cooking crepes is the correct temperature of a pan.  I like using my cast iron pan as it holds the heat well once it is heated up.  

Once the batter covers the pan, cover the uncooked batter with your fillings.  In this case I used caramelized onions, sliced mushroom, thin slices of porchetta, cottage cheese and mozzarella cheese.  Once the bottom is golden brown, flip the pancake to cook the top with the fillings.

The Dutch restaurant serves some of the savory pancakes with a small side salad. 

I did roll the pancake up to eat it.  

Check out the Pfanntastic Menu at this Dutch restaurant for other ideas.  My husband likes the Potato, Onion, Bacon & Cheese Pannenkoek (with a side of sour cream)

Friday, February 3, 2017

Almond Milk Pudding

Almond Milk was thickened with 2 -3 T cornstarch
Beep the mixture in the microwave a minute at a time until thick
Whisk after each minute 
Add honey to taste
Add 1 tsp vanilla
Let set. 
Decorate with fruit cocktail and whipped cream!

Sweet Pea Shots with Napa Salad

Sesame Dressing 

  • 3T oil
  • 3T rice vinegar 
  • 1 1/2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp light soya sauce
  •  2T toasted sesame seeds 
  • S&P 

  • 6 c Napa cabbage, shredded
  • 2 stacks celery, finely sliced
  • 1/4 red onion, finely sliced
  • 2 carrots, finely julienned
  • 3 gr onions, finely julienned
  • 1/4 c almonds, lightly toasted
  • 1 T sesame seeds, toasted
To this salad I added 1 red bell pepper, julienned and added fresh pea shots

Cantonese Roast Duck

Although the recipe called for a chicken, since I have two ducks in my deep freeze, I decided that a duck would be more festive!

Fill the cavity of the duck with

  • large slice of ginger smashed
  • 4-6 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 white onion. 
Rub the skin of the duck with
  • 2T Rice Vinegar
  • 4 T sake
Sprinkle generously salt and fresh pepper over the duck

Insert pieces of garlic between skin and meat randomly over the duck.  This is a step one can skip as it really did not flavor the meat as it does with lamb, even though the high test organic garlic was used! 

Roast the Duck on an open rack at 500degrees for 15 minutes, then lower the temperature  to 325 degrees and roast until the meat is cooked.  Pierce the skin during the roasting to ensure the fat runs off. 

There were two dipping sauces for the duck, but really only one needs to be made

Ginger Soya Dipping Sauce 

  • 1T dark soya sauce
  • 1T light soya sauce
  • 1 T minced fresh ginger
  • 2 tsp sesame seed oil
  • 1 tsp sugar

The recipe started with 
Hoisin Lemon Ginger Dipping Sauce 
which I thought was the marinade for the bird as.   But it was the dipping sauce for the duck and I have named it as such. This dipping sauce is delicious  with the sweetness of the Hoisin sauce and I would make it again. 

Whisk the following ingredients and let sit to develop flavors

  • 3/4 c Hoisin sauce* 
  • 3 T rice vinegar
  • 1/2 cup fresh orange juice*
  • 1 tsp fresh minced ginger
  • pepper
  • 2 T sesame seed oil
*I used fresh lemon juice and the rind of lemon
I also would not use as much Hoisin sauce 

Chinese Menu for Lunar New Year 2017; the year of the Rooster!

Chinese New Year fell on the weekend and after seeing a menu in the Taste BC magazine, I decided that I would do the recipes in this magazine.  
Our daughter had danced with the Chinese Phoenix Dances and with that came the festivities around Chinese New Year.  The Chinese dancers were always part of the program along with the Lion Dance. It was a very special time for the whole family!

This is the meal I prepared for Chinese New Year,  BBQ Pork, Long Life Noodles, BBQ Baby Back Ribs,  Snow Pea and Napa Slaw, Cantonese Roast Duck and Almond Milk Pudding

My Granddaughter dressed in traditional Korean Dress called a Hanbok.  The dresses are very intricate,  

The Jeogori is the top jacket that goes over the bottom skirt.

Showing the Sebae, the ritual bow done on Lunar New Year's. Respect shown to her grandparents. And guess what? Money is given to the kids.

Okay. Enough of this. Help me with my Hanbok!

The Chima is referred to the bottom or skirt that did have a sleeveless top to it.  The chima has a waist band that extends to form ties to wrap around the waist.  






Long Life Noodles