Sunday, April 28, 2013

Grilled Cheddar Sandwich

With the Red Leicester CheddarI purchased from the SLM on friday  .. I made a grilled cheese this morning :)

To make 2 sandwiches

4 slices of Rye or Marble Rye bread (pumpernickel works too or any bread you like!) 
4 slices of cheddar (using Leicester Cheddar here, check out that COLOUR!) 

2 small knobs of butter (butter the outsides of each sandwich, both sides) 

1 frying pan set on medium heat, add a drop of oil if you're worried about the butter burning. 

Assemble sandwiches and place in the pan until browned on one side.  Flip over to the other side and brown, at this point the cheese should melt inside. 

Slice and serve with celery! 


Ghormeh Sabzi (Persian herb stew)

Today I felt "Adventuress" and decided to finally make this Persian/Iranian herb stew recipe that has been sitting on my browser for over a week! Thanks to the lovely Persian food blog Turmeric and Saffron I didn't feel too intimidated to give it a try, I'm a huge fan of the blog and even though you won't see a lot of Persian recipes here I do browse her blog A LOT to familiarize myself with recipes.

As you all probably know that I love to cook Kurdish/Iraqi food (my culture from my father's side of the family) but I always find Iranian food to be a whole different world, and a fascinating one. We share some similarities and  a;though the two countries are side by side the cuisine is still quite different.

I tried my best to make this stew, following both the blog recipe from Turmeric and Saffron as well as watching this very educational youtube video by Persian Chef KShar.

Along with the stew I made a plain rice. The rice was soaked for a few hours before hand then boiled in lots of salted water (and a drop of oil), strained (kind of like when I make biryani or an Afghan rice) but then steamed in a new (smaller) pot for an hour. (I put potatoes at the bottom so it doesn't burn)
Very different than the normal Arabic method where it all cooks in one pot with water and some oil/salt on low heat for 20 mins maximum time.

To make the stew you need fresh or dry herbs on hand, there seem to be a lot of recipes out there but instead of getting overwhelmed I'd suggest going with the recipe here to begin with because it is really quite easy to follow.  I've added a handful of spinach to it as well but pretty much followed it exactly.

It was awesome being able to use up those dry limes that have been kicking around here for the last year or more, if you remember I bought keylimes a while back and didn't know what to do with the rest so I dried them and now they've found their purpose :D

Some ingredients to source and buy (from a Persian/Arabic and Indian store) before attempting the recipe:

- Dry limes (limu omani) - Persian or Arabic store
- Fenugreek (fresh or dry) Persian or Indian/Pakistani store (sometimes called "methi" dry leaves or fresh leaves, NOT seeds!) 

Regular supermarket items: 

- Stewing beef
- Dry kidney beans
- Turmeric

Once you've got all your ingredients it's pretty easy, just a few steps and once you've got it going you can step away and let it do it's thing for a couple of hours!  Maybe try a crockpot?

Just make sure to soak the beans the night before!

..Thanks to my sister Dessert was taken care of.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Friday - St.Lawrence Market

My day started early in beautiful Toronto! I had a warm tea at starbucks and spent the early hours strolling through the St.Lawrence market discovering all the interesting food finds, I picked up some things and by noon headed towards Whole Foods in Oakville... the day ended with my sisters and I making an ooey gooey Croque Monsieur casserole, so much fun!

Weekend Juicing

I've never been a big juice drinker, not like the kids today who are guzzling all these store bought cartons of different punches and fruit combos.  Back in Pakistan (where I grew up) juice was a treat..   whenever you're out on the streets you could buy deliciously sweet and refreshing sugar cane juice, which I adored!

Two of my favourite juices in the world are sugar cane and carrot juice! My dad brought a juicer home one day and I remember my mother making carrot juice for us.  Vibrant orange, sweet, frothy thick and refreshing with a hint of earthiness, I drank every drop of the stuff!

In my teens I did some juicing, introducing beets, celery and ginger to my favourite orange drink for health benefits.  Lately (as in the last couple of years) I haven't done any juicing, and I don't know how good it is (other than a treat) because I've been reading about some controversial studies but after dusting off the hamilton beach juicer and on a gorgeous day like today it seemed like the perfect project!

I ran over to the supermarket, picked up a bunch of goodies and here you see them all set out onto my kitchen table, then the juicing began!

Some new ingredients that I tried today were Kale & Spinach, alone they were so strong but mixed into the rest of the juices like a cocktail it was really quite delectable!

I can't believe I drank 4 glasses of the stuff though, haha.

Incase you're wondering about the pumpkin seed oil, it's a product that was recommended to me by the shop owner while I spent yesterday morning at the St.Lawrence Market in downtown Toronto.  I got to taste a sample before buying, and it tastes AMAZING! Not for cooking but cold applications of just taken by the teaspoon before bed to replenish vitamin supply in the body.  If you're interested read up more under "Austrian Pumpkin seed oil" or "Styrian gold" and check out the photo sequence of my day yesterday as well here 

So if you've been inspired today to get back into juicing (like me) or try it for the first time then how about making an event out of it? Throw a juicing party and have an array of fresh fruit and veg so that your guests can choose fun combinations that you (or they) can run through the juicer and make fresh juice on the spot!

I think it totally makes the cleanup worth it!