Wednesday, October 15, 2014

APPLE CHIPS, APPLE SAUCE + ALL THE FALL COLOURS


Unlike last year, we spent Thanksgiving weekend in and around the Collingwood area. I've come to realize, that no matter where you are, Thanksgiving in Canada is absolutely breathtaking. The chill in the air, the colour of the leaves, and the short, yet well spent time with the sun, makes for a truly spectacular landscape and a fantastic way to spend a three day weekend. We consumed enough turkey, pumpkin treats and apple cider to last a while, and came home with half a peck of apples -- leaving me no choice but to whip up an apple extravaganza in the kitchen. Crisp, massive pancakes, compote and maybe even some more granola still to come. And while I'm at it, maybe some butter, a cinnamon roll, a biscuit waffle or donut. Because, why not?







APPLE CHIPS //

Preheat oven to 225.

Ingredients:

2 large, or 3-4 smaller, apples
half a lemon
white sugar
cinnamon

What to do:

Using a mandoline, thinly slice the apples, and toss in a large bowl with juice from half a lemon.

Spread in a single layer onto 2 parchment lined baking sheets, and sprinkle with white sugar and cinnamon.

Bake for 1 hour and check on the chips. Depending on how thin your original slices were, the remaining baking time will vary, so use your judgement. Keep a close watch as they can easily burn.
  • If the tops are crisp, flip and bake for an additional 10 minutes;
  • If the tops still feel soft, bake for another 15-30 minutes until crispy -  then flip, and finish with an additional 10 minutes.
Allow to cool completely before storing in an airtight container.



APPLE SAUCE //

Ingredients:

5 apples, peeled, cored and chopped
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2-1 tsp cinnamon

What to do:

Bring the water to a boil in a medium size saucepan. Once boiling, add the apples, sugar and cinnamon. Lower the heat, and simmer, partially covered, for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, and breaking up the apples with a wooden spoon if need be.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

ROASTED AUTUMN VEGGIES WITH A HORSERADISH + POMEGRANATE RELISH


This post will be short and sweet -- wishing all my fellow Canadians a happy turkey weekend with a massive bowl of roasted autumn veggies. The colours are perfect for a festive table, and the dish can easily be made ahead of time -- ideal when the oven is already in use. If you can, pick the prettiest, most colourful veggies you can find and get roasting. Happy Thanksgiving folks!





ROASTED AUTUMN VEGGIES WITH A HORSERADISH + POMEGRANATE RELISH // serves 8-10 as a side, 4 as a main

This is a perfect side dish to accompany any autumn dinner, Thanksgiving included. Alternatively, toss in 1 cup of cooked quinoa or a can of white beans and a squeeze of lemon juice for a hearty lunch time meal.

Preheat oven to 400.

Ingredients:

1 cauliflower (I used 1/2 yellow, 1/2 purple), stems removed and cut into florets
20 brussels sprouts, halved
1 delicata squash, halved, seeds removed and sliced into 1/2" moons
1-2 T olive oil
sprinkle cayenne, salt and pepper

2-3 radishes, thinly sliced

horseradish + pomegranate relish//
1 pomegranate, seeds removed
1/2 T orange juice
1/2 T prepared horseradish
s+p

What to do:

Combine the cauliflower florets, brussels sprouts and squash in a large bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and spread onto 2 parchment lined baking sheets. Sprinkle with cayenne, salt and pepper.

Roast the veggies for roughly 30 minutes, until the edges are browned. Transfer to a large serving bowl.

While the veggies are roasting, prepare the relish. Mix the pom seeds, oj, horseradish, salt and pepper in a small bowl, and stir to combine.

To serve, toss the warm veggies, sliced radish and pomegranate relish. Serve immediately.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

A CONCORD GRAPE TART WITH ROSEMARY + GINGER

a concord grape tart with rosemary + ginger // sevengrams

As much as I love fall, I truly hate (yes, hate), how the days get shorter and shorter as winter approaches -- darkness when I wake up, darkness when I leave work. Ugh.

My 35 minute walk to work is my one chance to enjoy the sun, and scope out the fresh produce in the market along the way. I first spotted these grapes about a month ago and was totally tantalized by them. I had high hopes of working them into a variety of dishes -- I tried oven roasting them for a salad, but the result was far too sweet for my salad preferences; I thought about pan frying, but knew the grape wouldn't hold up well to the heat; I was inspired by some gorgeous local focaccia, but didn't have the hours to dedicate to rising dough (next time). So I settled on a simple tart -- a fairly basic crust, allowing the grapes to dominate in all their sweetness and glory.

a concord grape tart with rosemary + ginger // sevengrams

a concord grape tart with rosemary + ginger // sevengrams

a concord grape tart with rosemary + ginger // sevengrams

A CONCORD GRAPE TART WITH ROSEMARY + GINGER // 9" springform pan

Ingredients:

1 cup almond meal
1/2 cup spelt flour
1 tsp ground ginger

5 T butter
1 egg yolk
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup maple syrup

1 1/2 - 2 cups concord grapes
1 spring rosemary
turbinado sugar, for sprinkling

What to do:

In a bowl, combine the almond meal, spelt flour and ginger. Stir to combine.

In a small pot over low heat, melt and gradually brown the butter. Remove from the heat and bring to room temperature. Whisk in the egg yolk, vanilla and maple syrup. Pour the wet mixture over the dry and mix just until combined.

Lightly butter your springform pan. Transfer the batter and spread evenly throughout the pan. Place in the freezer for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 300.

Remove the tart from the freezer, and fill with grapes. Use a pair of scissors to cut and evenly distribute about 1/3 of the rosemary spring throughout. Sprinkle with turbinado sugar.

Bake for 30 minutes. Increase the heat to 325, and bake an additional 5-10, until the edges are golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack. If your grapes didn't explode, using the back of a spatula, gently (and carefully) press down on the grapes to force them to burst.

Serve warm. Or as a room temperature snack the next day.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

GRANOLA WITH APPLES + HONEY

granola with apples + honey // sevengrams

The week between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur is intended to be a week of solemn reflection. Quiet time to mull over the events of the previous year, and prepare oneself for the year to come. Time to consider ones wrong doings and resolve how to make amends. My heart feels heavy, and my head full and overwhelmed.

I wasn't quite ready to tackle something new in the kitchen, but knew that cooking (or baking) would be just what I needed. Granola seemed safe and comforting - like throwing on an old cozy sweater. Apples and honey for Rosh Hashanah, symbolizing the sweet year to come, and a sprinkle of poppy seeds, because this time of year, I couldn't leave them out.

granola with apples + honey // sevengrams

granola with apples + honey // sevengrams

GRANOLA WITH APPLES + HONEY // makes 6 cups

Preheat oven to 325.

Ingredients:

3 cups oats
1/2 cup whole almonds
1/2 cup whole cashews
1/2 tsp ground ginger
2 T poppy seeds
1 apple thinly sliced (~1 cup)

1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup honey
1/2 tsp vanilla

What to do:

In a large bowl, combine the oats, nuts, ginger and poppy seeds. Toss to combine. Add the apple slices and toss again, being sure to separate all the individual apple pieces.

In a glass measuring cup, whisk together the liquids. Pour over the oat mixture and stir to evenly coat.

Transfer to two parchment lined baking sheets and bake for 15-20 minutes, until golden brown, tossing halfway through. The apples will be a bit soft when you remove the trays from the oven, and will harden slightly as they cool.

Let cool completely before transferring to an airtight container. Will keep for a week.

Monday, September 22, 2014

HONEY + ALMOND CAKE WITH GINGER POACHED APPLES

Honey + Almond Cake with Ginger Poached Apples // sevengrams

With Rosh Hashanah just around the corner, it seemed only fitting to post something rammed with honey and doused in apples. Jewish New Year is one of my favourite holidays -- round challah, autumn apples dunked in honey, pomegranates (new fruit you haven't eaten all year) and so many more family classics. I'll be heading home to spend the holiday with my family, and I know that there will be tons of food awaiting my arrival, as well as several long over due hugs and cuddles with my sisters and parents. I can't wait -- count down to Wednesday night is on.

If you're looking for some additional apple recipes to adorn your table for the holidays, try a breakfast pancake, baked apples, crisp, soup or lunch time grain salad.

Chag Sameach & Shana Tova!

Honey + Almond Cake with Ginger Poached Apples // sevengrams

Honey + Almond Cake with Ginger Poached Apples // sevengrams

Honey + Almond Cake with Ginger Poached Apples // sevengrams

HONEY + ALMOND CAKE WITH GINGER POACHED APPLES // 9" round pan

This cake is gluten free, perfectly drenched in honey, and works equally well for breakfast or dessert, warm or cold. Loosely inspired by Vibrant Food.

Preheat oven to 325.

Ingredients:

2 cups almond flour
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda

3 eggs
2/3 cup honey
1/4 oil (vegetable, canola or olive)
knub of fresh ginger, zested/finely grated

sliced almonds, toasted, for serving

ginger poached apples//
4 apples, peeled and cut into 8 wedges
juice from 1 lemon
2 T brown sugar
2 T stem ginger marmalade
3 cups water

What to do:

In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients and stir until combined.

In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs, honey, oil and grated ginger.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix just until combined.

Transfer the batter into a greased and lightly floured baking pan. Bake for 25-35 minutes until the top is golden brown, the centre is set and a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool on a wire rack.

To poach the apples, combine the water, lemon juice, brown sugar and marmalade in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then lower to simmer and gently transfer the apple wedges into the pan. Partially covered, simmer for 15 minutes or until tender. Remove the fruit from the liquid and set aside. Boil the syrup rapidly for 5 additional minutes.

To serve, transfer a cake slice onto a plate, sprinkle with toasted almonds, a few apples slices and an optional spoonful of syrup.

Friday, September 19, 2014

BAKED BLACK BEAN AND CABBAGE PATTIES WITH A CILANTRO, LIME + CASHEW CREMA


All I've wanted all week is to throw on my sweats, and curl up in a ball on the couch under a warm blanket. Possibly with a cup of tea, and definitely with a freshly baked cookie. Fall has officially landed.

The cooler temps have me craving warm lunches - goodbye large bowls of greens, and hello the need to use the office microwave. We had an abundance of cabbage leftover from last weekend's coleslaw. I thought about roasting it, but patties seemed like the way to go -- packed with texture, flavour and tons of warmth. Perfect for these chilly days as the seasons begin to change. Happy weekend!





BAKED BLACK BEAN AND CABBAGE PATTIES WITH A CILANTRO, LIME + CASHEW CREMA // makes 8 patties

The patties pull together fairly quickly, but the cashews need to soak for an hour before making the crema - try to make it ahead of time (if you can).

Preheat oven to 400.

Ingredients:

1 cup grated/shredded cabbage (roughly 1/4 of a cabbage)
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
2 green onions, sliced
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1 egg
1/4 cup flour
1 T flax meal
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 tsp cayenne
pinch of salt
neutral oil, for drizzling

cilantro, lime + cashew crema (adapted from With Food + Love)//
1/2 raw cashews, soaked for an hour
1 cup fresh cilantro
1/2 cup nut milk
juice from 1 lime
pinch of s+p

What to do:

To make the crema, combine everything in a blender or bullet until smooth.*

Using a grater or food processor fitted with the grating blade, prep the cabbage and set aside.

In a large bowl, use cleans hands or a fork to smash the black beans. You want them smooth, yet still a little chunky. Add the cabbage, green onions and cilantro and stir to combine.

Continue to add the egg, flour, flax, salt and spices. Mix everything together.

Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Divide the mixture into 8 equal parts. Roll each piece into a ball and gently flatten onto the baking sheet to create a patty. Continue with all 8 pieces. Drizzle the tops of each patty with a touch of oil.

Transfer to the hot oven and bake for 20 minutes, rotating the pan after 10.

Remove from the oven and serve warm with a heaping scoop of crema and a side of roasted sweet potatoes or rice -- to soak up all that extra, delicious, sauce. YUM.


*note: I don't have a high speed blender, and as such, my sauce wasn't exactly 'smooth'. Honestly though, I didn't mind the extra texture at all -- a chunky sauce never hurt anyone.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

A LOBSTER BARBECUE AND ALL THE SIDES


We hosted our second annual lobster barbecue last night - a smorgusboard from the sea, including fresh oysters, mussels and lobsters on the grill, and a smattering of apps and sides. Good friends gathered, drank, laughed, ate, splashed lobster juices on each other, and ate some more.

In anticipation of feeding 15 hungry adults, menu planning was a must. I did a bit of research leading up to the night, trying to hone in on the perfect side dishes to complement the lobster. In hindsight, the lobster alone would have totally been sufficient -- but really, who doesn't love a good ol' feast every now and then!

APPETIZERS //

oysters with homemade horseradish
soft pretzels with rosemary (recipe below)
beth's homemade pickles

DINNER //

corn on the cob
stu's pineapple lobster roe fried rice
classic coleslaw (recipe below)
perfectly crusty bread (for soaking up all that delicious mussel both)
grilled lobsters

DESSERT //

a super indulgent, i can't believe i made this, ice cream sandwich cake





SOFT PRETZELS WITH ROSEMARY // makes 8

Adapted from Two Peas & Their Pod

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups warm water
2 T brown sugar
2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast (1 package)
6 T unsalted butter, melted
2 tsp kosher salt
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 T fresh rosemary, chopped
oil, to grease the bowl
12 cups (3 quarts) water
2/3 cup baking soda
1 egg + 1 T cold water, beaten
kosher salt, for sprinkling

grainy or dijon mustard, for serving

What to do:

In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the dough hook, combine the water, sugar, yeast and melted butter. Mix just until combined, then let sit for 5 minutes.

Continue to add the salt, flour and rosemary and mix on low speed until combined. Increase the speed to medium and continue to knead the dough until smooth, and it begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl (3-4 minutes). If the dough is too wet, add additional flour 1 T at a time.

Lightly flour a clean area of your counter. Remove the dough from the bowl, place on the floured surface and knead into a ball with your hands. Pour about 1/2 T of oil into a large bowl, and swirl the bowl to coat all sides. Add the dough ball to the bowl, cover with a clean dish towel or plastic wrap, and place in a warm spot for about an hour - until the double at least doubles in size.

Preheat oven to 425.

Remove the dough from the bowl and place it back on your lightly floured counter. Divide it into 8 equal pieces and roll each into a long rope. To form the pretzels, cross the right end over the left, twist once, then lightly press the ends (if you're struggling, helpful video here). Form all 8 pretzels.

Bring the large pot of water to boil, then slowly add the baking - be careful as the water will start to bubble rapidly! Boil the pretzels in the boiling water, 2 at a time, for 30 seconds, lightly splashing the tops with water. Use a slotted spoon to remove the pretzels and transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet. Place 4 pretzels on each baking sheet, giving them enough room to expand in the oven (I swear mine looked more like pretzels before they went in the oven).

Brush the tops with the egg wash, season with flaky salt and transfer to the hot oven. Bake for 15-18 minutes, until golden brown. Let cool completely on a wire rack before serving. Serve with mustard for dipping.


CLASSIC COLESLAW // makes a lot

Ingredients:

1 large carrot
1/2 head white cabbage
1/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup + 2 T vegetable oil
1/2 T mustard powder
1/2 T celery salt

What to do:

In a food processor fitted with the grating blade, grate the cabbage and carrot. Transfer to a large bowl, and toss with the sugar.

In a saucepan, combine the vinegar, oil, mustard powder and celery salt. Bring to a boil, stir and pour over the cabbage. Stir to combine and coat all the vegetables evenly.

Let sit for at least 30 minutes before serving to absorb all the flavours. Tastes even better a day or two later and will keep for a week.

*Note: As you eat away at the slaw, you will notice there is more liquid then you need. Feel free to keep adding shredded cabbage to the liquid over the course of the week.

Bon Appetit!