Sunday, January 30, 2011

Fiery tomato & fennel soup

This recipe is coming to you with out a photo... for now. I promise the next time I make it to really doll it up. This is a soup my mother has made every year for the Jewish holidays and I just love it. I didn't even need a recipe to re create it so its super ABC (easy). I made it recently for a friends dinner party and it was a HUGE hit. Stove top is definitely faster then roasting which can ad up to an hour, but I have to admit the flavor can't be beat, roasting is always my preference. There's nothing better then making huge vats of this soup at the end of the summer with fresh roma's and freezing it. I'll give you the breezy version today INGREDIENTS: Fiery Tomato Fennel Soup
Serves 6: prep: 5 mins cook: 25 mins
1 can roma tomatoes - crushed/ chopped/ whole whatever you have on hand
3 leeks
3 fennel bulbs - save the greens for garnish
1/2 can tomato paste
1 carton chicken or veg stock - 4 cups 
2 pre-roasted red peppers skin off (optional) 
olive oil 
chili flakes or oil - (optional) 
PREP: Rough chop leeks and fennel
COOK: Sautee leeks and fennel in evoo on medium heat until translucent (about 10 mins) sprinkle s&p. Add tomatoes + paste chicken broth, and bring to the boil. Let simmer about 20 mins. Remove from heat - blend until smooth... Check for seasoning... ENJOY
SERVE: Drizzle of high quality Olive Oil, some chili flakes or chili oil or for a real treat basil oil, and the green fennel ferns sprinkled on top. 

EVOO- Extra Virgin Olive Oil 

Friday, January 28, 2011

Habachi Love: Sesame sticky chicky and bbq'ed veg

If you don't have the room for a proper bbq a hibachi is great way to enjoy bbq'ed goodness with out the big commitment, and they're easy on the wallet as well. We bought ours at Canadian Tire for under $30 bucks.  They do take some time to get used to however, but with all cooking comes a learning curve. I have to admit i'm not the best at using mine - I usually make my man do the hibachi grilling. I' still used to cooking with a gas grill from my last apartment. This recipe can be made by roasting or pan frying as well, but nothing beats the smokiness you get when you grill with charcoal.  INGREDIENTS: Sticky Chicky with bbq'ed veg.
3 servings: prep 10 mins cook 20 mins
6 boneless skinless chicken highs
3 bunches of shiitake or oyster mushrooms
2 large green zucchini - thinly sliced
2 large summer squash - thinly sliced
2 red pepper - cut into 2 inch strips
1 clove garlic - minced
2 tbs soy sauce
2 tbs hoisin sauce
2 tbs honey
1 tsp sesame oil
pinch cayanne pepper
2 scallions - fine chop
sesame seeds - optional
bunch cilantro - chopped
PREP: for sesame sticky chicky: in a bowl combine garlic, soy, hoiien, honey, cayanne, scallions, cilantro, sesame oil. Brush mixture onto chicken and let sit (you can marinate over night).  Cut veg. for the zucchini and squash use a mandolin if you have to cut super thing and brush with olive oil s&p. 
COOK: bbq veg first until tender - 5-6 mins. then bbq chicken 4 mins per side brushing extra sauce on to the chicken if there is any left.
SERVE: plate the zucchini and squash around the plate with the chicken layered between the peppers and mushrooms in the center.