Chocolate Cream

For dessert, Cecile made a Creme Au Chocolat or Chocolate Cream in the Caring Place Community Kitchen. This is like chocolate pudding.

Chocolate-Cream-31

The Chocolate Cream did not turn out as desired due to excessive cornstarch added which made it looked lumpy and not smooth. Nevertheless, this is a simple recipe with just 3 ingredients. The trick is to add in the right amount of cornstarch to get the right consistency.

Ingredients

  • 800ml milk (2% fat) + 1/2 cup more
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons of cornstarch or more if needed
  • 1 pack of sweetened dark chocolate (with at least 70% cocoa)

Chocolate-Cream-9

It is important to use sweetened chocolate as there is no sugar added in this recipe. The taste of the Chocolate Cream depends on the quality of the chocolate you use. So, for the best result, choose a good quality chocolate for a little indulgence.

Source: Anna

Serves 6

Continue reading

Eggs Mimosa

The second dish of Cecile’s choice is Eufs Mimosas in French which is translated to Eggs Mimosa. This is also known as Devil Eggs.  Mimosa is a color of champagne-and-orange-juice shade of yellow.

French-Cuisine-Eggs-Mimosa-7

Eggs Mimosa is often served as hors d’oeuvre in a party. It can be done few hours in advance and keep refrigerated until serving. Eggs Mimosa is originated in Rome and popular across the continent of Europe.

Ingredients

  • 12 eggs
  • 1/2 fat mayonnaise
  • grain mustard
  • capers (optional)
  • parsley (optional)

French-Cuisine-Eggs-Mimosa-1

Source: Anna

Continue reading

French Cuisine – Ratatouille

It’s been a while since I attended the Caring Place Community Kitchen. The reason is Minoo usually demonstrates very simple and old recipes which I had blogged before for this group of participants. The Caring Place participants are mostly new immigrants or people who just started to learn to cook. Occasionally, we will get a participant who are willing to share some very ethnic cuisines and Minoo will let me know to join such kitchen.

French-Cuisine-Ratatouille-16

For this kitchen, we are glad to have Cecile to demonstrate some French recipes. Cecile is borned in Africa (not sure which part, South, maybe) and raised in France. The first recipe that Cecile shared with us is Ratatouille, a popular summer vegetables stew when zucchini, tomatoes and egg plants are plentiful.

Ratatouille can be served as a side dish along meat or fish entrees or as an entree itself when serve with rice. Left over Ratatouille can be served over omelet or pasta. The Ratatouille is usually better the next day when reheated.

Ingredients

  • 4 small or 2 big zucchinis (courgettes), peel and cut into small cubes
  • 2 small or 1 medium egg plant, peel and cut into small cubes
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 bunch of green onions, chopped
  • 1 x 780g can diced tomatoes (or fresh tomatoes if available)
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Bouquet garni herb mix, about 2 teaspoons
  • Herbes de Provence mix, a handful
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 splash of Balsamic vinegar

French-Cuisine-Ratatouille-1

For this kitchen, we used a combination of fresh and can tomatoes.

French-Cuisine-Ratatouille-2French-Cuisine-Ratatouille-3

The photo on the left is the Bouquet garni herb mix which comprises of thyme, bay leaf, marjoram and parsley. You may click on the photo of the of the Herbs de Provence to see the contents of it.

Source: Anna

Serves 5 to 6

Continue reading

Taiwanese Meatball (Ba Wan)

A Taiwanese friend of mine called me up before this South Arm Community Kitchen about the street food that she misses a lot that will be demonstrated by Vicky. It was a surprise call as I had invited her to join the community kitchen a long time ago but I did not hear from her since.

Taiwanese-Meatball-Ba-Wan-27

It was the above street food that excited my friend from Taiwan. It is the Taiwanese Meatball or known as Ba Wan in Hokkien.

Taiwanese-Meatball-Ba-Wan-28

I had seen this many times in a Taiwanese food show when we had Shaw TV. I missed that show since we switched to Telus. I have never come across this street food here yet. Does anyone know if we can find this Taiwanese Meatball here?

Ingredients

For the skins:

  • 1 cup rice flour
  • 400g yam flour
  • 6 1/5 cup cold water

For the filling:

  • 400g ground pork
  • 1 cup (about 8) dried shiitake mushroom, reconstituted
  • 1 cup (170g) dried bamboo shoot
  • 2 tablespoons dried shrimps
  • 1 tablespoon fried onion
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced

Marinates for pork:

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper powder
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch

Seasonings:

  • 1 tablespoon cooking wine
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon five spice powder

Taiwanese-Meatball-Ba-Wan-1Taiwanese-Meatball-Ba-Wan-2

For the sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons rice flour
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon miso
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup

Tools required:

  • Steam baskets
  • Small bowls

Taiwanese-Meatball-Ba-Wan-3

Source: Vicky

Yield 15 meatballs

Continue reading

Latkes

Anna is Jewish. When we asked her to share some Jewish recipes, she suggested Latkes and Falafel. However, Minoo is afraid that there is not enough time for both recipes, along with the Easy Indian Curry Chicken recipe that Anna is so eager to share with us. So, we decided to go with Latkes. Latkes are popular in eastern Europe and are eaten during Hanukah, according to Anna.

Latkes-7

Who does not like fried potatoes? These Latkes are crispy and my kids love them when I brought back a couple for them to try.

We also made a middle eastern salad, Tabouli to go along with the Easy Indian Curry Chicken and Latkes.

Ingredient

  • 2 cups peeled and shredded potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon grated onion
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour or more if needed
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup oil for frying

Latkes-1

Source: Anna

Serves 4 to 6

Continue reading

Easy Indian Curry Chicken

Anna shared her favourite Easy Indian Curry Chicken recipe in the Gilmore Park Church Community Kitchen just in time for the Diwali festival.  Anna told us that when she brought this curry chicken to potluck, it is always a hit.

Easy-Indian-Curry-Chicken-12

This Easy Indian Curry Chicken is not spicy and it is suitable for kids to enjoy. Anna served the curry chicken with basmati rice. You can check this link on how to cook basmati rice except that we did not include saffron here.

Ingredients

  • 2.2 pounds (1 kg) chicken breast, skinless, boneless, cut into bite size
  • 3 onions, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 5 tomatoes
  • 1 tray of fresh mushroom, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder
  • chili powder (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/2 can of coconut milk or lesser according to your preference

Easy-Indian-Curry-Chicken-1

Source: Anna

Serves 6 to 8

Continue reading

Lemon Scented Quinoa Salad

Minoo also incorporated a salad recipe using grain for the Gilmore Park Church Community Kitchen to complete the meal.

Lemon-Scented-Quinoa-Salad-9

This Lemon Scented Quinoa Salad is nutty and packed with a lot of nutrition. For me, this salad itself can be a lunch which is quite filling.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed thoroughly (about 5 times)
  • 2 cups water
  • salt
  • 1 can chick peas, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 red onion, sliced thin

Tahini Lemon Dressing

  • 1 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 1 lemon or vinegar of your choice
  • 4 tablespoons Greek style yogurt (make your own by draining organic plain yogurt overnight in a cheese cloth)
  • hot water
  • salt and pepper to taste

Lemon-Scented-Quinoa-Salad-1

Source: this recipe is adapted from Kevin Turner

Continue reading

Millet Pilaf

The second dish which Minoo prepared in the Gilmore Park Church Community Kitchen for the grain theme recipe is Millet Pilaf. Millet is often associated with bird feed in North America but is gaining acceptance into the human diet. Minoo told us that the incorporation of millet will made a very creamy mash potatoes.

Millet-Pilaf-18

This Millet Pilaf is another vegetarian recipe if you substitute butter with vegetable oil. Pilafs are open to a wide range of variations; any and all the vegetables may be substituted as desired or to to fit the season.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/3 cups millet, rinse and drain
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2 onions, one thinly sliced, one diced
  • 1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 2 potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 2 cups cauliflower florets
  • 1 cup butternut squash
  • 1 tablespoon mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • salt and pepper to taste

Millet-Pilaf-1

Source: this recipe is adapted from Kevin Turner

Continue reading

Mushroom, Barley and Lentil Soup

With the grain theme in mind, Minoo prepared a Mushroom, Barley and Lentil Soup in the Gilmore Park Church Community Kitchen.

Mushroom-Barley-Lentil-Soup-10

The Mushroom, Barley and Lentil Soup is a one pot meal that are very hearty and certainly very filling. Minoo made it rather thick and it’s more like a porridge to me. This will be a vegetarian dish if you use vegetable broth instead of chicken stock.

Ingredients

  • 4 cups good chicken or beef stock
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 cup pearl barley
  • 1 cup mixed lentils
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1 cup diced carrot
  • 1 cup diced parsnip
  • 1/2 cup cloud ear fungus, reconstituted and chopped
  • 1 pound fresh button mushroom (or any kind of your preference), sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup dill, chives or parsley, chopped

Mushroom-Barley-Lentil-Soup-1

Please note: parsley should be in place of the cilantro; ingredient got mixed up.

Source: this recipe is adapted from Kevin Turner

Continue reading

All About Grains

Minoo had selected a theme of grains to introduce to the community kitchens. She brought a variety of grains to the Gilmore Park Church Community Kitchen to share with us.

All-About-Grains-1

We learned that we can incorporate various grains in our diet beside the staple rice or oats that we are familiar with. We can add grains into our soup, stew or salad.

Here is an article which Minoo shared with us:

Grains are the mainstay of human sustenance. About half the world’s arable land is devoted to the cultivation of grains in some form or other, and 80% of the calories that human consume come from grains. Civilization as we know came into being as we transformed from wandering hunter-gatherers into farmers with secure and stable communities nourished by the fruits of our labours.

Grains are amazing plants, developed from weed like plants, grasses actually, that were able to spring up from any odd patch of ground on which a seed happens to fall. Among their many characteristics that make them so valuable is spacing, they take up little room, sending up stems topped by crowded spikes of nutrition packed seed kernels. They mature in just a few months and all of the seeds ripen simultaneously. They are easily prepared for cooking, even with primitive tools. Best of all, grains are often dry enough when fully ripe or after a brief parching in the sun to be stored without going moldy, so a good harvest ensures a year long supply of food.

Continue reading