Chicken Cacciatore

For the main course, Minoo picked an Italian dish called Chicken Cacciatore for the South Arm Community Kitchen. Cacciatore refers to a meal prepared “hunter-style” with tomatoes, onions, mushrooms, bell peppers, herbs and sometimes with wine. It is popular to be made with chicken or rabbit.

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This is a rustic and hearty meal complete with carbohydrate, protein and vegetables. You may served the Chicken Cacciatore with pasta, rice or bread.

Ingredients

  • 6 chicken thighs or 3 chicken breasts cut into halves
  • 2 teaspoons salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, for dredging
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 8 pieces of button mushrooms, slice
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 x 28-ounce can diced tomatoes with juice
  • 1/2 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 3 tablespoons drained capers
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano leaves
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil leaves
  • pasta to be served with this dish (allocate about 4 oz per person)

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Source: this recipe is adapted from Giada De Lauentis

Serves 6

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Thai Chicken Salad with Spinach and Peanuts

The South Arm Multicultural Community Kitchen will be held at the Bethel Church while the South Arm kitchen is under renovation. We were very fortunate and thankful for Bethel Church’s generosity to allow us to use their kitchen. We love the kitchen as it is big and very well equipped. There are 6 washing basins in the center island.

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Minoo prepared four recipes for this kitchen. The first recipe is a Thai Chicken Salad with Spinach and Peanuts. This salad has a little kick with the hot chili flakes. It is a combination of cooked chicken with raw vegetables.

Ingredients

  • 2 large lime or lemon
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger
  • 2 teaspoons fish sauce
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons hot chili flakes
  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 English cucumber, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 green cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh coriander
  • 4 cups baby spinach
  • chopped mango (optional)
  • 6 skinless, boneless chicken thighs, trim fat and slice into thin strips
  • vegetable oil
  • salt to taste

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Source: unknown via Minoo

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Chicken Chili

For the main course, Minoo shared a Chicken Chili recipe at the South Arm Community Kitchen. Minoo served the Chicken Chili with steamed basmati rice. You can find the recipe on how to cook basmati rice here except that Minoo did not flavoured it with saffron  this time.

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The Chicken Chili is very saucy and tomato’ish. The sauce is good with the steamed rice.

Ingredients

  • 4 cups chopped yellow onions
  • 1/8 cup good olive oil, plus extra for chicken
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 red bell peppers, cored, seeded, and large-diced
  • 2 yellow bell peppers, cored, seeded, and large-diced
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes, or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt, plus more for chicken
  • 2 (28-ounce) cans whole peeled plum tomatoes in puree, undrained
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh basil leaves or 1 tablespoon dried ones
  • 4 split chicken breasts, bone in, skin on
  • freshly ground black pepper

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This recipe used skin on and bone in chicken breast which is cheaper. The chicken breast is cooked with the skin on and bone in for more flavour. The skin and bones can be easily removed after cooking.

Source: unknown

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Braise Lamb Shanks with Aromatic Vegetables and Mixed Grains

Chef Ian Lai from the Terra Nova Schoolyard Society demonstrated a simple Braise Lamb Shanks with Aromatic Vegetables and Mixed Grains in the Eating Together cooking class organised by the Touchstone Family Association in the celebration of Family Day in Richmond in the month of February. Ian’s philosophy on eating together is to introduce simple recipes with a few ingredients to encourage cooking at home.

Ian shared some lights on grains during the cooking class. We should eat more grains and stay away from refine food and processed food. Ian has shared about grains in a basic food skill workshop which I had attended.  Here is more information about grains which Ian shared during the cooking class. I’m passing along the tips I learned here so that more can benefit from it.

Bulgur

Bulgur is a form of whole wheat that has been cleaned, steamed or parboiled, dried, and then ground into grains of several distinct sizes. Bulgur may be made from any variety of wheat, but durum is the most common.

Although the term bulgur is often used to mean cracked wheat, the two products differ in one important way; bulgur is precooked and hence requires only minimal preparation before eating. Unlike cracked wheat bulgur is ready to eat after just ten minutes of boiling.

Bulgur has a delicious, mildly nutty flavour. It is a good source of protein, iron, magnesium, and B vitamins. It is packed with fiber i.e. one cup (182 grams) serving of cooked bulgur has 8 grams of fiber and contains very little fat.

Couscous

Couscous is a coarsely ground semolina pasta that is a dietary staple in North African countries. It is also widely used in Middle Eastern countries and has become popular in American dishes. It is made of semolina, flour, salt, and water. Similar to rice in shape, color, and texture, it is used in many dishes as rice would be.

Couscous is available in a pre-steamed version in many grocery stores. To prepare this type of dried couscous, pour boiling water or broth over the pasta and then seal the bowl with plastic wrap. After a few minutes, the grain swells and can be fluffed with a fork. When correctly prepared, it has tender, moist taste and a light, fluffy texture. It is faster to prepare thena most types of rice.

Buckwheat

Buckwheat is a plant cultivated for its triangular grains. Unlike most other grains, it’s not a grass but a plant crop. That means it has broad, spreading leaves; it also has lacy white flowers. Buckwheat cultivation is on the decline in the United States, where other grains have supplanted it in popularity. The grain continues to be produced in a number of countries including japan and Canada.

Most commonly sold as a dark flour, buckwheat gets its color from husks that are left behind during the milling process. this grain is usually included in a variety of types of flour mixes, like pancake and waffle mix. Plain buckwheat, perhaps for baking bread, is also available. Buckwheat is also sold in whole or cracked from for use in breakfast cereals or to add texture to breads and other baked products. It has a distinctive nutty flavor that can be quite pleasing to the palate, especially when contrasted with other, more mild flours.

Quinoa

Though not technically a grain, quinoa can substitute for nearly any grain in cooking. Actually the seed of a leafy plant, quinoa’s relatives include spinach, beets and Swiss chard. Due to its delicate taste and rich amounts of protein, iron, potassium and other vitamins and minerals, it is quite popular. It is also a good source of dietary fiber and is easily digested.

A quinoa grain is flat and has a pointed oval shape. The grains exist in several colorations, including yellow, red, brown and black. When cooked, quinoa expands to about three or four times its size. It also has a unique texture; the grain itself is smooth and creamy, but the tail of the grain has a crunchy texture.

Barley

Barley’s been feeding humans for millennia, though it fell out of favor during the last one as people came to see it as low-brow peasant fare. It’s most often used in soups and stews, where it serves as both a puffy grain and a thickener, but it also makes a nice side dish or salad. At most markets, you”ll have to choose between two types of barley. Hulled barley is the most nutritious, since only the tough outer hulls are polished off. Pearl barley is polished some more, so that the outer bran layer is also scrubbed off. It’s less nutritious, but more popular since it’s not as chewy as hulled barley and it cooks faster.

Grain to Liquid Ratio Chart

Grain (1 part) Method Liquid Ratio Time
Couscous Rehydration 0.75  – 1.0 7 – 10 mins
Bulgur Steam/Rehydration 1.25 – 1.5 15 mins
Buckwheat Steam 1.00 – 1.25 10 mins
Quinoa Steam 1.25 – 1.5 15 mins
Pot barley Pasta 5.0 45 mins

Grains are versatile, nutritious, high in fiber and inexpensive. They can be added to meatballs or meatloaf to keep it moist. Cooked grains can be kept in the refrigerator for up to a week. Cook various grains individually as they need different cooking times. Do not wash the grains unless it’s stated on the package (like quinoa) as washing the grains will wash away the nutrients on the surface. Grains can be mix into salad, soup, wrap up with a tortilla, as breakfast cereal or make into a dessert by adding coconut milk and fruit.

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This Braise Lamb Shanks with Aromatic Vegetables and Mixed Grains is another simple and hearty recipe. You can make a big batch and freeze the leftovers in single portion size since this recipe requires long simmering time.

Ingredients

  • 4 lamb shanks
  • 2 large carrots cut into chunks
  • 1 large onion cut into chunks
  • 2 ribs celery cut into chunks
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 jar pasta sauce
  • 1 can diced tomatoes

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Source: Ian Lai

P/S: you may substitute the lamb shank with oxtail or stewing meat. You may also add in some garam masala for an Indian flavour lamb shank.

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Orange Beef Stir Fry

Marian also prepared another stir fry dish for the South Arm Cooking Club for Seniors. It is an Orange Beef Stir Fry.

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This citrus beef stir fry is also another west meets east recipe. The use of oranges in stir fry is not very Chinesey.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups slice flank steak
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • orange segments from 2 oranges
  • 2 green onions, cut into 1-inch length
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • sesame seeds (optional)

Marinates

  • 3/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 2 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons ginger powder
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoons ground pepper

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Source: Marian

Serves 4

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Chop Suey

The second Chinese theme recipe which Marian shared in the South Arm Cooking Club for Seniors is Mix Vegetables Stir Fry which also common known as Chop Suey.

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You can be creative in this recipe that you can used up all the leftover vegetables and meat. It is a great recipe to clear your refrigerator.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup chicken, cut up into bite size
  • 1 cup broccoli, cut into flowerets
  • 1 cup cabbage, shredded
  • 1 cup cauliflower, cut into flowerets
  • 1 cup snap peas
  • 1 medium carrot, scrub and thinly sliced into coins shape
  • 1 red pepper, cut into medium pieces, same size of the carrot
  • 1 can chestnut or fresh ones
  • 1 can baby corns
  • 1 can mushroom of your choice, Marian used oyster mushroom in this recipe
  • 1 medium onion, peel and slice
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce or soy sauce
  • garlic powder, ginger powder, salt and pepper to marinate chicken
  • cooking oil
  • sesame oil

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Source: Marian

Serves 4

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Marinated Baked Pork Chops

For the main course, Marian prepared a Marinated Baked Pork Chops for the seniors. It is tricky to make a tender pork chop as it usually ends up tough and dry.

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This Marinated Baked Pork Chops are moist and quite tender as there is no complain from the seniors.

Ingredients

  • 6 pork chops, trimmed
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup

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Source: unknown via Marian

Serves 6

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BBQ Chicken Drumsticks

BBQ Chicken Drumsticks are Joanna’s family favourite, especially in summer, when she will barbeque them on the grill outdoor.  In winter, these BBQ Chicken Drumsticks can be baked in the oven.

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The BBQ Chicken Drumsticks has crispy skin and the cut up drumstick is very easy to eat.

Ingredients

  • drumsticks
  • chilly powder to taste
  • seasoned salt to taste
  • Montreal steak spice mix to taste
  • soy sauce to taste

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Source: Joanna

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Pork Neck Bone with Corn Soup

In the Caring Place Community Kitchen, Joanna shared some very homey Chinese dishes.

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The first recipe is a simple Pork Neck Bone with Corn Soup. You may use pork rib to make this soup for a meatier cut of meat. Pork neck bone is very cheap, 99 cents per pound.

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds pork neck bone
  • 4 corns, cut into chunks
  • 3 to 4 slices of ginger
  • 8 to 10 cups of water
  • salt to taste

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Source: Joanna;  Serves 6 to 8

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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.

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

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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

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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

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Source: Vicky

Yield 15 meatballs

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