Posts Tagged ‘potato’

As you can probably guess, my last two weeks have been quite an adventure. Sandwiched between two vastly different rock-climbing weekends, I spent two weeks working on some intense mind-numbing data collection in the field in the Eastern Townships of Québec. With that behind me, however, I’m thrilled to be home and to enjoy the simple things like cooking dinner together at home.

In Québec, I could well have been paid for my work in mulberries, fresh Montreal Tasty heirloom tomatoes, and zucchinis from a delicious garden in the place I stayed at. Monkeying around in the mulberry tree at 7am probably made me look like quite a character to the neighbours – but I was willing to take on the role if it meant a salad-bowl full of mulberries for breakfast every day!

When I came home, we basically changed gears into preparing for an up-coming adventure (more details to come – but I will admit it will require us to move, and very far at that). That has meant planning to cook so many meals we’ve had on our list of recipes to try all summer. Tonight was no exception: we cooked Lamb Keema from the LCBO’s Food and Drink magazine (summer 2012).

We had high hopes for this recipe. Full of home-mixed spices and protein, it’s a perfect end-of-summer meal for those days that are heavy in exercise (it was also delicious without exercise too). Not only was it delicious, it was easy to make as long as all the ingredients are readily available in your kitchen (as long as you’re into Indian cooking, your pantry can probably handle it). Topped off with a sunny-side-up egg, this meal is also an eye-pleaser. Finally, I also want to mention that it is low in carbs, if you’re looking for that.

Ingredients – 4 servings (don’t be discouraged by the long list – most are spices!)

1/2 red onion, peeled and thinly sliced

1 lb ground lamb (500g)
1/2 cup yogurt

2 Tbsp cooking oil + 1 Tbsp clarified butter
2 whole green cardamom pods
3 whole cloves
1 large bay leaf
1 stick cinnamon

1 medium cooking onion (or the other half of the large red onion), diced
1 Tbsp grated ginger (fresh)
4 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup tomato purée
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp turmeric
2 tsp ground cumin
1 Tbsp ground coriander

2 medium yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks

1 cup frozen peas
2 tsp garam masala

4 eggs
1 Tbsp butter
cracked black pepper, cayenne to taste

Fresh cilantro (optional)


Slice the half onion into half-rings. Sprinkle with salt, and let stand.

Heat the oil in a pot with a lid. Once hot, add the whole spices and fry until fragrant, around 3 minutes. Add the diced onion, and fry until translucent but not browned.

Meanwhile, mix the ground lamb and yogurt in a bowl. Mince the garlic and grate the ginger. When onions are ready, add the lamb to the onion mixture and stir to break it all apart. Cook until it is no longer pink, then add in the garlic and ginger. Cook for a minute or two.

Add the tomato purée and 1 1/4 cups water, cover, and bring to a boil. Sprinkle all of the spices on top except the garam masala. Add the potatoes, and simmer for 20-25 minutes, covered. Remove the cover near the end and leave open if amount of liquid remaining is too much.

Heat the butter in another frying pan. Cook each egg separately sunny-side up, seasoning according to taste.

Finally, add in the peas and garam masala. Remove from heat. Rince the onions under the tap. Divide the keema into four portions and serve with a sunny-side-up egg on top, accompanied with some of those salted onions, and fresh coriander if you have some.

This meal is delicious alone, accompanied with naan, or salad!

The only thing I want to do is thank the LCBO for publishing such a delicious recipe in its Food and Drink magazine!


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This Saturday I took my very last walk down to the great little market I’ve grown accustomed to visiting each week here in Montréal. Although I don’t leave for another two-and-a-half weeks, my week-ends are already completely booked and elsewhere.

As I walked past the beautiful trees over the layers of colourful leaves on the ground, I caught my last few glimpses of summertime.


At the market, I indulged in my last bag of ultra-squeaky goat’s cheese curd, the very best almond-chocolate croissant that the baker had, and discovered a great surprise: my first sunchokes (aka jerusalem artichokes) of the year!

Although I’m trying to empty my fridge, I picked up the four most beautiful sunchokes that were covered in soil, knowing I’d be having a treat for supper that night. Using sunchokes in this recipe gives the latkes a nuttier flavour, which comes from their high inulin content. Inulin is quite popular these days as a prebiotic [oops, the nutritional scientist in me just couldn’t resist – sorry!].

Ingredients – serves 4 as a side or lunch


-1 pound jerusalem artichokes (approximately 6), washed, peeled, and grated
-1 carrot, washed and grated
-1 large potato, washed, peeled, and grated
-2 eggs, lightly beaten
-1/4 onion, finely minced
-1/4 + 1 Tbsp all-purpose flour
-1/4 tsp salt
-dash pepper
-1 Tbsp butter or canola oil

Possible accompaniments

Applesauce (preferably not too spiced)
-Sour cream


Wash and grate all veggies. Combine all vegetables in a medium-sized bowl, mix in the flour, salt and pepper, and then mix well. Add the egg, and continue to stir until the mixture is evenly coated.

Heat the oil or butter in a non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, place flattened tablespoonfuls in the pan, and press gently. Fry until golden, approximately 4 minutes. Turn the latkes over, and repeat.

Serve hot with applesauce and/or sour cream.

Bon appétit!


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Be they braised or sautéed, hidden in quiche or shining in vichyssoise, I absolutely adore leeks.  They combine the delicate flavour of a Spanish onion, with the vibrancy of a green onion and a lovely subtle nuttiness.  I have been eyeing leeks all winter long, but at $5.99 a bunch, they have been far overpriced for a student budget.  This week they went on sale, and I have been relishing their abundance in my refrigerator!

I wanted to create one-pot meal that was satisfying, yet let the leek’s flavour shine.  Without cream, I dared not attempt a vichyssoise. Instead, I decided a creamy risotto infused with leeks would be just the comfort food I needed.  To add some colour and sweetness (and inspired by the leek and potato theme), I included a sweet potato in the risotto.  The result was lovely and balanced, with earthy undertones from the potato and just a hint of spring from the leeks!


Leek and Sweet Potato Risotto

(4 servings)

½ sweet potato, peeled and cut into ½ inch cubes

1 tablespoon butter

2 leeks

2 garlic cloves

¼ cup white wine or sherry

1 cup Arborio rice

3-4 cups vegetable broth, kept piping hot (but not simmering) over low heat

1 teaspoon thyme

¼ cup fresh parsley

¼ cup Parmesan cheese

Steam the cubed sweet potato until cooked, but still al dente.  Meanwhile in a separate pot, sweat the leaks and garlic cloves in the butter until translucent and fragrant.  Add the rice, and toast for 2-3 minutes.  Deglaze the pot with the wine, simmering until the alcohol has mostly evaporated.  Add ½ cup of broth, stirring gently until absorbed.  Continue adding ladlefuls of broth, allowing the rice to absorb each new addition before adding the next, until the rice is cooked al dente and slightly creamy, about 18 minutes.  You may not need all your broth or you may need extra.

Stir in the thyme, fresh parsley, sweet potato, and Parmesan.  Allow the risotto to sit covered with no heat for 2-3 minutes. (Incorporate an extra tablespoon of butter to make really rich and glossy). Adjust the seasoning and serve!

–       Catherine

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