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Posts Tagged ‘tomato’

Last Saturday I took advantage of passing through Kensington Market in Toronto and picked up some fresh whole jackfish. “Do you want me to clean those fish?” the fishmonger asked me. Stunned, I took a second to reply. “Why, of course, that would be really nice” I ended up saying, while I smiled inwardly realizing how I have no problem doing so myself, but enjoyed having someone offer to help. I had sent scales flying on more than one occasion in Gambia, and I’m not squeamish. I’m not going to turn down the help though!

It’s kind of funny and ironic: some of my most common culture-shock has surrounded food (perhaps I should call it food-shock). Although I definitely felt it when I arrived in Gambia (I would have given almost anything for vegetables, fruit and sweets at first, and then it was low-oil cooking,  and finally it became meat and dairy), the real surprise has been feeling reverse food-shock as I readjust to Canadian life. I wake up craving fish, I don’t feel full unless I eat rice, and I eat as if 10 people were competing with me for my food at each meal- meaning I eat a mile a minute. Mind you I am definitely enjoying my veggies again.

This recipe is one I was delighted to discover: its spiciness I couldn’t resist on a hot, hot day, and I was forever grateful for its lack of oil.

For me on a hot steamy day there’s nothing better than a spicy but light at the same time meal.

Ingredients – 4 servings

4 jackfish or other small-ish fish, gutted, cleaned, spines removed, with slashes in their sides (jackfish have spines on the sides also)

1 red onion, finely sliced

1/2 sweet red pepper, minced into tiny pieces

1 tomato, seeds removed, pounded or crushed

2 cloves garlic, germs removed

1 jalapeno, seeds removed (medium hot), or half a scotch-bonnet, seeds removed (extremely hot)

1 cube vegetable bouillon

1 tsp whole peppercorns

salt to taste

1 1/2 cups water approximately

juice from 1/2 lemon

Fresh baguette

Directions

Clean and wash the fish. Slice the onions. Place water in a pan, add the onions, and increase heat to medium-high until it boils. Meanwhile, clean the garlic, and pound the garlic, peppercorns, hot pepper, and bouillon until they are a smooth paste.

When the water boils, dissolve the seasoning mixture into the water, and add salt to taste. Add the red pepper and tomato and stir, letting the mixture simmer, for 2-3 minutes.

Add the fish and lemon juice and poach the fish in the soup, for approximately 4-5 minutes per side.

Serve with fresh baguette in a deep plate. You can sprinkle finely chopped parsley on it if you’re feeling creative!

-Sitelle

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A few years ago I found a recipe for a root vegetable salad I’d never seen before as I flipped through my Larousse Gastronomique. I was immediately intrigued at the combination of a creamy old-fashioned garlic dressing with the crisp and earthy vegetables, and decided to give it a shot.

Since then, I have tried all sorts of vegetable combinations. I love how colourful and fresh the salad is. Accompanied by a hard-boiled egg or grilled piece of meat, it can make a full lunch.

Living in Montréal now, I have begun to explore the local food scene. I visited the market in Ste. Anne-de-Bellevue (a suburb on the western side of the island) on Saturday, and was delighted at what I found. Basically everything that went into this salad came from this market!

Ingredients – for 4 servings

-1 beet, finely sliced into half-circles
-1/2 small head fennel, finely sliced into strips
-1-2 carrots, cut into match-sticks
-1 celery stalk, cut into match-sticks
-2 medium tomatoes, sliced into rounds
-1/2 an apple, cut into thin wedges
-juice from 1/4 lemon or lime
-4 whole large leaves of lettuce (optional)
-a handful of toasted pumpkin seeds (optional), for garnish

-1.5 Tbsp cider vinegar
-1.5 Tbsp grain mustard
-1.5 Tbsp cream
-pinch fresh minced tarragon or dry tarragon
-cracked pepper and salt to taste

Directions

Wash and peel then finely slice all ingredients (feel free to leave all the peels on if you like – some like them and others don’t), leaving the apple for last. Drizzle lemon juice over apple to keep it from browning. Using a very sharp knife will help as well. Keep the beet separate so as not to colour everything in advance.

This salad can be assembled either on side-plates (the way that keeps it looking more special), or in a large, shallow bowl. Arrange the veggies however you like, over a leaf of lettuce if you choose to do so.

To make the dressing, mix the vinegar and mustard. Once thoroughly mixed, add the cream and mix some more, adding the tarragon at the end. Drizzle over salad, and add salt and pepper to taste.

The key to success with this salad is finely chopping all the ingredients. I hope you enjoy this as much as I do!

-Sitelle

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One of the reasons why I love Sunday brunch is that I have a little bit of extra time to cook something special. I love quiche, but between making a pie shell and creating the filling, for the longest time I thought it was too complex for an easy meal. How wrong I was! Sitelle let me into her secret about quiche a few years back. Simply stirfry your favourite veggies, sprinkle generously with cheese, fill with egg mixture and bake away.  She also uses sour cream in the egg mixture instead of milk, giving the quiche an incredibly velvety texture when cooked!

Mushrooms and tomatoes are two of my favourite veggies, and I heightened these flavours with some crumpled leftover bacon. From there, I added Gruyère and off I went! This quiche was delicious the morning of, and made for tasty leftovers the next day for lunch. For a vegetarian version, omit the bacon. Now that I remember how easy it is to make quiche, I’ll have to try a few of my other favourite flavour combinations (dill and feta, smoked salmon and asparagus, red pepper and basil to name just a few!).

Mushroom and Tomato Quiche
(1 quiche or serves 8)

ingredients
1 savoury pie crust

Olive oil

1/2 red onion, diced

1 clove garlic, minced

12 mushrooms, diced

Salt and Pepper

1 teaspoon savoury (or substitute your favourite herbs such as thyme or marjoram)

4-5 eggs

1 cup sour cream (light is fine)

1 (or more) cup grated Gruyère cheese (or substitute another cheese like cheddar or feta)

3 pieces of bacon, crumpled

1 tomato, sliced

Directions

Preheat the oven to 375 F.  Roll out the crust and place it in a buttered pie or fluted quiche pan.  Prick it with a fork.

In a frying pan, saute the onions and garlic in the olive oil until fragrant.  Add the mushrooms and continue sauteing until wilted. Season with salt, pepper, and savoury.  Set aside to cool slightly.

Crack the eggs into a medium bowl and whisk in the sour cream.  Spread the mushroom mixture into the pie shell, and sprinkle the cheese and bacon over it.  Pour the eggs overtop, and shake until evenly spread. Gently place the tomato slices into the quiche to decorate.

Bake the quiche in the oven until set, about 25 to 35 minutes.  Serve with a toss salad and enjoy!

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